"Upcycled Blues" project summary

Review

As this project winds down to a close (I'm not there yet, but getting close...so close I'm starting to think beyond this project on to other things I want to make), it's time for a summary.

I began this project in mid November in hopes of using up several boxes of blues. I came into it with an idea for the first one, having planned that one a couple of years ago out of upcycled blues.  In fact, I had already made 4 or 5 of those monkey wrench blocks and put them aside as I grew tired of them. I just wasn't in the right mindset to work on them. I knew I wanted to make that top, but the time wasn't right, so I folded them all up nicely and put them aside.

The rest have been created "as I've gone" after evaluating what I have left or what colors and prints I have left in my buckets.

chart for blues.jpg

I decided to make up this little chart with all the info I could somewhat easily get out of each of these. I gave how much it weighs in grams and then lbs/ounces and number of pieces, according to the EQ program.  The crumbs ones - well, I didn't, nor could I easily do that with "The Kitchen Sink" - though it would be easier. The others were not hard to figure out using the program.

They range in number of pieces from 576 to 6600.  They also range in weight from 2 lbs. 7 oz. to almost 4 lbs. (3 lbs. 15 oz.). I found it interesting that they weigh in total about 47 lbs!  That's a lot of fabric! 

 I had a bit of a time getting 17 tops to stack this high without falling off.

I had a bit of a time getting 17 tops to stack this high without falling off.

 This total is in kg and is 46.85 lbs.

This total is in kg and is 46.85 lbs.

Can you tell I got a nice luggage platform scale a while ago -- My kitchen scale is more precise but harder to weigh something as big as a quilt top on it.

Gallery of all the tops

Here is a gallery of all of the tops in this series. I'd like to finish all of the quilting before it gets warm (usually it gets warm some time in May here in Poland).

If you are interested in the pattern for one of these, just click on the picture and the pdf should show up if it is written.

So, I'm sure the obvious question you are asking is, 

How many upcycled blues do you have left?

Good question. 

Here's what I've got.

1. My 2 boxes of blues - they were pretty full last time I took pictures. Too full.

IMG_0285 sm.jpg

They didn't want to shut properly, so I decided to go ahead and cut up some more pieces into 2.5" strips and make at least one more top out of them.

I have since pulled quite a bit out of them. 

IMG_0300 sm.jpg

Now they aren't full at all - nor are they very neat - you can actually get a lot more in the box when they are folded and packed in there neatly.

 
 I left the mouse here so you can see how huge this bag is.  Of course it's fluffy, and not packed down, but still....

I left the mouse here so you can see how huge this bag is.  Of course it's fluffy, and not packed down, but still....

2. I have a bag of misc. scraps that I'm pulling from for making my crumb blocks. It's located underneath my main piecing machine where I can throw small pieces in there (from my blues).  I still need to actually go back in my sewing room and pick up anything I see that is on the floor that needs to go in that bag. That's a constant struggle.

 
 I don't have a lot of these cut up - but I do have some. I'm not sure what to do with them. I mean, I have a plan that I could use them in, but I'd need a lot more. I'm not sure I'm up for it right now.

I don't have a lot of these cut up - but I do have some. I'm not sure what to do with them. I mean, I have a plan that I could use them in, but I'd need a lot more. I'm not sure I'm up for it right now.

3. I have a small number of 1.5" strips

 

4. I have quite a few 2.5" strips - from these I hope to make top number 18 AND all my scrappy bindings.

 The 2.5" strips I'll use for the bindings and another top. The mouse is for comparison purposes.

The 2.5" strips I'll use for the bindings and another top. The mouse is for comparison purposes.

 There are about 1/5 of the strip sets I need for top number 18 here.

There are about 1/5 of the strip sets I need for top number 18 here.

 

5. Then, last, I pulled out all my more interesting pieces from mostly the darker blues and am thinking of making a sort of "I spy" type quilt from them.  Once I get what I need, I can put the rest back in the boxes as there is room now for the bigger scraps to go back in.

