I made a quilt! It ain’t perfect, but I knew to expect as much since it was my first attempt and a learning experience more than anything.
In fact, my quilt is the sort that, if found one day a hundred years from now inside of a time capsule, would be held up as an example of the rudimentary tools people had to work with in the early twenty-first century.
It is throw sized – about 46 x 56, and made mostly of recycled materials. I used:
- Part of a thrifted housecoat
- One vintage pillowcase
- About a half a yard of leftover fabric
- An old flannel sheet for the backing
- Two packages of bias tape (3 yards each) for the binding
See how the quilting lines are not spaced evenly? I like that. But don’t look too closely at the binding. That was more difficult to sew than I’d expected.
What the heck, here’s a closeup:
I sewed the patchwork and did all the quilting by machine using a walking foot. I don’t know how those Amish ladies do it by hand. This took me about six days total, working for 2-3 hours a day. If I had tried to hand sew it, I would be curled up in the fetal position right now with no quilt to show for it.
I recently purchased some open weave linen in a cool gray/taupe color here. I made a gauzy scarf out of it, but I didn’t like how it draped on me (wonky width and length), so I hacked it up into smaller pieces and turned it into luncheon napkins.
They are hand-stamped with my stylized tulip design in black VersaCraft fabric ink, which turned out pretty crisp looking if I do say so myself. I stitched about 1/4 inch around all four edges and frayed them for ye old rustic look.
I really like the open weave linen, though, and am planning on giving the infinity scarf another try.
If you’d told me ten, twelve, or even five years ago that one day I would lay awake at night scheming quilt patterns I would have been incredulous. Because I couldn’t stand the thought of hemming even one pant leg, and weren’t quilts for people who lived in houses with crocheted doilies and porcelain Hummel figurines?
But maybe my recent interest is a natural progression in the fondness I’ve developed for textiles since receiving that sewing machine for Christmas last year. And, of course, the result of the many, many images of art quilts and textile concoctions I’ve seen on Pinterest. I have even gone so far as to check out a book about modern quilting from the library, where I learned all about how bad-ass it really is. I like the meaning behind the traditional patterns, and the fact that they were made from recycled things. It took me forty-one years of living on this earth to understand the beauty of that.
I’d been itching to try some piecework but I wanted to start small in case I totally screwed up. So I decided to make a random design out of my stash of fabric scraps and turn it into a quilted bag.
Pas mal, n’est-ce pas?
I found a tutorial online that suggested cutting leftover fabric scraps in 2.5 wide strips of varying lengths and sewing them together end-to-end, then piecing the long, narrow strips you end up with horizontally. So that is what I did. And because I cannot resist the look of the running stitch, I also embroidered the pieces after they were all attached.
And then I made a handbag out of them. It ended up quite small, actually, what with seam allowances and the fact that I boxed the bottom. But I feel like it was practically free because it was made almost entirely out of scraps! I’m not ready to churn my own butter or go off the grid just yet, but making something out of nothing is a pretty good feeling.