Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Family Quilts

Sometimes I'm asked if I come from a long line of quilters and seamstresses. People assume that because I'm a professional quilter now, I must have inherited the talent from my family. Sorry but I must disabuse you of that notion. My mother mostly taught herself to do domestic things out of articles in ladies magazines and her lifelong interest was gardening and biology. She loved plants and animals and was happiest bent over weeding a flowerbed.

That's not to say Mom, and other family members, didn't dabble in quiltmaking. The picture here was taken in Washington, KY, where my Mom lived, in the winter of 2001. Left to right: my nephew Charles Scott Marshall, his mother (and my older sister) Mary Frances Marshall, and Mom, Mary Lib Peddie. They are proudly displaying a quilt they made from Charles Scott's favorite plaid shirts.

Guys love quilts made from their own shirts. If you've been planning to make a shirting quilt some day, then the time is now--2008 would be a great year to make that happen. Here's a quick how-to:
Wash the shirts. If they wrinkly badly, press them.
Cut off the collar, placket, yoke, and sleeves. Usually the best parts (translation: least worn) parts of the shirt are mid-back to tail and the same in front.
Choose a size block and add 1/2" to that measurement. Use a rotary square tool and a sharp cutter to cut out the squares. Cut enough squares to make the quilt as large as you want.PS-don't be afraid to piece (sew together) some squares--it adds character!
If you don't have enough shirts, supplement from your stash or go shirt shopping at the Goodwill store.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Let's be honest here, those aren't just any plaid shirts, those were a collection of all the flannel shirts that I wore in the 1990s during my grunge music period. I was one of the few kids in a town in rural Kentucky who was listening to that music, and have SO many memories of my high school and teen years wrapped up those shirts. In hind sight it's also one of the last gifts that I received from my grandmother before she passed so it means SO much to me. For a long time it has been, and still is, one of my most prized possessions. Keep up the great blog!
Charles Scott Marshall (The guy in the pic)