Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shirt Pinwheels

I finished this quilt about two weeks ago. I started it a long time ago. It's mostly made out of old shirts, mine and Peter's, and a few odds and ends that matched the shirt fabrics. I designed the layout using handmade PostScript files that I would send to my late great laser printer. That was back in the early 1990s. It's big, about 80 x 96 inches. Something this big has to be hand-quilted. There were a few years when I put in a lot of time on it for a month or so. Then I would just fold it back up and let it sit in its unfinished place for a year or more at a time. But there really wasn't much left to do, and I had to write a paper, so of course I found time to finish it.

Originally I had cut two dark and two light squares for each pinwheel, and placed dark to light with right sides together. I drew a diagonal line on the back of the light fabric and sewed a seam on each side of the diagonal while feeding the squares continuously through the sewing machine. Then I cut along the diagonal so that I had two long chains of what we call half-square triangles. I pressed open the triangles of one chain and sewed them together to make half of 120 pinwheels. Then I started another project as usual. Eventually Cathy, who was two or three years old, found the second chain of triangles. She took one end and walked around the sewing room, under chairs and tables, winding the very long string of little pennants around everything including around itself a few times. It took me days to sort it out. Soon after that I finished the top and started quilting it. That was about 15 years ago. Meanwhile check out the rest of the blog and see some of what I did in the meantime.

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