Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Making fabric scraps into useful donations

Unwanted fabric, big and small is a problem for lots of crafters, quilters etc. The stuff piles up! My son's college had a sobering labeling system for garbage. Cans read either "recycling" or "landfill". Yikes! It's so easy to toss stuff in a garbage bag and not think about what happens to it after that. 

So, I have scraps large and small, thread up the wazoo, not to mention UFOs that are never going to get finished because I either screwed them up too badly to make it worth the time to fix them, or I really hate them. Leah Day had a thought provoking post on what to do with unwanted fabric, and it didn't take much investigation to find out that my local quilt shop collected pillows stuffed with all the unwanted soft stuff, and donated them to the local animal shelter. Done deal!

I can't tell you how therapeutic it is to take a rotary cutter to really ugly projects, or projects which have driven you to distraction. And when the end result is something that will provide a little comfort to a homeless animal, well, it positively makes your halo glow, and takes away all the guilt so often associated with UFOs!

All you need is some kind of container for your pillow, to support it while you are filling it. I have a rectangular basket which I keep next to my sewing machine, so it's really easy to dispose of all those threads. 

Then you need some fabric for the pillow casing. Obviously I do not use my rather nice hand-dyed shibori, this is for demonstration purposes only! I normally buy fleece when it is on sale, as it is so nice and snugly. Lay the fabric out, then fold in half, right sides together. Sew the 2 short ends closed and turn it right side out. 
Hand-dyed Procion MX shibori

Hand-dyed Procion MX shibori

Remove cat from fabric and line basket with it - the fabric, not the cat. 

In a shockingly short period of time the pillow will be full of threads, trimmings, free-motion practice strips and the like. If you are feeling kind, buy some cheap batting and slice a little into each pillow for some extra softness. Check for stray pins. These will not add to the comfort of the pillow!

Not your average pretty blog picture!

Dangling threads are a great temptation. You may have to rescue some which have mysteriously left the basket.

Make sure the pillow is not so full that it is no longer soft, then sew up the long open end. I just zigzag it closed. Your scraps are taken care of, you have a nice soft pillow for a needy animal, and the effort involved is minimal. Thanks for spurring me to action, Leah!

No comments:

Post a Comment