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Quilting using old clothes

Quilting using old clothes

Old 08-06-2012, 08:34 AM
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Default Quilting using old clothes

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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:35 AM
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I do use old clothes for my daughter to quilt with, as I don't want to use up a lot of my expensive stash for her to play with. I find cotton shirts at the thrift stores for her to use. Works great!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:38 AM
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I know a lot of people do. I have not, but I have used an old flannel sheet for batting when I want a thin quilt.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:42 AM
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The best fabric finds at thrift stores are homemade wrap around skirts that someone wore once or twice. If you do decide to use clothing, just look and feel to see that it is not really worn otherwise, you are reducing the life of your quilt by a few years
I have bought many pieces of clothing specifically for quilting. Really the last thing I should do considering the size of my stash.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM
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From our local cleaners, I recently bought 50 unclaimed mens uniform and dress shirts, I think the price was $10.00. After washing and cutting up the shirts, saving the buttons, I have made a pair of very soft twin bed quilts. For batting I used the boys old conforters. I have enough broadcloth and precale fabric for two or three more quilts.
Watch for bag sales at thrift stores, church rummage sales, etc. You can roll and stuff a lot of items in a walmart bag? I only use cotton or cotton blend, easy care old clothes fabric. Sorry no pictures, camera no work for me.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM
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As for batting - Last year after Christmas, I found rolls of cotton (used for Christmas Villages) for a dollar a piece. I started using these thin cotton rolls (unrolled, I could do easily do a baby quilt with one roll and have left overs for smaller projects) for batting for projects that I didn't want to spend a lot of money on. They worked great!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:46 AM
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For many quilters clothing is their stash I have in the past used clothing and wouldn't hesitate to at any time. Some reasons are cost of fabric or the item is the perfect color/pattern for what I'm working on. I love scrappy quilts so these items fit in well. Check out http://quiltville.com/ Bonnie has a video on "de boning" a shirt. (scroll down the page for the video)

Last edited by erstan947; 08-06-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:50 AM
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Honestly, unless you are going to garage sales, it's generally better to use new fabric on clearance than getting old used clothing.

That said, I needed to make a 'car blanket'. Salvation Army store gals told me when the last day of the clearance sale was for end of season clothes. I went the last hour and bought whatever I needed for the car blanket (shirts were about 25 each). There are a lot of people around here without jobs or poor and that is where they buy their clothes, so that gave them maximum time to get the stuff. I do not have a picture of the car blanket, but it was just boring squares and meander quilting. For batting, I used Warm and Natural and the backing was some misprinted flannel that I bought at a garage sale for $1. It's in my BILs truck. I can say with certainty though, that for what I paid for the shirts and the resulting usable fabric, I could have made a nicer quilt using clearance fabric at Joanns or Hancocks. I was at Hancock's the other day and some of those cotton clearance fabrics were only $2 a yard.

Many quilts from the 30s and 40s simply used an old blanket for the 'filling' and tie them. If you plan to tie, I recommend using a coupon and getting the poly off the roll over at Hancocks'. Really warm and the loft holds up for a long time. Please Note: If you double the thickness, it results in a blanket that may be too warm.

Last edited by IAmCatOwned; 08-06-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:00 AM
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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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