Harley Happening T-Shirt Finished
The Harley Davidson t-shirt quilt we are making for Deena is complete! It is actually a surprise for her husband, Tim. Our friend, Pat, referred Deena to us. Last year, we made our first t-shirt quilt which was comprised of diving t-shirts from all over the world. The t-shirts were from places Pat visited and wanted a remembrance of by buying a shirt. We shared the beginning process for this t-shirt quilt in this Harley Davidson T-Shirt Quilt Update post. Here is a continuation of the steps.
Harley T-Shirt Interfacing
Interfacing the t-shirts is a necessary step to ensure that they do not stretch. The step itself is rather simple – just follow the instructions provided with the interfacing. We chose to use the June Taylor brand t-shirt interfacing because we’ve used it successfully in the past.
Sue trimmed the interfacing to the correct size and then damp-pressed it onto the back of the t-shirt. Pressing, rather than ironing, is essential with a damp cloth is essential to get good adherence.
We were able to trim many of the t-shirts to a common size. If you were to look closely, the t-shirts in the center column are slightly more narrow. We tried out a layout on the living room floor as the pieces are too big and heavy for the design wall. As you can easily see, I couldn’t get all of them into the picture.
This was one layout but I don’t believe it is the final one. After a few adjustments were made, we picked up each of the five rows and added a row label to keep them straight.
You will see in the layout photo above that we put a few smaller designs together for the center block. They came from the sleeve, pocket or back from the only non-black t-shirt.
You can see in the left photo that I used mostly a quarter inch seam allowance. I also pressed the seams open throughout the quilt to decrease the bulk where block seams met as much as possible. You can also see the interfacing and how light/see-through it is. The lighter the better because the weight of the t-shirts increases quickly.
Here’s that cool center block in the process of being pieced. As the centerpiece, it determined the size of that slightly more narrow third column and t-shirts were selected to fill the other four rows. The next step was to sew the rows individually together and then stitch the rows into a complete t-shirt top.
It really had some weight to it by now and it was huge. It measured 75″ by 91″. We layered it on our kitchen island although it hung off of all four sides. We had a nice 108″ wide backing in black marbled-type fabric that was perfect for this project. A 100% cotton batting was added for the usual quilty squishiness. Pins held all three layers together, although they were used rather sparingly. I knew a crosshatch quilting design was in the near future so we added the tape for the first quilting row at this time.
Harley Davidson Quilting
Finally, it was time to start quilting this Harley Davidson masterpiece. As I mentioned above, we layered it on the kitchen island. We had to put the guiding masking tape on in two separate pieces because it was too difficult to see both corners at one time.
The guide for my walking foot is called upon once I stitch next to the masking tape for the first row. I won’t lie – it’s a heavy and warm quilt to guide through my domestic sewing machine. Each pass gets easier and easier though because you’re working toward the smaller corners. Also, the weight of the quilt stays on the quilting table rather than on my lap. Once the first half is finished, we mark it with tape again in the opposite direction. The second half of the quilting goes much quicker since there are no pins to remove.
I had a photo shoot all planned in my head for this fabulous quilt. The Harley Davidson Museum is nearby in Milwaukee and I pictured this quilt draped over a badass Hog. That was before it ended up being 73″ x 86″ after being washed and dried at the laundromat. It was just too darn big for our washing machine at home so we took it to a heavy-duty one!
I didn’t have the heart to have this laying on or touching the ground. I think this quilt is big enough to completely cover a Harley as if it were a tarp. Alas, the Harley Museum didn’t happen. Instead, I popped it on my queen-size bed (over Postcard peeking out underneath) and took these photos. I’m hoping to someday have a picture of Tim with his quilt to share!
And Finally . . .
This project is our July one monthly goal (OMG), so we will be sharing it on Patty’s Elm Street Quilts website linkup as a successful finish. I’ll also share on Myra’s Busy Hands Quilts and Michelle’s From Bolt to Beauty Friday link ups.
Our other Linky Parties can be found by clicking the link above or along the sidebar on our website for more quilting fun – check out what our friends are up to. Like/follow us on our Facebook page and you can share your photos of what you’re working on. We would love to see them!