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 Challenge‚Ķ , 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 – amazon.com

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.

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.