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Shall I make a hexi-quilt?

 
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I'm thinking about making a hexagon quilt for my bed.  I don't know if I should.  

I have been toying with this crazy idea ever since I learned how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP) for making a pincushion.  

The advantages:
  • it will use up a lot of scrap fabric (cabbage)
  • it will upcycle cloth from clothing that isn't good enough to give to the second-hand shop
  • it will be like a scrapbook memory thing of the clothes in this stage of my life
  • the technique looks like a lot of fun
  • I get to learn/perfect a new skill
  • it's a portable project that has small units of work so it's easy to do a bit here and there
  • it would be a good way to use up waste wool instead of composting it.
  • it would be something 'me' and unique for me to have on my bed.  


  • The disadvantages:
  • it's a lot of work
  • I'm crap at choosing colours that go well together
  • I mean, a lot of work.
  • what if I start this project, cut up the fabric, then have something else better to use the fabric fo?
  • It's a really big project
  • do I even like quilts?
  • Do I like how hexi-quilts look?  I don't know.  I never really thought about it.
  • what if I mess it up?
  • it is a big commitment.  
  • there aren't many examples of finished hexi-quilts on the internet.  Not as many as I expected for such an easy technique.
  • the examples I do find, all talk about how expensive it is.  My budget is $10 (for the thread).  These people are saying they spent several thousand and still need to go out and get more supplies.
  • I don't understand how to 'quilt' - do the stitching at the end - and cannot find a good book or tutorial explaining how that works.


  • What do you guys think?  
    Is it worth making?
    What else do I need to consider?  

    I'm worried I am starting the project because I like the technique, not because I have a need or like the look of the finished item.  
    hexi-sample-small.JPG
    [Thumbnail for hexi-sample-small.JPG]
    sample hexi-quilt to see if I like it
     
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    I have made a few quilts, quilted as well as crocheted and crochet/knit, and I love the look of the hexiquilt. it's gorgeous.
    You're right, it uses up a lot of cabbage. It also takes forever, and unless you have a set color scheme already, you might not want to start piecing until you have all the wee pieces done, so you might have a work-in-progress for quite a while. This was a problem with the last crochet quilt I did, where I was using up my yarn stash. I ended up just spending a good few months making hexagons, because I figured I would end up with a bad-looking quilt. In the end I divided them into two smallish throw blankets, because I ended up with two different "colorways" (hot and cold).
    Then again, you might be able to group your scraps by color and do it as you go- I like the join-as-you-go process, nice to admire as you're working on it!! (more directly addressing your concerns, you can stop in case you change your mind and not feel bad that you've wasted your fabric).

    It sounds like the technique is attractive, maybe you could see about smaller things you could use and test it out. I am traveling or I'd take a picture, but my old boss made me a small necessaire type travel bag with two small pieces of scrap quilting she had done (each side is about the size of my hand). There are some ideas like that at this site for smaller hexagons, but some work for bigger ones (there is a gorgeous small tote bag in there) https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/sew-delicious-4108736/10-gorgeous-hexie-projects-4785106915

    I also am big on free quilts (like you said, stash and maybe just thread). Some people really do go out and buy fabric, I suppose, and it is astonishingly pricey.
    As for the quilting bit at the end, I've done everything from fancy knots every so often to machine stitching along the seams on different quilts. The hexagon ones i've seen had batting inside the tiny hexagons, which adds more labor but avoids the need for actual quilting. But you can do it the way you want- decorative stitching, simple (hexagons look really nice with sashiko-type stitches sometimes, if you space out the stitching accordingly it might not be terrible to do), machine, whatever. It may depend on what fabric you use and how it comes out.
     
    r ranson
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    I'm going to be painting the bedroom in about two years.  Right now it's ugly colour.  I take on one big reno project every winter and this is for the 2022-23 winter.  Whatever my bedding is then, will govern what my walls and drapes will look like.  

    If I go with this, I was thinking of doing the flower method.  6 of one colour, around a different colour one.  It seems like a nice unit of work and would be easier to design together when there are enough flowers.  

    That's the other question - how big do I want the hexis?  Too small and it will take forever and use more fabric.  But small means I can use smaller scraps of fabric.  Too big and it's hard on my hands and I don't like the look of bigger hexis.  

