I mentioned in my last post that over Christmas I was kept nice and busy sorting out my Mum’s attic. She had recently read an article in the paper about a man who had collected yachting magazines all his life; carefully storing them in his attic only to have them fall through the ceiling and squash him (she said that he had died as a result, though I have a feeling this was slightly embellished in order to give me further incentive). So in good dutiful daughter style I plodded up to the attic – which was no mean feat considering my ingrained fear of heights – and proceeded to sort through everything that was up there. Most of what I found was old paper work and school books, and not seeing the point in keeping 16 years worth of my Maths homework (no one needs to see that disaster) that all went. There were a lot of toys that went to the charity shop and year upon year of Christmas decorations that went out of fashion as soon as the millennium was over. After this I was left with loads of boxes of sentimental items like photos, books and... finally getting to my point... childhood clothes and school uniforms.
I was thrilled to find these as after making the husband a patchwork quilt out of his favourite old t-shirts for Christmas I decided in true spoilt child style that I wanted one too! So on boxing day arms full of old tops, uniforms, book bags and scarves I tromped downstairs – unceremoniously dumped them on the living room floor (much to mums horror) and began chopping them up. This took a little mental prompting on my part as I was very attached to them and a little reticent to cut them up – but I was never going to wear them again and at least this way they would have a new life which, after all is what reconsidered Retro is all about!
So, many hours of sewing later I had a lovely double duvet sized patchwork quilt full of patches and fabric scraps that all held brilliant memories for me...
From my first book bag complete with my name and class carefully written on by my mum.
To my garish gymnastics leotard (which I considered omitting due to how awful I was!)
And the Ghostbusters t-shirt I painted Ryan for his 16th birthday.
To more recent years with my university hoody and lace from my wedding dress.
I had so much fun making it that I then got my friend round for a sewing weekend and we made one for her too. We had started making a traditional patchwork quilt over 2 years ago – but due to inaccurate cutting the patches were wrongly sized and it all went downhill from there! So I tempted her back with the promise of a completed quilt and she arrived with a suitcase of old clothes. This time around the quilt got made!
The beauty of these quilts isn’t just their obvious sentimental value but the fact that they are much simpler to make than traditional patchwork quilts. So we in fact ended up making a double sized quilt, 2 embroidered patchwork cushions and a bolster cushion too, and she left happy with a case full of pieces for her new flat.
A brilliant way to reuse old sentimental clothes or fabric and if you aren’t keen on the sewing part drop me a line and I’d be more than happy to make you one too!
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