A couple of months ago, I wrote about how to use fabric scraps to create a patchwork table runner and I was thrilled to hear from a reader who was inspired by the post to sew her own runner from a friend's grandfather's collection of bow ties.
Not only is the idea of re-purposing sentimental clothing, scarves, or linens into patchwork fabrics a heartwarming way to make a fresh start, it's rooted in craft traditions from cultures all over the world and can produce beautiful results. The secret to a successful project is to let it be imperfect and therefore personal — patchwork takes on a greater beauty when it's somewhat improvised and not overly thought out (though some pre-planning is never a bad thing). Above is some inspiration for giving the fabrics close to your heart a whole new life.
1. An inherited vintage scarf I hope to re-use one day
2. An example of Japanese Boro Textiles — patched fabrics made from scraps, once a sign of poverty, but now coveted antiques. The early-to-mid twentieth century piece is on sale from SRI Threads.
3. A gorgeous quilt made from vintage scarves by the Vancouver-based Ouno Design
4. A custom quilt by Denyse Schmidt, made from a friend's childhood dresses that were sewn by her grandmother