Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flannel Shirts

When I first started quilting over 12 years ago I was really interested in being able to recycle old clothes into quilts.  Then I discovered the whole world of quilt shops and speciality quilting fabrics!  It has been such a treat to be able to work with the beautiful colors and designs of these speciality fabrics but there's still the desire to create something new from something used.

I began collecting fabrics on my first trip to Lancaster PA.  My sister Dutchy and I went there with a group from our guild and on the bus I won my first fat quarter.  How exciting!  I didn't even know what a fat quarter was but I now had two of my very own.  The main reason for taking this trip to Amish country was to attend the huge quilt show but the second reason was to buy fabric.  I had no idea what I was doing but the group of seasoned veteran quilters were eager to help me out. 

Since that first fat quarter, my fabric stash has become much bigger than I ever expected.  At the beginning of the year I decided to expend some real effort to do something with all that fabric. So I've decided if I can't make something with it I'll have to get rid of the fabric.  Oh my!  I don't know if I can part with my fabric!  I know the quilters among you will understand :-)  Well, not all of it just the stuff that's been hanging around for so long I've forgotten what I was going to do with it.

I started by sorting out the fabrics into colors and weights.  I'll spare you the details but I found a stack of flannels.  This was one of those things I've been going to get around to some day.  Well, someday is now. These plaids are just two of the dozens of flannel shirts that my sister Sue gave to Dutchy after cleaning out her husbands closet.  Some of the shirts had never even been worn.  After all one man can only wear just so many shirts! Dutchy used pieces from many of the shirts to create a great lap quilt for Scott.  He loved it and Sue is still using it all these years later.  There's still a big box of flannel in the closet of Dutchy's sewing room which is on her list of things to use or lose.

I took these two to add in with some flannel fabrics my Mom had given me.  I had purchased some white flannel to use on the Holiday pillows I made after Christmas.  So I guess you could say this next project is a family affair! 
I didn't start with any particular patten in mind just large half square triangles (HST).  I wanted to try to use up as much of the flannel as possible so they are pretty big - 5 1/2 inches square.  I used the tube piecing method that I had seen on the Missouri Star Quilt Company's site. You can find the video here.  It's such a cool and fast way to make HQTs!
I've made a few blocks and they are on the design board.  I'm very happy to be getting around to recycling old clothes to make a quilt.  I have no idea what the final design will look like so stay tuned.

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