block 14 for Tula City Sampler #100blocks100days

#100Days100Blocks Thrifted City Sampler

A few months ago when Angie from Gnome Angel announced her newest wild and crazy sew along, a challenge to sew all 100 blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler book in 100 days, of course I was intrigued, tempted, and mentally plotting color schemes. But I was good, and knew that I already had a full plate. I decided to sit on the sidelines and watch from the outside. Flash forward a few weeks when the challenge began and thousands of gorgeous blocks started popping up everywhere, flooding my Instagram feed with beauty, diversity, and temptation. Cue…

100 days 100 blocks peekSo fun! Still, I resisted. Then I noticed that Kim from My Go Go Life was making her blocks entirely out of thrifted materials, and they were GORGEOUS. This reminded me of the #MakeDoQuilt challenge recently initiated by Sherri Lynn Wood of Dainty Time, where she invites participants to make at least one quilt top and back out of salvaged clothing, linens, curtains, or other household materials in the next 365 days. She shares:

Did you know that a significant percentage of the stuff that goes into landfills is discarded clothing and textiles? Textile waste is a huge problem which will require changes from how the industry runs business to how we run our homes. If every one of the 16 million occasional quilt makers or 1 million active quilt makers in the US made one quilt a year from discarded clothing and linens, imagine how many pounds of material waste would be spared from the landfill.

Reading this struck my environment-loving heartstrings, and I knew I had to add this to my list of makes for the year. With Kim’s encouragement, I was hooked. Thus began my #ThriftedCitySampler, 10 days late but raring to go. I resisted for quite a long time, really!

thrifted clothing for quiltI pulled some old worn out clothes from our toss/donation piles (a workshirt of my husband’s with elbows worn nearly through, a pair of maternity corduroys that were a hand-me-down given to me by a friend who had received them as a hand-me-down from another friend and worn bare in too many spots to mend, and a thrifted leather skirt I had bought for a project that fizzled before it really began), and hit up a local thrift shop to fill in the gaps a bit. I decided to focus on a monochromatic grey color palette, but asked my kids to choose a pop of color from the sale racks. A large pair of coral women’s capri pants fit the bill, and I’m excited at the resulting palette.

Thrifted City Sampler Blocks 11-13
Thrifted City Sampler Blocks 11-13 (from Tula Pink’s City Sampler Book, for the #100blocks100days challenge hosted by Angie @gnomeangel)

It took me a few days to decide how I wanted to share these blocks each day on Instagram. I began by simply sharing each block with a basic flat lay, but with the muted color palette, the aesthetic just wasn’t doing it for me.

block 14 for Tula City Sampler #100blocks100days
Block 14 from Tula’s City Sampler book, Day 14 in #100days100blocks challenge hosted by Angie @gnomeangel. Environmental focus: wetlands!

I finally decided to continue along the environmental advocate path. Appreciating, understanding, and caring for our earth is very important to me, and so I decided to use the sharing of these blocks made out of thrifted materials as a platform to share some tidbits of information about the environment, in the hope that by learning more about this mind-blowingly diverse and beautiful world, people will be more invested in preserving, restoring, and caring for the environment.

block 14 for Tula City Sampler #100blocks100daysEven if you don’t have Instagram, you can follow along with my posts and environmental tidbits by clicking HERE to see my #ThriftedCitySampler stream on Instagram.* I invite you to follow along with my posts, where I’ll share tidbits about this beautiful world: information about a specific ecosystem, an introduction to some of my favorite plants, or sharing wild stories of symbiotic relationships in the world around us.

*Please let me know if this doesn’t work, those of you without Instagram; it seems to work for me, but I also have an IG account.

block 15 tula pink city sampler 100 days 100 blocks
Block 15 from Tula’s City Sampler book, Day 15 in #100days100blocks challenge hosted by Angie @gnomeangel. Environmental focus: milkweed and monarchs!

So far, I’ve shared information about my favorite ecosystem: wetlands (I worked for 6 years as a wetland scientist before teaching and then mom-ing), and the awesome symbiotic relationship between milkweed and monarch butterflies. I hope you enjoy the journey and perhaps learn something new about this amazing world in which we live.

I’m linking up with Let’s Bee Social since it’s been AGES since I’ve joined a linky party and I miss sharing my creative process and in turn, peeking into your recent creations!

21 thoughts on “#100Days100Blocks Thrifted City Sampler”

  1. Oh man, you’ve got me – time for me to start cutting up those old clothes and making them into quilts (at least the ones that aren’t still useable, anyway…LOVE the blocks you are showing, too.


  2. I admire you for doing this! Not only will you be saving a portion of the landfill, but you’re creating a quilt full of memories! You’ll look at that maternity corduroy fabric and remember and you’ll see your husband’s workshirt and think of him. Each piece will be special in this quilt. I made all 100 blocks when this book first came out. I was hooked on the first block. Only one gave me a problem. I’m waiting to see if others have the same issue. Your photos look fabulous posed in nature!


  3. It’s great that you’ve taken up Sherri Lynn’s challenge AND have taken the opportunity to share your knowledge of our planet all in one beautiful fell swoop! (What does “fell swoop” mean, anyway?) And your munchkins picked the perfect color. With all the wonderful places in our state, you’ve got waaay more than 100 days worth of photo pieces to share. Oh–I don’t do Instagram and I can see your # just fine.


  4. I’ve been following along on Twitter and loving each block you share! I also love the idea of using thrifted materials. I may just have to look into doing something like that soon. 🙂 Also love how you’re photographing each block. I struggle to photograph blocks/WIP’s/quilts – ‘posing’ things to look just right is hard! Lol.


  5. I donate a lot of clothes so that others can benefit from items that are still useful and stylish. Please urge your readers to continue to donate useable clothing and not cut up good items of clothing to make a quilt–thereby creating more waste and scraps.
    We should all try to buy more carefully and be happy with small, stylish wardrobes, instead of closets full of unworn items. And I count myself in the latter group but I am trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to belong to a charitable organisation that took arts materials, then reoffered them to the community for use. Unfortunately its been moved to a more commercial model, so I have pushed our Guild to gather our scraps, and pass them ourselves to schools etc for use.
    Snap, I also trained in mires. I love a good Sphagnum bog. Still trying to figure out how to bring my science into my quilting. I took a Sue Benner class this year, but still thinking about my own style. Ever made a wetland quilt?


  7. Hi! Looks so great! I started quilting because I wanted to use my fb’s beautiful colour shirts! I made many patchworks and ‘Nero’s Garden’ quilt using fabrics and scraps I found from home. As I don’t have any ‘normal’ good fabric shop here, I had to be very creative. Now after the years I have a good stash but still often miss some colours etc. Ordering is very expencive. Soon I go to Finland to fill my luggages with fabrics! x Teje


  8. Your thrifted blocks are gorgeous in those grey tones and the pop of coral is just perfect! I am enjoying the photo shoots and environment tidbits you are sharing on Instagram, very much!


  9. I love the idea of the different substrates you are using. I have used my husband’s old shirts in a quilt, but I will definitely look at other used clothing too for possibilities. My favourite thrift shop benefits the local church and many programs, while things they can’t sell go to a large donations centre for further fundraising to support the community.


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