What is this curved piece used for?

My mom participates in activities at the senior citizen’s center and it’s not unusual for some of the folks to bring in random things to share when they move or downsize. Lots of books, art supplies, plant cuttings, and fabrics make their way to the table out front. Not long ago mom brought home a stash of quilting leftovers. In amongst the scraps she found some already cut quilt pieces.

And there’s one we can’t figure out.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

She’s already made two quilts (that I know of) from rescued already-cut quilt pieces. This blue and pink is twin sized. The solid blue and floral print rectangles were rescued and she pulled the pink out of her stash for the border.

Rescue Quilt Blue and Pink

This print fabric is from the 70s or 80s and coincidentally it’s a fabric she’d used before. She tracked down her own scraps to cut an extra piece or two. I think I suggested the saw tooth edge. It’s one of my favorite borders, but there wasn’t enough to go all the way around so it’s just on the sides.

More recently she took a pile of squares we found and came up with this.

Rescue Quilt on Jan Made It
These fabrics are more recent, maybe ten years ago?, and I had some of this collection in my stash. It’s a double size quilt.

But back to this recent find. There were stacks and stacks of diamonds in a variety of calicoes. And there was a smaller batch of a curved piece.

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

Now there are lots of things to do with a pile of diamonds: make stars, stitch them end to end into rows, assemble a V pattern make rows of chevron; but we’re having a hard time with the curved piece. We tried to fit the curved piece and the diamond together, but the angles and edges don’t fit together.

Any idea what quilt pattern this piece makes? Does it go together to make a circle? Or maybe every other one flips and makes a snake-like row? Is it all pieced together to make a block, or is it stitched to a block like an applique?

Unknown Quilt Pieces on Jan Made It

I’m sure Mom will come up with something great once she wraps her head around these curves. I’m the one who wants to know what it was cut for.  I haven’t found an index of quilt pieces and what they’re used for, but surely there’s a quilter out there who can help.

Any ideas? And what would you make out of it

Jan

Cutter Quilts ~ It’s Almost A Sin

Quilts that are so ragged they can’t be used as blankets anymore are called “cutter quilts.”  These are the quilts people buy to cut up and make into something else.

So far I haven’t been able to cut into an old quilt, and I have quite a few, but I love finding things other people have made out of them.

Quilty Teddy Bear on The Little Blue TrunkThis teddy bear is one. He was probably made in the 80s from a much older quilt.

Primitive Kitty on The Little Blue TrunkThis primitive kitty is another one. I love her little hand embroidered face, complete with whiskers and her little red tongue.

IMG_0238.JPGShe’s made from a hand pieced quilt and is a bit misshapen so it appears she was cut without benefit of a pattern. I get the feeling she might have been made by a young girl as an early sewing project.

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Her tail was tacked to the body in one spot and when I got her it had ripped away, taking a chunk of the quilt with it. I found a ragged crocheted doily that was perfect to  use as a patch. The tail is back in place and the repairs add to, rather than take away from the primitive charm.

She could probably stand to have another old doily or two added to her cheek and shoulder to protect the fraying top layer of the quilt. If I come across the right little doily I’ll make some more repairs and update the pictures.

A few months ago someone gave me an old “cutter quilt”. There’s a lot of red in it so it would make some beautiful Christmas stockings. I don’t need to keep another ragged quilt so it’s time for me to bite the bullet and make something out of it. As Christmas stockings it will have a whole new lease on life and brings smiles and laughter for many more years to come.

What do you do with old quilts?

Do you store them? Toss them?

Or do you cut them up and make something new?

Jan

New Wrap Bangles and $1.00 Shipping

I listed a few more wrap bangles today, and I reduced shipping to $1.00 each. Here are two of five new items in The Little Blue Trunk.

Recycled USB Cable on The Little Blue Trunk on EtsyThis is another recycled USB cable. Wrap this twice and it makes a really cool choker!

Click on the images to go to the listings for more information.

Chunky Wrap Bangle on The Little Blue TrunkThis chunky turquoise wrap is one of two bright ones I made.  The other is red with flower buttons. Wrap it four times to fit a smaller wrist (for little girls?).

