Fabric Salad

Green goodness for quilters and sewists

December 2012 archive

Totally tatty

So, what’s in a name? When it comes to fabric that’s new to me, I usually refer to it as “upcycled” or “thrifted.” So, does that sound better than “used” or “second-hand”? Words do have power–dealerships no longer refer to not-new cars as “used”: Now they’re “pre-owned.” We don’t covet “old” clothes, but vintage? That’s another story.

Funny, when we bought our Victorian home, no-one referred to it as “pre-owned.”

Now that I’ve read about HappyTat, a British collective whose aim is to refurbish furniture and sell it to benefit local charities, I’m adding “tatty” to my list of adjectives. Seems the Brits like to throw this term around when we ‘Mericans might use “trashy” or “worn out.” Like “dodgy” and “telly,” the word “tatty” just seems so much more charming.

I’m looking at the “tatty” linens in my stash and considering a project like this originally from BLHDN.com. Wouldn’t this be oh-so-refreshing to hang once the holiday trimmings come down?

bunting from BHLDN.com

A whole shirt-load

My stash of dress shirts and blouses is dangerously close to critical mass. I thrifted them for a make-and-take project that upcycled the cuffs into luggage tags…Thrifted shirts

So, now what to do with the leftover shirt-age? Considering a quilt, I’ve started poking around for inspiration…

Love this trick of turning the stripes to form pieced squares, adding the solid center is brilliant. Go to Flekka Journal to see the finished stripey quilt.

This shirting quilt, from the blog Carpe Lanam, uses varying sizes of squares, making it a stand-out.


Pairing stripes with polka dots? Yes, ma’am. Not having to cut and piece triangles would be a bonus, too. And this quilt is just adorable.

quilt from inspiration.au.com

Spots and Stripes quilt

Whatever my shirts become in their next life, it’s clear I need to add a few solid colors to this collection. Meet me at the thrift shop?


Wrap It Up Organically

Can’t part with any fabric from your stash to use as gift wrapping this season? Chewing the Cud, a San Francisco  company, has the answer with Give Wraps. Viola, the designer behind the wraps, chose organic cotton for her product. “Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that are gentle on our planet,” Viola says. “Soy-based inks are less harmful to the environment, compared to petroleum-based inks.”

The wraps make a gift even more special, with imprinted messages like “Give joy”, “Give peace” and “Give thanks.” The wrap can be reused as a scarf, pillow cover or in the sewing project of your choice. One bride used a handful of Give Luck wraps to create a quilt for her wedding guests to sign.

And don’t worry, you can make your package look just as lovely as the photo, using the step-by-step instructions on the company’s blog.

Give Wrap from Chewing the Cud