Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Getting Back To Work - Part 1

Despite the plan (there I go making God laugh again!) that when all the recent volunteer obligations had been completed I would get right back to quilting, that has not quite been the case.  First of all, everything STILL hasn't completely finished up yet!  There are final meetings to attend and as Treasurer, I have to close the books for the Parents Association and issue a year-end financial report at the end of this month.  Also as the other things I was involved in have slowed, my DH and I have ramped up our participation in the local community garden that broke ground last fall and has been gearing up during the Spring for its first Summer of plantings.   As a result there have been increasing time diversions there.  However, I am determined to keep my eye on the horizon and work to slowly push myself back to where I want to be -- in front of my machine!!! 

To that end, I've been trying to do a few things although the state of my cutting table is hampering that quite a bit:

One things I wanted to get off of it was a project that has long been on the periphery of my quilt plans:  De-boning Shirts for Quilting.  Last month while I was out looking for new planters for my terrace, my DH and I had started by checking out the local Habitat For Humanity Re-Store shop.  I didn't find any planters but I did score three flannel plaid shirts for $1 each.  I love making flannel quilts, love the idea for re-purposing shirts for quilt fabric as made famous by Bonnie Hunter in her books Scraps and Shirtales I and II.  I haven't often found shirts in previous trips to thirft stores (or at least they have often been more expensive than that) so this time I grabbed them as quick as I could!
This is a shot of them after de-boning one of them.
After bringing them home, I checked out a video of Bonnie doing a de-boning demonstration at a quilt guild meeting.

I was able to get two of them done before last month ended and over the past couple of weeks finished up the last one as well as four other shirts I had purchased years ago.  As Bonnie points out, it's really amazing how much fabric you can get from even one shirt and with very little waste!

This is a picture of a quilt called "Fragments of the Past" by Lyn Inall that appeared in a wonderful book called "Quiltmakers of Australia: Celebrating the Traditions". 

Early in my quilt career, this book was my first introduction to the work of Australian quilters (the book itself was published in 1996).  It wasn't until later that many of the quilters I was introduced to in that book (like Kim McLean, Lee Cleland and Brigitte Giblin among others) became the icons of quilting they are for me now.  

I've always wanted to make this quilt which in the book is made out of re-cycled wool using a block template called "Batwing".  Later when I learned about Bonnie's re-use philosophies, I instead started looking for shirts to re-cycle to make it .  As I said, I didn't find many and certainly not as cheap as Bonnie and others I've read about on the web get them for.  I don't know if the collection I have amassed will actually get made up in this design or if they will get used in one of the other numerous flannel quilt design ideas I've collected. 

At the least I'm glad to finally get the "stash" cut down into more manageable and easily stored pieces.  In the center are all the shirts (most are flannel but a few are regular cotton), on the bottom is a pair of DH's flannel lounge pants that bit the dust and on top some flannel pieces that were on remnant or sale tables.  Don't know when I'll get to work on this but it's exciting to know it's there!

So now, what's next?

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