Sunday, April 26, 2009

Here is Where it Becomes Apparent How Much of A Trash Picker I Truly Am

Last week, on one of our nightly walks, Jay and I came across a trash bag full of old clothes that one of our neighbors a few streets over was throwing away. Of course I wanted it, but because I didn't want to carry it around the neighborhood like some type of hobo Santa Claus, I made a mental note to come back with the car. Then I forgot. Then it rained. Then I forgot again and the clothes baked in the sun some more. Finally about four days later, Jay remembered and picked up the bag on his way home from work.

I love digging through bags of clothing. Not so much to find things to refresh my wardrobe, although it's always a (rare) treat if I find something cool. No, the best thing about trash clothes is that I don't feel guilty cutting things up, ripping off buttons, and basically harvesting the parts to set aside to one day make something *new.*

Unfortunately, with this particular trash bag the highlight was definitely the anticipation. I was disappointed to find it mostly filled with crap. Moldy, stinky crap. Basically I dug through a bag of wet clothes only to walk away with a few mildly groovy buttons. One garment that did excite me was a woman's hot pink dress. Now I don't normally get excited about hot pink, but I do know a little person in this house who does. Plus, this wasn't just any hot pink dress, it was a hot pink linen dress. Linen excites me. So I washed the dress. Twice. Then I set it aside, all the while wondering what it would become.

Saturday around noon, I cut into the dress. At six that evening, after an afternoon of completely ignoring my family, I had this:The hot pink stripes are from the dress (obviously). The other stripes are leftovers from fabrics I had already bought for other projects.At first, I wasn't thrilled to be adding the cherry fabric on the ends. I had always thought of it as a kitchen-type fabric, but I needed to add some length and it was all I had on hand that would fit the color scheme I was going for. In the end I like the overall look.The binding is patch-worked together from the remaining fabric pieces. I had gotten the idea to do that from a Patchwork Trimmed Baby Blanket that I saw in Weekend Sewing. This is the first time I've put trim on a blanket, and it's by no means perfect. In fact if you look closely, which you guys aren't gonna do, some binding pieces are significantly larger than others. (While this isn't a big deal to me, I am going to try to make it more even all the way around next time.) It's backed with a crisp white sheet that I found on the side of the road in a box of garage sale leftovers. I know I'm becoming more and more of a broken record every time I say this, but it excites me so much to use old things (aka trash) to make something new. Plus, I'm always amazed at how older pieces can quickly look fresh once they're surrounded by a few new pieces. I don't think you can tell that this blanket is mostly made from trash.

I didn't have enough fabric to make it wide enough to be a quilt for the girl's bed, although that didn't stop her from snuggling with it last night. It is big enough for backyard picnics, with or without a chihuahua.

9 comments:

kraftykash said...

You would have looked nice as a Hobo Santa! :) Im a FREAK about not throwing things out, reuse, recycle, it drives my family nuts!! That little blanket turned out quite nice. I bet the girl does love that pink! Rule #1 for trash picking...dont get it if it has sat in the rain and then dried...that is too freaky! :) Enjoy your evening!!

Tammie said...

thanks kashoan.
yeah, i really have trash picking problems, i tend to ignore the rules. its like an addiction!!

hester said...

I love the quilt - the colours and the use of material as binding and the way it looks hanging on your washing line. I hadn't seen that before.I can't believe how much sewing you get done! If I ignore my family it's usually because I'm doing something much less constructive, like blogging!

Mari said...

Very cute! I love those materials together : )

hester said...

PS I meant I hadn't seen the material used as binding before. Sorry for sounding like an idiot.

Nowheymama said...

You are my trash-picking hero!

Tammie said...

hester: you didnt sound like an idiot. i totally knew what you meant. :)
i think right now i get a lot of sewing done because im still learning and im just so anxious and excited to be creating that i work it in every spare second i have.

melissa s. said...

i love it!!! the chihuahua adds that perfect, feisty touch.

Tammie said...

melissa: thank you...coming from you that means a lot. :)