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Thread: Quilting using old clothes

  1. #26
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    Quilt from Clothes etc reply

    Quote Originally Posted by prairie_girl View Post
    With the price of fabric and everything else rising it is getting harder and harder to afford fabric for quilts. Although there are lots of beautiful fabrics out there, I would rather put food on the table for my kids.

    I am wondering if anyone makes quilts using old clothes and if you have pictures of these quilts to show. Is there anything in particular you look for when purchasing used clothing for quilting? What do you use for batting?
    I have a stash of "plaid" type shirts as my boys outgrew them that I use. Yes, I use silk and cotton shirts from Goodwill, well washed and extra rinse in hot (not silk). I also hand dye cotton sateen (white on white) vintage table cloths and napkins. These can be found at rummage sales very inexpensively. I recently got a table cloth equivalent to 6 yards of fabric for $1.00. I use regular batting. Dyeing is REALLY simple, contrary to popular opinion. i have had 5 back surgeries, and I can to it. If you want more information, check out Candy Glendening. She is online at "Candied Fabrics." She has an online 101 and 102 class. Here is a photo before and after.
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  2. #27
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    You know what. I have made many many quilts from walmart fabric and I buy the sale ones. Just as I do at Joanns, and I work at JA part time. I have 3 quilts I made in the 70 from Walmart, they have been washed many times and they are still good. Just beware of the really thin fabrics. And if you have a stash in your sewingroom. use all of that. I am trying to use my stash so I can buy more. lol
    good luck to ya,.
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  3. #28
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    Barb you are so correct I forgot about using sheets. I have used sheets many times. Just reg sheets and flannel one. good you mentioned that.
    SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
    Stay strong and keep looking up.

  4. #29
    Junior Member jj1150's Avatar
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    carolaug ... your quilt is beautiful and your dog adorable!!!! They look perfect together!!! lol

    jody

  5. #30
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I am currently working on a sew and flip children's quilt, and the focus fabric is a Snoopy design from a scrub found at a garage sale. I have not seen that print anywhere else, and it is working perfectly for my quilt.

    I think the best deal I have gotten at a garage sale in the line of clothing for quilts was a square dance outfit for $1. The skirt was sewn in gathered tiers each about 7 or 8 inches wide. The print was cowboy like Alexander Henry, and the colors alternated by tier. I got at least 2 children's quilts from that just using 6" squares.

    I have a garage sale sophisticated cowboy print large ladies' shirt in the closet waiting for inspiration and the right colors to match. It looks like something from the 50's, and there is chartreuse in the print. The scenes are kind of desert and landscape, not so much horse and rider.

    Anyway, I don't shop specifically for clothes for quilts, but I keep my eyes open, because of the unusual things that can be found.

    Happy hunting!

    Dayle

  6. #31
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I've used old clothes. In fact I have a shirt that I am going to cut up now. You can go to the good will or anywhere and pick up clothes for quilts. Yard sales often have some cheap. I have also used old blankets for batting. They work well. You can pick them up cheap too. Necessity is the mother of invention. Get to cutting!
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  7. #32
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    Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I will know what to look for at the thrift stores and rummages now. I will keep an eye on the Walmart clearance fabric too. The puppy on the tumbler quilt is so cute!

  8. #33
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Thank-you that is my granddog. Spoiled little doggy....
    Quote Originally Posted by jj1150 View Post
    carolaug ... your quilt is beautiful and your dog adorable!!!! They look perfect together!!! lol

    jody

  9. #34
    Senior Member tate_elliott's Avatar
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    Although not a quilt, I've bought flannel shirts from thrift stores to make fabric-wrapped baskets. The soft, well-washed feel of them add to their appeal.

    Tate
    King of the Rocketeers!

  10. #35
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I had a hand died button down shirt I decided to cut up and use for quilting. By the time I cut off all the seams and edges, I had so little fabric left to work with. I wish I would have kept the shirt. It isn't enough to show up well in a quilt, even a baby quilt.
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  11. #36
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'm also fussy about what brand of shirts I use. I like the Ralph Lauren.. and a couple of upscale brands.

  12. #37
    Junior Member bigbrownowl's Avatar
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    We are incredibly lucky to have such a large selection of fabrics designed specifically for our hobby, but it was not always so. Quilting was born out of necessity, not luxury, and our grandmothers and great grandmothers "made do" with whatever they had easily to hand. I am very selective about purchasing new material and careful in choosing my fabric. I recover previously used material from clothing: any cotton fabric from shirts, dresses, etc. It is a bit time consuming, but in a funny kind of way, gives me a link with the past, when quilts were made using leftover fabric. Last Christmas, for example, I used recovered Jeans to make slipper boots for all the children and men in the family. I also used jeans fabric to make handbags for all the ladies.

    My favourite quilt is one that I didn't make! It was made by my great grandmother, as a bedcover for my grandmother when she left home to get married. It used old dress fabrics and leftover pieces of material, because she didn't have the luxury of purchasing new fabric from her local quilting shop! All through my childhood I remember it being on my grandmothers bed. It is now on mine!

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by prairie_girl View Post
    With the price of fabric and everything else rising it is getting harder and harder to afford fabric for quilts. Although there are lots of beautiful fabrics out there, I would rather put food on the table for my kids.