I have a few more pieces of jewelry to list and then I’ll get back to vintage.

Jan

One Hundred Items Listed on Etsy

I listed item number 100 a few minutes ago. Three more bracelets took me to that milestone.

Chunky Crocheted Bracelet on The Little Blue Trunk on EtsyThere’s this blue paisley crocheted bracelet with a red and gold button.

 

Infinity Blue Bracelet on the Little Blue TrunkThis blue Infinity style features a large mother of pearl button on the top and a small blue vintage button on the back to fasten it.

 

4X Wrap Bracelet on the Little Blue TrunkThis 4x Wrap Bracelet is significantly repurposed.  Instead of using cotton cord for piping, this bracelet us made with a discarded USB computer cable.

My little felt falling leaves bobby pins have been featured in two treasuries.

IMG_9619.JPGI hope that means I’ll sell them.

Or maybe someone would prefer Candy Corn Bobby Pins.

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Locals can contact me to knock off the shipping for pick up.

I have a couple dozen more items photographed and in line to list. I’m researching Polaroid Land Cameras, Glass Insulators from 1893, a Paul Revere Reproduction silver pitcher, a couple of Italian hammered aluminum ice buckets, and a very cool three-in-one convertible handbag from 1957.  Very Mad Men-ish.

Any comments?

Jan

Chunky Crocheted Bracelets

I love wearing bracelets, so here’s what I’ve been up to lately. I added these to my Etsy shop, The Little Blue Trunk, this morning.

Chunky Crocheted Bracelet on The Little Blue Trunk on Etsy

I used a couple of vintage buttons to tie off the red one and a gigantic vintage bead for the gray one.

Chunky Crocheted Bracelet on The Little Blue Trunk on Etsy

Then I used some leftovers to make this wrap bracelet to go with the gray.

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It looks good paired with the chunky gray crochet.

IMG_0008.JPGI used bias tape on piping cord, some of it rescued from an ugly pillow. They are assembled with crochet thread and pearl embroidery thread. I bought the embroidery thread new, but everything else is made with rescued and recycled materials.

I have a few more to finish and photograph: a blue, red and gold paisley, medium blue with huge mother of pearl button, light purple and a skinny charcoal gray wrap.

Be sure to follow my Etsy shop to see the new ones when I finish them.

I’ll be adding bling to the ones I make next, beads and vintage jewelry will turn up the heat.

Tell me what colors you’d like to see these in. They sky’s the limit!

Jan

The Little Blue Trunk ~ Sale Number Two, and Over 300 Favorite Me!

I made my second sale on etsy last week.  YAY!  It was this cute little bobble dog. He’s off to a new family.

Vintage Dog  Bobble Head on Little Blue Trunk on etsy 5

I’m also up to 338 shop views, and 324 favorites! I’m aggressively following and favoriting all sorts of wonderful things that are out there which brings more people to find my shop.

I listed a half-dozen or so more items last night and am up to 41. Pretty puny compared to many shops, but I’m working on it. I’ve added a new section, Vintage Ephemera, to my shop starting with a few advertisements from the 70s.

How about this ad for Camel cigarettes? In the ad copy I was surprised they suggested the geeky looking guy was wearing his IQ on his shirt. Along with a couple more ads, I will be listing more paper today. Some postcards, Christmas card, open house invitation, and a Handbook for Farmers and Ranchers, all from the 60s.

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I listed a couple more toddler shirt pillow makeovers. These soft pillows are perfect for a toddler pillow fight! And they’re a good size to keep in the car. Cram one around the edges of the car seat to prop up a flopped over sleepy traveler.

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And I’m listing my recycled jeans baby bibs and baby slippers. I’ve got these kerchief bibs,—great for droolers—and other bibs appliqued and trimmed with vintage eyelet, rick rack, and other fun stuff. You can find lots of baby bibs on etsy, but looks like these baby slippers are only from me. I need to think of a cute name for them.

