Saturday, September 25, 2010

Confessions of a Thrift Store Junkie

Like many of you, I've been shopping thrift stores for bargain shirts for the last couple of years. I love to cut them up and mix them with new fabrics from the quilt shops. I think the clothing fabric adds a sense of history and nostalgia to our quilts.

Deb Rowden said on her blog recently that you get about a yard of fabric from a man's 4XL shirt. And look what else you get! You can take these seams...

And make these balls.

You can arrange flowers in the buttons.

You can see where some of the old quilting designs may have come from. The collars could make Dresden plates.

The cuffs might become rail fences.

And here's my thrift store stash. You can see it's pretty full. Better get sewing!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Peculiar fabrics

Tonya, over at Lazy Gal, and I have been talking about peculiar fabrics from thrift stores. We have another name for them, but never mind. Here's a quilt I made from peculiars last year. The plaid came from some very dusty kitchen curtains. Luckily they washed up just fine. I don't know if they're from the 1960's or 70's, but they remind me of the avocado appliances that were trendy in the day.

Buffy, over at Rebels, was with me at Goodwill when we stumbled upon them. At first we walked away, probably with some scrunched up looks on our faces. Then we went back. I think they cost all of $4. The plaid was very picky about which other fabrics could play.

The back is inspired by a Gee's Bend quilt. I found this panel on another trip to Goodwill. It's come out of the closet again, now that the fall chill has begun.

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whole Lotta Scrap

At last I finished piecing this wild and crazy, scrappy thing. Every piece tells a story of my quilting process over the last five years. Victoria got me started cutting five-sided pieces and adding to them randomly with her 15 minutes play blog.

Karen inspired me to throw in some selvages with her Selvage Blog.

Many of you cheered me on, as I was looking at this pile of scraps, wondering if it would ever amount to anything. Somehow, the whole queen size quilt barely made a dent. After finishing this quilt, I couldn't stand the mess any longer. I sorted the scraps by color.

I like the way the colors look together so much, I think I'll do some "one color" quilts. We'll see if I can restrain myself this way. Ha!

So far, the yellow/orange one is getting started.

And here is Our Lady of Scrap Quilting!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

14 Shirts and a Pair of Pants

This is all made from clothing I bought at thrift stores. While I was shopping, I gave myself three rules: spend no more than $1.29 a piece, make sure they're 100% cotton, and of course they had to be stripes. This quilt is inspired by one in Kaffe Fassett's book, Passionate Patchwork, and by Beth and her summer striped challenge.

Here you can see the Ralph Lauren logo on one of the shirts.

This tool helped a lot. See how easy it is to line up the stripes? I cut triangles for 3", 6" and 9" squares.

Meanwhile, I made these hot pads for a friend's birthday. They're made of 5" squares of hand dyed fabrics from Malka at a stitch in dye. I love these fabrics!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beth's Striped Challenge

Here's a sneak peek of the quilt I've been working on for Beth's Striped Challenge. It was supposed to be done by the end of the summer, and it's almost there. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My idea of a good time

Today was a beautiful day. And, knowing it would be one of the last for awhile, I wanted to spend it outside. But I also really wanted to sew--as always. So I did what my grandmother used to do, and set up the sewing machine on the patio.

I invited my lovely neighbor, Shannon, who dropped everything and came right over. Here she is, quilting a baby quilt. Before this photo, she had layed it out on the concrete to pin it.

Even my dogs, Ruby and Malti, joined in the fun!

Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 3, 2010

One more summer quilt

Made last summer, it contains mostly thrift store fabrics inspired by a 1960's apron (brown background with daisies, hearts and yellow strawberries.)

As I was choosing the other fabrics, I kept hearing a song from the 1960's, "Incense and Peppermints," by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Apparently it was telling me it's a 1960's quilt!

OK, I got the message, and made sure to include a few blocks that represent the Civil Rights Movement.

I hope you've all had a great summer!