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Thread: Old clothing quilt - help needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member Janet My's Avatar
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    Old clothing quilt - help needed

    I am at a quandary as to what to do with old clothes to make a quilt. My aunt passed away and my cousin gave me a some clothes to work with. I have a few problems...

    1: My aunt ripped out all the labels. so I'm guessing here, as to what type of fabric I've got. (Some I'm sure are 100% cotton... others are a mystery as to the percentage of cotton in them.)

    2: Most of them are all light colors... lots of white and pale colors.

    3: I don't believe I have enough to make a decent size lap quilt, so I was thinking about doing a bed runner.
    (any one have any suggestions on a pattern?)

    4: Since I have a mess of mixed content fabrics... I was thinking I should be doing these on a foundation block. ???

    5: I need a very simple pattern that will go together quickly.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I know that you talented quilters here well point me in the right direction.

    Thank you for your help with this project I've gotten myself into.

  2. #2
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    Think of yourself as a "fiber artist" vs. a quilter. No need to worry about fiber content when it won't be washed. A wonderful wall hanging could be a great project for your materials. Hang it on the wall. You can do it!

  3. #3
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    here is a link to test your fabrics to help determine fiber content
    http://quilting.about.com/od/fabricembellishment/a/burn_test.htm


    here is a good site and tute on making 'passage' quilts with loved ones fabrics. hopefully you can get some starting ideas from here. good luck
    http://daintytime.net/tags/keepsakequiltalong/

    i have one more pattern i am looking for. will post as soon as i find it.
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  4. #4
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    As long as all of the clothes have been washed, it's okay to mix blends with cottons. Back when my grandmother was quilting, folks used whatever fabric was available. Just make sure they can all be washed/cleaned, the same way.
    Neesie


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  5. #5
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havplenty View Post
    here is a link to test your fabrics to help determine fiber content
    http://quilting.about.com/od/fabricembellishment/a/burn_test.htm


    here is a good site and tute on making 'passage' quilts with loved ones fabrics. hopefully you can get some starting ideas from here. good luck
    http://daintytime.net/tags/keepsakequiltalong/

    i have one more pattern i am looking for. will post as soon as i find it.
    here is a simple pattern to use where you can use big pieces cut from the clothes.
    http://incolororder.blogspot.com/201...-tutorial.html
    My Quiltboard Blog
    ~Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are..(Marianne Williamson)
    ~If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.(Amy Tan)
    ~As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.(Joan Baez)



  6. #6
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I have done a quilt like this. I put a light weight fusible interface on the ones i wasn't sure if cotton and the thin ones. Used yellow brick road as inspiration, but didn't follow exactly. Came out great. I will try to find the ouc n post here for you.

  7. #7
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...ts-t33011.html

    Heres the link for the one i did.

  8. #8
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    I make lots of these. Use Sweet 16 pattern. For really stretchy fabrics, iron on non woven stabilizer (pellon fusi form). Keep pockets, plackets and interesting tidbits. Can introduce black, navy for contrast, and novelty fabric that has prints of things that remind you of person's interests (eg dogs, butterfly, flower, etc)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Janet My's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help with this. I now have a better idea of what I'm going to do. I know I have a lot of stretchy fabric and I do have the fusible here and have never used it. Guess now is the time. All the fabric is washable, so I'm safe in that department.

    If anyone else has any other ideas, please post them.

    I know I've come to the right place with this question.

  10. #10
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Regarding the colors all being pale, there's no rule that says the entire top needs to be made from her clothing. You can add purchased yardage in a darker tone for the sashing or a repeated patch element in each block. For me, sashing ties scrappy blocks together
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  11. #11
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    String quilts are a good way to use fabrics from clothing.

  12. #12
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    You can do a burn test on a tiny scrap (need only about 1/4 x 1 inch) to see if it's cotton or not.

    Fabrics with polyester, nylon, or dacron burn with black smoke and leave either a hard or 'crunchy' ash.

    Cotton leaves a powdery ash and does not put out black smoke.

