Here in Cocoa Beach, every freakin’ surfing happening has a t-shirt. It’s like when I was a College undergrad- all jaunts to the Club required a printed shirt with your Greek letters, the date and the most blessed event SOMEWHERE on it.
Same goes for surfers. Apart from my college team shirts, about all of my wardrobe consists of surf themed tees. Classy, huh? In fact, I kind of like to collect wacky surfing or ocean related themed tees when I find them. I’ve even bought some “vintage” ones from local Vintage surfers around here at swap meets just to get an old surf shop logo or brand logo that I could use in a neat-o sewing project.
When I cut up these tees, I’m not too particular about cutting them out in perfectly straight squares like I’m making quilting blocks (at least, not at this point). I save the blank bottom part of the t-shirts to make t-shirt yarn, so as long as I have most of the interesting part of the graphic off of the tee with a little extra room to spare, it’s all good.
I do make sure to back each t-shirt graphic “square” with some light iron-on fusible interfacing. It just makes working with knits so much easier, and keeps the fabric from stretching everywhere without making it feel too stiff.
Some people making these t-shirt quilts try to center up ALL the graphics, make sure there’s a perfect border, etc. Not me. I hate quilting, and that’s the reason why. It’s too fussy. So, for this project, as long as I get a lot of color in, I don’t care where it lands. Screw it.
Once I figured out which tees I wanted to use (these are some of my faves!), I laid them out on the table. I started hacking away at the inside edges where I was going to join the four blocks together, so those would be somewhat straight edges I could sew a seam along. And if I chopped off stuff, good. Adds character. And chest hair. Arrrgh.
After doing that, I pieced the four tees together at the touching seams, and laid it back out on the table. At this point, I squared up the outer edges of the four square block to make the front of the pillow cover.
Next, I sandwiched a layer of bamboo batting (cut just a little smaller than the other layers) between the top and a piece of liner fabric. For the liner (and back) fabric, I used some navy hemp cotton I interfaced.
Once that was aligned with the top facing right side out, then the batting, then the lining facing right side out, I could start basting the layers together.
I made long stitches using red thread that I could easily find later and pull out, even if I sewed over them.
From there, I just had fun! I used all those stitches on the machine you never use, with the feet I needed practice with, like my free motion foot.
I made this into an envelope style pillow, so I made a back piece out of the navy bamboo cotton almost as big as the pillow top, then the bottom of the envelope was a small piece only about a 1/3 of the height.
After I sewed these together, turned them right side out, I added a coconut button and loop so if I use fuller pillow forms this will be sure to close fully.
I made the pillow form for this pillow from some scraps of muslin in my fabric stash and a torn memory foam pillow I hoarded. It had torn up in the wash recently (oops!), but I shredded it, and kept the shreds to make a pillow form for a pillow cover like this. I swear I made it under the 2 week self-imposed hoarding deadline.
The tees, well, they ALWAYS have a freakin’ date on those blessed events, so you can plainly see where I’m guilty of years of minor hoarding.
Do I qualify for a guest seat on Dr. Phil’s “Hoarders Week?” I don’t think I could even get on Steve Harvey. He’d accidentally introduce me as a supermodel anyway.