Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Upcycled T-shirt Balloon Dog

I'm currently decluttering and working my way through my fabric and clothes to be upcycled stash.

Last week I opened a box of t-shirts I'd kept and made a simple t-shirt quilt for my girls. 
You can find more pictures and a tutorial to make your own t-shirt quilt here.

Although this was a great way to use up the front pictures and logos from all those t-shirts. There are still the t-shirt backs and scraps left over. Really so far I've used up less than half of the t-shirts from my stash in term of volume of fabric used and left over.

First I played around a little and made a mini t-shirt quilt, using the back of one of the t-shirts and smaller squares cut from the scraps of others.

Whilst this was nice and cute, and my younger daughter will happily claim it for her teddies, I'm not sure that making more of these is the answer to using up those last scraps.

Another thing I found on Pinterest and have been wanting to try making for a while is this t-shirt balloon dog.
The tutorial, from Little Inspiration is nice and clear and can be found here.

I cut two strips from the back of one of the left over t-shirts and sewed them together to make a tube long enough to try one.
 I used old stuffing from squished pillows that when pulled and tugged apart comes up nice and fluffy again for a second use!

The dog is made from stuffing and stitching your t-shirt tube in sections, twisting and stitching the sections together as you go, just as a balloon animal is twisted together!

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

I know my daughters are going to love this little doggie! It was fun to make and has inspired me with more possibilities yet!

Do come back again to see what I do with the remaining t-shirt scraps...

I shall be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose direct links and pretty buttons can be found on my linky party page.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Round Tuit 320

Hello again and welcome to another week.
Last week I did some great stashbusting using a box of my girls old t-shirts.  
I made a t-shirt quilt - something I've been meaning to try for a long time and it feels good to have finally got 'a round tuit'!! 
I posted a t-shirt quilt tutorial - including my first ever video tutorial here.
Make a T-shirt quilt

 Watch out this week for more stashbusting and upcycling!

How about you? What have you been up to?  Let's get this party started and find out.


Welcome to this week's linky party. A place where you can link up your posts and creations, and be inspired by others.

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
First of all,  a great example of 'use what you've got' from C.R.A.F.T. with these envelopes made from colouring in pages.

Next, another example of 'use what you've got' with this Easy Upcycled Walkway from Pallets from The Homespun Hydrangea.

For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button here.
Creating my way to Success
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on this post next week.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Spotlight - Games and Bananas!

Welcome to another round of features from the Round Tuit party.

I always have fun choosing what to feature and how to group them together.
This week I'm showcasing Games and Banana Recipes!!

So first of all some games to keep you amused.

And some tasty looking Banana Recipes.

I hope you enjoyed this week's features and that you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to make a super simple T-shirt Quilt

I've had a box of t-shirts sitting in my cupboard for a few years now, saved with the idea of one day making a t-shirt quilt with them.

Well, this week, I decided that it was time to just do it! 

I read plenty of blog posts from other people who had made t-shirt quilts, and listened to various pieces of advice, then launched into trying it out for myself.

I decided to go the simplest way possible. I only used the t-shirts and a large piece of knit fabric I had in my stash for the backing. I chose not to add any 'extras' like batting, interfacing or sashing.
I used the current needle in my sewing machine - which I found by checking after I made the quilt was a denim needle!
And I cut the t-shirts with just regular dressmaking scissors and sized the pieces by eyeballing them, no measurements.

The quilt turned out the size of the t-shirt pieces I had, finished - roughly 1 m  x 1 m 60 cm (39 x 63").

So here is how to make your very own super simple t-shirt quilt in  10 steps.
There are no measurements in this tutorial. The size of your quilt will depend on the number of t-shirts you have, and the size you cut them to with the logos and designs you have!

I made my first ever video tutorial for this t-shirt quilt. You can watch this, or scroll down for the photo tutorial.

1. Collect your t-shirts

2. Cut the logos/ designs out from the front of the t-shirts, leaving as much space around them as you can. 
Lay them out flat. Do this often to see what you have and get an idea of your layout, size and order.

3. Now take each piece in turn and trim to make the edges straight and the corners square.

Note - I had a piece with a rounded top as it was from a singlet.

You can still use pieces like this - I simply laid this on top of the piece above it and ran a tight zig zag stitch around the edge to hold it in place.

4. Lay your pieces out again, this time matching them up by width. Try to make each row using pieces of a similar width.  You can do this either down or across. I went down here.

5. Shuffle and move your pieces around until you're happy with where they are. I moved mine lots, added and took away pieces until I was happy with the layout and it looked even.

Then trim each row of pieces to make them all the same width.
You can see in this picture I have 4 rows (going downwards) each row being the same width.

6. Now pin then stitch the pieces in each row together one at a time, right sides together.

Once you have all of your rows finished, then you join these rows to each other one by one. Simply pin and stitch.