    The sample I am doing is 1.5 inch per side.  I don't think I want to go any larger than that.
     
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    They are a LOT of work.
    There are other neat things to do with paper piecing. If you like the hex look, how about making something small and easy to see if you like it, a pillow case or curtain tie backs.

    I LOVE the hex look, but if I did it' I'd be doing big hexagons, to make it less fiddly. All of those corners are miserable. It's nothing BUT corners.

    My "pictures of quilts I drool over but will probably never make" file has quilts like this in it, and the reason I will probably never do one is all the corners. They make me crazy.

    Milliflori quilting Wendy Welsh


    Ever seen strip quilting? That's a LOT easier, pretty, uses up a lot. And for what it's worth, if you are not good at colors, if you are making something for yourself, not for sale,does it really matter?

    Do you need a quilt? That's a tricky question. If you don't know, you probably don't. A wall hanging would be cool, and you can make those paper piecing. Something like this:



    To quilt a quilt you stack your inside fabric, filling, and top you made, like pancakes, then sew through all of them until it holds still and won't move. Everything else about it is techniques for making it look different. The basic idea is simple.
     
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    You should do it!  

    I've made a couple of paper pieced hex quilts and they are sooo fun and addicting to make once you get started!  My first one was a baby quilt that I made and I made each hex section have a precision cut center of various novelty prints.  We would have so much fun playing "find the....puppy" and "find the....Santa" etc.  when she was about a year or two old.  This blanket ended up being loved so much that it became her "sick blankie".  Although she never got attached to her blankets or anything, she really wanted only this blanket whenever she wasn't feeling well.  So sweet!  <3
     
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    I used to do quite a bit of english paper piecing (except then it was just 'patchwork'!)  I used to do it when watching TV, or chatting in the evenings and made a couple of cushion covers, which I still have.
    If you have plenty of sitting around time with free hands then go for it.  If you just want to create a quilt it isn't the fastest method!  I would also suggest doing something smaller first.  Maybe something else for the bedroom to go with the quilt (if it gets made) like a pyjama case or laundry bag.  Then you can get a feel for the technique and whether you want to put the time in to the big project.
    Personally I think that all hexagons might end up a bit ... colourful, so maybe if you had some bigger bits of plain fabric, you could do strips with hexagons, and plain strips, to break it up a bit and make the project a bit less intimidating.  I'm sure you have a vision of how you want it to end up though.
    As regards the actual quilting bit, there are people who will do the finishing off for you for £.  They will have special long armed sewing machines for this so can make the job much easier.  It takes away a bit from the hand sewn nature of the quilt though if that is what appeals.
     
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    Hi,  I would encourage you to start quilting.  How about a book/tote bag with with a strap to see if you really want to do a larger hex quilt.  Yes you could do one.  Yes you will learn a Lot about quilting.  And yes you could get frustrated because it takes an extreme amount of time and you might quit.  And Yes you could make a very lovely quilt.  

    Something you might consider.  We have quilting clubs around us, usually found meeting in churches. I would encourage you to join in a club.  You can gain a lot of experience with caring members who have a vast array of knowledge. Some clubs are wonderful, people are open and caring. Others not so.  If you feel not welcomed, looked down on because "My God You Mean You Have Never Quilted?" then run from them and find a good one.

    Happy Quilting and God Bless your fingers
     
    Violet Jones
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    That's a great point that a hex quilt might be a bit too colorful when putting it all together into a quilt.  What I did was I took the darkest colored hexagons and butted them at the top and then sewed the lighter ones next, all the way to the end where it's the lightest colored ones.  It created an ombre effect and made it look way less busy than traditional scrap quilts.

     
    Violet Jones
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    I just read the part of your post about it costing people thousands of dollars in supplies.  I made my quilts before these fancy kits and things came out and I spent nothing.  I used scraps of fabric or tiny bits of fabric that wasn't technically scraps and I guess I don't count thread in the cost of the quilt because at the time I had just tons of thread.

