I got asked by a friend of my sister's boyfriend's parents (follow that?) to make some custom quilts for her. Her husband passed away not too long ago and she wanted small quilts made from some of his shirts--one for herself and one for each of her two daughters for Christmas gifts.
The project is a challenge to me because of the colors of the shirts. I gravitate personally towards bright colors or punchy pastels. I'm not big on muted colors--ask anyone who knows me in person and sees my outfits regularly! When I initially spoke with the woman she described the shirts as being Hawaiian shirts, so I thought they'd be bright colors. I had an idea to make each quilt one super-sized traditional block--one four foot square quilt block. I thought the bright colors would make that really fun.
When I picked up the shirts and talked more in person with the woman, who said that she really wanted something "funky" (especially to give to her daughters) I had to change my approach. These colors make anything other than traditional a challenge.
As you see above, the first thing I did was sort the shirts by color. Then I stared at the piles for awhile waiting for some inspiration.
Then I did this:
That's the first completed top. It's approximately 52" square. There's a lot of woven interfacing and piecing happening there, with knit fabrics and fabrics with a loose weave and bias seams. The red shirt in the middle was cut to include the chest logo, which is the logo for the local yacht club that the family was a member of. The black t-shirt patch with the writing is from the gentleman's business t-shirts. Each quilt will have the same black patch and logos from other shirts in them somewhere, though I want to keep those more subtle than a t-shirt quilt or the like.
I am rather pleased with the end result. Two more quilt tops to go (though I only know what I'm doing for one of them) and then the quilting.