Studio, What's on the Design Wall

The Challenge…

My friend lost her Mom, who she was very close to, and she is having a difficult time with grief.

She’s kept some of her Mom’s favorite clothes and she asked if I would make a quilt out of them.

I agreed to making the quilt, without knowing what the clothes looked like as she planned to snuggle under the quilt and feel comforted by her Mom’s beloved clothing.

When she dropped off the clothing, I realized I had a challenge ahead:

I’ve made art quilts from recycled clothing; and when my Father passed, I made my brother and sister each a quilt from the T-shirts he used to wear, so I was comfortable with the idea of deconstructing clothing and turning them into fabric for a quilt.

However, I’ve never worked with knitted fabrics such as these in a quilt:

I think I can work the first two sweaters on the left into the design, but I might have to return the black and white sweater to my friend to just keep. I bought some special interfacing (and softer one, not the Pellon SF 101 I usually use that I think would be too stiff). I am sitting outside (lovely day) writing this blog post and sorry I do not feel like running upstairs and seeing exactly what interfacing it is – ha!

I also have this challenge – a scarf, but I think I can just use interfacing for it also and work it into the design:

I have found a pattern that I want to use (I think) that I will share in a future post. Right now I have deconstructed the clothing and sorted them.

I am looking forward to working her Mom’s favorite T-shirt and sweatshirts into the design, as well as her beloved velour robe:

And the embroidery from her Mom’s favorite jean jacket should be fun to incorporate also:

I’ve deconstructed the jean jacket, saving the embroidered flower separately and saving any salvageable denim as fabric for the quilt.

I’ll update you as I make progress on this challenge!

I welcome ANY THOUGHTS on how to best interface the sweaters to incorporate them into a quilt.

34 thoughts on “The Challenge…”

  1. Hi Tierney, that will be such a special quilt for your friend, and you are so kind to take on that project! I am not an expert at all on making quilts with clothing items, but what I did once with a very gauzy fabric was to layer it with regular cotton and using it that way. You might have to stitch across it a few times to keep the layers together. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you make.

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  2. What a special quilt that will be.You are such a good friend Tierney! I have never tried this but what if you cut shapes out of the sweaters and stitched each one of them to one of the squares. Something like hearts, just a thought.

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  3. Gosh, those sweaters are a challenge, but I can just imagine that cuddling up under her mom’s soft and stretchy sweaters would reminder her of the many hugs her mom must have given her. I love seeing how you’ve laid out the colors. Her sense of style shows what a vibrant woman she must have been. You’re the perfect person to pull of this together and create a piece of fabric art to honor a beloved mom.

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  4. I haven’t a clue as to how to include those sweaters! Looks like other here have given you a few ideas, though. You are a dear friend to tackle this project…and I’m sure she appreciates your efforts deeply.

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  5. Hi Tierney, I am not quilter, my mother was however. She did traditional quilting. I have crocheted and want to get into hand stitching work sometime. I have done crocheting over the years (my mother did that too). Anyway my first thought about the sweaters before I saw they were two of them was could you attach them by crochet (or knitting) somehow? Maybe cutting them up as another post mentioned. Or maybe unravel them and then crochet/knit them into the quilt somehow? Pretty cool of you to do this. I look forward to seeing the final project. I will never be tired of seeing the Tula Pink quilt either. I look forward to seeing that when done. Good luck with both!

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  6. I know you’ve made the quilt but the knitted garments you could kind of stitch (there is a knitting stitch, can’t remember the name of) onto a suitable piece of fabric so that the drape doesn’t “sag” too much…

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