Tuesday, January 3, 2012

T-Shirt Quilts

Ever wonder what to do with your old t-shirts? Maybe you have shirts from high school or college. Or shirts from your softball league or favorite sports team. Or a collection of Hard Rock Cafe shirts from the 90s. Or shirts from a great vacation. Or Old Chicago Beer Tour shirts. Whatever your collection, Carlia Creations can make a memory quilt for you using those t-shirts. They can be shirts you don't wear anymore or ones you just want to save.

I made my first t-shirt quilt when I was 19 and home from my first year at college. I had a bunch of high school shirts I knew I wasn't going to wear anymore (I thought I was way too cool to wear a high school shirt) but I didn't want to toss them or donate them. I decided to make a quilt out of the shirts so I could keep them as momentos without taking up unnecessary space. T-shirt knit material is very difficult to work with for quilting. It stretches, pulls and does not maintain its shape. I used a cotton sashing between the rows of shirt blocks to stablize the quilts. It worked well and I had a gorgeous memory quilt I could actually use.

Fast-forward 10 years and my friend and I started a memory quilt business. There was a definite need and desire for this type of quilts and I liked being able to provide this service locally. We saw some fun themes with the shirts sent to us. I learned some tricks on how to best display the shirts, minimize stretch and maintaining the integrity of the shirt.

Then, life got pretty busy for me (getting married and having kids) so I didn't do much quilting for a few years. Once I started Carlia Creations in 2010, I began getting inquiries on memory quilts again. I recently completed a memory quilt for a client here in my area. This was the most difficult quilt I have completed. The shirts were incredibly varied in size: some were t-shirts and some were tank tops. Some were ladies baby-doll type shirts while others were standard t-shirts. The quality of the shirts were varied as well. Some were a high quality knit that held shape well, others were merely undershirt quality that stretched like you can't imagine. Plus, she had more shirts than I had room for panels. I actually created 2 different sizes of quilt blocks, used cotton sashing on all sides of the knit blocks, cut and stitched tank tops to display the framework of the tank while keeping the silkscreened design and block shape, and appliqued parts of shirts onto cotton rectangles and then appliqued onto the quilt. Whew! These complexities made the quilt take much longer than originally anticipated. The finished quilt is gorgeous and very fun looking. It will be a fun keepsake for this client.

If you are interested in having a t-shirt quilt made, please contact me. Pricing is based on number of shirts, quilt size and additional requests. Turnaround time is also contingent on these factors. Please keep this in mind if you have a date specific deadline. Payment is 50% at time of ordering and the remaining 50% due when quilt is finished. Here are some pictures of a few quilts I have done.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Babes in Bozeman Baby Expo!

Carlia Creations is going to be at the Babes in Bozeman Baby Expo on Saturday, May 21 from 10-4. I've been busy sewing to have lots of inventory for purchase. As always, I'll be taking custom orders as well. Come by and say hello!

For more information, visit: www.babesinbozeman.com

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baby Carrier Wraps

I love babywearing. Both my girls liked being worn, but my youngest really enjoyed it. I had the typical Baby Bjorn carrier, but after she got a little bigger, I just didn't feel like it was secure enough to hold her--especially if I had to bend down. I'd seen the wraps but never used one. I thought I could make one that was functional and pretty. Here's my result. All the wraps I've made have been custom ordered. It's a functional gift for the mom-to-be and can be made to match her theme or decor. I double up the knit wrap portion to provide extra strength and keep it from stretching out. The decorative panel is made with cotton, but can be any washable material. I add a ribbon around the panel just to make it prettier. :) The baby carrier wraps are $25 and come with instructions. Contact me at carliacreations@gmail.com to place your order!

