Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Recycling Blues


I am so excited to participate in another Blogger's Quilt Festival! 

Amy'sCreativeSide

For those of you who read my blog regularly, this is not a new quilt.  I was really hoping to finish a new quilt for the festival, but it just wasn't in the cards for me this time.

Instead, I am linking up our families favorite quilt.  I designed it around the idea of using a pile of 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.  It worked.


I think I like this quilt more than some of the others I have made because it was a product of truly leftover and used fabrics, more like how quilts used to be made long ago out of whatever fabrics women could scrape together.  That fact that it is a bargello doesn't hurt either.



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.


I've washed and used the quilt dozens of times now since I added the applique hearts and it is holding up beautifully and is still the most well-used and well-loved quilt in our house.
I hope you enjoyed my entry to this seasons BQF... and I can't wait to see all the other beautiful entries!

34 comments:

notes of sincerity said...

Great job on the patching!! :o)

Heidi said...

Love this...and your stuff, as always!!!

And I love your patches...err *cough* um appliques :)!

lindaroo said...

Does a quilt have an equivalent to the velveteen rabbit? This quilt has a soul as a result of being so well loved! It's lovely, on so many levels.

Steffi´s Candy Quilts said...

What a great quilt! And I like it even more with the red hearts! What a clever idea to repair it this way. I also love the fact that you used recycled shirts and jeans. I have a huge stack of old men´s shirts and someday I´ll make a quilt out of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

Cille said...

That's a great story... And it's a great solution to your problem with the fabric. Love the red hearts. It really adds a lot of personality to your quilt.

Pat said...

What a great SAVE for that quilt and it looks great with those hearts!

Margaret said...

love the quilt!

Margaret
www.quiltsoflove.blogspot.com

charlotte said...

I love this quilt so much. The applique/patch job was inspired. I like it better after, than before. Thanks for sharing.

mom said...

What attracted me first to the quilt was the design, but seeing it up close I do like the blues you used. And what a clever way to take care of the problem you had with one of the fabrics as you patched it up with hearts. Perhaps the favorite thing though is that this quilt is USED! To me that makes a quilt beloved :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Karen said...

Well first of all, I love the quilt and all the blues in it. And I really like the way you solved the problem. The hearts look great. It's great to see a quilt that is truly loved by the family. I enjoyed reading your story.

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Oh I still do adore this quilt and it a great reminder on how durable quilts can be. Just patch them and keep on picnicking!

Jody said...

Those hearts couldn't be any more perfect! Love the quilt and the story.

Melissa said...

I still love this quilt...

Barbara said...

What pretty blues. I love the hearts. Great quilting.

Teje said...

Hi! Your quilt is very beautiful and special! I enjoyed your story about it and I also appreciate quilts with recycled materials. Like you said that was the first idea for a quilt.
Those hearts made it even more adorable!
xxx Teje

Sandra said...

Great way to save a very loved quilt. The appliques give it a lot more interest.

FYI-not to be persnickety but early quilts were actually a wealthy womans game and made with expensive imported fabrics, not scraps.
Come see my entries: #29 miniature reproduction and #31 antique 1850 star quilt

Pat said...

What a great story and quilt!

Mary said...

Beautiful. Clearly well-loved, kind of the comfort food of quilts. I especially like the way the hearts spill over the inner binding, gives it that "it doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect" feeling.

Debbie said...

Now this is a quilt with a story! I absolutely love it. Very creative way to save the quilt with the applique. I would love to share its story on my blog as a "quilt tale" with the morale of how to save a quilt with love. Let me know if I can. Thanks.

Kit Lang said...

This is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Eileen said...

Great quilt. Always love bargello and your quick thinking in covering it's owies is so very clever and a great addition! Thanks for sharing and have a great day

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I always love the look of the bargello quilt....and this is as nice as any of them....

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Oh I remember seeing this before and yes, I do like it very much still. The patch-work is brilliant, as far as I am concerned. :D

quilthexle said...

Thats a lovely quilt - and your applique enhances it even further! Great fix, I just love the idea of giving a quilt a second life ;-))

Katie said...

What a creative, wonderful way to repair a much-loved quilt. Funny that your son comes running when you photographed the quilt - my cats do the same to me!

Lyanna L. said...

What a creative way to save your quilt! I'll have to keep that in mind for some of my projects that are a little threadbare. =)

BunkHouseQuilts said...

What an incredible save! I love it with the hearts. Great job!

Dresden Quilter said...

It is a beautiful quilt and I love its story.

Charming's Mama said...

Brilliant and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Staci said...

LOL! Enjoyed reading about your talented tree climbing quilt. Thanks for sharing it.

Sherry said...

Love your quilt! Thanks for sharing.

Benta At SLIKstitches said...

I saw this on your blog earlier this week, lovely to see it again here

Justella said...

Love your quilt. What a great way to repair it.

Martha said...

What a wonderful way to repair a much loved quilt...thank you for sharing.