Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Using up the stash - part 2

When I started quilting, way back in 1980, I was one of the few people working in solids. The prints of the time were, to my mind, atrocious. Calico - cottons in various qualities with little flowers. I couldn't use them. Quilting cottons at the time, in solids, didn't have the colours I wanted and what there was available was very expensive. My friends and I were not cotton snobs and so we used what was readily available and that was polyester cotton broadcloth. I remember that, at times, orange and purple were a bit harder to find (if at all) but if you wanted to do an applique quilt with lots of flowers, there was an abundance of reds, pinks and greens. I preferred making pictorial wall hangings using needle turn applique.

All this preamble is to let you know that I have shelves full of poly cotton broadcloth. I also have scraps of poly cotton and I'm slowly trying to use up what I have accumulated. Since my little grandsons are visiting, I wanted to do a craft with them. I searched the internet and after looking over a list of 50 crafts for 2 year-olds, I came upon an idea. My idea would only work successfully with fabric that was the same on both sides such as batiks - or broadcloth.

I gathered up some scraps. There was no need to iron anything.

Any shape of scrap would do. My cutting board, any ruler that came to hand and a rotary cutter were my tools.

Folding up the fabric helped.

I then started slicing up the fabric. No need to measure anything. Just eyeball it. Anything between 1/8th to 1/2 an inch would do in both ways. 

Since I wanted confetti fabric, I decided to slice in just one more direction - diagonally.

I found a bunch of small containers to hold my little bits.

Patric, the two year-old, my little helper.

I have pads of construction paper and both Luc, who's four, and Patric chose the colour they wanted. I limited the fabric palette to four colours and both the green and blue have two different shades. This is a little table and two chairs that we bought just for little people to use. I wanted to control the mess that was made. I had the boys squeeze some glue onto the paper first and then smoosh it around.

Then they took little pinches of whatever fabric they wanted and sprinkled it onto the glue.

More glue...

means more smoosh.

Here they are drying. Patric's picture is on the left and Luc's is on the right. Luc made four and Patric ended up making two.

Not too much fabric was used but little by little, the stash is getting used up.
In the last post of 2015, you will see a baby quilt where I used some of the poly cottons that I have. My friend Marg and I make baby quilts for a charity and we are trying to use up whatever we have on hand. 
The only fabric I plan on purchasing this year will be for my daughter's wedding in May. I will be making little boy shirts, pants and lots of bow ties, little girl dresses and my own, of course.


  1. Just adorable--great use of your fabric stash! i'll just bet they loved it!! Hugs, Julierose

  2. Their artworks look sort of floral. They also look like huge fun to make. What a great idea.

  3. What a great idea for fun and play, and educational at the same time, co-ordination, selection, placing, smoothing, and those messy gluey fingers, what a lot of fun.

  4. I also have lots of polyester cotton mainly in pink that I inherited from my mum's stash. She used it to make crib quilts with it. Being a practical Scotswoman the quilt had to be not only beautiful but very washable as well. She used to sell them at local craft shows. I like to think that some of them are still being used.

  5. Very smart of you, and both Luc and Patrick did very well. The pj's are really cute, too.

  6. Hello Dolores,

    Oh how fun that must have been for the boys.This is a great way to use up some fabric. Next they will be wanting to use the sewing machine.

    Happy days.

  7. Now that is a really fun way to use your stash, Dolores! I well remember those calicoes that were around....*shudder*

  8. Little boys, lots of glue, and nobody telling them what to do. I think that must be pretty close to heaven!


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