Why We Quilt
Trina Gallop Blank, Will Cook for Shoes
I have always been what I would consider a crafty person. I love to create. The basics of sewing were learned from my Mom and in Home Ec in Junior High. Through the years I worked on a lot of small sewing projects, even venturing into apparel sewing. But I never really got into quilting until just a few years ago.
Why did I start quilting all of a sudden after 30 plus years of not quilting?
Part of it was all the lovely fabrics I was discovering, and the desire to use a quilt as my canvas. Then there is the practical reason to quilt – to make something warm, but there was a need to create something more.
I love the long-lasting memory that a quilt creates. While I’m writing this I’m sitting on my couch wrapped in a quilt made for my husband and I as a wedding gift. I can only imagine my Step-Mom working on this quilt, how she lovingly considered all the personal details she added to it (quilting in our initials, a heart, the word ‘Love’). It means so much that she put so much thought and effort into this beautiful keepsake.
Quilting Creates a Memory
Recently I worked on my first t-shirt quilt. Certainly not the same level of fabric as our wedding quilt or some of the quilts I’ve made for friends and family. But this quilt has deep meaning for me.
Back in 2006 I attended my first Manitoba Basset Hound Walk with my older boy Buster – a gathering of basset hounds and their owners for an afternoon of “howling” good times and raising funds for a local dog rescue. In 2007, I started planning them, and have been doing so ever since. Each year we have a new t-shirt to commemorate the gathering. Typically I wear the t-shirts the day of the walk and then they get put away.
This walk is really special to me. It’s a community of people and every year we catch-up, celebrate the new attendees, and shed a tear over those who aren’t with us anymore.
This year, way too close to the date of the walk, I decided I needed to do something memorable with all those t-shirts! So I frantically dug them out of storage and made a t-shirt quilt.
If you’ve never made a t-shirt quilt before, they are lots of fun to make. I kept mine really simple.
There are many different ways to pull together a t-shirt quilt, but regardless of the design, you will want to use a fusible interfacing on the back of your t-shirt. This will give your t-shirt some stability and reduce the stretching that would otherwise occur from the t-shirt material. For mine, I used Pellon Shape-Flex in white, a woven fusible interfacing.
Next I trimmed my shirts to size. My blocks were a very generous 14 inches square. Mostly due to the size of the images I was working with.
After several long evenings and a few late nights, I managed to get this quilt done in time for our walk just this past Sunday. I’m so glad I did. We hung it up at the gathering. It was so great to remise with everyone over the t-shirts and past Manitoba Basset Hound Walks. It was a great conversation piece. Several people were hoping it was part of our raffle (especially since I usually do make something and donate it) but this was one quilt I wasn’t parting with. I love that I will always have this to remember these events and going out on the walks with my boys.
Why do you quilt? Do you have a special quilt that brings back special memories for you?
Trina Gallop Blank is a regular contributor to Janome Life and offers a monthly Quilting post. She is also a Janome Artisan who sews on the M1250Q and the Skyline S5. Please visit her over at Will Cook for Shoes to see her latest sewing, quilting and cooking adventures!