Category: Repurposed

Modified Herringbone Quilt Scraps

Angela FlickerI made a modified herringbone quilt for my mother, for Christmas, from an original quilt design of mine. I didn’t really have a solidified plan when I sat down to start. As a result, I had lost of leftover scraps. Here are a few photos showing what I did with the scraps…

angela flicker

angela flicker

Don’t throw those quilt scraps out, but find creative ways to use them.

angela flicker modified herringbone quilt

Scrappy Projects

I’m a firm believer in saving and using scraps, even though it can sometimes become overwhelming.  I put up with the chaos it creates because I believe in being resourceful and “green”.  Lately, all my scrap-saving has really come in handy –I’ve been busting through my scrappy piles as I prepare for The Beehive Bazaar.  Do you want to see?

machine applique felt flower

A machine applique flower made from old sweaters.

applique flower made from an old skirt

A flower made from an old skirt, scraps of tulle, and an old sweater.

leftover batting

A throw pillow insert made with leftover quilt batting and poly-fill.

pot holders made from scraps

Potholders made with leftover fabric and binding scraps.

The potholder idea was inspired by Camille Roskelley, after taking her Retro Kitchen class at The Creative Connections Conference.  Below are my piles of coordinated scrap fabrics and scrap binding.

Are you working on any “scrappy” projects?

Thrift Store Gold Mine

We descended the stairs into the musty basement of our local thrift store, turned right, and took a few paces before I looked up and saw Angela’s eyes grow two sizes in two seconds.  Immediately she started doing a little dance and squeaking with excitement.  She had made a find.  I have seen this look before; it reminded me of when Angela spotted an old dresser at this exact thrift store.  That dresser, stripped, refinished, and dressed up with some new hardware, currently looks marvelous sitting in our bedroom.
This time it was four metal-framed chairs that had her jumping with joy.  Two had been poorly reupholstered with some sort of red velvety material. We just wanted the bones anyway.
All it took was a little cleaning, a coat of Rustoleum paint, and some cedar boards picked up from Home Depot to make the former refuse good as gold.
Now these chairs are a welcomed addition to our back yard dining area.  They also served as great inspiration for me to refinish our old table that had become a little weathered, and Angela’s Picnic Set is the perfect accessory.
Have you turned any trash to treasure recently?  We would love to hear about it.
– Josh Flicker

Turning an Old Skirt Into a Reversible Bag – April Stash Bust Continues

My sister Jene’ had a birthday eleven days ago, and finally this weekend I got to making her gift.  I know what you’re thinking.  Better late then never though, right?  And don’t worry, I don’t think she reads the blog, so our secret is still safe.

Before starting Jene’s project, I first had to come up with an idea.  And can I just stop here for a moment and say that I’m really enjoying the “April Stash Bust” this month.  Every time I go through my drawers of fabric and supplies, to coordinate a project, stories flood out of those drawers and overwhelm me with wonderful memories.  It seems each piece of fabric has a story behind it.  What a beautiful thing.  Unexpectedly, this has been my favorite part of the “bust” so far.

While collecting supplies for Jene’s gift, I opened one of my drawers where I keep old clothes that I hope to re-purpose one day. Old sweaters, dresses, skirts, shirts of Josh’s –and out of that drawer jumped a small, black, velvet miniskirt with tassels.  I picked this hot little number up at a clothing-swap a few months back.  A good friend of mine has these clothing swaps tri-annually where she invites a bunch of great woman that she knows from all areas of her life.  We all gather at her house and dump out our unwanted clothes in multiple rooms.  From there we basically drink wine, eat good food, and go treasure hunting among all the unwanted items.  And at the end of the night, we bag up all the leftovers and bring them to a Goodwill.  During this stage, I usually salvage once more through the items to see if any might inspire a future sewing project.  Can you believe no one wanted this skirt?

Here’s the miniskirt I was hoping to repurpose for Jene’s gift.
(Note:  I apologize for the poor quality of this picture.  My husband took it and when I asked him to make sure the picture was good and focused, well, he must of been watching basketball or something.)
Along with this miniskirt, I used some…
fancy pink and black fabric I had planned to use to make a diaper bag last year but never did, a vintage button, and other bag making supplies I had hiding in my stash (ribbon, felt interfacing, handle clips, etc.)
While I sipped my wine, sewed, and though about all the lovely woman who attended the last clothing-swap, soon this useless skirt, once again, had a beautiful purpose.

Note:  This bag is reversible.  Above you see the one side, and below the other.
I wanted to use the tassels for something else, other than tassels, for reasons I don’t think I necessarily need to explain.  I created this flower out of them and…
… the loops for the handle.
And so the skirt lives on, still a hot little number!

I’m Busting My Stash Up This Month and Going Green

Hey look, that’s me.  What am I wearing?  Yikes!  This was my exact thought the other day when I walked past a mirror.  Nine months ago I had a baby, and since my pregnancy weight has come off, all my clothes have been too big; they look terribly frumpy on me.  I could of course run out to the stores and buy more clothes, I do love to shop, but this month I’m saying no and I’m taking a challenge. This month, I’m making a vow to think about our lovely earth more.  Instead of always responding to my needs by buying, I want to further instill in myself good habits; I’m going to eat, think, craft, and execute, on a consistent basis, words like reuse, organic, reduce, re-purpose, and recycle!
What started all this?  Scoutie Girl, along with some other amazing bloggers!  They have introduced a challenge called April Stash Bust“.  The challenge they put out there is this, all crafters, big and small, instead of buying new supplies this month, only use what supplies you have stashed away.  I’m taking this vow as an artists, and also applying this idea to my personal life.  I’m not a wasteful person by any means, yet at the same time I think we all have room for improvement when it comes to really important issues like this.
So let’s get back to my problem.  Remember, the problem with the frumpy sweater?  With just a little bit of work, I can make this sweater adorable.  Here’s what I did…
Step 1:  I added a machine applique flower to the front of the sweater.
Step 2:  I pinned the sweater to fit.
Step 3:  I cut off the buttons and sewed where I pinned, altering the sweater.
Step 4:  I cut out the excess sweater material.
That was it.  It only took about 30 minutes.  What do you think of the results?
Please join me and make a statement to our Earth this month.  What could you do, big or small, to help lessen your impact?