I just completed my first commissioned quilt. It’s the D&B Supply quilt, made entirely from rodeo shirts.
Here’s the front:
and here’s the back:
It all started with a shirt order gone awry. The folks at D&B Supply know that I love sewing, so they asked if I could help make some lemonade out of lemons by making a quilt out of 16 nice black rodeo shirts and a rodeo flag. I didn’t end up using the flag, since I wanted the quilt to be cozy and comfy, but the shirts worked out wonderfully.
To make some sort of interesting quilt design, I definitely needed more colors than just black. So I used some bleach. Interesting that bleaching black shirts gave brown colors: a chestnut and a sand color. I like it! Now I’ve got 3 colors to work with.
Dissecting shirts: cut off sleeve cuffs, collar, button panels, and bottom hem. Then cut all the bulky seams away…
…leaving a lot of usable fabric! And I’m loving what the bleach did to the color – an almost shimmery, mottled champagne hue.
Shirts are all cut up! I think it’s cool how some bleach streaks/spots make the brown have a western feel, like leather or cowhide. So appropriate for this project!
The smallest fabric pieces were the sleeves, so I started with those. I figured they would be great for patchwork.
So I cut them into a bunch of 5-inch squares, sewing them into half-square triangles using my tutorial: How to Sew Half-Square Triangles (HST) – 2 at a Time
Time to press all those HSTs. It’s funny, I was really nervous about the bleach-y areas, but now I think they’re my favorite. They give dimension.
Time to sew these HSTs together.
I sewed in some shirt fronts with logos and gave the quilt top a good press. I love how it looks. Rugged. Hunter. Cowboy. Masculine. Western.
Quilting time! I stitched some big fabric pieces together to make the quilt back, layered it with some batting and the quilt top, and quilted them together with some simple straight line stitches using a dark gray thread.
I used the brown fabric for the binding, and for the label I used some shirt leftovers 🙂
And done! It was hard to let go of this quilt, but I know someone will enjoy the heck out of it.