    Rayon is the 'iffy' one for me - I understand it's made of cellulose from wood - and that also leaves a soft ash.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    Since you don't have enough fabric for a quilt how about using them for applique. That's what I did for a lady who's hubby had passed away. He had several Hawaiian shirts and we used muslin blocks and made pineapple appliques on each block then sashed the blocks. It turned out very very pretty. You could make flowers instead of pineapples...

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  14. #14
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    You can do a burn test on a tiny scrap (need only about 1/4 x 1 inch) to see if it's cotton or not.

    Fabrics with polyester, nylon, or dacron burn with black smoke and leave either a hard or 'crunchy' ash.

    Cotton leaves a powdery ash and does not put out black smoke.

    Rayon is the 'iffy' one for me - I understand it's made of cellulose from wood - and that also leaves a soft ash.
    Rayon is more flammable than cotton. Cotton burns slow like a candle wick. Rayon goes up in a flash.
    Beverly

  15. #15
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    I finished a keepsake quilt for a dear friend this past Sunday and mailed it to FL. Monday Daughter got it today Friend BD is tomorrow, using her husbands shirts and pants... I ask for no tees or shirts of that kind of material.. Didn't think about telling her no poly LOL!! So I got hiawaii shirts all poly several cotton and a pair of yellow poly pants that was a family joke.. I made a 54" by 64" Quilt. Enough left to make another same size for my friends daughter. I used the yellow pants in the middle square then the other shirts to make the 9 patch.. each square was 9 1/2" Each sash was 2 1/2" with a 2 1/2" connecting block going across.. I am going to start on the 2nd one for her daughter this week.. My friend is in a nursing home in Okeechobee,FL. I have a pict will post it but cant on this laptop as it dont like my printer,laptop being windows 7 printer windows 98..have to wait until I get on the other comptor in a couple hrs. I used his stripped shirts for the sashes and his pants fo the binding. Didn't fold under binding as in my opinion it would have been to bulky.. so I cut 2 1/2 inch strips spliced them together using one leg each side..2 pairs of dresspants and one was poly cords. The Cords I used going across at top for the reason they went over the other bindings as the cap and foot.I sewed binding with a straight stitch then zigzaged oveer the straight stitch. Didn't like the raw look aft. I washed it as it didn't fray much except for the cords..so I used pinking sheers and cut close to stitching turned out great. Actually I had more material than I thought when it was all ripped out.. Hoped I helped alittle it is a daunting job to do this for someone this is my 2nd person I made 4 small ones for another friend and all she had were Tees.. HARD!!! Good Luck.. BillsBonBon
    To Be a Mother is Breathtakingly Mindboggleing,To be a Grandmother is Spectacular,to be a Greatgrandmother is FUN,FUN,FUN all the work is DONE,DONE,DONE.

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    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollyjvan9 View Post
    String quilts are a good way to use fabrics from clothing.
    That's what I was thinking, too. You could even use a single piece of fabric in each block as a "control". I'll be anxious to see what you come up with!
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  17. #17
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill'sBonBon View Post
    I finished a keepsake quilt for a dear friend this past Sunday and mailed it to FL. Monday Daughter got it today Friend BD is tomorrow, using her husbands shirts and pants... I ask for no tees or shirts of that kind of material.. Didn't think about telling her no poly LOL!! So I got hiawaii shirts all poly several cotton and a pair of yellow poly pants that was a family joke.. I made a 54" by 64" Quilt. Enough left to make another same size for my friends daughter. I used the yellow pants in the middle square then the other shirts to make the 9 patch.. each square was 9 1/2" Each sash was 2 1/2" with a 2 1/2" connecting block going across.. I am going to start on the 2nd one for her daughter this week.. My friend is in a nursing home in Okeechobee,FL. I have a pict will post it but cant on this laptop as it dont like my printer,laptop being windows 7 printer windows 98..have to wait until I get on the other comptor in a couple hrs. I used his stripped shirts for the sashes and his pants fo the binding. Didn't fold under binding as in my opinion it would have been to bulky.. so I cut 2 1/2 inch strips spliced them together using one leg each side..2 pairs of dresspants and one was poly cords. The Cords I used going across at top for the reason they went over the other bindings as the cap and foot.I sewed binding with a straight stitch then zigzaged oveer the straight stitch. Didn't like the raw look aft. I washed it as it didn't fray much except for the cords..so I used pinking sheers and cut close to stitching turned out great. Actually I had more material than I thought when it was all ripped out.. Hoped I helped alittle it is a daunting job to do this for someone this is my 2nd person I made 4 small ones for another friend and all she had were Tees.. HARD!!! Good Luck.. BillsBonBon
    Heres the picture.. Bonnie
    To Be a Mother is Breathtakingly Mindboggleing,To be a Grandmother is Spectacular,to be a Greatgrandmother is FUN,FUN,FUN all the work is DONE,DONE,DONE.

