The first quilt during the Week of Using What You Have is called “Skirting the Circle” by none other than Beth Copeland who shows us how she connects her family in this quilt by using fabric from a skirt that both she and her mother wore. Beth blogs at smazoochie.blogspot.com and you can also find her work on flickr under the flickr name “smazoochie”. She is a proud member of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild. Read more as Beth explains a little more about this quilt and her love of using re-purposed fabric.
Tell Us About Your Quilt
The heart and soul of this quilt is an old circle skirt from the 1950’s. It belonged to my Mom. I was always a fan of vintage clothing and in high school and college, I used to wear this skirt. Long after I was thin enough to wear it, I carried it around with me, for what reason, I don’t know. A few years ago, I was cleaning out my sewing room closet and was this close to passing the skirt along to someone else who loved vintage clothes, when I stopped and decided to cut it up. I had some solids on hand that went well with the mustard, gray and blue in the print and I guess the fact that it was a circle skirt suggested using the quarter circle block. Once the blocks were assembled, the large, plain circles, looked, well, large and plain. So I used some 1/8 inch satin ribbon to extend some of the lines in the print. Quilting my quilts has never been my strength, but I feel I sort of jumped a stumbling block with this quilt; using my walking foot, the inner circles are densely quilted.
What do you love about using scraps or re-purposed fabrics?
I had not really thought about it, but I am getting sort of a ‘rep’ for using old clothing in quilts. At the Modern Quilt Guild Meet-up at last year’s Quilt Market and Festival, several people commented on this. I have always been a thrift shopper and often would buy garments just for the fabric. Recently, as I empty out childhood home, my fabric shelves have been filling up with old family clothing. I like the thrift of using clothing in quilts — though you need to be careful, I have used fabrics that were not good quality and they have ripped or shredded later in the quilt’s life. I’ve even blogged about the use of clothing fabrics in quilts. I especially like using family clothing; it is an excellent way to wrap yourself up with your loved ones. This is even more meaningful when a loved one is no longer able to wrap themselves around you.
Tell Us About Yourself and About You as a Quilter
I am an older Modern Quilter. I’ve been seriously quilting since the mid-1980s. Over the years, my personal style of quilting had become less about elaborate and fussy piecing, applique and quilting and more about simple shapes that highlight the fabrics. When I found the Modern Quilters, I felt I had found my home. I love the youth, enthusiasm and inter-connectedness of the Modern movement and so happy to be a part of it.