Monday, September 7, 2009

The Black T-Shirt Quilt returns!

When we last checked in with The Black T-Shirt Quilt, it was barely getting to be a top. See it by looking back here in June.

Meanwhile, good friends Rita and Cherry-Cherry helped me baste it....and a nasty job it was, with a "vintage" polyester so-called black batt. That means it was hiding in my closet for many years, and it's really a charcoal color.But what's going on here? Yes, once again I got the backing too short, and have to add on a section.
In my can't-wait fashion, I went ahead and did all the in-the-ditch stabilizing quilting, working my way up and down from the center out to the sides. Then I had to peel everything apart along one end and add the extra strip of fabric.

No, I was not smart enough to trim the selvedge off first. It's just going to be part of this quilt forever!
The worst thing, though, was having to touch that batting constantly. Yech!
Or maybe the worst part was having to press open a seam 63" long, trying not to hit the batting with the hot iron!
This is the price I pay for being me. Yet somehow, it seems to work.

Next came quilting inside the blocks to keep the whole thing from looking like a giant puffy naan (that's a bread from India...if you've eaten one, you know what I mean!).
Mostly I did a wavy sort of line, generally following the shape of the words or pictures.
A wavy line is never expected to look straight, so it saves you from a lot of heartbreak and irritation!

It was really miserable quilting on the knit fabric, even though all the shirts had been stabilized with a woven interfacing. Very hard to avoid pleats & puckers.
And that poly bat!!!
It's been years since I quilted with one, and honestly I am glad I did this one.
It reminded me why cottons and blends are a thousand times better!

Poly is slippery and stretchy...and springs back to where it stretched from. Not fun at all. (though it doesn't need to be washed to be does have it's place in the world....just not MY world!).

Finally time to quilt the border!
It's my design called "Cheating at Checkers", so I continued with the "cheating" theme and did the corner-to-corner curves in each black square, free-motion by eye.
Then I went back with red thread and did one long diagonal line through the red parts, as though it would be going through red squares, if they were there.
I bet when I really look at it, it will seem like I only did half of Xs through those red areas.

My goal this year is to get two "Needs More Quilting" remarks from the judge, and I believe I am right on track with both entries!

One of my favorites shirts! It got some nice spirally sort of lines to show off Our Home Galaxy.

The binding is sewn to the front now, and it needs stitching down on the back. Then a sleeve and label. Oh, I hope to get some random quilting done in the red sashing, too.
And there's still a pink border on the other quilt that I'd like to stitch down.
Even if I have time for those two things, I will still be able to reach my goal for the judge's remarks!
Only four days until Turn-In!

Meanwhile, here is attempt #3 at having a phone in my studio:

And do note that you can actually see a space on my floor!!!
The last phone made a continuous sound like a squirrel. It had to go!

So if you call me, and I'm sewing, now I don't have to run out the door, down the hall and into my office, hoping to grab the phone before the answering machine comes on!

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