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Doilies Upcycled!



I love saving vintage textiles. I find old, vintage and antique items comforting. My husband and I go to a lot of auctions, flea markets, and yard sales. I think about things I can create from the treasures I find.


I've followed Kelly Cline on Facebook for quite a few years. She quilts vintage items like doilies, tea towels, pillowcases, and other vintage textiles. I met her at a local quilt shop where she taught a workshop. She inspired me to give it a try.


Over the years I have collected bins of vintage doilies. I decided to pick out a cloth doily with a crocheted edge to try my hand at quilting it. I knew I probably paid less than a dollar for it. I didn't want to waste a lot of money on something that just might not turn out good. I wanted a shiny background fabric and would just use muslin on the back. I went to a thrift store and purchased a ladies house coat. It was a perfect shade of off white and shiny. I cut my background fabric from it.


To start, I attached my muslin to my longarm frame. Then I layered polyester batting with a layer of wool batting on top. The thicker batting will make the quilted areas look like trapunto. Next the shiny housecoat fabric was laid on top and stitched around the perimeter. I then centered the doily and stitched it down very close to the crocheted edge.



I picked a few quilting patterns from my digital designs and had fun quilting it. Some of the quilting fill I did free hand. Now what was I going to do with this piece? Should I bind it, face it, or frame it? I decided to frame it. My husband helped me pin it to fiber board. We had to pull it tight and pin it all the way around. We went to a local framing store and bought a mat and fillet. The fillet is like a very thin decorative piece that goes around the inside of the mat. My husband went to work making my frame. The frame was white washed with a watered down chalk paint. Once it was all assembled, I was truly amazed at how it turned out. Since I really had no place to hang my piece of upcycled art, I decided to sell it.




I’ve gone on to make two more framed pieces, a tote bag, and some pincushions. Maybe get out some old doilies or embroidered pieces and give it a try. Those pieces are just laying in a cedar chest, boxes in the closet, or in the attic. Where they are, no one gets to see all the beautiful hand work from years ago!

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