Don’t you love it when you have all the materials you need already on hand for a quilty project?
It means you can go from idea to actually making in no time flat – love that!
It’s even better when those fibers happen to be scraps!
You know I have a thing for scraps. What can I say, I want to use every last inch of the fabric I bring in.
First, fabrics not cheap!
Second, I’m concerned about our landfills and am trying to do my part to limit my contribution to that ever-growing mass.
But what I really love is seeing what can be created from leftovers from other projects.
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BACK STORY ON THE UPCYCLED FABRICS
This was the very process and experience I had when pulling my fabrics to test Suzy’s Reflections Wall Hanging quilt pattern.
I stood in front of my fabric cabinet mulling my options and landed on some grey linen trimmings that were calling to me. Although I normally love going bold and colourful, for some reason, this design had me wanting to feature low-volume prints that focused more on texture and an overall zen vibe.
The rest of the fabric, namely the white denim and white backing, was gifted to me by a stranger! Yup, this goes way back to when I used to do craft shows when I was selling my bags, pillows, and aprons. On day 1 of a 3-day show, a woman popped in randomly and happened to stop by my table. We got to chatting and she told me she used to stitch up a storm, but that as of late she wasn’t really sewing. But she had a ton of fabrics and books that she didn’t know what to do with and wondered if I would take them off her hands. I offered to help out and the next day she showed up with 2 large garbage bags fiiiilled with fabrics, scraps, patterns, and books. Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed!
Once I got them all home and laundered, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with all this stuff. So, I just lovingly folded it all and added it to my stash. Slowly but surely, I’ve been making a dent in what I received, and I’m thrilled to see these fibers being re-invented and not going to waste.
Once I had my fabrics chosen, I dove in!
The good news is, the Reflections quilt is such a fun and quick pattern by Suzy Quilts. Honestly, I had picked my fabrics, cut them, and pieced them all in an afternoon. She’s that quick to make. So, if you’re on the hunt for a fast project this is a good one for you!
When it came time to quilt her, I would have loved to add some hand stitching, but with so much denim in there I was concerned it would be tough on my hands. Turns out that was a smart call, as she was tough enough to baste! Oh, the joys of dealing with tendinitis. But you gotta work around your limitations! In the end, I’m kinda happy I couldn’t hand quilt her, as the machine quilting I opted for is a completely different look than how I would have hand-stitched her – and I LOVE the results! It took me just a nanosecond to opt for *white 50wt Aurifil Thread as I didn’t want the stitching to detract from the low-key vibe of the muted colour palette.
Since most of the fabrics I used are from my stash and have been there for a while it’s tough to find exact matches for you. But where possible, I’ve listed possible substitutes in case you want to make your own zen Reflections wall hanging!
- Hexie print (no longer available, but this could be cute)
- *Dark gray solid
- Grey/ White Striped Linen
- *Dark grey linen
- White waffle fabric
- White denim
- *50wt Aurifil thread for piecing and machine quilting
- *100% cotton white batting
- Reflections Wall Hanging quilt pattern – available from Suzy Quilts.
A CAUTIONARY TALE OF USING UPCYCLED FABRIC
Despite having laundered my fabrics when I was first gifted them, I didn’t notice that some of the fabrics had some minor staining. This problem was compounded by the fact that I created by backing and got my basting done at nighttime. This meant that I missed seeing a very subtle yellow stain on the white waffle fabric I used for the backing. Blergh.
I would have switched it up had I not already got the pin basting done and had started the machine quilting before noticing the stain. Double blergh.
Thankfully it’s on the back and this is meant as a wall hanging, so no one’s going to see the stain. I mention it so that you learn from my silly mistake and make sure to check all your upcycled fabric in daylight to make sure no stains are marking your textiles. This simple extra step would have saved me lots of frustration. Live and learn 😉
For more inspiration using fabric scraps, check out:
Hopefully, this project encourages you to hang onto your scraps and breathe new life into them!