Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reuse, Recycle

Quilters are amongst the best recyclers in the world.  We can find a use for the smallest bits of fabric or thread. 
Today I have a couple of ideas to add to your 'reuse stash'.  The first is a useful object if you are a long arm quilter although others will find it a handy item as well. 
Quilters are always removing threads, snipping threads and untangling threads while they work.  A piece of batting draped over the shoulder is a good place to put them so they don't end up on the floor and either get tangled around the casters of a chair, eaten by the quilt cat or have to be swept up later (if kitty left any behind).  The size of the batting is personal preference but mine is approximately 5 inches wide by 10 inches long.  I like it long enough to have it drape over either side of the shoulder so it stays in place.  When I snip a thread, I just place it on the batting where it stays.
Pins are frequently being either stuck in a quilt or being removed.  Before I added a small pin cushion to my thread catcher, I was always moving  or searching for my other cushion.
The shoulder pin cushion shouldn't be very big and it should have something to stop the pin from going through the cushion and into your shoulder.  I cut the base from one of Heidi's dog food containers.  It is about 3 by 3.  I trim it so it is approximately an inch smaller  (2 X 2)  Place a small amount of stuffing on the base and cover with fabric.  I make an envelope of fabric slightly larger than the base and slip the base/stuffing inside.  Slip stitch opening closed. (This pattern can be used to make a small take along pin cushion for going to quilt classes or group.  Any lightweight plastic is suitable for the base.  I use the entire dog food container for my take along.  The sides of the little dish keep the pins controlled.  Heidi eats Cesar dog food but there are similiar sized pet food containers for both cats and dogs.  Some are a thin metal and this, too, would work.)
Pin the cushion to the thread catcher batting.  You will need to change your batting as it gets full of threads so it is best if the cushion removes easily.

Other Batting Uses

Batting, no matter the price or fibre content,  is useful in a number of ways.  Hot pads, coasters, change mats etc are all handy items.  However, you can also use the batting as a duster.  It can replace those 'static' cloths that seem to be the latest cleaning innovation.  Find a left over piece that is approx. the size of your mop, put it on the floor, place your mop on it and dust.  Another bit can be used to do your shelves etc.  Dust seems be attracted to the fibre batting like beet juice to a white tablecloth
If you are moving, place bits of batting between your china dishes to prevent breakage.  You can also make small bags from batting to store your good crystal, glassware and other breakables.  I am sure you can think of many similar uses.  If you would like to share your ideas with me, I will post them for others to use.

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