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Thread: What do you do with your uglies/unusables?

  1. #1
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    What do you do with your uglies/unusables?

    We just bought a new house that is big enough for my very own girlcave. I had mentioned to one of the neighbors before we moved that I was looking forward to being able to quilt again, as a parting gift she gave me a HUGE box of fabrics she had gotten on clearance at one of the big box stores...I finally got around to washing it all up the past couple of days (good grief there are almost 50 yards) and wow...I see why some of it was on clearance. A lot of it is just plain ugly and there are several yards that are so cheaply made it resembles kleenex. It was a wonderful gesture and a much appreciated gift but I have no idea what to do with a lot of it because it is just such bad quality. The only solution I have thought of so far is to make some small blankets for our local animal shelter. It isn't like the dogs care if they are sleeping on quilt shop quality fabric. I am curious as to what some of you do with fabrics that you wouldn't use for anything because I would like to be able to use as much of this generous gift as I can, even if it is only for the shelter puppies to sleep on.

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I like your idea of making blankies for the dogs and cats. I think charity quilts for humans should not be shoddy qualilty; a stranger is as deserving as our family. But you're right, a doggie won't care what the fabric looks like.

  3. #3
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    In our area, woven rag rug makers use this type of material. Are there any where you live? Also toothbrush rugs or crocheted rugs.

  4. #4
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    I've heard the saying,"If it is still ugly just keep cutting it smaller until it isn't ugly anymore." I'm sure the human society would love any donations.

  5. #5
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    Our quilt group only does donation quilts and other needed items. We have started making animal beds for the local animal shelter and with unusable fabric we use a rotary cutter and cut the fabric into small pieces no larger than 2x2". We then make a pillowcase and make three lengthwise seams and use the cut fabric to fill them. Then seam across the end and you have a nice pet bed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nycbgirl's Avatar
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    I use thin fabric for foundation piecing on string quilts. It gives some stability even if it's very thin.

  7. #7
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    Google Marilyn Pipe handbags.....they are cute and ugly won't matter....another project anyone?

  8. #8
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    Like some of the above posters, I use the ugly and unusable stuff as filling for cat pillows. Rag rugs or braided rugs would be a good idea, too. Cleaning cloths and dusters would be a possiblility. I would definitely NOT use them for quilts.
    Maggie in Jerusalem
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  9. #9
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Another option is the fabric bowls that folks have been making. Once you cut those strips then wind them around the cotton cording, the thin-ness and the ugly won't make a difference.

    the only thing I worry about with dog bedding for shelters is that those are washed a LOT. the ugly fabric won't matter if it's decent quality, but the cheap/thin fabric will.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  10. #10
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycbgirl View Post
    I use thin fabric for foundation piecing on string quilts. It gives some stability even if it's very thin.
    I've done that, too. And to me, there's a different between "unusable" & "ugly". The "unusable" goes to Goodwill (the Goodwill here moves a ton of fabric of all kinds) & the ugly? Well, I usually just throw it in a box & hope that it either gets pretty or grows on me. Bonnie Hunt says to use your uglies in some of her scrap patterns. The pieces are evidently small enough you're not blinded by the ickiness... LOL! Seriously... sometimes don't you look at a piece of fabric you bought & think "What in the world was I thinking about?!?!". I've got some real dogs!
    (`v)
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    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  11. #11
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Funny thing is that the "uglies" sometimes end up favorites when joined with other fabrics

  12. #12
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I have given away fabrics that I didn't like anymore, or knew I wouldn't use, to local Project Linus groups.

    And I also belong to a church group that makes quilts for World Relief. This group is Really Frugal... instead of batting they put extra layers of cloth in. So uglies and what-nots wind up as "middles" where they won't even be seen.

  13. #13
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Looks like you've gotten some good ideas with the animal shelter quilts and rag rugs. My idea is if it's too ugly or too thin, use it on the inside of a summer quilt instead of batting, or in the shelter quilts for extra warmth.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    I have used thin fabric as the inside layers when making chenille. As long as it's cotton it will fray very nicely.
    I use ugly on a binding and you just don't notice

    Carole

  15. #15
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    Wink

    Our quilt guild did an ugly quilt challenge this year. Everyone brought a yard of ugly fabric. Then we played musical chairs with it. You kept passing the fabric to the next person until the music shut off. Then you ripped the piece you had in half. You keep half and when the music starts you begin passing the other half again. We got down to a fairly small piece. The challenge was then to make a wall hanging approximately 36" square using only one other fabric and all the pieces you received on the front of the wall hanging in a big enough piece to recognize what it was. Once You set your mind to it, it was a fun challenge.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  16. #16
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    I used some strange rayon mix fabric to try a clothesline bowl. It turned out surprisingly well. If that isn't something that would work, I think animal beds would be a great use for funky fabric.

  17. #17
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    So many wonderful ideas and new projects for me to try! Thanks so much

  18. #18
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    One more suggestion. Make quilted Christmas ornaments. Here's a link to the youtube tutorial. Lots of fun to make.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB9S-rxIe6w

  19. #19
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    We have an area-wide clothing give-away day in Oct. and May. There is always a place designated for rags, which they turn into paper.

    Our guild has a "free" table at meetings - one woman's ugly is another's beautiful!

    Have a yard sale and give them away.

    Make tablecloths and napkins.

    Use as backs for quilts if not too cheezy.

  20. #20
    Super Member joym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I like your idea of making blankies for the dogs and cats. I think charity quilts for humans should not be shoddy qualilty; a stranger is as deserving as our family. But you're right, a doggie won't care what the fabric looks like.
    I agree and they are most appreciative.

  21. #21
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have a lot of yard sale fabric that is either ugly or just not my taste. I make all kinds of donation quilts out of it. I try out new patterns, practice free motion quilting etc. I donate them to Ronald McDonald house, homeless shelters, pregnancy centers etc. Where they go often depends on what they look like when I finish them. Sometimes the uglies look good when added to other fabrics. The local Salvation Army has hooked up with the Marines Toys for Tots program and they collect doll quilts. They give away 700 to 800 dolls, like America Girl Dolls (the fake ones) every Christmas. Their goal is for each doll to have a quilt and at least 2 outfits. They would also like to give each little girl a quilt. That is what I use my garage sale fabric for.

  22. #22
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I've always liked to buy scrap bags of fabric and there are invariably some that are really awful. I decided to use all of the awful and ugly fabrics in one scrap quilt - it turned out to be lovely and always gets comments, even when everyone agrees that the individual fabrics are really horrible.
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    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  23. #23
    Super Member anniesews's Avatar
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    Our shelter welcoms little dog blankets. Go for that and make them and yourself feel good. Even if I am just donating to the shelter, I feel like I have done something necessary and important for the animals.

  24. #24
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    Also, sometimes Goodwill will take fabric and pass it on to an organization that makes rugs out of unsalable fabric/clothing.

  25. #25
    Junior Member redeagle's Avatar
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    Every "ugly" has a home somewhere. I had some yellow and black that was "really" ugly and I had it for years. One day I needed a special piece of "something" and I tossed a large handful of scraps on the floor and don't you know there was that piece of "really" ugly and it was perfect for what I needed!
    Barb
    prolific hand quilter

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