Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bow Tie Quilt Blocks

one of the coolest thing about doing bow tie block this way (besides how fast they are) is that the center of the tie comes out really looking like a bow tie!



Spiderweb Quilt blocks from Shirt Scraps

After cutting up eight thrift store men’s shirts, I had this lovely pile of home baked pre-cuts.  Top to bottom charm squares, 2.5 inch strips, and fat quarters.

homemade precuts

I have this little basket of scrappy doodle pieces, plus there are a few pieces in there from a night gown I just made


I decided to see how many blocks the scraps would yield.  When you put these blocks together, the shirt stripes make spider webs, or circles.

spiderweb block

How much Fabric from a Thrift Store Shirt?

I buy men’s cotton shirts at the thrift store for quilting fabric all the time.  After Barbara Brackman’s excellent post on shirtings,  I was hot to visit the GWill and score some shirts.  Lucky for me, today was ten for ten dollar orange tag day.  Normally shirts are about $4 which is still less than yardage, but not as thrilling as a buck each! I mentally called this the “light and Bright” shirtings collection, although i could have had as easily called it “Things my Husband Would Never Wear”

here they are in they’re larval stage- still looking like shirts while waiting for the wash, but showing the promise of the fabric   :shirtswaiting

Next we see the lovely pile of fat quarters- each shirt back is about 18 by 24 or larger, so I figure it to be a fat quarter. The pile on the left is ready to be cut into squares and strips.


Finally, this is the payout from one size large men’s shirt: 8 2.5 inch strips, about 18 inches long, 16 5 inch square charms, a “fat quarter” and a nice handful of odd strips for string piecing (not shown).  Everyone makes different decisions, but i feel like it’s worth my time.


Necchi BU Mira rewire

this one taught me a good lesson. I took it out of a cabinet, as I have no more room for cabinet machines. I wired in a foot pedal where the knee pedal had been, just to service it and see what I thought. But, the machine took off running when plugged in. Uh oh, wired wrong. But where? A foot pedal is just an on/off switch (foreshadowing, here) So, when my sewing machine mentor came over, she made me take the motor off, trace the wiring, re wire the pedal properly….and it still toof off running. We were just about to rip into the motor when I had a thought.

Yup. The foot pedal was bad. It was a junker I had taken off a machine that ended up as a hand crank. The “switch” was faulty, not the wiring. Ooops. Different pedal, and all better now.