Recycled Jeans Baby Bib and Booties on The Little Blue Trunk on etsy

Now that I’m getting into a rhythm with it watch for new listings every day.

 

Jan

Baby Bibs and Slippers ~ Recycling Denim Jeans

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week.

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I’ve been stitching up more of my Denim Jean Skirts  and of course my mind is wandering over all the ways I can use the leftover denim.

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I was sewing at the flea market a couple of weeks ago and someone came by and got all excited about these bibs she’d been making for friends.

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She was making the kerchief trimmed ones and said they are excellent “drool” bibs for teething toddlers. Then she came back the next week and brought me a sample and a template so I could sell them.

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After I made a couple with kerchiefs I spied a stash of eyelet trim and decided to use it to decorate a few in a different style.

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Then I was checking through pinterest looking at other uses for old jeans and came across some baby slippers, which I adapted with an elastic band around the heel.

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And then I added trim to match the bibs.

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Aren’t they cute?

I have them at my booth at the flea market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds this weekend and I’ll add them to my etsy store next week.

Do you have an idea for a denim makeover? I’ve made small purses, a small tote, and lots of skirts. What’s your favorite?

 

Really Cute Rescued and Recycled Sun Hats

I LOVE hats. I wear a hat every opportunity I get. I always wore an Easter bonnet on Easter Sunday, usually made over to match my Easter dress and new patent leather shoes.

I found a perfectly good straw sun hat recently and it had a slash across the crown. It hadn’t been worn so the slash was invisible, but would fray if it wasn’t repaired or patched. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

What do you think?

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How about that cute little flower?

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

I braided some bright variegated cord to tie around the crown and used the same for a chin strap.

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How about hot pink and turquoise?

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Wish I could wear one everyday, but it’s been cold(ish) and cloudy, so they’re a little out-of-place right now.

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What about this lavender straw hat?

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This was a boring little hat, kind of a flat-topped boater style. The crown was caved in, and the straw was kind of limp. When I painted it the crown perked up and it became much less floppy.

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I picked the color to match the vintage cotton I came across in my stash. After I cut out those little bouquets, I had some curvy edges left on the main piece of fabric. Instead of wasting a scallop, I cut the curves into sections, gathered them into “petals” and stitched them along the hat band. Twisted fabric rosettes covered the raw edges.

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I glued a fabric band around the brim for several reasons.

  1. Comfort. A piece of fabric is more wearable than scratchy straw.
  2. To absorb sweat.
  3. To attach the chin strap. I originally thought I’d use grommets, but it’s practically impossible to do that one-handed. (That’s a totally ‘nother story I’ll share later.)

The additional fabric bouquets hide—and secure—the thread used to attach the hat band and flowers on the brim.

All of the hats have ribbon or fabric inside the brim, and a chin lanyard. Practically a requirement in forever-windy Oklahoma.

I have more rescued hats in the works. A cute little white bucket hat (yes, that’s the name of a hat) with a black and yellow daisy makeover; an “up-brim” sun hat going from dull dark straw to a lively garden green; and a hot pink straw cowboy hat, which will feature a hot pink snake-skin adornment on the crown… any idea how hard it is to find hot pink snakes? …

I’ll take some measurements and list these in my etsy shop. I’ll update this post with a shopping link when I get them online. Be sure you’re a subscriber so you won’t miss what’s coming next!

Jan

 

 

Fun Felt Toys

When I scrolled through my Pinterest pages a few days ago to find images of the button-down shirt pillows  for my last post, I came across several projects that caught my attention—again. I printed several of them, including these wool scrap pincushions from Better Homes and Gardens. And this one, also from BHG.

Then I rooted through my stash and found some hoarded felt and got busy.

Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

How’d I do?

Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

I started with the heart pincushions. I cut out a heart shape free-hand and then stacked it on a variety of colors and cut out more of them so I could mix and match in assembly.

Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

While I was cutting—I tend to do things assembly-line-style—I also cut out a couple of daisy-type flowers, two different sizes, and a tulip.

