anyone make a quilt out of old clothes?

vacuumfreakMay 13, 2011

I have a friend who lost his mother a couple years ago and he still has a lot of her old clothes that he said he would like to turn into a quilt. He asked me if I would be willing to help him since he doesn't know how to sew and doesn't have a machine... I've never tackled anything like this before, but I know other people have. I never finish quilts that I start, but I think if I were doing it for someone else, I would be inspired to complete it. Have any of you done this? How did it go/turn out? I think it would be a fun project and be something that is really special to him... my only concerns would be if some of the blouses are made out of stretchy material and others are not... and what the best pattern for a quilt like this would be. Are there any books about this kind of thing?

Thanks :o)

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ritaweeda

I asked every close member of our family to donate a flannel garment that they had worn for my first grandchild's baby quilt. There were shirts, blouses, pajamas, even a dress. I already had some solid flannel fabrics and I used that to make appliqued hearts and teddy bears. Wish I had taken a picture of it. I would wait until I could see what kind of materials you have to work with. If it winds up that a lot of it is stretchy material, you could first back it with fusible and then cut out the pieces. As for patterns, that would also depend on the fabrics, but just plain blocks with appliques would do. I truly think the fabric you wind up with will give you insight on what kind of personality she had and what pattern to use.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 6:25AM
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vicky4x4

I have used old fannel shirts for the back of a denim rag quilt. They worked very well.

Bonnie Hunter has a great web sight using shirts for quilts.

Here's the sight:

Here is a link that might be useful: Quiltville.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:05AM
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magothyrivergirl

Bobby, I think it takes a lot of skill and creativity to make a great looking, well made quilt out of old clothing, especially womens' clothing. The clothes are probably not 100% cotton, but instead a variety of different fabrics that all behave differently. It will be difficult to cut them so you are avoiding getting bias edges. You learned from your class the importance of keeping the fabric from stretching, even a teeney bit. That said- keep it simple! Maybe fussy cut blocks out of her clothing to feature in a block, use cotton sashing around each block to stabilize the block. Keeping it simple will help with the frustration of using all those different fabrics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sashing

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:47AM
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sandlapper_rose

I feel your concern because I am in that same dilemma.
I need to make a quilt for a dear friend from her deceased mother's clothes. The clothes have been sitting here for longer than I want to admit. I guess I pictured 100% cotton like we usually quilt with. Everything I got is a very noticeable print (mostly floral) with colors that do not blend and either the stretchy polyester fabric or something thin like a silk scarf. It had already been cut into pieces and I have none of the content labels so I don't know what it is I am dealing with. I've come up with several ideas, but haven't attempted any of them yet. I think I need to just give one of my ideas a try and see how it goes! If I make something sometime soon and it works, I will post a picture after she receives it. It is too important of a project (in my mind) to produce something that she will not be pleased with so that is why I have delayed so long.
I made a Christmas ornament from fabric from clothes and that was much easier. If I ever promise something from clothing again, I will stop at that. LOL

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:47PM
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dlhealdquilter

When my father-in-law passed away, I asked my mother-in-law for his white dress shirts. I used these and turned them into an Irish Chain quilt, with one of chains being the white dress shirts, and gave the quilt back to my mother-in-law.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:31PM
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chickadee__3a

In the old days old clothes were probably what many people used. The fabric would be well washed so no problem shrinking. From the original post I gather the object of this quilt is a something to treasure memories, not necessarily an award winner. Backing some fabrics with fusible web sounds like a good idea. Good luck with your project. I'm sure it will turn out just fine and will bring back many good memories for your friend.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:15PM
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tdsully

I made each of my boys a quilt from their old shirts. I used the pockets or symbols that were on the shirts. Most of the shirts were knits. I used 6 inch squares. If the squares are larger use the fusable webbing if the fabric is a knit. I used a basic 9 square block. After 10 years they still have their quilts.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:07PM
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