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Thread: What are you recycling in your sewing area????

  1. #1
    ksusan's Avatar
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    Today I vowed to start cleaning up the sewing area and take time for some sewing. Things got thrown in that space prior to and during the holidays.

    Although I pressed a couple of garments, most of my time was spent finishing up some French-seam pillowcases I had begun. Then, I rewarded myself by making up a pair of Christmas fabric cases rather than put the uncut fabric in storage!! UFO and one new project--right?

    We enjoy heavy terry washcloths, so will work on some UFO cuts tomorrow.

    RECYCLE project: beautiful long staple cotton terry towels had bands which shrank up to half the size of the width of the towel.
    I cut the towels up in squares and gently curved the corners.

    With some rows of three-step zigzag stitching, I'll have nicely finished edges and recycle at the same time. My outlay will be the cost of the 1200 yard spool of thread. Pretty good bargain, in my book...

    What are you recycling?????????

    Piecefully yours,
    Kay Susan


  2. #2
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    You would not believe this, but I am ripping apart a quilt top (REALLY REALLY ugly) & making a string quilt top. I thought I was the only one into doing things like that.

    hummmm you have given me an idea about those old bath towels that have shrunk up--Me thinks about potholder stuffing. What do you think?? Hate to use a good towel. How many layers for a potholder? 3-4??

  3. #3
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I find I don't throw out near as much fabric ends as I use to from projects. I know have a container of crumbs and make crumb quilts! Less fabric in the land fills and more quilts!! I am working on sewing up the rows of my first crumb quilt and just love how it is turning out!

  4. #4
    Junior Member Polly C's Avatar
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    I have also used towels inside pot holders. Depends on the weight of the towel for # of layers.

    I have made countless denim quilts from old blue jeans. Old blankets cut up & serged make dog beds/blankets. Old diapers (the cloth kind) cut up & serged make the best cloths for cleaning eye glasses.

    These are the ones which come to mind immediately. Will post if I remember any more.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Recycling in my sewing room? Well, let's see. I save strips and bits and pieces of batting that I then zigzag together to use in either puppy/kitten quilts or placemats.

    When I embroider, I save much of the stabilizer that has to be cut off to use on the next project. (All stabilizer does not have to be hooped -- just slide it under the hoop before starting the embroidery.)

    I also have two different "baskets" going for fabric "trash" -- those tiny little bits for a string quilt. The other basket holds fabric that is large enough to be cut into 5" blocks.

    Old dress patterns that I know I won't ever make again, I use as "tissue paper" in gifts to my sewing/quilting friends.

    Have "ugly" fabric? Use it to wrap a present. However, make sure the recipient knows you don't want the "wrapping paper" back :roll: :roll:


  6. #6
    ksusan's Avatar
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    A few years ago, I made twin size patchwork rag quilts out of used flannel shirts. I was amazed at the good fabric available at the local thrift shop in shirts with buttons missing or tears in part of the item. These are bright
    and cheery quilts with the softness and warmth of flannel and cotton batting.

    I was raised in a household where both parents went through the Great Depression of the 1930's. We mended items or recycled clothing fabric in newly constructed garments.

    Which reminds me...... If you ever run across a woman's pleated Pendleton brand wool skirt.....you've really found something. I have removed the stitching, pressed out the sharp pleats with a damp tea towel and steam iron; joined the front and back sections and ended up with lovely Pendleton wool plaid couch throws. The colors are outstanding and the final hemmed throw folds up to almost nothing for storage in the summer months. I can always tell Pendleton wool blindfolded by its wonderful "hand." If you carefully wash with Woolite brand soap/detergent and dry over a shower rod, you also eliminate dry cleaning expenses. I have three beautiful throws in my possession :)

    Piecefully yours,
    Kay Susan


  7. #7
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Great ideas in all your replies! Thanks.

  8. #8
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    My daughter laughs at me for this, but when I'm piecing a quilt top, I keep a ball jar by me and throw all of the thread clippings in it. When my granddaughter and I have an afternoon, we will make pinecone bird feeders with peanutbutter and roll them in the thread and birdseed. The birds to use the thread in their nests.

  9. #9
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiebooboo
    My daughter laughs at me for this, but when I'm piecing a quilt top, I keep a ball jar by me and throw all of the thread clippings in it. When my granddaughter and I have an afternoon, we will make pinecone bird feeders with peanutbutter and roll them in the thread and birdseed. The birds to use the thread in their nests.
    Now that is about the neatest thing I have ever heard. My DH and myself sit outside in our swing and watch the birds,when the weather is good,Drink a cup of coffee. It is our timeout from everything. Just swing,sip coffee and look at the birds. I am going to do as you do from now on. What a wonderful idea. We have pinecones everywhere so it would be easy to use them and the strings with peanut butter and seeds.
    Thank you. BillsBonBon

  10. #10
    maggiebooboo's Avatar
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    Just think how fun it would be to find a nest with all the bright colors in it.. :lol:

  11. #11
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Oh Aggi, I would love to see your crumb quilt! I have a bunch of crumbs too, but don't know what to do with them.

    I have been pondering organizing my closet and organizing my fabrics again. Right now, it is a mess.

