Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Recycling Blues" - Revisited and Revamped


I originally finished and posted this quilt about a year ago.  I designed it around the idea of using blue fabrics from my stash in addition to some upcycled fabrics.  The quilt includes some upcycled work shirts belonging to my husband, some old jeans and a bunch of non-standard quilting fabrics.  Unfortunately, one of those fabrics in particular did not work out as planned.


See that shiny fabric (roughly in the center)?  The one to the left of my husband's initials from his work shirts?

It was a Chinese brocade made of polyester/nylon.  I knew it probably shouldn't have gone in the dryer, but... well... sometimes these things just happen.  And sometimes they happen more than once.  I didn't realize when I made it that it would become the house favorite and greatly abused.  It has been used as a picnic blanket, a throw, a dog bed, it's gone camping...


 ... but the dryer has destroyed that brocade and, clearly, it needed a rework.

But what to do?  How do you fix an old quilt?  I really didn't like the idea of trying to somehow replace all of those pieces.  Should I try and patch it?  Then I thought about how hideous a patch would be.  And then I thought some more... and realized that an applique is basically a fancy word for a "patch."  Eureka!


So, I carefully went over the quilt and marked every troubled seam and tear with a pin (and made them really obvious so I wouldn't miss any).  Then I dug out the only applique template I own.


After I sewed them all down by hand, I quilted over the top of each applique to help give the underlying fabrics a little more stability.  I think it worked.




Did I mention that this quilt is much loved in our house?


When I spread it out in the grass to photograph it originally, I only had about 3.4 seconds to snap pics before my son came running over to make use of it.  It sort of became a great big bulls-eye.


Oh.  And it also climbs trees.


And just a reminder... the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side, starts on Friday!  I'll be working into the wee hours to finish another quilt by then and I can't wait to see what everyone else will post!


Amy's Creative Side | Bloggers' Quilt Festival

I'll be linking this up to all the fun parties on my Link Parties page including Met Monday! Check 'em out!

18 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I really love this, no pun intended. Blues are my favorites, and the red offers such a nice pop! What a great fix!
<3

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Great idea, Cecily. You'd never know it needed "fixing".

Debbie said...

You are very clever! Good job!

marsharebel said...

I did replace some worn pieces in an old quilt once. It was a great project on a camping trip. I just spread it out on the table and cut up the legs of jeans to put into the place of the worn bits. I think your idea was a lot easier and prettier, too.

Jane said...

What a great way to save your quilt!

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

You're brilliant -- What a clever way to fix the quilt! And I can't believe how big your adorable little prince is getting! Time sure flies...
Best,
Gloria

Marjorie said...

Absolutely brilliant! I love it when the solution to a problem makes the project even better. (I like to think that don't make mistakes...just a lot of design changes)

Cheri said...

How neat! New follower, btw!

Michelle said...

That is genius -- the hearts really look like they were there from the beginning!

kingstongirl said...

What a cute idea!!! I am now following you through Thrilling Thursday Linky Party! Hope you will follow me at http://kingstongirlie.blogspot.com. Thank you!

Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) said...

Your rework took it from pretty to gorgeous. Way to improvise and add such personality. I made a very basic denim quilt from leftover jeans, but I love it too. I'm going to have to keep this method of 'mending' in mind. Thanks for sharing your beautiful piece.

Melissa said...

It looks planned which means you are a genius.

Fatima said...

Love it!

AllieMakes! said...

Wow! I am surprised that fabric did that! Ployester/Nylon should be mostly washer/dryer safe... Unless you have a dryer like we have Atomic-heat... But the fix is FABULOUS! Fantastic job! I wouldn't have attempted a fix! Your awesome!
Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! Can't wait to see what you have for next week!
AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

Miss Sews-it-all said...

That is fabulous! What a great way to patch and save your quilt. Have you checked out all the great quilting tips and projects posted at www.WeAllSew.com yet? I think you'd enjoy checking it out - happy stitching!

Sarcastic Quilter said...

I think it's quite smart to "fix" it this way but even more so, I think the hearts are appropriate because the quilt has been so loved and is such a part of your family now in its own way. :D

UKZoe said...

I think you did a fantastic job.

In September I am travelling to a gypsy community in Romania to teach their sewing class some projects they can make to sell at their local markets.

This is very much the sort of thing I want to teach them, taking stuff they already have, or that is donated but not perfect, and altering it.

MessyMissy said...

Hi Cecily!! I featured this quilt on my blog today. Thanks for link up to A Marvelous Mess......feel free to come by and grab a featured button!! Here is the link *and* this week's party: http://marvelouslymessy.blogspot.com/2011/05/marvelous-mess-14-and-features.html