I am a learn-by-doing person and sometimes this approach requires a lot of time.  This is going to be a blog about making quilts.  I’m just starting to blog, but I’ve been making quilts out of old clothes for about 5 years.  Here’s a photo of a stack of quilts I showed at a holiday arts and crafts fair at my son’s school:

I sold one quilt at this show, for $80 USD, which was such a thrill.  Until then I’d given them away or donated them for fund-raising at the schools.

My mother sewed, as did her mother and grandmother, and my paternal grandmother was a needlepointer (is that a word?) so I guess it’s in the blood.  I’ve long held onto outgrown/outdated clothes when I particularly liked the fabric, thinking there would come a use for them.  When the Whitney Museum showed the Gee’s Bend quilters some years ago (link to come when I figure out how to add it), I found my inspiration.

My first quilt project was a hand-sewn slipcover for a small pillow my husband used to place between his knees at night when he slept.  It was a simple log-cabin block using fabric from old clothes.  Here’s a photo of the pieces:

The center square is primarily red, as is traditional (the “hearth”) for log-cabin.  This is a piece of corduroy from a hand-me-down shirt a neighbor once gave us for our boys.  The “logs” include yellow from a little-worn dress (the one and only purchase I ever made from Speigel’s catalog), blue from a shirt I bought from a sidewalk vendor in Florence, Italy on my honeymoon, gray from an Esprit skirt I got in Georgetown during college, and stripes from a worn button-down of my husband’s.  My husband, btw, is a terrific source of quilting materials.  A big thank-you here too for my good friend Audrey (and former babysitter to my boys), who is also a quilter and gave me a photocopied sheet on the log cabin pattern from her quilting class.  Audrey also inspired me to start, always saying “if I can do it, you can,” in typical self-deprecating fashion.   I still needed the kick start to do it, though, and will write next time about that.