    For the paper pieces, I used the card things that come inside of magazines or whatnot - you know what I mean?  They were usually for ordering a subscription or something and mailing it off like a post card.  I don't know if they still have them in magazines so I guess if I were going to make one now, I'd probably have to buy some card stock to use for the paper.

    Ok, I'll stop making so many posts now, I'm sorry!  lol
     
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    My mother made a patchwork of hexagons she made a single one for me out of my old school cloths and she made a double for herself out of other old clothes, it was all hand sown so cut, tacked to paper (Actual paper cut from old glossy magazines, probably the sunday telegraph one!), stitched together, and then paper and tacking removed, I think it took her about a year. These are not American "quilts" but rather patchwork duvet covers. She still had to buy the backing sheet of course.

    She starts in the middle and goes out in rings so colours which you have less of are closer to the center and ones you have more of are further out.
     
    r ranson
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    Looking at my list, I feel that getting the colours right from the start will be the best path to sucess.  

    I'm still not saying I will do it.

    But it wouldn't hurt to sort out the unmendable clothing and scraps into colours.

    I have a lot of indigo dyed and indigo blues in cotton.  I could do a denim theme.  But I don't have anything yellow enough for the zinger (the highlight from the other side of the colour wheel).  I'm not buying anything but thread and a new pack of needles for this project.

    Greens, blues, browns, natural linens are the theme of most of the clothing scraps.  The cabbage is mostly green and blue.  Maybe a bit too homoginious?  

    I also have some red sheets that I got from the thrift store.  I was going to make clothes, but when it came out of the fluorescent and into the sunlight, it was far too bright a red.  I got a queen size sheet and a queen duvet cover in this fabric.  That could be the zinger and the backing.  But would a red backing on a quilt look good?  Would I be happy with it?  I'm not so sure.  

    I'll try and take some photos.  

     
    r ranson
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    Let's see if this works.

    Hmm... not great lighting.   Blues on the left.   Green for middle.   Natural undyed far right.  Small splash of the two reds.  With more blues from the stash.

    Would it work?
    16247573450875623046089987383352.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 16247573450875623046089987383352.jpg]
     
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    Yup. It will be a very similar pallet to your pin cushion, it seems.
     
    r ranson
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    Carla Burke wrote:Yup. It will be a very similar pallet to your pin cushion, it seems.



    very much the same fabrics.  Only the pincushion had splashes of yellow in it, and I'm thinking of using the undyed linen instead.  

    I don't know if it would work.  

    Here's some pictures in case you guys missed it.


    what do you think?  The colours work for a quilt?  





    or maybe it would be too dull and dark?

    like I said, I'm not good with colour.

     
    Nancy Reading
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    Dull and dark is also cosy in the right room.
     
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    Carla Burke wrote:Yup. It will be a very similar pallet to your pin cushion, it seems.

    I agree and at least in the photo, the colours go together in my opinion.

    Consider this as just an idea - if when it's made, you feel it still needs more of a splash of colour, could you splurge on yellow embroidery thread, and choose a few spots to brighten it up with yellow highlights?  Or use a brighter colour for some of the "quilting" stitches - normally they're done in a neutral colour so they become a subtle pattern, but that Japanese technique that was suggested somewhere up-thread, is often done with brighter colours. You're doing this for you - there need not be any "Quilt Police" looking at it if you aren't willing to ignore their opinion!
     
    r ranson
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    I'm looking at my potential pile of cloth and I'm thinking it looks so dark compared to normal.

    Then I'm wondering, why are quilts normally so white and bright?  Is that modern?  

    Weren't quilts designed to use up scraps?  
     
    Violet Jones
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    I'm wondering if you've considered how you want to lay your hexis out.  You don't have to just put them all next to each other.

    You can create hex blocks like this so that all of the colors are separated out.  You can choose what color background hexes to use.  Here are some examples of using hex blocks and another using all of the hexis next to each other but into a wreath shape where you can use the background color to tone down the darkness.

    I hope this helps!
    hex-blocks.jpg
    [Thumbnail for hex-blocks.jpg]
    hex-diamonds.jpg
    [Thumbnail for hex-diamonds.jpg]
    hex-wreath.jpg
    [Thumbnail for hex-wreath.jpg]
     
    Violet Jones
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    Here are some more examples using colors that are similar to what you have available.  Placement and background color can completely change the feel of your quilt.   One shows using the blocks in straight rows to alternate dark colors with light colors without using a separate background color.

