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Thread: Quilting using old clothes

  1. #101
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyelisabeth View Post
    think of the quilts our great-grandmothers made. Most used old clothes or their feed sacks. Using old clothes would be carrying on a truly traditional quilting method.
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  2. #102
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I just bought a cotton skirt off the $2 rack at the resale shop, and cut it up for quilting fabric! I also have boxes of cotton plaids and stripes from men's shirts that I MUST make a quilt out of... Thanks for the reminder!
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  3. #103
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    The quilt my MIL gave us when we got married had many recycled fabrics - one I especially recall was my SILs candy striper uniform. The quilt lasted through many years of daily use and had been delegated to display only a year or so before our house burned in November of 2000, which made it nearly 30 years old since we got married in January of 1971.

  4. #104
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    There is nothing I haven't used in a quilt. There is no law, that I know of, that says I have to use 100 percent cotton fabric. At this time I'm using old plaid shirts because I want a scrappy plaid quilt to give to a friend. lol

  5. #105
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    If you can connect with a clothing-sewer than you'll have lots of scraps. (I worked and had 3 girls with a total of 6 in my family, and a teacher's salary to live on. I made all of our clothes except our underwear..LOL) When I made all of our clothes I had lots of scraps. I didn't quilt.

    Many that make their own clothing keep all those scraps and are too frugal to throw them out, but then don't know what to do with them all. Ask me how I know. LOL So I used to bag them up and put them in garage sales. They always sold like hot cakes!

    If I'd known a quilter back then I would have given them to that person.

    You might try getting on your town/city freecycle page and ask for fabric scraps. Most towns have a freecycle page. My daughter lives in the Texas DFW area and has lots of luck getting for free almost anything that she asks for. Lots of people are just wanting to get rid of stuff and don't care whether they get paid or not. So try that.

    Good luck with your quilting. I'm sure with a little creative thinking you'll find what you're needing.

  6. #106
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    This is a good question; fabric can be very expensive, personally I go to Walmart and look for clearance material; they have a great selection. When I don't have enough to make a quilt; I use my scraps to make cute quilted girly purses. Totally understand what you mean, but sooner or later they often have sells, but I am curious to know what a clothing quilt would look like!

  7. #107
    Senior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    Recently my daughter cleaned her closet out and I ask her not to throw them out, but to give them to me to use for quilting. I got 3 large garbage bags of stuff from her, from jeans to jackets....a couple of items still had the original price tags. She's a clothes hoarder and loves to shop, so I know most of her stuff hasn't ever really been worn much. I plan to use a lot of the items for quilting. I also my husband has dress shirts still hanging in the back of the closet in the plastic from the cleaners from over 8 years ago. I confinscated those and added to my closet in my sewing room for cutting up. My grandmother used to tell me stories of quilting and how they used outgrown clothing for quilt tops and old worn out quilts for the batting. So, I am not an expert, but I say recycle whenever you can.

  8. #108
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    Hi All,


    I am what some would refer to as a old timmey quilter. My little granny “Grunt” as I called her and her sister aunt Lizzie raised me to learn the old ways….I.E. homesteading and that also meant quilting with whatever they had or could find fabric wise. I have 4 sewing machines 2 is modern brother machines and the other 2 are both grannies (1 from daddy's momma and the other from granny grunt momma's momma) I am 48 years old so u can see I was raised in some hard times in the Appalachian mtns of NC. Now a days I rely on the 3 buildings (One that is 16'x20' will become my new crafts room) FULL OF CLOTHING my daddy left me when he passed away last year (I'll be diggin forever..LOL) family also gives me their unwanted clothes as well as thrift stores and yard sales for my quilt materials. I use plain colored sheets in flannel and cotton as my batting and backing because I don't like a thick quilt. Most of the time when I was growing up our bed consisted of a top sheet, blanket and quilt in the winter or just a quilt in the summer month's. So I decided to combine 3 layers to give a whole bed covering. I use my printed sheet sets that I find to incorporate into the quilt tops or other projects. I also use Curtain's, Bed ruffles, Pillow shams, table cloths, table runners, placemats and old clothing as long as it is a cotton material. I get a lot of white or ivory colored men's dress shirt and dye those colors I want to use. I get bags of items from 2 of my favorite thrifts Salvation Army on tag day and goodwill has a by the pound outlet which I adore. Using 2 method's of strip/string quilt tops using magazines, newspaper and phone books as my square to sew onto then the paper is torn away. I also peace 2 1/2” strips together to get a 44” long strip then connect them as you would for a jelly roll race quilt. I love these 2 easy methods and get some of the most unique looking quilts around and proud to call them 1 of a kind because no 2 quilt tops are ever the same. Now for the fuss of binding etc? I don't fool with none of that as I use the inside/out method and turn it right side out just before I quilt it all together. I sale my quilts threw facebook at my page, facebook groups and on etsy in the winter month's. In the warmer month's I add to this with Craft Fairs and Flea Markets. I do a lot of different crafting where I need fabric and this is a way to keep my costs down in what I have in the project to make more money in the end.


    Happy Quilting,


    Connie C

  9. #109
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    I still need 2 or 3 plaid shirts to make an orange and blue quilt top so I keep my eyes out as I visit garage sales. I look for good quality and my limit is $1.

  10. #110
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Here's a picture of my 'raggy wagga' made from all kinds of clothing....wool, velvet, shrunken sweaters....you name it, it's in it. Made in 2010, it is my 'go to' quilt for resting under when cold/unwell...I love it and it washes and wears with no problems. The trick is when you've 'deconstructed' wash everything as you would wash the completed item....takes care of shrinkage, fabrics that won't work and colour bleeds. Then just iron and go for it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #111
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I have plenty of quilting fabric but some of my favorite quilts are the ones I made from old cotton shirts I bought on the cheap at church rummage sales. Go in the afternoon, when they are ready to get rid of everything and will let you stuff a grocery bag full for $1!
    I take only 100% cotton shirts. If the shirt feels 'broken in' and comfy, so will the quilt.
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  12. #112
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=MaryMo;5421713]My favorite quilt of all times was the one my great grandmother made using sewing scraps and pieces from my worn out and outgrown dresses and skirts I wore as a child. I treasure that quilt still. I've been thinking about sewing a label on it about all the pieces in it - my great grandmother did not add labels to her quilts.[/Q

    Definitely add a label with all the pertinent information on it. I'd use a label with your handwriting on it since the quilt was made for you with fabrics from your childhood.

  13. #113
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I found a bigger picture of one more of my shirt quilts. It's the one in the process of being quilted in the last photo above... Smoky Mtn. Stars pattern by Bonnie Hunter. This photo shows only the top before I added the borders.
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  14. #114
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    those are some nice quilts!!

  15. #115
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If you are wanting to make a denim or flannel quilt, yard sales and thrift shops are a good source of jeans, denim skirts, and flannel shirts. You can also sometimes find fabric scraps and occasionally yardage. I recently got a bundle of assorted pillow panels for $3. One even had batting and was partially hand quilted. And a Christmas one appeared to have enough yardage for use as a tablecloth.

  16. #116
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    I love to seek and use cotton men's dress shirts. The quality of some I find is amazing. Might have a spot on the sleeve or front. They make nice cozy quilts as they have been laundered many times. I find them at our landfill where we have a donation building for anything that is too good to throw away. Nice quilts for older kids served by Project Linus.

  17. #117
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    I love the looks of these quilts! They look so cozy and inviting.

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