Secret birthday project #1: The Test Card quilt

26 Feb

We spent a lovely day at my parents yesterday, and I got to give dad his birthday presents.

Last year I asked dad for his old work shirts, to make him a quilt. It was just before his birthday and I hadn’t finished my first quilt yet, so I knew I wouldn’t get it done in time. I stuck them in the bottom of the airing cupboard and almost forgot they were there.

Fastforward to a few weeks ago, when my quilting bug struck again, and I found them while digging through fabric for my Village Cricket quilt (for some reason, quilts have to have names in this house).

It seemed rather self indulgent to be making a quilt for me, when I still hadn’t started dad’s so I bit the bullet.

Once I’d cut up the shirts into usable fabric pieces I thought might work together I laid them out, thinking they could be a Log Cabin design (not all of these are his shirts btw).

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But I wanted to make a ‘man’ quilt, and this arrangement seemed too fiddly and fussy for dad.

Instead, I settled on a plan of 7in wide squares and rectangles, in a random layout. To break it up a bit I made some 7in square(ish) blocks out of swatches from Deckchair Stripes.

This is what they looked like, nested in the gingham bag they came in. Love it!

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I bought a whole pack for £15, which I thought was a bargain for 60 strips, and used about a fifth of them, settling on blues, with a few bright colours.

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They’re all named after sports. Darts was my favourite.
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A lot of the swatches were wonky, so I did some evening up, being very fussy about squaring off the shapes.

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Which left me with this little pretty pile.

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Then I sewed them into threes.

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And cut them into squares.

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The blocks took an afternoon, but were perfect for the bright zings of colour the quilt needed, among the grey, black and dark red check of dad’s shirts.

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Then I laid it out, and pieced it in a couple of evenings. And here it is. (Well, the top anyway)

I’ve not finished the quilting yet (luckily, dad is the patient type). I’m using bright blue embroidery thread (DMC 995), again, to add a flash of colour.

It reminded me of the BBC Test Card (although when I looked it up, I thought, not so much actually).

The quilt is backed with a soft flannel sheet so it’s ultra snuggly, and once again, the wadding is good old Bamboo Blend.

He seemed to like it. Yay!

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4 Responses to “Secret birthday project #1: The Test Card quilt”

  1. Jan Marriott February 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    speeding along there…always have loved shirting.

  2. Jen A-C February 27, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    That’s going to be brilliant when it’s complete. What a lovely present. 🙂

  3. Curvyjax February 27, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I have a bag of shirts in the attic that I have been stashing since last summer – to make a simple quilt! Love the idea of adding the deckchair stripes….might have to copy you! Looks great, and makes me feel like I should be getting on with mine!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happy New Year! « Nana taught me how - January 1, 2013

    […] Starting and finishing (!) quilts for my dad and […]

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