Ali Wilkinson

Recycling Blankets

needledown_nz_recycling_blankets_ 1While I am still progressing slowly with the hand quilting of Moxie I thought I would share a project from last year that is a bit different to the norm. I was inspired by a blanket I saw made by Penny Jameson of the now closed down quilting store Stitch from here in Christchurch.

I bought two old wool blankets from an op shop (charity/goodwill). I made sure they were in quite good condition and that the colours worked well together. I washed and dried them to get rid of the op shop smell and the few grubby marks that were on them.

I sliced the blankets up into large chunky pieces that I then placed randomly next to each other. I sewed them together with a good 1/2″ seam and used the checked design woven into the blankets to cut along, which meant that some of the seams were not super straight as the blankets have warped a little with age and wear. I figured the stripes and checks in the blanket designs would be more obvious visually if not left intact.

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I decided to create interesting little patches by cutting out large shapes from a Kaffe Fassett paisley print in coordinating colours, which I then sewed onto Texture Magic following lines already present in the pattern on the fabric. My sewing lines were about 1-2″ apart, sometimes a little closer together. When I had completed sewing the fabric to the Texture Magic I held a hot iron 1/2″ away from the Texture Magic which shrank and shrivelled to about half its size, and as it did so it pulled and gathered the fabric on the back, creating puffy 3D pieces.

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I turned under the edges and needle turn appliquéd them to the blankets, often placing them as the picture above illustrates, across the areas where multiple seams joined.

I didn’t use batting as the blankets themselves are chunky enough and I wanted this to be a picnic blanket. I had a few metres of a gorgeous Japanese fabric that I bought many years ago at Quilts and Calicoes in Singapore and had been saving to make a shirt dress from (but we all know how scared I am of sewing clothing, which is why i still had the fabric in my stash!), so I decided to use that for the backing.

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How gorgeous is that? I wish I knew the design name and manufacturer as there was no writing on the selvedge. I had to supplement the edges of this with some matching shot cotton.

I hand quilted using perle 8 once again following the lines and checks on the blankets and outlining the Kaffe puffy elements.

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Here it is on the reverse:

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I bound it in the shot cotton. It finished at 70″ x 80″ approx – perfect size for picnics!

 

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