Saturday, April 02, 2011

Camp Blanket Tutorial, Part I

Throughout our April blog event, we are going to have tutorials and ideas to incorporate crafts into your outdoors and nature experiences.  This tutorial will chronicle the steps needed to create a camp or picnic blanket out of cast-off t-shirts. It's a fun way to recycle your memories!

Part I

I started out with a stack of t-shirts that my husband no longer wanted for whatever reason.  The man is a slave to comfort, not fashion.  I decided that I did not want a traditional t-shirt quilt because that's just the way I roll.  Hence, the quilt is going to have a more "log cabin" quilt look to it.

First, cut off the sleeves of the t-shirt.  

Next, cut open the shoulder seams and down one side of the shirt.  Basically it will look like a muscle shirt connected on one side.

Now the tricky part begins.  I'm horrible with math and have a hard time explaining how I come to an equation so forgive me if this part is muddy.  Every t-shirt has a different graphic or pattern and each is a different size and shape.  As such, each block of the quilt will be different but each block needs to be the same finished size.  A standard twin size quilt is 39"x75" and I've used this as a sort of guideline.  The finished quilt size will undoubtedly not be standard though!  I've decided to make my finished quilt blocks 20"x24".  The tricky part is accounting for the seam allowances.  I use a 1/2" seam allowance. 

For me, the easiest thing to do is cut out the main center graphic of the t-shirt (making sure that it is cut in whole inch increments and no fractions of inches) and go from there.  I also use a sharpie to mark my lines for cutting since it gets cut off anyway or ends up in the seam.  If only I had a rotary cutter I suspect this part would be easier!

The part of the t-shirt you cut out will be the center of one quilt block.

In Part II we will address adding strips around the center of the quilt block.  The part that challenges my math abilities, or lack thereof.  Enjoy the Chaos!

See you next time!