    I do hope this is helpful to visualize it for you - sometimes that's the hardest part.  

    All of this searching for quilts is giving me the bug again!  :)
    dark-hexi.jpg
    [Thumbnail for dark-hexi.jpg]
    dark-hexi-2.jpg
    [Thumbnail for dark-hexi-2.jpg]
    hexi-dark_light.jpg
    [Thumbnail for hexi-dark_light.jpg]
     
    Jay Angler
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    r ranson wrote:Then I'm wondering, why are quilts normally so white and bright?  Is that modern?

    I think yes - brought on by modern washing machines and detergents and the ability for "average people" to have more than one outfit to wear and blanket to sleep under. My mother never slept alone in a bed until her husband died with rare exceptions of Dad travelling for business. Multiple children in the same bed, small children in the parent's bed was the norm in cold climates with limited firewood supplies and limited floor space in a house.

    Weren't quilts designed to use up scraps?  

    Yes, and since most of the clothing was dark and since washing the quilt would have been a struggle, the quilts would have been dark colours also. I'm sure there were exceptions, for example the Hudson's Bay blankets were white with one or more stripes, but it was probably cheaper to only have to dye a limited amount of the wool.

    I found this quote from Wikipedia interesting:

    Over the centuries the sizes of blankets have shifted, particularly during the 1900s as beds became larger.  

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson%27s_Bay_point_blanket
    Not only are there fewer people/bed now, the beds are larger! Yes, larger average human size has been a factor driving some of that, but it's amazing how few people I know who sleep in a single bed!

    I admit I'm a throwback - the cover on my comforter is a mix of earth-toned fruit with the highlights beige on a background which only shows minimally that is a very dark purple that's near black. When I chose fabric for my son's comforter, I found an abstract material in dark royal blue with a bunch of other dark colours except for some highlights in a bright red, and a bright yellow. He was 10 at the time, and he's 25 now and it's still going strong.
     
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    Of the pictures that Violet posted:
    1. The first one with the white background looks as if all/most of the fabric was purchased with the quilt in mind - everything is regimented with solids and patterns that go together. It looks lovely, but it would be very hard to get that effect with scraps.
    2. I find the second one quite busy with no solid hexes except in the background, and personally the black just doesn't go. I suppose in the just the right room it might go, but to my mind the dark/light extreme is too much.
    3. I like the third one with the wreath shape - it looks like a bouquet and there's a nice balance of patterned hexes and solid ones. I would not want to have to keep it clean, particularly if it doesn't have a darker fabric border where the comforter can hit one's face. Yes, I try to keep a sheet to protect my duvet cover, but in the middle of the night, that doesn't necessarily happen!!!
    4. The forth one with the beige background and the earth-toned colours definitely appeals to me. Yes, a little brighter highlights would still keep me happy, but I'm betting that this quilt did not win an award - the rest of the world seems to want bright and gaudy. To me a bedroom needs to be soothing and this quilt is very pleasant and soothing to my eyes!
    5. The fifth picture is hard for me to see on a bed in my mind's eye. As seen in the photo, to me the lightest hexes are too light and I've never been one to appreciate polka-dots which is how it comes across. I think the sewer was hoping the light ones would draw the quilt together, but a darker tone would have pleased me more.
    6. The sixth picture seems too bright and confusing to calm my mind. I would have taken the same colours and followed the suggestion above of starting at either the top or better yet, the center with the lighter colours with a little medium mixed in, and worked outward averaging darker as I went.

    So much is based on what you want. I want my bedroom to put me to sleep, but it's nice if it looks at least a little pretty in the process.
     
    r ranson
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    I know I want to shy away from the style where I patch the hexi onto a background cloth.  Other than that,  I'm not sure what pattern i want.  I was imagining making small flowers and something would become obvious with time.  It would probably have more success if I did more planning.
     
