Old Pants Quilt

December 30, 2005

Originally published here: www.johnwilmot.com/quilts/3.html

Old Pants Quilt – 2003-2005

Old Pants Quilt

The “concept” for this quilt came to me long, long ago. Since I’m short, I often had to hem the cuffs of my dress pants and cut off some narrow strips of fabric in the process. I hated to throw those little strips away (Surprise!), figuring that our thrifty forebears would have pieced them together gradually into a fine quilt, which would then, of course, win first prize at the county fair. So for years I had random scraps of dress pants floating around, waiting for their day to come.

Long before I had saved enough two inch wide cuffs, however, I had amassed a large collection of old pants and shorts that no longer fit. Since they were all neutrals or dark colors, it seemed like they’d go together pretty well. So I decided to green light the quilt of pants.

Slowly, I pieced together unique individual squares, never making the same combination of fabrics twice. Also, I wanted to be sure that I used up those saved cuffs, which I did, and that I used other random scraps that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away.

Thus, there are two squares with a sour green corduroy that used to be the collar of a Burberry waxed-cotton coat. I wore that ragged old thing for about ten years, and, sadly, all that I could salvage from it was the collar. There are also a couple of squares with battered pumpkin-colored canvas. Those were from a pair of Carhart overalls that I just happened to find on the ground at a bus stop. They were worn completely out, and there were used hypodermic needles in the pocket. But the fabric had so much character.

After I completed the top for this quilt, there was a two year pause. Life kept getting interesting. Then, wanting to clear the decks and get some “old business” out of the way, I sewed a label for the back of the quilt with “2005” on it, effectively forcing myself to finish by the end of the year. Though it’s a thin, summer-weight quilt, I just had to put it on my bed (with three other blankets) in the winter when it was finally done.

These days, it’s living in Georgia, with my parents. I also blogged about this quilt here.