Monday, April 12, 2010

Kitting Up!!

Remember that brown bundle I got in Indiana?

Well, it's been sitting here on my cutting table because I didn't know exactly what to do with it. The pieces range in width from 4" on up to 8"...some are full width of fabric, some are half...it really is a SCRAP bundle! But sometimes just having something out on the table will get things running around in my brain and inspire me in a color way I hadn't really considered doing before!

Until yesterday afternoon, that is!

That bin of muslin was still under the table from cutting for the reproduction 30s/40's project. (uhoh...why has this gone on the back burner!?)

I'd been cutting up some shirts that had found their way home with me, mostly in shades of blue and brown as well, and BAM! I knew what I had to do!

Really REALLY brown shirts are hard to find. They come in shades of tan, beige, all the way up to kind of an oak color, but unless you are the UPS guy, you just don't find dark chocolate brown shirts....but the ones I do have really look GREAT against some of these other browns that came in this bundle, the recycled fabrics add such a feeling of "utility" to otherwise "too perfect off the bolt" fabrics.

And muslin? What can I say.....I love antique quilts, and sometimes the other fabrics we have been told by the quilt police to use, such as Kona Snow, or really pretty cutesy all from the same line shirtings just are too......designer? I'm not sure. I want good contrast between the plaids and stripes and recycled fabrics, and the ones I've purposed for use from this brown bundle...and I love all the various shadings of muslin that are coming out of this bin! UTILITY! Yes. I think I'm going to like this. If muslin was a staple in quilts from the beginning of the days of patchwork, then that is what I am going to use now to give me the feel I want!

So this is what I spent hours on yesterday, kitting up, getting ready to leave for the DC area tomorrow. DC in the spring!! WOOT! I so love driving up through Virginia, it is one of my favorite places for a good long scenic drive.

Thoughts on the subject of "recycling"....Wouldn't you consider fabric that is given to you by a friend who doesn't want it any more as recycling? Would you consider fabric you've taken out of a kit to use in another project instead.....recycling?

What about a big bag of 1980's calicoes that someone brought to a trunk show just for you because you were the only person they thought would want or use it? *LOL* Is THIS recycling? I've got these great vintage 80's browns that came in such a bag. They are lovely!

As I ponder the text for the next book, does recycled fabric really have to come from CLOTHING I have taken apart to fit that category? Sometimes I think re-purposing fabric that has sat there intended for another project, but use it instead for another by switching gears in the same category.

And sometimes you just have to add new fabric (Like from this brown bundle)to your collection of recycled-from-a-previous-life fabrics to spice it up, and as long as the combination gives me the feeling I want, I'm okay with it.

At some point, I'm going to have to stop, repack the trunk show, load the books in the car, tackle the mail order, throw something for dinner in the crock pot (I haven't tried that lasagna yet, I think today might be the day)CLEAN THE HOUSE, and get a good night's sleep so I can leave in the morning!

But first....more cutting is calling my name!


  1. That sounds like my kind of quilt! can't to see it finish. HAPPY SEWING !

  2. Thank you a ZILLION times over for not being a "kona, matchy poo-poo buy new forget the old gal". You truly inspire me. Sometimes it surprises me that quilt shop owners would invite you to come being you don't "endorse" all the current fads. You have my stamp of approval..and my muslin bin is thanking you too for giving it new life.

  3. I love brown and blue together. Can't wait to see what you come up with, I hope you at least give us a peek. I also consider using older gifted fabric as recycling. H ave fun on your trip to DC, I bet it is beautiful this time of the season.

  4. I agree with Jo. I like scrappy and it doesn't have to be with the "in the now" fabric!

    Have fun. I, too, love the Virginia countryside. Nothing else like it.

    Hope the Lasagna turned out yummy!

  5. I just did a search for definitions of recycling. There are many, but this one seemed to fit your idea:

    the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products

    By this definition, using fabric a friend gave you because they don't want it anymore or pulling fabric from another project that isn't getting done, is recycling. Haven't you had boxes of fabric just appear on your doorstep or sent to you in the mail? I would consider these "abandoned materials" so by using them you are recycling.

