Saturday, February 28, 2015

you can make do without buying ...

Today I received an email from a friend who just returned from a family visit in Holland. She sent along a photo of the quilt that she and her sister made while there. It was made from scarves that their mother wore and were all sorts of textures and fabrics. What a feat that would be. They solved their immediate problem of fabric stretching by using lightweight fusible interfacing.
 All the scarves were ones that their mother had worn over time. 

This led me to remember how we were teaching the ladies in the quilting group in Panama that you can use other things to quilt with other than store bought cottons. First we started with making aprons from dress shirts and learning how to appliqué´by adorning the aprons. Then I went one step further and made a baby quilt out of chambray shirts.
They loved the quilts but unfortunately it had too much blue for a little girl and way too much pink for a boy. They are very gender oriented there. Still it sure was a warm one, with flannel backing and heavy duty batting. Then I went on to show them how to make quilts from polo knit shirts.

 In this one I purposely made a mistake in the pattern to see if they would see it. Some did immediately and others couldn't find it for nothing.
In Panama we were fotunate, if you can call it that, to have a ngo of sorts that would gather unclaimed/no longer applicable (in the case of logos and such) new clothing from places like Lands End and resell them. We convinced them to donate the XXL and XXXL to the women's group to use for quilting. Otherwise you bought a XXXL chambray shirt for $2 and a polo knit shirt in XXL and XXXL for $3. I will be going there when I go back next January to pick up some cotton shirts to use for donation quilts.

All of this was stimulated by the "new" discussions about the "new" find of very good cotton for quilting - used clothing stores with men's cotton shirts, women's cotton dresses, and so on. "New"? I don't think so and yet it is being written about in various blogs as if it is. Another great source of cotton is my DHs shirts. Every once in awhile one will match exactly with what I am doing and the shirt will "disappear". LOL 

Some members of Stashbusters are on what has been labeled "no buy" status. They shop their stash only unless it is for things like batting and backing. This is a noble venture, but for me impractical as my stash is in storage and I am in the RV a long long ways from it. So if I get the urge, I buy for a project, but don't collect random pieces of cloth. If I have a couple of coordinating fabrics that work well together in the RV I will buy to augment but nothing more. At least I can say that I am rarely tempted to just buy. 

What type of sources do you have that aren't necessarily the quilting shop's fabric?

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