Sunday, April 20, 2008

QuiltStorm Part II: The Gathering Storm

Edit: This just in: I'm Famous! I'm featured on a podcast! It's the CraftyPod "Men Who Craft" Show!

After my first post on the QuiltStorm project, I got many helpful suggestions on what I can use for scrap or salvage batting. So, since I was running early for my guild meeting last week, and since “The Bins” (which I talked about a few weeks ago) is close to where we meet, I decided to poke around and see what I could find. I left with about 27 pounds of (mostly) batting surrogates, and some serious curiosity to find out what is going to work as batting, and what isn’t.

The haul included:

  • A thin wool blanket. Perfect!
  • Two fleece blankets. Rather small. I may have to custom design some of the quilts around available scrap batting sizes.
  • An open-weave throw blanket, probably acrylic. Well, maybe it will work....
  • Two large flannel sheets. I’ll use these as batt instead of backing, because they are unattractive and slightly discolored.
  • One “101 Dalmatians” flannel sheet. Total batt.
  • Large Commercial child’s quilt, sports theme. I’ll probably cut this one in half, and use it as batting for two StormQuilts, which are only going to be lap-sized.
  • One mattress cover. I’ve used a mattress cover as batting before; it was heavy but effective.
  • One very large, heavy sheet. This is slightly discolored, too, so I will fold it double and try it as a batt.
I paid twenty-seven dollars for all that crap, plus three other large sheets that I can use in StormQuilt faces and a few random pieces of scrap fabric. Think I got ripped off? Well, the final odd item in my haul was a pair of wool dress pants, virtually like new, in exactly my size (36W, 32L) and the very item of clothing I had been trying to find recently. Weird, huh? Just another little thrift store miracle.

Oh, there was also one other thing. A Linus Quilt. It’s very simple and a little slapdash, but still in very good shape. I’m not sure why I grabbed it; I think I had an irrational reaction against seeing it in there among all of the castoffs. Stupid me; I took it away from where it might have been picked up by someone who needed a nice baby quilt. Any suggestions for what I should do with it now?

Meanwhile, the first five StormQuilts are in some stage of assembly. What I’ve done is pick out and order the strips for each quilt, then sew them together in pairs. After I press down the seams, I sew pairs of pairs together, but also start on the new quilt. So for instance, in the coming round I will put together
  • 14 pairs on SQ5 ("StormQuilt #5," that is)
  • 7 chunks that are 4 strips wide on SQ4
  • 3 chunks that are 8 strips wide (with one 4-strip chunk left over) on SQ3
  • and two halves of SQ2
  • and, I’ll put in the last seam to finish the face of SQ1.

As you’d probably expect, they all look pretty scrappy and scruffy, but basically pretty good as well. I’ll get you some photos soon.

Happy Quilting!


jovaliquilts said...

A mattress pad as batting is a great idea! I'll have to try that. I'm really curious about how some of the others will work.

As for the Linus quilt, I would just redonate it. I do lots of Linus work here and we accept only new quilts, but I think Goodwill, a local shelter, etc., would be delighted to have it.

Carin said...

Glad you found some "batting" can't wait to see the quilts.

Libby said...

Sounds like you've gotten a lot done. I too will be interested to know what the "best" salvage batting ends up being.

Feed Dog said...

Miracles have a way of happening at thrift shops. I don't think you need to feel guilty about taking things out of the hands of those who need it more; the profits from charity-based thrift shops benefit the charitable organization, and as you say, with the turnover at this "Bins" wonderland, you probably are saving a lot from the landfill.

Not sure what to suggest for the Linus quilt, but I know that my first thought when I see quilts in similar environs is "rescue!" My guild donates quilts to hospice and Red Cross, I think, so there may be other orgs aside from Linus that would take a gently used quilt....