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    I like this but I don't have enough blue and yellow.

    https://www.craftpassion.com/modern-hexagon-flower-quilt-duvet/
     
    r ranson
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    a possible idea: what if I take the blues, greys, and undyed/linen and start making flowers.  Then see just how many hexi-flowers it makes?

    But what size hexagons?  1.25"?
     
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    cost.

    I don't know what my backing is going to be yet.

    I want the hexi-fabric to be all upcycled or reclaimed fabric.  Nothing bought.

    Thread.  I want it to be a large twin size quilt.  Larger than the normal twin, but not so big as a queen.  This is going to be... maybe 6 to 10 spools of thread?  The last time I went to the sewing shop, these were over $5 a spool for cotton thread.  When I look on Amazon, it's over $10 a spool!  Crazy!  (30-100 dollars on thread alone?!?)

    plus thread for the quilting part

    Needles.  I'll want a new pack of number 10s Betweens.  These are my favourite: https://burnleyandtrowbridge.com/collections/needles-pins/products/bohin-big-eye-betweens-sewing-needles (another $5 plus shipping)

    There's gotta be a cheaper way.

    The goal - if I do go through with this - is to not spend more than $10.  To upcycle.  

    Can I get the cost down?  
     
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    r ranson wrote:a possible idea: what if I take the blues, greys, and undyed/linen and start making flowers.  Then see just how many hexi-flowers it makes?

    Particularly considering our current weather, I would agree with this plan!

    But what size hexagons?  1.25"?

    Personally, I'd try the 1 1/2" size you suggested earlier. That would make each flower 4 1/2 inches across and that is smaller than the picture you just posted which actually uses 2" hexes. One thing I like about the picture you just posted is that it doesn't make my eyes go buggy which the quilts with smaller hexes tended to do.

    I know I want to shy away from the style where I patch the hexi onto a background cloth.

    But you can still use a constant background of hexes to join individual flowers together if you have enough of a single fabric to do that. It would all be hexes, but the background colour would unite everything. The first picture Violet posted with the flowers surrounded by white hexes is done that way, and possibly the black one also, but the black is so dark, I can't tell for sure - it certainly *could* be done with hexes. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean that's the path you have to or want to choose.
     
    Carla Burke
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    My paternal grandma had stacks of quilts. They were made in the 1940s, 30s, and earlier, but all were light and bright. The first half of the last century was a dark, depressing time, and the quilts from that era tended to be bright, cheery, cozy things, that encouraged smiles, and bright spirits, to combat the war-torn world they lived in. Grandma's had white, bright, or pastel backgrounds, with small scraps of older fabrics, carefully planned out in ways to make the colors seem cheerful, even if the colors in the actual garments they came from were muted. These were the 'use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without - and do it with a bright smile' days. These are the quilts that push my nostalgic happy buttons.

    I believe the quilts of the 1800s were often the darker, more muted tones, you're thinking of? Brights, lights, and pastels were hard to come by, by the simple nature of the dyes of the time. But, white was easy to achieve. Vinegar and sunlight combine to fade darks, and blindingly brighten whites. White sheets were quilt backs, but anything and everything could become the patchwork tops.

    Now, it's all about art, personal preference, and (for those of us who care) going back to the origins of the quilt: don't let anything go to waste, make the most of resource, but do it with style.
     
    Jay Angler
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    r ranson wrote:

    cost

    IF you estimate 6-10 spools of thread, yes, you're not going to do it for $10 unless you spin the thread yourself.

    However, the one place I've been meaning to put an order in for some special curved needles and a few other things I'd like does have about the more reasonable price for 100% cotton thread I've seen:

    https://www.cleanersupply.ca/Tailoring/Thread/Specialty-Thread/coats-100-mercerized-cotton-s975-all-purpose-thread-tex-25-350-yds/?sku=CTD50900

     
    pollinator
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    If you only need small amount of yellow fabric, maybe you could just dye it yourself.  
    Will there be some cotton batting in between or just two layers of fabric?
    I have seen a hex quilt done by an English lady with paper piecing. She is a birder so each hex got a small bird image in the middle. Beautiful!
     
    r ranson
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    I'm going to use wool for the batting https://permies.com/t/162483/sewing/fiber-arts/real-wool-batts-drum-carder
     
    r ranson
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    Money

    scraps - got them
    batting - will make it
    backing - have no idea, worried about the price.
    thread - need to get the price down

    I am feeling if I go through with this project, I want to go back to the old values of quilting.  So many quilters I know almost brag about how much money they spend per quilt.  Thousands of dollars for supplies.  Hundreds of hours tracking down the specific whatever.  

