DIY Christmas gifts – T-Shirt quilt

My favorite time of the year (except summer) is the time leading up to Christmas. I love how friendly people are, the beautiful Christmas decoration, Christmas music and I love giving gifts. The process of looking for the perfect gift or even better making the perfect gift for somebody you love. The anticipation of them opening the gift and the happiness and surprise on their face. I often make many of my Christmas gifts for my family and friends and this year was no different. I made Christmas ornaments for my friends (watch for DIY part 2 for instructions), I framed one of my screen prints for K. and the pièce de résistance this year is the quilt I made for him. He is a huge Star Wars fan and has been holding on to his old Star Wars T-Shirts. They have been sitting in a bag in our basement for years and he has refused to get rid of them. Years ago I had seen a quilt made from old T-Shirts and I thought that it would be a perfect way to recycle his shirts into something he can continue to use. He absolutely loved it and we have been enjoying naps on our sofa over the holidays covered with our warm and eco-friendly Star Wars quilt.

It was easy to make, so if you have a collection of band T-Shirts or souvenir shirts from your travels, this is a great way to make something that you can continue to cherish for many years to come. Here are step by step instructions with some pictures.

T-Shirt quilt

T-Shirt quilt

  1. Wash all your T-Shirts.
  2. Layout your shirts on the floor and decide on the size for each square (I made them all the same size but you could have different sizes. I decided on the size based on the shirt with the largest graphic).
  3. Create a template from a piece of cardboard.
  4. Place the template on each shirt and outline using a fabric marker or you can also use a Sharpie and then cut them out using scissors.
  5. Once you have all shirts cut place them on the floor and decide on the layout (I didn’t have enough shirts so I used the back of some of the shirts to add blank squares).

    Decide on the layout

    Decide on the layout

  6. Start sewing each horizontal row by placing the first squares together (with image area facing each other) and sew using a straight stitch. Then add the next square etc. until you have each horizontal line sewn together.
  7. Before you sew all the individual rows together, press the seams apart on the back and pin in place.
  8. Place the first two of the horizontal rows together (image area facing each other), make sure to line up the seams and pin in place.
  9. Sew using straight stitch and repeat with all rows.

    All squares sewn together

    All squares sewn together

  10. Decide on the size of your quilt (the size of your sewn together T-Shirts or do you want to have a border around).
  11. Choose a fabric for the back (I decided to use a nice warm fleece), and buy quilt batting (make sure to get some extra batting).
  12. Place fleece on the floor add quilt batting and place T-Shirt front on top.
  13. Use large safety pins to connect all 3 fabrics together (I used one safety-pin per square).
  14. If you are making a border with the fleece like I did, fold over the fleece and pin together.
  15. Pin corners.
  16. Sew along the border of the quilt.
  17. Sew the corners (I sewed them by hand with a blind stitch).

    Hand sewn corners

    Hand sewn corners

  18. Connect all 3 layers together throughout the quilt by placing a couple of stitches wherever the panels meet. This will ensure that the fabrics don’t move around. Remove the safety-pins.

    Place a couple of stitches to connect all 3 layers of fabric

    Place a couple of stitches to connect all 3 layers of fabric

  19. Snuggle up on the sofa with your warm quilt and have a hot tea or a hot chocolate.

If you have any questions just let me know. Enjoy!

Love

Anja

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Holiday art show & sale

I am joining two amazing artists (Charlene Brown and Colleen Leduc) to put on a holiday art show/sale. Come and join us at Clayhaus on Nov. 24 & 25 (12 to 5). A great chance to see some great local art and to get some Christmas shopping done. There will be pottery, paintings, photography, screen prints, jewelry and accessories made from recycled materials to choose from.

Hope to see you at the show!

Ciao!
Anja

xmas_show_and_sale

Reflecting

I just got home from dinner with a very good friend of mine, a fellow artist and an amazing woman.  It’s incredible to see somebody live out their dreams and make it work and it makes me think that I need to try harder. I feel inspired by the conversations we had tonight and I am sitting here in bed reflecting on my life and my art.

I know what my dreams are and I need to go after them. Nobody is going to do it for me and make it happen. So I am making a promise to myself tonight to start by making time for my art, no matter what. Another week cannot pass that I am not picking up a brush or a pencil or my camera. I am reminded that I need a creative outlet and that I have ignored this fact over the past few months. I need to spend more time in my studio again and I need to cherish the amazing friendships I have in my life.

Sweet dreams!

Anja

A month later…

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my exhibit closed. I have been taking some time off to take care of the business side of things. I had to do my accounting for the year and file my taxes, finish all the orders from my exhibition and just take a little bit of time off. It was nice to have a bit of a break and I feel ready to get back into it again. Last week I started taking a screen printing class at Martha Street Studio. I have always wanted to learn how to screen print but never got a chance to take it in Fine Arts, so now I am finally doing it. The first class was really interesting and I am excited to start playing. 8 weeks of classes – yeah! Stay tuned for some pictures of what I will be creating over the next couple of months.

I wanted to share some of the beautiful pictures that the fabulous photographer Dave Swiecicki took during the opening night of my solo exhibition. I also did a walk through video for all my friends and family in Switzerland that didn’t get the opportunity to be there in person.

Enjoy the pictures and the walk through!

Ciao

                     

What a night

It’s been a couple of days since opening night and I have caught up on some sleep. What an incredible night! The gallery was packed. There were so many people who I knew and I spent all night talking to people and still feel that there were so many  I didn’t have a chance to chat with. I am overwhelmed by the support I have received from the media before and after  opening night along with the support of my friends, family and the art community. I will never forget this special night. Thank you everybody for making this such a magical night. So far I have sold 6 paintings and 9 photographs. If you missed opening night, the show is still on until April 3 at 6:00pm. Hours are Tues & Thurs: 12:00pm to 9:00pm and Wed, Fri, Sat: 12:00pm to 6pm.

Here are some links to some of the coverage I got:

CBC Manitoba Scene 

CBC News

article in the community papers city wide

fun photoshoot after opening night. Photo by Dave Swiecicki.

Thanks everybody!

Love

Anja

Home

I love Switzerland so much I am even watching the Bachelor right now… they are in Switzerland and not just anywhere, they are in Zermatt, so extremely close to my hometown Visp. The images of the Matterhorn and Zermatt are making me so homesick and I thought when better to post my Pecha Kucha presentation from a few weeks ago. 

14 days to go

It’s been a while since my last blog entry. I have been busy working on my exhibition. It’s been a lot more work than I thought it would be but I have really been enjoying it. It’s been nice to live and breathe my art and to have my life taken over by it. I always spend a lot of time on my art but this reminds me of being in Fine Arts when your art becomes your life. Still one of my favourite times of my life, but back to my exhibition. All my paintings are done and half of them are wired for hanging. All the Photoshop work is done to my images and I am picking up the last set of prints tomorrow. All the pieces are named and labels have been drafted. Tomorrow I will be wiring the rest of my paintings and on Saturday I will be starting to frame my photographs. 24 of them to frame so it will take a while. And then I have to finish my installations… So there is still lots to do before the show is ready to be hung on March 21, but I know I will get it all done and I am going to enjoy every second of the preparation. What’s the saying “stop and smell the roses”… I have been really trying to live by that! I will keep you posted on my progress…

Back to work!

Ciao