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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Upcycling Hawaiian shirts into a quilt ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Upcycling Hawaiian shirts into a quilt
Hawaiian shirt
rubbecca

rubbecca
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Date: 1/10/13 5:56 PM

My father-in-law passed away a few months ago. He was an avid collector of Hawaiian shirts. My sister-in-law has two bag of shirts that she was going to donate. I told her that I wanted the shirts for the fabric to turn into a quilt.

The Hawaiian shirts are made from various materials, some cotton, some rayon, some cotton-polyester blend. Can I use a combination of these fabrics in my quilt? I'm a beginner quilter.

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Sharon1952
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Date: 1/10/13 6:04 PM

You can use any fabrics you want. It is best not to mix wovens and knits, but other than that go for it. If this is for memories it doesn't matter. Some may wear more or less than others. If some fabric is particularly thin you can always iron on interfacing or add a second layer of plain fabric behind it.

Good luck with your adventure.

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

beauturbo
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Date: 1/10/13 6:09 PM

You could use a combination of any fabric in a quilt. I think if you stuck cotton and rayon together though, the rayon fabric parts are going to wear out from friction and washing before the cotton parts do though, at some point in time. Also, I think some people might pay a whole lot of money for some "collectable" Hawaiian shirts from some time periods possibly. Nothing wrong with cutting them all up and using for anything you would want (just like any other thing or garment) but at the same time, if only doing that, because you don't have any other fabric scraps laying around, you might want to at least check that out first.

Franksdottir

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Date: 1/10/13 6:33 PM

Absolutely, yes. One of our members not long ago used corduroy in chevrons and it was stupendous. You can use any fabric you like, although my own experience is that knits should not be mixed with woven fabrics unless you really want to and decide to do it. Personally, this is one thing I probably would never do. (Famous last words.)

There are no quilt police. You get to do what you like, how you like, when you like, with whatever you like.

Some of these fabrics are harder to use in quilting than others, which means what it says, it is possible, just a bit more complicated. Anything which ravels is obviously more of a problem than fabric which doesn't. (My kids would say, "duh, Mama.")

Want some unsolicited advice? (If not, skip this.) Probably the best thing would be simple blocks, with not too many pieces, and larger rather than smaller pieces so that you don't have to worry about raveling and distortion.

I think this is a lovely idea and will be a healing thing to do while you are mourning your father-in-law.



-- Edited on 1/10/13 7:06 PM --

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Barb

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Date: 1/10/13 6:40 PM

I agree with Barb. Use them because they have special meaning, and keep the blocks large and simple. Will help preserve that lovely Hawaiian print too!

I think fusing interfacing to the more prone to fray and ravel pieces is a GREAT idea too!

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Cathryn

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Date: 1/10/13 7:27 PM

I think this is a great idea. You might think about pillows if you want to make something for other family members. They would also look great with the quilt. I made some from shirts, using the button front and pocket as pillow features Sample Pillows

Franksdottir

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Date: 1/10/13 8:07 PM

Kathy, those are wonderful! And so quilty, using part of the shirt which is hard to find something to do with!

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Barb

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