    Sort of like counter-culture quilting.  Can it be done on the cheap without fancy equipment?  Using materials that most people could also source cheaply?
     
    Tereza Okava
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    Old sheets make a fine backing (your own, or thrift shop). I've even used old, crummy blankets for the batting inside a quilt. You definitely have low-price options.
    I seem to spend a lot less on thread, since I usually have stash and buy my thread in cones. maybe you could get a good deal on a big cone and spin it into more usable quantities (like bobbins)?

    Also, R, I hadn't seen your pincushions, they're gorgeous.
     
    r ranson
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    Thanks.  I'm loving my pin cushions.  I made a few more since and had planned to sell them, but they are all in use so I'm keeping them.

    It used to be thread was a dollar or two per spool.  By 2020, they have skyrocketed.  
     
    Violet Jones
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    I don't see how you can cut the costs down any further unless someone just gifts you all of the supplies that you need.

    *If you don't have thread, you'll need to purchase thread. I found some low priced options:  
    https://www.connectingthreads.com/essential-quilting-thread-white/p/20869
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/274661958610?epid=1000417222&hash=item3ff320e3d2:i:274661958610
    https://www.joann.com/coats-andamp-clark-hand-quilting-cotton-thread-350yds/9237322.html

    *If you don't have a backing fabric, you'll need to purchase that.  You can use a sheet if you want to just get any kind of backing on there but the cheaper cotton sheets have such a low thread count that they will not hold up like higher thread counts will. I wouldn't go through the hours of quilting a hand pieced item only to have the backing not hold up in 2-5 years. You could try thrift stores, craigslist, ebay, marketplace, etc. Here's what Walmart carries:
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Easy-Care-300-Thread-Count-Cotton-Rich-Percale-Brown-Stone-Full-Flat-Sheet/671509276?selected=true
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/1500-Thread-Count-Egyptian-Quality-1-Piece-Flat-Sheet-Full-Size-White/259554774
    *Alternatively, you could just make a quilt top to lay on top of your bed until you can acquire the rest of the supplies that you need. You'll have some time as the piecing will give you at least a month or six...maybe even a year, depending on how much spare time you have to devote to quilting.

    *If you don't have the colors you need to make one that is aesthetically pleasing to you, you'll need other options, either scour the house for more things to use, check craigslist or marketplace for people giving fabric or clothes away or dye the lighter colors to create a new color to work with. Here are some directions to dye fabrics using things that are readily available: (I chose to search for natural yellow dyes since you stated earlier that you like the yellow/blue combination. There are instructions for tons of other colors if yellow isn't the extra color you really want to go with.)
    https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/make-yellow-natural-fabric-dyes-2145748
    From the above website:
    Dandelions, Taraxacum, are native to Eurasia and North America. They are characterized by bright yellow flowers and leaves with a ragged sawtooth look and a deep taproot.
    Dandelion flowers produce a yellow dye bath when boiled in water; while the roots will produce a warm brown dye.

    Do you have any dandelions nearby?  :)

    Here are some instructions using turmeric:
    https://theplanthunter.com.au/howto/turmeric-dyeing/
    https://www.onlinefabricstore.com/makersmill/how-to-dye-fabric-natural-dyeing-with-turmeric-and-cabbage/

    When it comes to choosing which supplies you're going to use, you may have to wait for sales, go to garage sales, watch craigslist etc for freebies to show up.  Try to get the best quality that you can so your quilt will last. You will have time to wait on the backing because this is not an overnight project.


     
    Skandi Rogers
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    You can also go to charity shops and ask if they have any clothes they want to throw out, we certainly get plenty of stained/ripped/otherwise useless clothes. You could offer them a couple of pincushions in exchange if they would hold the clothes for you or ring you when they have some.
     
    r ranson
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    I'm still on the fence, but IF I do this project, I want to set a personal challenge.  Squidgy guidelines.  

