January 23, 2014

A beginning

Like any quilter worth their salt I have a stash of fabric waiting to be used. Unlike many quilters, I imagine, my stash is made up almost entirely of clothes. My side of this quilting adventure didn't happen by accident. Making quilts from unwanted clothing just makes sense to me.

I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to clothes. I probably wear the same 10 pieces over and over, especially now with the need for readily accessible boobs and a body still not sure what shape it will take, but I do love clothes. That being said, I also purge clothes quite frequently. I give bags to charity shops regularly. However, with every sort there are some items that never leave and get tucked away in a box or drawer. These are pieces which have meaning and while they are no longer (or never were) wearable, I cannot fathom parting with them.

One shirt in particular has followed me through numerous moves and across the sea. When my grandfather died I took one of his shirts. The shirt itself didn't hold any meaning and if I recall it was just laying around the house, but I took it to have something of him.

It's time has come. I have had an idea for this shirt for awhile now. Like all my quilt ideas it is evolving as I go along but the nugget of the idea remains. I am finally making a quilt for us. For Pete and I. Not for a baby, not for a friend, for us. Our clothes are taking the brunt of the fabric work. Grampa's shirt is taking a hearty portion of the work and some charity shop finds are making up the rest.

The idea for this quilt is to explore some traditional patterns. I had a lot of fun with those geese. I enjoyed the quickness of making a block and I felt some progress could be made in shorter intervals, yet they still allowed me some creativity and the possibility of happy accidents in the final design.

I am starting with some sawtooth stars. I'm not sure why. I don't think the whole quilt will be stars but I will make them until I get bored.  The first is by far my favourite.

I made this one from the shorts my husband wore in Africa, where we met on holiday, and my maternity jeans, the most recent chapter in our story.  Pete's shorts required a bit of work before they were usable. I had to unpick some cargo-type pockets to get a bigger usable space which resulted in the reveal of the original colour of the shorts.

As I smoothed out the pockets to cut a square I felt grit along my cutting board.


It probably isn't from the African continent but, as Pete can't remember the last time he wore these shorts, I like to think they are a few kernels from the beach in Malawi where we first shared a tent or from the dunes in the Sahara when we returned to the continent six years later.  Wherever they are from, it is a testament to my second-rate housewife skills as I am sure those shorts were washed before going into storage.

So many chapters in just one square.

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