Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The 3 R's of Quilting

"Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." is a well known mantra of modern society, but quilters have long been advocates of these "three R's." Quilts have been made from cast off clothing and fabric scraps of all kinds.

In my continued efforts to implement the three R's in my own quilting, here are some of my recent activities.

Reduce. I've been trying to reduce my stash considerably, especially the pile of flannelette that I have accumulated from the remnant bins of a local fabric store. Making baby quilts is a joy and was the logical choice for using these fabrics.
I have to admit that I did purchase some new flannelette for the backing, but I've made nine baby quilts so far which will go to local charities. ( See the photos for some of them.)

Reuse. Among the pile of flanelette were some used pillowcases. These I trimmed off the seams and opened, then stitched together to use as cosy backing for the baby quilts. I also stitched together left-over pieces of batting, using a wide zig-zag stitch, to make one larger piece for a quilt. In the best quilting tradition, narrow strips were pieced into blocks and borders.

Recycle. Long pieces of thread used for basting, when removed from the quilts, were wound onto an empty spool or bobbin to be used again in another project.
Even with all the using up, there was still waste from the the trimmings. One of our guild members uses the selvage edges trimmed from fabrics to make knitted rugs. So these go to her. I found a great idea for using the rest of the trimmings on the internet at courtesy of Sue of Here it is:

Here's a great way to throw out your scraps without feeling guilty. Using an old pillowcase line a garbage bin with it. While you are sewing throw your scraps of fabric into it. When the pillowcase is 2/3's full, sew it shut and take it down to the local anmal shelter. They make great beds for cats and dogs. they are 100% washable and nice and soft for the animals! ... the shelters love it because they fit in the cat cages perfectly and the bed can go home with the animal, so it's something comforting for them while they adjust to their new home.

Thanks to Sue and happy quilting!