  • eco-friendly as possible (upcycle, reclaimed, and fabric scraps that would otherwise go in the bin)
  • All natural materials
  • I want to find out is it possible for an everyday person, new to this craft, to afford to make a quilt?  Can it be done for the price of a cuppa coffee ($6)?  Or the price of a large pizza ($20)?
  • Using tools and methods that are accessible and affordable to almost anyone.


  •  
    Jay Angler
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    r ranson wrote:

  • eco-friendly as possible (upcycle, reclaimed, and fabric scraps that would otherwise go in the bin)
  • Absolutely - particularly with "reclaimed" in there - lots of clothes wears out in key spots, but has other areas that the fabric is plenty strong enough/good enough for re-use.

  • All natural materials
  • This is tougher. If people would upcycle wool or cotton blankets/sheets as the filler, that part is manageable, but as you're already discovering, finding *all* natural threads is getting harder and bordering on impossible. It would be really nice to reverse that trend, but I even wonder if the Mennonites in Ontario, who are at least locally famous for their quilts, are currently using all-cotton thread?

  • I want to find out is it possible for an everyday person, new to this craft, to afford to make a quilt?  Can it be done for the price of a cuppa coffee ($6)?  Or the price of a large pizza ($20)?
  • Thread's going to be the problem - particularly right now. I suspect thread has been snapped up for the last year with all the home-sewers making face masks. Wait a year, and stocks may refill. BC is about to remove its advisory of wearing masks as new Covid cases are dropping dramatically (but please save your cotton masks and wear them if you're near me and have a cold - not a perfect solution, but it's helped contain illnesses in Japan for hundreds of years.)

    The important thing here is setting the example! If we *don't* ask our local shops to stock cotton thread, and buy it from them when they do, we won't shift attitudes and there will be no option left except to make it yourself.

  • Using tools and methods that are accessible and affordable to almost anyone.
  • The final quilting step is often done on a specialize "quilting frame". Sometimes they are available for use through local guilds, but joining that guild will likely be above the budget you set. There are plenty of DIY weaving looms of various sizes out there, but I've never gone hunting for simple, homemade, quilting frames. Even the larger round needlework frames aren't cheap new, although you might find a used one, but they aren't really what you're looking for unless you stuff your quilt in pocket form and then attach all the pockets together. This might be worth a little research time.

    I think this is an admirable goal and could be inspiring to many people and could prove valuable points, but I'm not convinced you'll manage the  "price of a large pizza" although I suspect they're more expensive than you're quoting in my neck of the woods. However, I know people spend piles of money on homemade quilts and they've become a status symbol and "art" rather than practical and necessary, so setting the example of a better way is totally a worthwhile goal.
     
    r ranson
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    Cotton thread - I can't believe the current price.  When I bought some in mid-2020, it was $1.14 a spool.  Now it's at least $6.  I'm going to have to be creative there.

    There are a lot of thread options I have the tools to do, but I want to try to make this project accessible.  Like a "oh, you say I need lots of money to quilt, well...sticks out tongue... so there."


    Another option for funding might be to finish up my current pincushion and see if we can auction it off on permies.  Whatever is left after shipping (CAD $20 approx) would be the budget.  It's sort of accessible, but we still need a needle, thread and thimble and not everyone is as engaged in social media to be able to auction off something to fund their quilting project... or are they?  
     
    Skandi Rogers
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    Urgh this is making me want to do a patchwork cover (not a quilt) I think I'll "cheat" and use a sewing machine if I do though!
     
    Jay Angler
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    Skandi Rogers wrote:Urgh this is making me want to do a patchwork cover (not a quilt) I think I'll "cheat" and use a sewing machine if I do though!

    Great - r ranson's inspiration is already working! I have nothing about machines, but one advantage of hand sewing is portability, and a second is quietness. Having decided to challenge myself last year and almost totally hand-sew a shirt out of gifted materials (see https://permies.com/t/154258/sewing/fiber-arts/Clothing-patterns-based-rectangles ) I found it surprisingly relaxing. I definitely improved with practice, and you definitely want some quality needles!
     
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