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Thread: Can I make anything pretty out of this?

  1. #1
    Junior Member conniemaried's Avatar
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    Can I make anything pretty out of this?

    While helping my mother downsize last summer, we came across this box of fabric scraps that had been used by us both to make clothing during the 60's and 70's. I kept it because it seemed to make her happy to remember the fabrics and what we had made out of them. Her 85th birthday is coming up in January, and I'd like to make her a quilt out of these scraps. I have everything from corduroy to wool to double knits to psychedelic cottons. As a novice quilter, I can't look at this pile and "see" a quilt in it. Any suggestions as to what I can do with this? I'll need some big blocks and some small blocks in the pattern due to scrap sizes and pattern sizes. Please, I hope there's someone out there that is creative enough to help me with this pile of chaos. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I am sure you will have answers from folks here...not from me, unfortunately. I always have trouble selecting fabric and patterns. I suspect some sort of scrappy idea might work. Well, wait, here is an idea. Cut 2 1/2 inch strips the width of the fabric, sew 5 together, cut into squares (I think that would be ten inch squares), then alternate the directions of the stripes, putting sashing between them. I did this several times and liked the results. Let me see if I can find any pictures.

    Dina
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  3. #3
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    Or alternate 9 patch blocks made from the smaller pieces with solid blocks of the bigger prints. Dina, your quilts are beautiful!

  4. #4
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    If the fabric were mine, I'd cut as many squares (starting with whatever the smallest size might be)... then group "like" fabrics color wise together. Think a fade, from pale to primary colors. Then bind it in a shade of blue that works with all the other colors. Don't worry about it being pretty. The memories associated with this fabric will be enough for your Mother.

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Aside from the different fabric types (I personally am not a fan of using different fabrics, but I know lots of folks do all the time) I would suggest first separating them into lights and darks. Perhaps something simple like a log cabin, or barn raising done with HST's would work.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
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    reminds me of a quilt I once made - appliqued butterflies. But pieced pinwheels would work also. My little girl loved seeing and feeling the different textures.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PlanoDebbie's Avatar
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    I love Dina's idea with the 2-1/2" strip blocks, but I would avoid using anything other than cotton fabrics in the quilt. With the other fabrics, you could probably make some coasters or some other little items with that fabric. Be sure to post pictures of whatever you decide to make. I'm sure it will be fabulous.

  8. #8
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    I would separate it into different thicknesses because it is hard to combine different weights in a quilt. There are some nice doubleknit quilts on QB. If you do use thicker fabrics, do big pieces so you have fewer thick seams.

  9. #9
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    I think it would be very fitting making an X's and O's quilt out of these for your mother. The tutorial is on Missouriquiltco.com. What a wonderful gesture and memory for her using these fabric pieces in a quilt for her.

  10. #10
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I think maybe a snowball block alternating with a 4 or 9 patch. Cool idea and your mother will love it, no matter what pattern you decide on!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  11. #11
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    I can totally see a beautiful scrap quilt from these fabrics. They tell a story and how wonderful it will be to have them all in one quilt!! I think everyone's suggestions are great and I really like Dina's ideas, which might end up being the easiest. Please share a photo when it's done!!
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  12. #12
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    check out the chinese coin patterns----strips any width sewn in a strip one on top of another these verical strips can then be sashed---we used a light weight non fuseable vilene to sew the strips on this keeps them straight and stops the knits stretching

  13. #13
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    I think you have a good idea for her birthday. I would not mix the fabrics but you might use the corduroy for a lap quilt. Most older people like to have something soft to grab as a cover while watching tv or reading.

  14. #14
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    how about a 'crazy' quilt - these traditionally use any type of fabric

  15. #15
    Super Member Teddybear Lady's Avatar
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    Dina, I love your quilts. I've bookmarked this post so I can come back to it later when I need to use up some of my scraps. Thank you.

  16. #16
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    A string quilt would take care of the cottons and lightweights .... I am inclined to use many different fabrics, my only rule is that I keep the weights similar. Large squares, strips are in order for the heavy fabrics. Rail fence is another pattern that can work. Crazy quilts can use mixtures but there's quite a lot of work involved (but they are addictive).

  17. #17
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    I would sort them first. Were they mine, I'd cut 2" strips. Sew together 6 strips alternating dark and light. The mediums could be either dark or light depending on its neighbours. Then cut the strips into 2" strips again. This gives you hundreds of little six-in-a-row squares (strips). Now you line up these new little strips from different stripsets, again alternating dark and light squares and sew together six strips to make a block of about 12". The blocks can be attached to each other with or without sashing or you can add some picture blocks or strips. Since the fabric represents clothes you both wore, it will take her on a trip down memory lane. You could also use short strips and even single 2" squares if the pieces are smaller.

    Would love to see how your quilt turns out. Enjoy the process.

  18. #18
    Senior Member stchenfool's Avatar
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    Good use - love it!
    Love 4 stchen

  19. #19
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    You should pick out the cottons and use them. Courderoy and knits won't wash and dry the same, elliminate them from quilting fabric. Donate them to the resale shop.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Dina's quilts are beautiful.
    You have gotten lots of ideas. I can't think of anything new. Very pretty fabrics.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  21. #21
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    I think the picture shown would work well. No matter what you do she will spend hours just looking and remembering. I am still sleeping under a quilt I made in 1958, I enjoy looking because it was made from my maturnity dresses and my son's first shirts.

  22. #22
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    I see you live in NE Texas. I would love to help you with this quilt.

  23. #23
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    I would use larger squares - 6 inches or bigger - so Mom could savor the memories of the pieces and items made from them. You could make a piano key border to use the same fabrics again.

  24. #24
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    I am sure if you move them around you will find a way to make it interesting. Love the quilt inspector by the way !
    When Life brings big winds of change that almost blows you over.Hang on tight and Believe.
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  25. #25
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Thanks for the compliments on my quilts. You all make me feel good.

    Dina

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