Monday, April 20, 2015

New Quilt on the Drawing Board - Or At Least on the Grid

For years I have been collecting t-shirts from the CAAWS parades and activities.  I have some of them for more than 10 years!  They are a great collection of some of the achievements that make the organization proud to be a part of the community we serve.  the money we have raised with the sale of these t-shirts has spayed and neutered countless cats and dogs and hundreds of families happy with pets that would otherwise have been gassed in local shelters.  We truly have made a difference!

When I was clearing out my piles of stuff in the quilt room last week, I found the box that contained these t-shirts.  I had a good many of them already backed and ready to be included in a quilt.  So why not?

At one of our guild meetings, Candy B demonstrated a technique she uses to lay out her shirts in wonderful and inventive layouts.  Her quilts are always so pretty.  What it takes is a bit of planning.  (Something I don't always do!)

First I measured each block and tallied the sizes on a list.  Now I needed to graph out the blocks.

Last night when I was looking for the graph paper I usually have in my bookcases (I do know where some stuff is) it was not where it should have been.  I asked Frank if he had seen the graph paper and/or put it away somewhere.  There are only two of us in the house, you know.  And I haven't seen a dog put anything away yet.

But that is not the tack he took.  He said, what do you call graph paper?  I said you know, the paper with the lines on it.  He claimed not to know what that meant.  Come on guy, the squares?  What?  I have never seen paper like that!  What do you use it for?

OMG!  Really?  GRAPH PAPER!  Like you used in HIGH SCHOOL!  And COLLEGE!  And you are an ENGINEER for Crikes' sake!

He looks at me, full in the face and say..........I have never used anything like that in my life!  (I wish I had a picture of his face at this point, pure innocence!)

Geez, I eventually found it when he opened the closet and pointed to ......what????   The graph paper!

So now armed with graph paper, I cut each block out of graph paper. I realized I had to indicate which way was up for each block that needed orientation.

(OMG, a commercial for potato chips just came on, I want some chips now......why does it not work like that for eyeglasses when that commercial comes on?)

Then I laid them on another sheet, I had to paste two sheets together to get the size and dimension right.  I could rearrange them at will to make a pleasant layout.  When I had something I liked.......

Paste, I found that and pasted the blocks down to use as a future guide when I am putting them together.

I also see the spaces in between the blocks where I can fill in with other blocks, maybe with some words like CAAWS or Woof.   

I still have a lot of decisions yet to make, like colors and fabrics and fill-ins, but I now have a plan with which to work.

And I actually laid out TWO quilts.  See, I REALLY needed that graph paper!


  1. I made my step father a t shirt quilt once... my son has been saving some of his favourite shirts in hopes of my making a second.
    I didn't mind working with them once the prep work was done. Maybe you've inspired me to take a closer look at my boys stack-o-shirts!!
    Looking forward to seeing yours progress!

  2. Oh! This is going to a great quilt! Love the words idea and am proud if you for taking the time to plan. You can raffle it to benefit the CAAWS. Looking forward to seeing it progress.

  3. Didn't know what graph paper was? Talk about a brain fart! Glad you posted this because it reminded me that I need to remind my sister to have her husband put the box of t-shirts in his car on Friday night before he heads up to Ohio. That would save some postage. The t-shirts are for a quilt for her son.


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