Monday, May 25, 2009

Frugal Friday...memory style~Part 3

One last memory lane post to wrap up the Memorial Day weekend and Michele's challenge *VBS* One more collage of my quilts. And on to the idea of recycled materials in quilts. I have to admit I've never been a fan of recycling worn clothes into quilt pieces. The piecing and hand quilting is a lengthly process and you want the quilt to hold up. Used clothing won't wear the same as the new fabric used. The worn clothes pieces will fade out, wear out and need mending much faster than your new fabric. But...
 I have at times and for certain reasons, used recycled clothes. Of course, sometimes the piece of clothing your taking apart might be brand new and un worn or only worn slightly, that works fine. This quilt is one of my first attempts at using orphan blocks and other odd bits. I knew from the beginning it would be mostly, red,white and blue with a bit of yellow tossed in. In order to have enough fabrics with red, I did use some recylcled garments. I made it in 1984 for my 8 yr.old 3rd DS. He still uses it today, and it's held up pretty well. But..it was out of circulation and at my house for a large part of that 25 years. I gave it back to him last summer when he set up his own single household.
 This is the second quilt I've made from using clothing. Everything in this top is from a friends DH. He died quite unexpectedly and I offered to make a memory quilt from his shirts. The only purchased fabric is the light blue in the 4 patches. Even the gray setting squares are from one of his shirts. She only sent 4 or 5, and there is not alot of variety in the 4 patches. Back when I first started making quilts I didn't know not to use ALL types of fabric. I had started with a Grandmother's Flower garden and was hand piecing it. I didn't use any really odd stuff like velvet or satin, but I did use some quite loose weave fabrics, and some vintage fabric.And some clothing pieces. Luckily the quilt hasn't had much use over the years and the only hexagons that shows distress and should be replaced are the vintage fabric. I'm not sure if it was the age of the fabric or the fact they are in the last outside row and might have been handled more.
 And last but not least, the reason I make quilts *VBS* Michele asked about our connection to the scrap quilts we make. At least that's how I understood what she said. I think, for me, it's largely about memories, and a dash of that "playing" I love. You learn alot about yourself while making a scrap quilt. I can't tell you exactly how that works, but thinking about it for awhile.
One of the best parts is "connection"...I was piecing some 4 patches last week, and while pulling lt. squares, one or two of them were white with little colored stars. Kind of KP Kids fabric. It was the background fabric in the Jewel Box that I pieced and quilted for DGS# 2. The year was 1996, he'll be 13 in August *VBS* I am hooked on the visual connection between B's quilt(1996) and the donation Kitchen Sink(with 4 patches galore) that I am piecing right now. I love being able to think(or more often say outloud) "that piece came from "----"'s quilt. I love saying to friend Jean or Betsy, "that's one your scraps, remember?". I probably could do that if I were to make carefully planned out quilts, but there would be no element of surprise. And I love being a treasure hunter and finding little gems as I work. As you can see, I really do LOVE scraps *VBS*
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12 comments:

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

You are both a treasure hunter and a memory keeper, Finn. And each time you post and each time you quilt...you show us how and why. And that DGS#2 was an adorable baby and is now a cute as the dickens young man! You sure can see the mischievous glint and gleams in those gorgeous eyes...even when he was just a little scrap in granny's scrapbag of life!

scrappy quilter said...

Today when I was doing some "string" blocks, I was thinking about the different scrap pieces that I was using. Some scraps were from quilts I had made for family, some for my Quilts for the North, even scraps that friends have sent. It was fun to be reminded of the different quilts I had made and who they were for.

Scrappy is one of the best ways to quilt. Hugs (love your quilts)

*karendianne. said...

Well shared, well said Finn.

ROZ said...

What a nice idea to make a memory quilt with the old clothes.

Jean said...

Hi Finn,
I like your quilts just fine... but there are still some quilts that I have seen and made that are made from previously loved clothing. Your right, sometimes they are a little more loved then "new" fabric... but waste not want not...
One time I made a silly quilt out of my DH's old sweat socks... as kind of a joke! I darned the socks and then pieced them together and filled the insides with batting... it was more of a silly thing than anything... Years later the cat claimed it as her own. Probably because it was so soft. I've made a lot of quilts out of old blue jeans too. Making them the rag quilts! Those are fun... plus much easier to use than new denium.
Take care.
Also, have you seen Bonnie Hunter's site/book... she makes quilts from old shirts etc... all the time. I will have to e-mail you her blog site.

meggie said...

I have really enjoyed seeing your quilts, & reading about the history. I am sometimes surprised when I see quilts I have given away. I find I have forgotten pieces, then I will have a memory attached to a certain piece.
Thankyou for sharing with usXX

Granny Lyn said...

As usual, you have woven your scraps with wonderful memories, feelings, and colors. I just love looking at all your quilts (treasures) and reading your thoughts. You are the perfect scrappy granny,,,colorful, warmhearted, and comfy.

julieQ said...

I have really enjoyed seeing your collages of scrappy wonderful quilts this last few posts. I am sure each one warms and loves a special person! Can you use some more orphans? I have a lot more, I am cleaning my sewing room out. Just let me know!!

Magpie Sue said...

Yup, that was what I experienced with my first big quilt. I made it out of recycled flannel shirts (mostly) and some of those flannels have just disintegrated over the years. Now I have to make a decision about what to do with what remains of the quilt. But not today!

em's scrapbag said...

You have a real gift putting all these scraps together. I learn so much from you. Thanks for sharing your talent.

Greenmare said...

so beautiful! And yes I agree totally about scraps, I love picking them out from something else I have made.

bluebird-lyn said...

Dear Finn, loved seeing your collage of quilts.......thoroughly enjoy reading yours posts....thank you...hugs lyn