When stitching with t-shirt fabric, use lots of pins and don't push or pull the fabric through the machine. Hold your work loosely and let the machine feed it through.

7. Now lay your backing fabric flat on the ground face up. Smooth out any wrinkles. 

 Then lay your t-shirt quilt top face down on top of the backing and smooth out any wrinkles.

8. Put plenty of pins around all four edges - but leave a gap of about 30 cm (1') to turn the quilt right sides out.
Roughly trim the edges of the backing and stitch around your quilt edges, remembering to leave that gap!

9.  Turn your quilt right sides out through the gap, then top-stitch all the way around, closing that gap with the edges folded inwards.
I used a dark thread for the top and a purple thread for the bobbin to match the backing fabric.

10. To finish off your quilt, stitch around the edges of your t-shirt pieces. This is called 'stitch in the ditch' as you're stitching along previous lines of stitching, which provide your guide-line!

All done!

Now you can admire your super simple t-shirt quilt!

So do you have a pile of t-shirts saved?  Is it time you jumped in and made a start on that quilt?

You could choose to add batting to make the quilt warmer, or interfacing to make the t-shirt fabric firmer, or to add sashing or binding. There are so many ways to make a quilt - but this is the easiest method I found and I'm really happy with how my little t-shirt quilt turned out!

My daughters love it - it's made from their t-shirts, and my youngest daughter asked me to show me how to make one so she can start saving her clothes to make herself one!

If you liked this tutorial, I have over 100 free sewing tutorials here for you to browse through. They are for making all kinds of things and for all levels of sewing abilities. Do go and take a look at:

And I'd love to know what you think of the video. I'm just learning and playing around with this at the moment!

I'll be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons and direct links can be found on my linky party page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Learning how to make a T-shirt Quilt

I've challenged myself to use up my fabric and crafting stash - not just some of it, but ALL of it! Yep, probably a crazy challenge, but I've reached boil over point with having too much stuff and an extreme solution seems to be the way to go!

I've done a couple of smaller projects already - and this is my first bigger one - to use up a box of t-shirts I've been saving when my daughters discard them as being too small or just not 'cool' anymore. 
I did have the idea that in the future I would make some kind of quilt for them out of the t-shirts. So with my new challenge I thought, 'why wait?'. It's winter here now in Cairns and a blanket or quilt would at least be used instead of a box of t-shirts just sitting in the cupboard!

T-shirt Upcycling

So, here's what I started with:

All kinds of shapes and sizes of designs, logos and pictures. Should make for an interesting quilt/rug if I can get it right! Hopefully not just a messed up mish-mash.

First I have cut and ironed all the designs from the t-shirts. I cut them roughly at first, then neatened the edges of each one to square them off.

The pieces are all kinds of sizes, and I also have one piece with a rounded top - it was a singlet PJ top and I cut as far out from the design as I could! I don't want to cut any of the design off to make it square, but I'm not sure what to do about the rounded top...any suggestions welcome!

A quilt, a rug or maybe a blanket?

I randomly laid out the pieces, then rearranged them to get this.

The four 'columns' of t-shirts are roughly the same width, and I think I can trim all the pieces to make them fit reasonably evenly together.

I tried to spread the colours out, but other that that, there is no reason for this ordering of the t-shirt pieces other than sizes.

How to put them together?

So there you have where I'm at now. The next step is to put the pieces together into a quilt/blanket.  

I've been checking out some posts online to see how other people have made their t-shirt quilts. Here are some bits and pieces of advice I found:

One suggestion is to cut your t-shirt pictures out and then use fusible webbing to attach them to a backing fabric and applique around them.

Sashing is another way to work around different sized pictures. This simply means adding extra fabric around the pictures to make them into the right sized blocks for your nice even sized quilt.

Some tutorials say to use iron-on interfacing on the back of each t-shirt picture as the fabric is stretchy. This should then make the blocks easier to sew evenly.

Then there is finishing the quilt around the edges. Do you stitch it all wrong sides together, quilting as you go, then add a binding around the edges?  Or stitch the front and back right sides together and then top-stitch around the outside and quilt afterwards?
Or a third option is to stitch the front and back together block by block, folding the seams over and top stitching as you go around each block.

Please Help!

Have you every made a t-shirt quilt? Do you have any advice, suggestions or opinions as to how I should continue with this project?

I have some soft knit fabric from my stash that I'm going to use for the backing, basically because it's a piece big enough to use and a nice soft fabric for a blanket/quilt.

Please leave me a comment below.
 I'm ready to get stuck into putting this 't-shirt' quilt together!

I've now finished my t-shirt quilt. You can see the finished quilt, plus a photo and written tutorial - and my first ever video tutorial, showing how you can make one of your own here!

I shall be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons and direct links can be found on my linky party page.