Saturday, March 26, 2016

If it is Fabric it is Fair Game

Let's talk quiltmaking. 

 Are there fabrics you wouldn't consider for quilt piecing?  
Do you insist on 100% cotton in a quilting weight?

Now think about why you feel this way.  The history of quilting is very fascinating.  I only know some of it, but I do know that many quilts were made with whatever was available.  My maternal grandmother used old clothes, tired out curtains, or anything that she could sew.  She did it all by hand - cutting, piecing and quilting.  Seriously, many of her quilts could be placed in a Gee's Bend exhibit with only very few viewers any the wiser.
Another bit of history is the "crazy quilt."  In the early 1900s women of affluence started making crazy quilts with satin, silk and velvet among other fabrics. But soon, the less affluent adopted the style when they started using pieces of cast off clothing and mill end pieces of fine fabrics that would otherwise be wasted. 

Because of those traditions, I allow myself to play with fabrics that are "non-traditional" for quilting.  At some time in the past, I was given a bunch of upholstery sample pieces.   These were out of date and no longer needed. The friend who shared them with me was told "Take these to the dumpster - we need them out of the shop."  Somehow, on the way to the dumpster, they fell into her car trunk. (oops!)   
I decided to have a play day with them. Parts of a  friend's cast off khaki pants are also used in this piece:
I also have some other pieced units that are not yet square.  I love the fussy cut flower on the left side. I may add another section to put on the left and let this be a wall hanging.  There are a few other pieces that have great motifs for fussy cutting.  I think playing with these will be an ongoing project. What would you use this piece for?  Let your imagination roam free and share your ideas. 

And a final question: what is the most interesting fabric you have used in piecing?  

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.


Aimee said...

I've used pool table velvet (green) in more than 1 quilt. Have also used the upholstery samples in quilts; unfortunately they don't hold up over multiple (about 150) washings.

Rina Mason said...

If it's fabric, it can be used in a quilt. I've used everything from velvet and satin to brocade. I love 100% cotton but other fabric can prove interesting to work with and as a result you can achieve some fun results. Rina

Vicki W said...

Although I only use cotton I completely agree with you. Any fabric is fine. I use cotton only because I can't use thrift store finds because of fragrances. Otherwise I'd have at least one plaid shirt quilt.

kathyinozarks said...

I think it adds to the fun to try different fabrics-depending on the fabric it can be a pillow, or a bag or anything we want to make. most of my projects are made from reclaimed clothes that I wash and take apart at the seams-amazing how much fabric is available in a skirt or an xxl large mens long sleeve cotton shirt

Barbara said...

What fun you've had, Gene! I restored a worn 1930's quilt once, and it taught me that every fabric was used, nothing was wasted. Not only the quilt top and backing, but also the batting. Worn men's long johns were found when I took the quilt apart. They added warmth!

Jeanna said...

I've typically always used fabric made specifically for quilting except for the recent piece using my friend's dad's blue jeans. I'm not opposed to using something different, I've just not had the opportunity.

Raquel from J.C. said...

I have used my husband old dress shirts and ties to make a quilt for him. I used the first shirt I gave him as a gift when we were sweethearts! I have used fleece and t-shirts