    Hope you have a good trip to DC!

  6. My definition of recycling is putting to use anything that would otherwise be thrown away or trashed, so, in MHO, you are recycling! Can't wait to see what you do with the chocolate browns!

  7. I often take fabric that others would throw away as too small to use or that they just want to get rid of. They either turn into quilts that could hang in a show or LWR quilts that are sent all around the world to provide shelter, privacy and warmth to those with nothing or next to nothing!

    I figure I am keeping it from the landfill so it must be recycling!

  8. I am with Shelley and Not Lucy on this one - it counts as a green act be it recycling or re-purposing if you keep something from going into landfill. (On an off note I am also filling bags with bits of fabric and batting from my cutting table and using to fill "pet pillows" for the local shelter.)

  9. I think recycling is definitely using up abandoned or gifted fabrics! I made a quilt for my Mom and Dad and my MIL with a box of browns and tans that I bought at an auction. I think they are actually from the 1960's since there was a price tag on it from a department store in town that closed in the early 1980's. Here is a blog post I did on those quilts:


    Both my parents and MIL still use their quilt all the time :-)

  10. Yes its all good! I feel like you have given me permission to put together colors and fabrics however I wish.....I never did that before finding your site Bonnie and now I am set free!
    Its so much more fun quilting for myself than trying to copy what someone else has already done.
    Don't get me wrong I still use many other folks work as inspiration but now I use their ideas and run with it in my own direction.....not try to reproduce what they have already done.

    Safe travels, happy teaching and Happy Sewing

  11. Bonnie,

    I think just like the fashion and Home Dec. industry colors come in and out of style. Right now Off White to Tan to Browns are in style. I just living room furniture a couple of weeks ago and it's brown and as I looked around the store there was only neutral colors in the above range.

    Try shopping up north for brown. I can find solid brown in about any Goodwill or Salvation Army Store.

    I like wearing brown so when it's in I buy it. I'm dark haired - well add some gray now - not so dark.

    I'm thinking you don't see as much dark/deep colored brown being more south.

    A lot of times it's mixed with orange but not always.

    You could always put a hollor out for your followers to find certain colors you have a hard time finding.

    I'm up north in Finger Lakes, NY.

    Sue P.

  12. Scrappy is best! The new terms for recycling I have heard are "repurposing" and "upcycling". As far as taking fabric from one project for another, I believe that is "stealing", LOL!

    Looks like you're going to have a lot of fun with these scraps, no matter what you call it :)

  13. Personally I wouldn't call removing fabric from a kit as recycling, more freeing it up to become stash again. But I WOULD call it recycling when someone throws a bunch of fabrics they don't want to you to utilise in a project because if you didn't take it they would probably bin it.

    Have fun with your new project ... hope we get to see a 'peek' as it progresses. Any idea yet when the new book might be published?!?

  14. You make everything sound "sew" easy. The new quilt sounds fantastic. I really like blue and brown together.

  15. I can't believe it! Someone else who likes muslin! I'm a scrap quilter too and although I buy a variety of background fabrics, in order to get that true "antique" feeling muslin is the best. Of couse, like anything, there are different qualities so I always try to get a good one. But, if it was good enough for our ancestors (and alot of those quilts are still around) it's still good enough for me. Lynne

  16. I would have to say that anything that prevents the fabric from ending up in the trash (or compost bin- hubby composts the scraps I can't uses) would qualify as recycling. When I moved from NH to AZ, I recycled about half my stash of non-quilt fabrics by giving them to a friend. I think she still has the 3 garbage bags full of fabric!

    I loved getting boxes of stuff from my grandma's place when my mom was helping her downsize- all the breakables were wrapped in fabric of indeterminate age. I've got some really fun fabrics that date to at least the late 60's, and a whole stack of quilt squares that were probably my great or great-great grandmother's handiwork.

    Recycling is fun! =)


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