Studio, What's on the Design Wall

Update on “The Challenge”

I keep getting away from blogging as I seem to be having a very busy summer. We just returned from Chicago where we met up with my brother and his family for the weekend. Tomorrow my sister arrives and we go on a road trip to celebrate her birthday for a couple days and I show her a little of Colorado. Then the following week I head to a quilt retreat on the Washington coast.

I did in between traveling, get the quilt top done on the quilt I discussed in the post The Challengeโ€ฆ , of my friend’s late mother’s favorite clothes that she asked if I could turn into a quilt. As I shared in that post, here is what I started with:

The challenge laid out

The sweatshirt, T-shirt, jean jacket, jeans and shirts did not scare me. The sweaters, scarf and the velour robe did!

I bought woven interfacing (like 12 yards of it) and fused it to all the deconstructed clothing (my first step was to deconstruct the clothing).

Deconstructing the clothing

I was able to pull out the logos on the t-shirt and sweatshirts; and embroidery on the jean jacket. After fusing all the non denim fabrics to the woven interfacing, I was able to cut them into 5.5 inch x 5.5 inch blocks and create 10.5 inch by 10.5 inch 4-patch blocks.

What to do with these sweaters?

I did consult with my friend Wendy who suggested Solvy, a water soluble stabilizer. Wendy has a lot of experience with Solvy. Wendy did a little workshop for me at her house years ago and I made a little thread bowl with thread scraps like in her book Fast, Fun & Easy Incredible Thread-A-Bowls: 2 Techniques-5 Projects-Unlimited Possibilities. I still had a sample of it that she gave me.

image credit –

Solvy is a little on the messy side and I decided to just try using the woven interfacing on a section of one of the sweaters as a test. It worked, not perfectly, but good enough. I was able to cut some hearts out of one of the sweaters, and then fuse the heart to a 10.5 inch by 10.5 inch block and satin stitch it down:

Ta da – was able to use one of the sweaters

I did not use the other two sweaters, I am returning them to my friend.

So here is the completed quilt top which I will machine quilt myself to batting and backing fabric; and then figure out what to use for binding.

up on the design wall

It’s not my greatest work as the fabrics were very challenging to work with and I cannot believe I added a thin polyester scarf to a quilt, but I did it! Don’t even get me started on the velour robe – the deconstructed fabric shed everywhere and was a disaster when I tried to press the blocks with it in it. But I made it work also…

It does look better in person, you’ll just have to trust me (smile).

When I get it quilted and the binding sewn down, I will give you all the final photo as well as what ended up being the measurements on the quilt.

47 thoughts on “Update on “The Challenge””

  1. Yay! Tierney it looks wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m sure it will be cherished!! I took a project on many years ago with similar challenges… I haven’t accepted another one since! LOL

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  2. Wow! That was definitely a challenge, with all the different types and weights of fabrics, especially the sweaters. But you made it work! That is a lovely gift for your friend, and I know she will cherish it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Hi Tierney, I think the quilt turned out beautifully! It is going to be so special for your friend to have this. Well done.x

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  4. Tierney, I love how you thought outside the box to incorporate the one sweater with hearts. The results thus far are beautiful. This is truly a quilt to be treasured.


  5. Hi
    I like the final quilt and thought you did a great job withholding balance and the hearts have the memorial touch
    When I first saw the fabrics – I thought it could be very busy – but you used such variety with a calm and sweet vibe

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      1. Did you know I have a bag of clothing items and I always wanted to have a little toss blanket/quilt made with the items
        However – not sure I do want one anymore because we are downsizing and I already am finding it hard to figure out what memorabilia to keep from
        What I already have a
        But what a great idea to make a memory blanket with fav clothing items of a loved one! Hat can sure help with bereavement !

        Liked by 1 person

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