  12. #12

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    I have an old canvas bag I recycled to hold all my scraps. :) I have a sweater hanging rack I use to hold fabric (but I bought it new just for that).

    Once I bought premade binding and it came on a special cut cardboard so now I use old cereal boxes cut to that shape to wrap the bindings I've made till I use them.

  13. #13
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I save the postal envelopes that are flat- to cut templates from. I save the inside cardboard from the Joann's fat quarters for the same thing. I save squishy packaging to reuse. I save the boxes from my Ebay frenzy for building my stash and send out boxes of "stuff" to friends so they can build a stash too.

    I brought home the desk calendars from last year that didn't get used. Turned over, they are blank, I can't throw away big sheets of paper. When I get over my fear, I will learn paper piecing and use these papers.

    Probably more, but this is all I can think of right now.

  14. #14
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    I use Whitman Sampler Christmas tins to store stuff. One each for threads, embellishments, scissors, pins and needles, marking pencils, etc. Emptying out the original contents is half the fun! :wink:

  15. #15
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nor'easter
    I use Whitman Sampler Christmas tins to store stuff. One each for threads, embellishments, scissors, pins and needles, marking pencils, etc. Emptying out the original contents is half the fun! :wink:
    You've got the greatest idea of all -- LOL

  16. #16
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    I'm going to start a crazy quilt using neckties I have been collecting. I have save some old silk blouse to use in it too.


  17. #17
    ksusan's Avatar
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    Homemade pin box ---or --- portable sewing kit


    recycle empty Altoids or Velamints metal tin/ cut down magnetic fridge calendar from 2008 to fit bottom of empty tin

    use a metal bobbin for thread source--- I only use metal bobbins as portable "spools" as my sewing machine requires plastic bobbins


    pins/ needles/ metal bobbins/ small seam ripper fit neatly inside without falling out if the opened box is tipped upside down

    Piecefully yours,
    Kay Susan

  18. #18
    2wheelwoman's Avatar
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    I cut up all the old jeans and denim skirts for a pending "blue jean and flannel" beach quilt.

    I cut up old clothes for either fabric for quilts or fabrics for the crazy quilt I'm going to make someday. (I've probably saved enough for about 10 of them by now, but I just can't seem to throw anything away.) I save the buttons from them too.

    I save all the Altoid containers for pins and clips and heaven knows what. I like the idea of the Whitman's Samplers better though!! Yum, better contents and they retain some of that chocolate fragrance.

    I save all the Joann's fat-quarter cardboards for making templates.

    I've recycled two shoe organizers into storage - an open ended one for all the "rolled" stuff like stablizers and for cans of spray starch, and a closed end one for fabric stashes of small pieces.

    I recycle TP and paper-towel rollers to hold cut binding, or to roll extra 'strips' to keep them organized by color, as well as for holding lace.

    I recycled three old spice racks and jars from estate sales to hold beads and sequins, and bath salt jars for larger stashes of them. This will seem really neurotic - but most of the beads and sequins came from clothing picked up at thrift stores - and removed by me. Yep, I'm nutso, but it was actually fun to watch TV and "pick beads" as my DH called it. And, man-o-man are they cheaper to acquire that way. Naturally I cut up the rest of the outfit for crazy quilt fabric.

    I guess I basically save and re-use everything I can! :) When I was growing up my Granny continually said "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" and I still hear her voice today.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Blue Bell's Avatar
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    I cut my selvages off at about 1/2 inch and give them to an older lady that crochets small rugs. Her little rugs can be used on a table top or on a chair. And they wash beautifullly.

  20. #20
    Super Member Janstar's Avatar
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    All of your ideas are great! Since I made a scrap rug that used small strips and scraps of fabric, I save all those for future rugs. Including selvage edges.

  21. #21
    Super Member Nancy in Louisiana's Avatar
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    What's a "crumb"?

  22. #22
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy in Louisiana
    What's a "crumb"?
    It's like a crazy quilt.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/30/6951.page A picture of the block

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/6951.page Tutorial on a crumb

  23. #23

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    I am collecting coffee bags, I plan to make them into a bag, I will line it with some odd fabric, but the coffee bags are plastic>ish, my husband has a coffee kiosk at a motor vehicle.

  24. #24
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiebooboo
    My daughter laughs at me for this, but when I'm piecing a quilt top, I keep a ball jar by me and throw all of the thread clippings in it. When my granddaughter and I have an afternoon, we will make pinecone bird feeders with peanutbutter and roll them in the thread and birdseed. The birds to use the thread in their nests.
    What a very neat idea!!!! I'll have to remember that one when I buy my house this year and have a garden. I want a place for birds to live!

  25. #25
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewnsewer2
    Oh Aggi, I would love to see your crumb quilt! I have a bunch of crumbs too, but don't know what to do with them.

    I have been pondering organizing my closet and organizing my fabrics again. Right now, it is a mess.
    I will post some photos soon!

    Actually go to my blog! I think I have some of them posted in my December archive

    www.comfortcovedesigns.blogspot.com

    I have all my rows made, I just need to sew them together! I hope to do that soon

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