 These are the more interesting blues that I have left now - and am thinking of trying a sort of I Spy type quilt - using these pretties. Sill thinking.

These are the more interesting blues that I have left now - and am thinking of trying a sort of I Spy type quilt - using these pretties. Sill thinking.

 

6. And in the interest of full disclosure, I still have more back yokes with labels and some more shirt pockets. However, I am combining them with other colors of yokes and pockets and putting them all together. They are no longer in with my blues, though of course, I can go and pick out some if I need them.

 

 Bindings in process. I have them hanging here on a ruler. I'll probably attach them to a hanger and let them hang up until the tops are quilted. I use 2.5" strips for this kind of binding.

Bindings in process. I have them hanging here on a ruler. I'll probably attach them to a hanger and let them hang up until the tops are quilted. I use 2.5" strips for this kind of binding.

Then, as I was lying in bed one night, I realized that I need bindings for all of these!  Since I use 2.5" bindings, I figured I'd go ahead and make up 17 or 18 scrappy bindings to be used on all of these. Now THAT will use up another 9+ yards of fabric scraps as each binding will need to be about 400"+ Then, for sure my boxes would be able to close easily with room for more should I come across more pieces that need to go in them!

I do want to point out that while I used my boxes of blues for the main parts of these quilts, when you see a lot of one fabric - whether it is a print or a solid, it was probably a duvet cover or curtains or something like that, and was not in the boxes - it was on a special bookcase where I keep my upcycled fabrics separate from my new fabrics - they are all big pieces and able to be folded nicely and put on a shelf. The boxes pretty much held only pieces of clothing items or other misc. pieces of various shapes and sizes - but mostly shirts.

I freely pulled from the fabrics (duvet covers, curtains, etc) in making these tops.  Otherwise, I would not have been able to make the sort of tops I like.  I tend to like ones with clear contrast, lots of chains and and easy to see design. Often using a constant fabric - one that isn't scrappy - that constant single fabric helps me keep those design lines bold and clean. Obviously I didn't do that all the time, though.

I have prepared only about 8 backings as well. I need to get on the stick with preparing the rest of the ones I need. I guess I'm not feeling the need for that quite yet though until I begin to use up what I've got.

I will probably need to expand and use other colors since I know I don't have enough blue duvet covers and curtains or sheets to make all the needed backings. But I do have a of reds and other colors - so I'll probably have fun with the backings! Seems like the back is a great place to have be adventurous with different colors!

And now you know.

As I do finish up the rest of these "upcycled blues" tops, it is going to feel like a marathon race after the first professional runners finish.  These are always some stragglers that come along way behind the others - sometimes hours later, but they finish.  That's how it will be for this project as I will probably have a couple more upcycled blues tops straggling in here....but later...much later.

Just keep an eye out if this is something that interests for you.

I'm pretty much ready to leave the upcycleds for now and go on to using some new fabrics.

For one, it is easier, and secondly, I'm just itching to dig into some of the gorgeous fabrics I have on my shelves.

AND my daughter-in-law told me the baby quilts I made for my two granddaughters are getting  a bit small (I asked!) - as the girls are now 2 years+ and in the 99% percentile of height. Time for some new quilts for them!  I can't wait to tackle those!  I am seriously considering finding some upcycled pink shirt pockets, though, and incorporating at least two in each of my granddaughter's quilts.  Wouldn't kids love to have pockets in their quilts? I'd think so!  I'll just put them along the edges so they aren't near their faces. Because of their age, I'd probably not use pockets with buttons, but when they grow older, why not?  They can keep special things in their quilt!


Just don't forget if you need some fabrics for your next project, be sure to check out what my sister has available in the shop! She's excited to see your orders and is loving working with fabric!

Have a great day wherever you are reading this!



Becky Petersen5 Comments