I assembled the hearts first and used a simple blanket stitch around the edge. As the tiny pillow neared completion I stuffed in little bits of fiber fill. I tacked a small circle of felt on a larger circle of felt for the flower. Then I snipped notches in the larger circle to make the petals and attached the little flower to the heart.

Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

For the daisies, I found out I have to stuff the petals as I go, and next time I won’t make the base of the petal so skinny.

As suggested in the BHG pins, I attached a ribbon to the center back of each of the hearts and flowers. They suggest tying one to the handle of a sewing basket. I also suggest they can be tied to the arm of your sewing machine, or for hand-work, you can tie it around your wrist.

Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

After the original shapes were complete, my imagination was running pretty rampant and I made a block which will be a dandy toy for a tot. I started with flowers on two of the sides, then a butterfly seemed appropriate for the garden-theme.

Felt Toys on JanMadeIt

A caterpillar inches along a little branch. It’s one of those camo caterpillars with a fake eye at the tail end so predators can’t tell if they’re coming or going.

Felt Toys on JanMadeIt

A friend is a fan of frogs, so I came up with this guy for another panel. I was very pleased that everyone recognized it as a frog.

Felt Toys on JanMadeIt

And on one of the pictures above you can see I put a little blue bird on the last panel.

I wanted a ladybug on one panel, but I was manning my booth at the flea market and I didn’t have any black felt with me. But lo and behold, I came across a box full of scraps, some already cut into quilt pieces and there was a small stack of felt, including black, in the mix so now I could make my ladybug. I just love her. Felt Toys and Pincushions on JanMadeIt

If you’re handy with a needle, you can easily craft your own and show friends or family how to do it. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t even know which end of the needle to thread I can turn this into a tutorial that will show you how. Just ask.

I have one more week at the flea market and then I’ll put these on etsy. Or maybe I’ll put a kit on etsy and you can sew your own. If that’s something you’d like, let me know and I can certainly put them together for you.

Easy Peasy.

If you want to keep up with my next project, follow me. And “like” my Jan Made It facebook page while you’re at it.

I’ve shared this post on:

Plaid Pillow Makeovers ~ 100% Recycled

 

 

I don’t remember how or when the idea occurred to me, but then my friend Dianna mentioned it, and then I started seeing samples online.

I’m talking about turning shirts into pillows. I pinned it when I came across a couch full of them—and a great tutorial—on Country Living.

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

In the tutorial they used adult shirts and cut them down to fit pillow forms of a specific size. But the shirts I planned to use were big-boy plaids for little boys. And the toddler-size didn’t give me room for wide seam allowances and top-stitching and other edge treatments.

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

All I could do was turn the shirts inside out and sew side seams as close to the sleeve as possible without infringing on the little pockets on the chest. The woven plaid made it easy to stitch in a straight line.

Next I cut the shoulders away from the body just below the yoke and that became the seam along the top of the pillow.

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

 

Recycling Note:

Since Poly fill is so expensive these days, I’m a big fan of recycling old pillows. I’m not talking about old stained, sweaty, smelly pillows, just pillows that are out of style. They’re usually only a dollar or two at garage sales and worth the trouble to recycle.

First thing is toss them in the washing machine, and then put them in the dryer. No matter what the fabric content, all of them have come out looking amazing, but alas, they’re still out of style.

Lightweight cottons and polys can be covered as is, but you’ll want to remove the outer pillowcase on heavier fabrics or if there are embellishments or textures that might show through.

 

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

To fill the pillows I performed surgery on a couple of small clean old pillows. One pillow form was ready-made and it fit nicely into the red plaid. The other pillow was naked inside, so I had to make a lining for it. I found a scrap of white lining fabric which fit the bill.

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

The final step was to turn them inside out and make the final seam across the bottom.

Then I unbuttoned the shirt, turned them right side out and crammed the forms inside. Then I smushed  and pushed and prodded and smashed everything around to fill in the corners and voila! Two pretty cute little pillows.

 

Plaid Pillow Makeovers on JanMadeIt

 

I haven’t measured these, but they’re just the right size for little naps. What do you think? Do you have a special spot for a couple of casual little pillows?

By the way, this project is 100% recycled.

 

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