Monday, May 29, 2023

Therapeutic FMQ on scrappy charity quilts

I have a stack of scrappy or improv quilt tops waiting in the wings for a dedicated block of time for intuitive free-motion quilting [read therapeutic quilting]. These tops are for charity quilts—kitty quilts for the cats at the Chattanooga Cat Clinic or cuddle quilts for my guild's community service project.

Two free-motion quilted kitty quilts, ready for binding.

Yesterday, I took advantage of the extra day in the Memorial Day weekend to baste and start quilting a few of the kitty quilt tops. These quilt tops are approximately 25" x 27" that can be free-motion quilted quickly, but still offer a mental respite from the daily grind.

Five kitty quilt tops ready for basting and quilting.

The 9 kitty quilt tops were paired with backings. A 2-ply flannel I got on clearance offers an extra soft and squishy backing fabric that the kitties and staff at the Cat Clinic love.

2-ply flannel for the backing fabric.

I also tried out these pre-wound bobbins of WonderFil DecoBob, an 80 wt. soft poly thread. Boy, pre-wound bobbins make it soooo fast AND easy! (Buy a pack of these in a neutral color and you're set to go.)

DecoBob pre-wound bobbins. 80 wt soft poly from WonderFil Specialty Threads.

The 80 wt. DecoBob thread sinks right into the 2-ply flannel. I didn't even need to adjust the thread tension. A 50 wt. cotton thread was used on the top.

Free-motion quilting (back view) on2-ply flannel.

For charity quilts, my process is generally piece-piece-piece (several quilt tops), then quilt-quilt-quilt, then bind-bind-bind. When I get "in the zone"—piecing or quilting or binding—I like to keep doing the same process over and over. 

This must be the "therapeutic" part. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

A new binding on a vintage quilt, Make Nine finish #5

This vintage quilt has been in need of some "mending love" for quite a while. My Make Nine 2023 "Mend/Repurpose" prompt was just the thing to get this project into the queue. 

Vintage quilt with worn and frayed binding.

Analysis of the vintage quilt

As was often done in the past on utility quilts, the backing fabric (feed sacks, in this case) was used as the binding instead of a separate strip of fabric attached to the edge. The backing fabric was brought around to the front of the quilt—wrapping around and enclosing the edges of the quilt—and then hand stitched to the front to secure. 

It appears there may have been multiple backings on this quilt.

The backing of this vintage quilt was pieced. The fabrics appeared to be feed sacks or flour sacks. The quilt was hand quilted.

Pieced quilt backing made from feed sacks or flour sacks.

There were a few worn places in the patchwork that needed mending. Here is a reproduction fabric that I used to simulate the print and colors of the vintage fabrics.

A worn out area in the patchwork and the replacement fabric.

A new binding 

I had several options for a binding fabric. It was difficult to match the white color of the original binding fabric, so I had to choose something that was "intentionally" different. I opted not to use a very contrasting color—like choosing a color from the patchwork—in order to keep with the feel of the original maker's color scheme. 

Binding fabric options.

I chose Decostitch 715, cafe latte (second from top) from Art Gallery Fabrics. Decostitch has a subtle print that looks like hand stitching and the color did not call attention to itself. 

Double fold fabric for the new binding.

In keeping with the original binding technique, the new binding was machine sewn to the back of the quilt and brought around to the front side for hand stitching. I didn't try to unpick or remove the old binding, but rather covered the frayed edges with a new fabric binding.

New binding machine stitched to the back of the quilt.

Here is a comparison of the newly bound corner and the worn binding at another corner.

Worn and frayed binding (right) and the new binding (left).

Another block with holes was covered with new fabric and then re-quilted by hand. I used a long staple 100% organic cotton thread (2 ply 50 wt.) from Scanfil for both machine and hand stitching the binding, and for hand appliquéing the patches and hand quilting where needed.

An appliquéd patch to cover a frayed area.

Here are the newly-bound edges and corners of this vintage quilt. 

Edges of the vintage quilt with a new binding.

This is officially a time-span quilt that spans the 20th and 21st centuries.

New binding on a vintage quilt.

Make Nine 2023 5th finish

This project fulfils my "Mend/Repurpose" prompt for Make Nine 2023. It's my fifth finish this year.

Make Nine 2023, Mend/Repurpose prompt.

Make Nine 2023 tracking, May 21, 2023.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Quotes about mothers and other strong women

For Mother's Day, a few quotes from my 100 Days of Hand Lettering project.

"When your mother asks, "do you want a piece of advice? ..."
—Erma Bombeck

"God could not be everywhere, therefore He made Mothers."
—Rudyard Kipling

"Strong women never give up."
—from Women Who Lead Empires

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Creative braiding: upcycling T-shirts and knit fabric scraps

This month's Slow Fashion Challenge as well as other recycling and sustainability initiatives has made me acutely aware of opportunities and techniques for upcycling and repurposing textiles. Selvedge magazine recently offered a virtual workshop given by Studio Brieditis and Evans. The workshop was about upcycling T-shirts using braiding techniques. If you've ever braided hair, you can do this!

Braided strings of knit fabrics and recycled T-shirts.

For the workshop, I used a few old T-shirts as well as cut-offs and scraps from previous knit garment projects to try out a few braiding techniques—using 3 strands and 4 strands. 

Experimentation is critical to discovering which sequence of the knit fabric strings create interesting color combinations. The magical part of creating patterns in the resulting “textile” is when the braids are arranged side-by-side. 

Three-strand braid.

This screen shot from the virtual workshop shows examples of patterns that can be created.

Screen shot from Selvedge virtual workshop on creative braiding.

Check out the other creative upcycled items the team at Studio Brieditis and Evans have created at the ReRagRug blog. You might think twice about donating old T-shirts or disposing of fabric scraps once you see the possibilities for giving them a second life. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...