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Thread: Building the stash from old clothes etc

  1. #1

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    Since I am new to quilitng I don't have a huge amount a fabrics. After going mad and cleaning out the closet and chest of drawers I have a pile of old clothes (linen, cottons, natural fibre blends) that are not suitable for charity shops (ratty hems collars or cuffs) but have large amounts of good fabric. Also some old sheets/pillowcases. I am thinking of cutting these up (all buttons go in the buttonbox!) but should I leave the peices as large as possible or get out the rotary cutter and ruler and cut into squares or strips. Any suggestions as per size and any fabric you suggest not to bother with. Also, I though about clipping the manufacturers tag to the fabric so I know exactly what type it is and any special washing instructions.

  2. #2
    AllyJo's Avatar
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    I kinda like the way these shirts are cut up and used. I hope this link works.

    http://thethriftyquilter.blogspot.co...e-thrifty.html

    I don't precut my pillowcases and old sheets. I might need them big, so I keep them folded and waiting for the right project.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Great idea - that's what quilters did many, many years ago...they used old clothing or scraps from making new clothing. Fabric for quilting is a "new trend".

    Check out Quiltville.com for lots of idea on quilting with scraps and old clothes. Bonnie says find a pattern/quilt you like, see what size the pieces are cut down to and cut your shirts to that size. That's what I'm doing with my shirt collection.

    I've seen a quilt that incorporated the necklines/tags right into the quilt...it was cool. They included pockets (some with the flap and button still attached.

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    [quote=AllyJo]http://thethriftyquilter.blogspot.co...e-thrifty.html
    quote]


    Thanks for posting the link above. I read the entire article...like I've never seen it before...LOL
    When I went to save it to favorites - I already had it saved. Duh!
    :oops:
    Guess, maybe, perhaps, that's where I seen the name tags incorporated into the quilt.

    Her pattern only used a total of 7 shirts - YIKES :shock:
    I probably have enough shirts to make 10 quilts! YIKES AGAIN!

  5. #5
    Senior Member TammyD's Avatar
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    Hetty:
    Hi! Would love to see your shirt quilt when you are done. I have a shirt quilt started too. Welcome from Mn! :D

  6. #6
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Great idea. I would keep them as big as possible

  7. #7
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with using what we have, and saving space in the landfills!
    I started rug hooking last year and wool is waaaay expensive,so I hit the thrift shops!
    Some were appalled that I was going to cut up these good clothes, but I got alot of very pretty 100% wool at very good prices!
    I left everything in as large a piece as I could.
    you never know what you may need later!
    also as a side note: I asked what they did with clothing that couldn't be sold(frayed,holes etc) they said it was all baled and sent overseas for charity!
    Well personally I think that is insulting(sending our garbage to another country) and alot of crafters(rug hookers,quilters,crochet) would take these off their hands and save the expense of shipping!

  8. #8
    mygirl66's Avatar
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    I always go to the "big mens" section at the Goodwill and look for wool pants, sweaters, and nice shirts. You get alot of fabric that way, and if you hit them on the sale days, half off a certain colored tag, or the second Tuesday of the month, 5 pieces of clothing for $5, you can get alot of fabric! I love recycling!I reuse everything from buttons, tags, and zippers! Have fun with it, and if you want to take it apart, only do it at the seams, or you might kick yourself later.

  9. #9
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Welcome! I think that is a great way to start quilting. Save money, and recycle!

  10. #10
    AllyJo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    Her pattern only used a total of 7 shirts - YIKES :shock:
    I probably have enough shirts to make 10 quilts! YIKES AGAIN!
    Hey there. You're welcome on the link. What I was thinking about doing was just using her cutting ideas or layout into usable pieces. Sometimes it's just nice to have a pattern.

    What I usually do is save the back for a fat quarter and cut the rest into nickles, squares or strips, since that's mostly what I work with. I even use the collars and cuffs as smaller strip piecings.

  11. #11
    AllyJo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mygirl66
    I always go to the "big mens" section at the Goodwill and look for wool pants, sweaters, and nice shirts. You get alot of fabric that way, and if you hit them on the sale days, half off a certain colored tag, or the second Tuesday of the month, 5 pieces of clothing for $5, you can get alot of fabric! I love recycling!I reuse everything from buttons, tags, and zippers! Have fun with it, and if you want to take it apart, only do it at the seams, or you might kick yourself later.
    My husband and son are big and tall. LOVE those extra large and extra long shirts on sale at the thrift store. :) They make my day.

