Tag Archives: Make Do

Late for Earth Day

When I saw photos of scientists carrying signs it occurred to me that I missed Earth Day, celebrated last week. In the interests of promoting recycling I’ll present a few of my quilts made of at least 50% re-purposed fabric. Despite the constant appearance of new fabric collections I like to use what I have, even if it isn’t quilting cotton. I’m no expert on the environmental impacts of growing, weaving, and dyeing cotton (see this article on the life of a garment from Apparel Business systems for a broad overview); but I want to re-use where possible.

First, two quilts, which I’ve shown before, that say and indeed make do.

The only new material in the quilt above is thread. I even used up an old skirt on the back, in addition to selvedges, shirts, batting scraps, and trimmings from cropped quilts. You can see I used a discarded block from the quilt below for the K.

Here I focused on men’s old shirts, and learned that shirt material is hard  to work with for binding.

Continuing with the shirts theme, I made a small quilt with my husband’s dress shirts as a way to celebrate his retirement. A few striped and yellow quilting cottons from my stash managed to sneak in.

Most recently,  in “Repurposed/Resurfaced” I used a drop cloth that began life as a tablecloth. I also included a damask table napkin and color test swatches from silk screen printing, in addition to fabric I screened and painted. There’s a smidge of commercial fabric and the bias tape is store bought (I lost good karma points there.) Lesson learned – woven polyester tablecloths take fabric paint well but smell horrible when ironed.

How did you celebrate Earth Day?


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Words In Pictures

Since I was without the internet this past weekend, most likely thanks to incompetent road crews, I had plenty of time to work on a small challenge quilt.

An art quilt group I belong to will have a fall exhibit at a Cleveland bookstore. We plan to show challenge quilts made for this exhibit. Our theme is words. We thought this was apt, given our venue.

My literal mind devised exactly that – words. On Pinterest I found a poster  that said “Make Do.” I loved the letters and asked Paul Garbett, the Australian designer if I could use his poster. He graciously said yes and I adapted his design to fit the challenge’s size limitations. And of course I used fabric.

Make Do Poster [1x1.5M]2of10

Once I drew out my letters, I decided to make do and use only re-purposed fabrics – my husband’s old dress shirts, a thrift store Hawaiian shirt, and a painted drop cloth. I made 1/4 inch bias tape from a striped shirt for the E and D. I used the 6 minute circle technique for the O.

Make Do detail 1 Make Do detail 2 I still like the poster better, but am proud that the only new components of this piece are the thread and batting. By the by, pinpoint oxford cloth is tough to sew through.

Make Do finished2


Filed under In Process