    BillsBonBon

  18. #18
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    Name:  1st quilt.jpg
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Size:  44.0 KBMy very first quilt and the new iron bedstead to put it on!

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    I didn't make a mistake, where's my ripper( I'm in the wrong thread)
    Quote Originally Posted by zanyjany View Post
    Name:  1st quilt.jpg
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Size:  44.0 KBMy very first quilt and the new iron bedstead to put it on!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neesie View Post
    As long as all of the clothes have been washed, it's okay to mix blends with cottons. Back when my grandmother was quilting, folks used whatever fabric was available. Just make sure they can all be washed/cleaned, the same way.
    I agree.
    And quilts are about love. What could be more wonderful than a beautiful tribute to a beloved lady.
    Love knlsmith's example she posted.
    I wish I had thought to do that for my grandmother.

  21. #21
    Senior Member sept97's Avatar
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    old clothing quilt

    my friend's mom passed away, what we did was cut the clothing into strips, then sewed the strips together, then cut the strips into squares or whatever I wanted and made teddy bears. I made 4 and she gave them to her siblings. Let me see if I can post a photo
    Attached Images Attached Images


  22. #22
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Take a small piece of each fabric (1"x1"), put it in something similar to an ashtray. Then burn it. If it's 100% cotton, silk or wool, there will only be ash left. If any portion is synthetic, there will be a small ball of hard residue.

  23. #23
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    If the clothes are all in pale colors, then a quilted item made with additional fabric in a bolder contrasting color might not be in keeping with the deceased person's personality or choice of colors and might not remind the person receiving the quilt of the loved one very much even if it does contain the used fabric. Maybe you should stick to the soft pale colors because that was the colors that were sent to you. That may very well be the colors that are associated with the loved one. Or perhaps you might want to ask about adding colors that are different than the color palette that you received. Just a suggestion.

  24. #24
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    When using the fusible remember it to has more stretch one way than the other. Iron it on opposite of the stretch of the fabric it will be more stable.

  25. #25
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet My View Post
    I am at a quandary as to what to do with old clothes to make a quilt. My aunt passed away and my cousin gave me a some clothes to work with. I have a few problems...

    1: My aunt ripped out all the labels. so I'm guessing here, as to what type of fabric I've got. (Some I'm sure are 100% cotton... others are a mystery as to the percentage of cotton in them.)

    2: Most of them are all light colors... lots of white and pale colors.

    3: I don't believe I have enough to make a decent size lap quilt, so I was thinking about doing a bed runner.
    (any one have any suggestions on a pattern?)

    4: Since I have a mess of mixed content fabrics... I was thinking I should be doing these on a foundation block. ???

    5: I need a very simple pattern that will go together quickly.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I know that you talented quilters here well point me in the right direction.

    Thank you for your help with this project I've gotten myself into.

    Consider your seam ripper your new best bud. Take everything apart and iron. Don't worry about content as long as you've got some cotton in the fabric. You'll be surprised at how much fabric you do have.

    I'd consider a log cabin using a three or four dark solids and then use your light colored strips.

    Or, just make it easy on yourself and do all squares. D9P might be a good choice here, too.
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