Mar 142014

The other day I was looking for trouble something to do since I’m having trouble coming up with the two next designs, so I went poking on my Pinterest, hoping I’d find some inspiration.

I came across this pin that I had saved in the “some day” file.  I got an immense urge to sew, but didn’t want to go out or spend any money.  I remembered that I had a few of Joel’s used shirts that he didn’t want anymore, but weren’t in good enough condition to donate.
The only reason I’m not a hoarder is because having too much stuff around overwhelms me.  I also get annoyed if there are things still in boxes/bags too long after a move.  Well, in my best “do as I say, don’t do as I do” manner, I have to confess that I had those shirts in a bag ever since we moved from the apartment :P.

I found 7 (actually I found 8, but the last one had a thicker fabric) shirt I could use, so armed with scissors and seam ripper, I sat on the couch and began destroying deconstructing said shirt.  When Joel walking in, I was about to start with the last shirt.  He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was going to make a quilt out of his old shirts, which lead him to say the words that became the title of this entry.
Joel didn’t say anything else, but I know he was thinking it was a pretty bad idea and that it wouldn’t work.  I bet he was also thinking that I could just go to a fabric store and get something decent to work with.  The thing is, I’m cheap.  The shirts were here already and if I didn’t used them somehow, they’d go to the trash.

So, I cut the shirts up, not bothering with undoing seams (it wasn’t worth it) and then I cut strips 3 in wide out of 5 of them.  For the details on how to make similar blocks, please check the link above.

Recycled Quilt

Recycled Quilt

After I had one block done, I showed it to Joel and he was so impressed with it that he offered to go through his closet and fetch more shirts so I could make a bigger quilt.
The piecing itself was fast to do and quite fun, but I wanted to actually finish a quilt for once in my life, so I got some batting and fabric for the back and proceeded to quilt on my normal home machine.

Ha!  Easier said than done.  I don’t have a proper set up for this and after just a few minutes quilting, all of my upper body hurt.
I went looking on the internet for solutions to my problem.  In my head, if there was a way to use a hoop, it would make the quilting less taxing (I was right).  The solutions – and products – I found online didn’t quite speak to me and were mostly on the expensive side.
One of my searches, though, lead me to a forum where people where discussing a “quilting system”.  At the very end of the thread someone said that she uses Magic Erasers by Mr. Clean.
The next day I took 2 new sponges from the kitchen, placed them with the coarse side down atop a quilt sandwich I made just for testing and tried it out.  It was amazing how much easier quilting became!
I also got a cheap embroidery hoop at Wal-Mart, and it does work.  BUT!  The hoop makes it a bit more awkward to work, as it bumps on the machine.

And again

And again

One last tip I caught on a website that was selling a very overpriced (IMO) solution for quilting – don’t use any foot when quilting.  By taking the quilting foot out, I don’t have it bouncing on the quilt top and causing the whole thing to shift sideways when I stop.

This block is so much fun, and has so much potential, that I’m doing another quilt top, this time using a somewhat nicer fabric from the bargain bin because I’m still cheap.

Mar 072014
I think I sprained a muscle...

…patting myself in the back last night.  As I mentioned in my last post, I bought a knitting machine so I could create sock blanks faster (more on dyeing later). When the machine got here, I realized I could do a whole lot more than just blanks with it.  I also realized it was a [...]

The “S” word

 Blog, General  Comments Off
Feb 192014

The other day I was browsing Ravelry and twice I was tempted to tell people to swatch.  I couldn’t control myself and replied to one of the threads, but found out that replying to the second thread with the same advice was a bit too much like preaching, so I didn’t – I saved the [...]


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