If you are a seamstress, a quilt you've made yourself from
scraps of clothing your family has worn becomes very sentimental to you. I buy
scraps of fabric bundled together when I go to Goodwill. I take them home and
wash them. Some of them are very interesting. I like to make dolls, and I find
the older cotton prints especially suitable for Raggedy Ann type dolls.
Almost anyone can make a simple quilt of plain squares. Most
quilts look good, no matter how simple. You don't have to have special equipment
to put it together. You can buy some fabric for the back at Walmart, or use a
sheet. Batting can also be purchased at Walmart, or you can use an old blanket
between the layers. A blanket will make it warmer and thicker. Pin it to your
floor, and take some yarn and tie the layers together in some of the squares.
Fabric, blankets, yarn and sheets can all be purchased from
Goodwill if you don't have them! If you wash them, and add a little bleach, they
should be fine. The only thing I'm careful about is smell. If they have an odor,
musty or smoky, I won't buy them. (Your nose is your best friend when you go
thrift store shopping.)
The hardest part for beginners in making a quilt will be putting
on the binding. There are several different ways to do it. Some of them are
easier than others. As long as the edge is finished off, it will be fine. There
are lots of books at the library that will explain your options.
This is a great hobby, because it uses leftover fabric, and can
be quite economical. Don't get overwhelmed when you see the elaborate designs of
professional quilt makers in books and on television shows. There is beauty in
simplicity. Why life has to get so technical sometimes, I don't know! It seems
to take all the fun and relaxation out of it.
If you think creatively you may come up with some interesting
ideas for designs. I had a roommate in college (in the 70's) that did a quilt
out of material that she had tie-died (Actually, I think that may be in vogue
again!) Some people make them out of old denim. You can appliqué on some of the
squares, put on trims, paint or stencil them with fabric paint, and so on. Some
people even put family pictures on the fabric and make them a photo album.
If you're thinking of making a project this year, think about
making a quilt. If you move you can take it with you. Depending on how much you
like it, you can either pass it down to your children some day, or you can keep
it in the car for emergencies. They can be donated to charities and distributed
to people in need worldwide. When the weather turns cold in Seattle, they are in
great demand for homeless shelters and for the people who won't come in from the