During a major cleaning phase, a friend passed along a whole stack of very stylish vintage towels she had been collecting over the years. I thought long and hard about what could be done with these towels, to maximum effect. The size of vintage towels is a tricky business. Too small to wrap around most people and comfortably cover all after a bath or shower. Too big to be used as a hand towel. They could be individually spread out throughout the bathrooms in the house for display only, hung up or stacked on shelves.
Then, it hit me- the easiest upcycle job ever- they would make perfect oversized beach towels!
Basically the easiest project ever- after you’ve collected the materials. Line the towels up in the color and pattern combos you prefer. Look closely before you sew them together, there is definitely a front and a back on most towels.
Most of the towels lined up to be close enough in size to sew right together. Trim and hem the vintage towels that are too long to fit next to the other towels.
The repurposed vintage towels have definitely become a family favorite. Excellent for laying on in the sun. Perfect for covering up when you’ve had enough sun for the day.
So now you’ve got a great reason to go thrifting! Stand out in all the right ways at the beach, lake, concert in the park or picnic with your up-cycle savvy vintage towel brilliance. And it’s absolutely the easiest DIY sewing project you’ll ever tackle.
An experiment in every way.
I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head and in my dreams for a while now. With a bit of stolen time each day, I started dyeing fabric with coffee and tea, cutting without a straight edge, stitching blocks and washing fabrics and then arranging blocks.
Then, making up the design and mapping all the blocks together.
No Rules Quilting, as I’ve come to think of it, is harder than you might think. It’s experimental quilting and you can’t do anything wrong, ever. Which is a relief and also a burden.
When there isn’t any one telling you what to do, no rules or steps to follow, the process can be exhausting. A constant mental battle on what you’ve been taught and know to be accepted (no exposed edges or uncut thread ends) within in the quilting/sewing communities and the beauty of irregularity, imperfection and what some might think of as a big mess.
I like the result so much, I’m willing to toss all the rules aside and see what shakes down.
At this point, the project slows down. The piecing work has been done on a sewing machine so far. I have plans for slow stitching- hand stitching the finish work. I love the look of Kantha quilting, so a lot of that look will be involved.
Perhaps a traditional binding, maybe not? A frame with the quilt stretched across the inside like an animal skin? Hung from a stick with loops? Stapled to the wall? We shall see…
Now, I carry this project with me wherever I go. Because the beauty of hand stitching is that you can do it anywhere and everywhere. And that’s what audiobooks are for…
Have a wonderful day!