Friday, January 11, 2013

Recycling: Crazy Quilt



When auctioneers are packing up for an estate sale, they have to combine small items in box lots in order to get everything sold before all their customers get tired and leave.  There are always boxes of towels, sheets, and other linens that wouldn't get any bids if they were sold individually.  They usually sell for very little, especially if the items are torn and stained.  This is a good thing for me.

I have bought boxes of old polyester fabric and blankets for under ten dollars and discovered  nice quilt tops at the bottom. Other times, there was nothing in the bottom but nasty stuff.  Once, I bought an old truck full of vintage dolls and thought I had really scored, only to find a dead mouse in the bottom.  I had to throw everything away because I couldn't get the smell out.

After several years of buying these old linens, there was a large accumulation of hand embroidered items taking up room in a closet, where no one was getting to appreciate them.  Most had stains and holes, but the embroidery work was still beautiful and I couldn't throw anything away that someone had worked patiently to make.

So, I made some pillows.  Some I use, and I have given some away as gifts.   I have so many old dresser scarfs and pillow cases, that I could never use them all up in pillows.  After seeing a crazy quilt with beautiful embroidery, I have decided to attempt to make a crazy quilt from them.


Using some vintage plain feed sacks, I cut 12.5 inch squares for the backing, and pieced around the embroidered piece with some neutral fabrics.  This was one end of a dresser scarf; the other end was beyond use.

 
From a pillowcase who didn't have a partner.

 
From another pillowcase that couldn't be throw away because I love butterflies too much.
 
This is a work in progress, so stay tuned.  If you never see it again here, you can assume that the idea didn't work.  I think it will, but I have always been an optimist.