  12. #12
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I hate cutting up things prior to having a quilt in mind. If its scraps so be it, but otherwise I leave as big as possible. Never know what size I'll need so if I cut 2.5 I know darn well that I'll find a quilt that I need 3.5 for! :lol: :lol: Murphy's Law.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllyJo
    I kinda like the way these shirts are cut up and used. I hope this link works.

    http://thethriftyquilter.blogspot.co...e-thrifty.html

    I don't precut my pillowcases and old sheets. I might need them big, so I keep them folded and waiting for the right project.
    Thanks for this link. I love stripes and plaids. There are always nice stripy shirts at our local charity shops. I have just done a deal with a friend of ours who is a gentlemens' tailor... he is going to give me the fabric sample books when the manufacturers have changed their collections!

  14. #14
    AllyJo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hetty
    Thanks for this link. I love stripes and plaids. There are always nice stripy shirts at our local charity shops. I have just done a deal with a friend of ours who is a gentlemens' tailor... he is going to give me the fabric sample books when the manufacturers have changed their collections!
    You lucky thing. I wouuld die to get my hands on one of those fabric sample books. Have fun with that.

  15. #15
    Super Member susie0808's Avatar
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    Welcome! Saving and recycling clothes is great. I recycle all shirts and blue jeans. I do pre cut alot of it. Most of my shirts I cut in 3 inches depending on patterns. Jeans I cut legs off and back pockets. Cut open at seam and measure how many inches I can get out of it. Each pair is different. It depends on project and how big I want the square.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    I remember my the quilt on my brother's bed growing up had pieces of a dress my mom wore when she was pregnant for him. I asked her why she cut up a dress and she said that's the way they quilted back then to use up any fabric available and not to waste something that couldn't be worn anymore. My brother is now 51 and still has his quilt!

  17. #17
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I usually just cut the seams and bad parts out then fold up the fabric that's left. I never know what size piece I'm going to need until I use it. If you're a person that likes to use charm packs or jelly rolls then cut them like that while you're cutting.

  18. #18
    AllyJo's Avatar
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    I thought of something else I meant to tell you. Of course, this is personal choice.

    On the front shirt piece with a pocket, I usually cut a square around the pocket, maybe with 1" space around the pocket for seam allowance. I am saving them for something. I figure they could make a cute wall hanging to stick stuff in or make a cute kids quilt where they could hide their toys. Kids love to hide things. :)

    Hope that helps.

  19. #19
    Senior Member squilter's Avatar
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    I have a ton of jeans, I have made 2 baby quilts and plan to make g-sons a rag quilt, also plan to make them an I Spy quilt. Have the fabric, just need to get them done. But I am the kind that does not like to make more than one quilt of the same time, so when I get ready to make them, I have to make three blocks at a time so they will be all done at the same time......lol

  20. #20
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Great information.

  21. #21
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlaceruby
    Nothing wrong with using what we have, and saving space in the landfills!
    I started rug hooking last year and wool is waaaay expensive,so I hit the thrift shops!
    Some were appalled that I was going to cut up these good clothes, but I got alot of very pretty 100% wool at very good prices!
    I left everything in as large a piece as I could.
    you never know what you may need later!
    also as a side note: I asked what they did with clothing that couldn't be sold(frayed,holes etc) they said it was all baled and sent overseas for charity!
    Well personally I think that is insulting(sending our garbage to another country) and alot of crafters(rug hookers,quilters,crochet) would take these off their hands and save the expense of shipping!
    Yes I agree that if it doesn't sell they send it overseas for charity. First they should give it away in the USA for charity. I'm all for helping out people overseas but take care of our own first. There are lots of people that could use the clothes that can't even afford to buy at the thrift stores. Just my opinion! LOL Also like you said there are alot of crafters & quilters that would love to re-cycle it,

  22. #22
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hetty
    I have just done a deal with a friend of ours who is a gentlemens' tailor... he is going to give me the fabric sample books when the manufacturers have changed their collections!
    I'm jealous. Bet there's some gorgeous fabric in these sample books.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Donna Mae's Avatar
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    This is how I started to learn to quilt with old clothes, ect. I have a stack of my hubbys old shirts I'm going to make a quilt of someday.
    Have fun,
    simple quilter

  24. #24
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I love using old clothes. I usually wash and cut up when I get them. I cut them into the largest possible pieces before putting away in my stash.

  25. #25
    tmg
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    Senior Member tmg's Avatar
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    There is a book you should get. It is called Scraps & Shirttails: Reuse, Re-pupose, Recycle! by bonnie k hunter. It's all about using old cloths. You can go to this web site and order it they also have free thrift patterns there.

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