Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making A Small Quilt From Vintage Linens

This is easy.

The hard part is cutting up your Mom's or Grandma's dresser scarves. This time it was pretty easy for me since it's raising money to defeat Alzheimer's Disease- which is what took my mother and gradmother from this world.

In this case, I had a dresser scarf that had the same embroidered design on each end with empty space in the middle. It happened to be just about the right size for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiatve if I cut it in half (an indication to me that I was supposed to use it for this purpose!). I cut it down to a size that I could use & still put a border around it. AAQI quilts must not be larger than 9 x 12.

Usually these little scarves have nice vintage crocheted edgings. SAVE THIS FOR OTHER PROJECTS.

Then, find some beautiful cotton that coordinates with the embroidered design to use as a border. I was mulling this over when I glanced up at my boxes of fabric and saw this beautiful floral stripe I had bought for another (as yet unfinished) quilt. It was perfect - the color, the slightly vintage look of it. It was kismet, I tell you!

Then just stitch on your borders as wide as you want, or as wide as you can and still meet the AAQI size requirements! I've become slightly fanatical about mitering borders and binding, but I think it's worth trouble for the difference it makes in the look of the quilt, especially if you're using a stripe. Not as evident in this little piece, but in bigger ones, definitely miter.
I use these inexpensive, white fleece blankets  from IKEA (about $3.00 each) for batting for these little quilts. It is perfect. It is easy to stitch through if I'm hand quilting, gives it a nice feel, it's drapey enough, not stiff, and seems to hold up well. Of course, these are artsy quilts that are going to hang on the wall so wear and tear is not much of an issue. Sandwich the batting between the linen piece and backing, which should be another nice 100 % cotton for backing.

Quilt as desired. I started handquilting this piece but the scarf fabric was too difficult so I resorted to machine quilting. I'm not much of a pro at this but I think this turned out well. I just stitched around the embroidered motifs. I like the result.

 At first I could not imagine cutting up my Mom's things like this but then I thought - I have dozens of these just sitting in a box. I'll probably never use them as they were intended, so what better way to display and put them to good use? If you don't have a box full, they are everywhere - Etsy, Ebay, antique shops, and they aren't all that expensive.

I think Mom would be pleased.

1 comment:

  1. I love the fabric in the middle too. It usually has a nice hand to it. You could use it for the backing.

    This is such a nice little composition! I am sure your mom would be very pleased.


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