Crayon Rolls

These crayon rolls were the idea of another friend of mine. She described them to me and asked if I could make them. Of course I could! They're fun for kids to carry 16 crayons easily. Each crayon has a little pocket and then it rolls up and ties. It was very convenient to take on the plane and didn't take up much room. I have a basic design which you'll see most of the rolls below are. There's also a "deluxe" version that has a flap to cover the crayons before you roll it up. I'm happy to make that one as well. It was just fun to experiment. My crayon rolls are $8 for the basic roll or $9 filled with crayons. The deluxe version is $9 or $10 filled with crayons. I also can put a similar type of crayon pocket on other products. I made a cute tote for a little boy and put the crayon pockets on the outside.

Applique T-shirts

The applique t-shirts started as something fun for my daughters for Thanksgiving. My friend had shown me a picture of these cute turkeys and I said "I can make these." After I made my first ones for my girls, I made one to donate to the Pine Creek School auction (along with a flower hair clip and headband).

My next applique shirt is this cute Hello Kitty tank. My youngest daughter's first birthday theme is Hello Kitty, so I thought it would be cute for her to wear a shirt that matches. The applique on this one is only the bow, eyes and nose. The rest of it, I just sewed the outline directly onto the shirt.

These tulip shirts were a custom order for a friend. The design is the same, but the size of the tulip is much different as they're made for a pre-teen girl and a toddler. They turned out so cute, I made extras to sell.

The applique shirts are:

$15 for onesies and toddler/preschool sizes

$20 for size 6 - 14

$25 for adult sizes

I have a few more ideas for designs for both boys and girls that I will be revealing at the Babes in Bozeman Expo on May 21, 2011. If there's anything in particular you want, just email me at carliacreations@gmail.com.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just for fun

Spring is here! Ok, it's Montana and we've had a few spring-like days sprinkled in between snowy ones. My oldest daughter has been really into wearing dresses lately. BUT she doesn't have any skirts to wear as separates. I told her we could go to the fabric store and pick some fabrics and I'd make her some skirts. I found this great purple denim (purple is her favorite color) and figured I could create a skirt out of it. I know I could have bought a pattern, but it's so much more fun to make my own. I decided to make a basic flare skirt for her. I made a template for one of the panels and started cutting. Based on her waist size, I cut out 8 panels. I had a zipper in my stash of supplies, so I used it for the back. It had been a while since I "installed" a zipper! Nonetheless, it turned out super cute! After she wore it for a bit, I decided to spice up the skirt just a bit more. I had some leftover lace from the petti-romper that matched the purple denim perfectly. I sewed it on the bottom hem and it made a nice little ruffle. Don't mind the little spots on the front of the skirt. My daughter is the queen of spilling on herself. She only had this skirt on for a half hour and managed to get spots on it. Good thing mom is a whiz at getting spots out of clothes! I wanted to show this skirt as an example of my ability to design something for you. If you can describe it, or show me a picture, chances are I can create it. Just email me at carliacreations@gmail.com!


I want to share with you a new product but also one reason why sewing is so fun for me. I had a friend ask me if I could make a petti-romper for her infant daughter. At first, I didn't even know what it was! I knew I could make it, I just needed to come up with a plan. I decided to do a reconstruction on an existing pre-school sized tank top to make the actual romper. My friend wanted the "petti" part to be done in lace (you can also use tulle). I used lace that was already gathered to save myself a step. It's more expensive, but worth the time savings! I deconstructed the tank first, built the shorts with the waistband and had the top separate. I used shorts and a onesie to measure my pieces on the tank to ensure correct sizing. I was able to use the bottom hem of the tank as the bottom hem of the shorts. I then sewed all the lace onto the romper pieces to give it the petti-coat look. I had to take out the stitches on the arm hole ribbing to hide the ends of the lace so it wouldn't be scratchy on the little one. I put lace around each leg of the shorts and continued to the waistband. I placed a ribbon into the waist band before attaching it to the top, again to save myself from having to thread it thru the casing.
The finished petti-romper turned out so cute! The great part about doing a reconstruction is that you can find creative ways to save time. Plus, it is still put together in pieces to allow for the most amount of customization for any future orders.

Petti-rompers start at $35 for infant sizes 0-12m and $40 for sizes up to 5T. Pricing increases from there. Contact me for more information at carliacreations@gmail.com.