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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Use It Up!

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”  This motto was a way of life especially during the Great Depression. Of necessity many of our ancestors were extremely frugal and had to make do with whatever fabrics were available when they needed another quilt.  Feedsacks were often recycled into quilts.  Some fabrics used in a quilt had a previous life as a house dress.  You can be sure every scrap of fabric was put to good use.  Often, this meant piecing tiny bits of fabric together to make one little square.  

The squares in this detail image of a vintage quilt are only 1 1/4" but look how many of them are made of two pieces. 

While I don't piece anything this small, I do like to "use it up" and piece together fabrics of similar color to make a larger strip.  This often works out well for borders on utilitarian quilts like the following.
Here's a close up of the border.

And another example of a "patched together border".
Some squares in my quilts are cut from my husband's old shirts.  You'd be amazed at how many 6" squares you can get from one long-sleeved shirt. Recycling and economy of resources aren't new ideas.  Our grandmothers paved the way for conservation and we can all benefit from their example.