    I am wondering if anyone makes quilts using old clothes and if you have pictures of these quilts to show. Is there anything in particular you look for when purchasing used clothing for quilting? What do you use for batting?

    I don't have a 'stash' so working from that is not feasible.
    When quilting first started, fabric was very costly (for most women). So they would get a yardage for a new dress about once a year. They would cut up the old dress for husbands shirts, boys shirts and girls dresses. Then the old shirts (from the boys and the husband), and the old little girl dresses would get made into quilts, covers for chairs, covers for inside door ways (didn't always have doors due to no central heating). Things where made, remade and made into other things until stuff was thread bare and then it was used as cleaning rags or stuffing. So you do have a stash, it's just in a different closet. I always recycle my fabrics. So happy sewing.

  14. #39
    Senior Member rj.neihart's Avatar
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    As with most children, we had many clothes outrgown with small holes or a stain here and there. The clothes were too good to throw away, but not in good enough shape to pass onto someone else. I cut squares of white fabric, about 12" each, then let the kids each have a few blocks to design with their paints. I made a quilt for my aging mother, including hands dipped in material paint, and signed squares by each child. Once I put the quilt together, we wrapped it up for a Christmas gift for granny. She cried when she saw all of the squares, and knew they were from the kids clothing. Twenty-five years later, she still shows off this quilt to anyone visiting her. Sure can tell I was a newbie back then! But even with all of the mistakes and uneven areas, she's very proud of this!

  15. #40
    Senior Member willis.debra's Avatar
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    I like to find men's shirts, not too worn. sometimes women's in the larger sizes, for color variety. Anything would be fine, just check the labels for 100% cotton and check for wear.

  16. #41
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of planning a memory quilt for a young woman who works at Joann. It will be made from her Nana's old house dresses. One of my first quilts was made from snippets of old clothing from my mother, father and their four daughters. It was beautiful. Way back then we didn't purchase fabric for quilts, we purchased it to make clothing. When the clothing was outgrown, it went into quilts. As for minding whether or not it is cotton, don't worry about that. Just be sure that the fabric is a similar weight. You will be carrying on a beautiful tradition in quilting and your children will have food on the table and beautiful quilts to warm their hearts.
    Krystyna
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  17. #42
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I've used some shirts before, and I agree with a previous post, if you shop around, you can get some nice fabrics off of the clearance tables. I find really good ones at Hancocks, then on wednesdays, if you're 60 or older, you get another 20% I think. I'm 50, but I bring my mama or my brother with me to check out! Hate to wish my life away, but I'll be glad when I'm 60! LOL!
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  18. #43
    Senior Member dorrell ann's Avatar
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    I too have used clothes for quilting fabric-especially the flannels.

  19. #44
    Super Member kydeb's Avatar
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    Check out Bonnie Hunter's site (quiltville.com). She uses lots of clothing items for her quilts.
    Debbie in Kentucky
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  20. #45
    Super Member joym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug View Post
    Attachment 354051This scrappy is from my scraps, my husbands shirts, a few of my dresses that were to small and lots of left overs from all of the quilts I have made...We love it....
    awww...........

  21. #46
    Junior Member sweetlummi's Avatar
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    that is what my first quilt was. It took a long time to get all of it cut out to work with . Then you have all the little one and color lol .But it work out ok

  22. #47
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    3 shirts = quilt throw

    A dear friend passed 4+ years ago, I used his shirts & a pair of work pants to make his wife Katie, what I call.."Hugs from Heaven".. I made my 3 stepdaughters small quilts from their mothers blouses also.. I've used old curtain panels on a quilt..Fabric is fabric, 'til you cut & sew, then it may become a quilt!!
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  23. #48
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    I never have but my grandmother did. These kind of quilts are memory quilts because you see little pieces of relatives and family, with the memories of them when you see a piece of blouse or shirt in one. It is like the essence of them is still there within the quilt.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by prairie_girl View Post
    With the price of fabric and everything else rising it is getting harder and harder to afford fabric for quilts. Although there are lots of beautiful fabrics out there, I would rather put food on the table for my kids.

    I am wondering if anyone makes quilts using old clothes and if you have pictures of these quilts to show. Is there anything in particular you look for when purchasing used clothing for quilting? What do you use for batting?

    I don't have a 'stash' so working from that is not feasible.
    I say go for it .......I made a cathedral window quilt from my daughters dresses and shirts from my boys...that's how our sisters before us made their quilts....and using feed sacks etc.......

  25. #50
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    Our guild had a speaker who used clothing for her quilts and presentation. I was very impressed, and you couldn't tell the fabric from new.
    In her presentation, she stressed to cut around the worn spots--elbows on shirts, ect. She suggested, as someone has already said, to use the big skirts that maybe have been worn one time.
    I see lots of women buying clothing at Salvation Army in our town and making quilts from them.
    I haven't made anything yet with old clothing, but I know that you are on the right track. My Mom made a lot of quilts from old clothing. In the Depression and long after, that was all they had for quilting. I have a quilt she made in Pinwheels she told me was from dresses she didn't wear any more, my oldest sister's dresses. That quilt means a lot to me.
    Good luck!
    Mariah.
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
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