Yesterday was the Tehachapi Mountain Quilt Guild’s monthly meeting, and as I usually do at the end of each meeting, I cleared off the freebie table and took the ‘leavings’ home. When I got home, I sorted out the fabrics, neatly rolling or folding fabrics that I couldn’t use either for myself or my quilting friend, and putting them aside to be taken to the local charity thrift shop. I do this every month and it serves several purposes — It keeps them from the landfill (these bits and pieces were routinely pitched into the trash at the end of each meeting before I began clearing the table and taking everything home), it puts things (fabrics, quilting magazines, patterns, yarn, sewing accessories) into the thrift shop so people who can’t afford to buy new can purchase them for pennies on the dollar, and it adds to my stash and that of my quilting friend. Neither of us likes to see waste.

Last night, I shook the fabrics out and carefully folded accordion-style, anything larger than a 10″ square. Safety-pinning the folds every 6″ along the top and bottom before washing them, keeps the fabrics from fraying and thus getting all tangled and balled up in the washer and dryer. When I pull the fabrics from the dryer, I locate the safety pins at each end and carefully pull the fabric straight. The fabric’s folds line right up and although the fabric is still wrinkled, the amount of thread tangles is minimal. I stack these ‘bundles’ up and break out my iron and ironing board.


I began ironing and only managed to get through a couple of pieces before I noticed that the light had gone out on my iron. Pushing the on/off button, I thought to myself that perhaps the light had burned out… one could hope it was that easy! I figured if the light was out, I could work the button until the iron got very hot and then I knew it was at the Cotton setting and to turn it off or on, I could merely plug or unplug it until I could decide whether to take the iron into a repair shop (or have DH take a look at it) or to begin using the iron from downstairs (which is very old, and quite ugly compared to this newer one, but it works). I unplugged the iron and decided I’d either work on something else or go sit and read for a bit. Once the iron had cooled, I’d see if I could get DH to take a look at it.

Sometimes, a garment winds up in the fabrics and things on the freebie table. If I see the fabric is usable, I wash it, then I take out my seam ripper, sit down in a comfortable chair, and have at it, picking apart the seams to resurrect the fabric. In this particular case, I came across a small dress that had been made from Laurel Burch fabric. Laurel Burch fabric is bright, colorful, and always a bit more expensive than even the most expensive quilting fabrics. This was a boon for me as I had been collecting kids fabrics for a comfort quilt. Notwithstanding that I dearly love Laurel Burch fabrics! The top part of the dress had been cut away, but there was still at least a yard and a quarter of fabric left.


So here I am, writing about my iron and my lovely new piece of fabric–something that I couldn’t really afford to buy right now. A gift from someone in the guild… how nice.

Be safe, be well and please be happy. There are many small things in life to be grateful for, we just have to keep our eyes and heart open. By taking what was once considered trash, I was gifted with fabric that I can use to create something to give away. A conduit of life… Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.


About tehachap

The easiest way to define myself is as a very happily married woman with two sons and two grandsons. My hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, trains (watching, photographing and running them in G scale), and travel. My husband and I are retired and we spend our winters in Arizona. I used to own a secretarial and desktop publishing business, but closed it when my husband retired in 1999. We have truly enjoyed our retirement years, and have fulfilled one of our primary goals in life and that is to own a home overlooking train tracks so we can watch trains 24/7. We are sincerely blessed in this life.
Link | This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Repurposing

  1. tehachap says:

    It seems to always be something with WordPress–today, I managed to start a new post, added photos (hooray) but the title won’t appear for some reason… so “Pick, Pick, Pick and Repurpose” aren’t shown.


  2. bronsonbitsandpieces says:

    These are some things I didn’t know about quilting. If I could quilt, I’d love these tips.


  3. seedys says:

    I love that you do this. I hadn’t thought of picking apart all the clothing I gathered at the semi-annual ‘swap’ at the rec center this May. I am going out right now, getting my seam ripper and a huge bag of clothing and now I have something non-strenuous yet productive to do!


  4. mageb says:

    I really love that fabric. 🙂 I was thinking about joining a quilting claass near me. Something new.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s