It Works For Other Articles of Clothing Too!
Why wear a plain sweatshirt when you can wear a stylish one dressed up with a quilt block? Not only will it share your love of quilting it will also be the star of your next quilting group gathering.
In fact, this is a great group project and it will be so much fun to see the results. Just imagine a room full of quilters wearing sweatshirts of all colors sporting quilt blocks. The colorful results will be fun and inspiring.
Jess of Cottage Laine. Photo from Instagram.
While sweatshirts are naturals for embellishing with quilt blocks, other articles of clothing can benefit as well. The backs of hoodies, jackets, bathrobes, and the fronts of aprons are just some ideas. Keep this easy project in mind the next time you want to create a unique gift.
There are several ways to attach a quilt block to a sweatshirt. It can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Plus, this is a great project for orphan blocks, whether you choose one block of any size (12″ works great) or perhaps three smaller 4″ blocks sewn together in a row. Place the block or blocks on the front or back of the sweatshirt in whatever position suits you.
Look through the methods outlined below and choose the approach that will work best for you. Or mix and match to create your own technique.
Jess of Cottage Laine. Photo from Instagram.
Jess of Cottage Laine wrote an excellent tutorial for Diary of a Quilter. She folded the outside edges under before stitching the block to the shirt for a polished look (using Flatter for crisp folds). Then she marked the block with a Hera marker and hand quilted through the block and the shirt to give the block that appealing quilted look (machine quilting will also work). This is a great approach that will not adversely affect the drape of the shirt.
Katie from Modern Textiles took a different approach. She wanted her quilt block to have that distinctive puffy quilt look so she layered her block with batting and backing and machine quilted it. Since the batting would not allow the edges of the block to neatly fold under she ended up using a zigzag stitch around the outside edges to affix the quilted block to her sweatshirt.
Unless you use a tight zigzag satin stitch, the edges of the block are likely to fray in the wash, giving the sweatshirt a nice lived-in look. You can also use this approach to affix a block without quilting it first, then quilt through the block and the shirt as Jess of Cottage Laine did, or not.
Learn more about Katie’s shirt in the following article.
Ashley from Southern Sewing Co. may have the quickest and easiest approach of all. She simply affixed a quilt block to a sweatshirt with HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive. Then she topstitched around the outside of the block and was done (you can go on and quilt yours like Jess of Cottage Laine did if you want.)
While the edges are likely to fray with washing she finds the organic and unique look appealing. In fact, she liked the results so much that she added a block to her daughter’s jean jacket using the same technique.
Ashley explains her technique in the following article, along with tips for centering the quilt block.
The next two examples do not come with instructions. We’re including them because they appear to be bound mini quilts stitched down around the outside edges to sweatshirts. This is a technique you may also want to consider. Also, notice the effects of using a larger and a smaller block. Both shirts were made by Emily Hales from She Seams Legit Quilts. See more of her work here.
Whatever technique you use to add a quilt block to a sweatshirt or other piece of clothing, the results will be unique and eye-catching. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind creation!
PLEASE NOTE: Quilting Digest has featured many patterns from vendors participating in the Craftsy Marketplace, most of which have been deleted by Craftsy. It's going to take awhile for us to hunt down new sources for those patterns. In the meantime there are many links to patterns on our site that no longer work. We apologize if this article contains one or more of those links and appreciate your patience while we straighten things out. Thank you!
PLEASE NOTE: Quilting Digest does not sell or otherwise provide patterns directly. We showcase patterns and projects from various vendors, bloggers and other sources. Please make a note of where you access a pattern (the link in the yellow box toward the end of each Quilting Digest article). That way you can contact Support for that source if you have downloading problems or other issues. Thank you!