teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Monday 22 September 2014

Clothes To Quilts

I know, I know I've already made 2 quilts from shirts - 

and my 'Even The Dog's Got Two' quilt made for my husband back in 2013? 

but when I got the opportunity to attend Luke Haynes' Clothes To Quilts workshop at the Brooklyn Craft Company two weekends ago I grabbed it.  I was interested to see his technique in action - who wouldn't be, have you ever seen his quilts?  

December 2013 I saw several of Luke's quilts in the alt_quilts: Sabrina Gschwandtner, Luke Haynes, Stephen Sollins exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.  It was a last minute, "let's pop in here while we're at the Christmas Market" moment for me and Flicky, only had my phone with me and the pics aren't that good so I didn't share them but this seems like the right moment for that regardless.

Chuck Close inspired and architect trained, Luke creates his pieces mostly from thrift store clothing.


No, it's not a stretched photo, Luke plays with perspective when he creates his work and it's viewed differently from all angles.


and a closer look at the detail - sheets, jeans, metallic thread and more


Quite amazing - if you stand at the right angle Franklin sits right up on the corner of the bed!

So I headed over to Brooklyn Craft Company and took Luke's workshop.  It was a great day and turns out we both use the exact same method for deconstructing shirts, I guess maybe there's not that many ways to do it?!!!

Now for a look at my work.  
Early in the process...

...and completed - I totally forgot to take pics along the way, I was too engrossed in what I was creating!

The method of piecing was fun - I've done the same myself before but haven't pushed myself quite as many times when recutting and rejoining my already created piece.

Here's some close up detail

The red section is the label from inside the shirt back - I think it really adds something to an otherwise quite dull colourway - and, of course, the red draws your eye and grabs your attention.

My favourite bit is the pocket and button.

There's no way I'd have created this amount of movement and sewn such small pieces without continuing to reconstruct, cut and reconstruct, over and over.

The finished piece is a 32" square, I haven't decided what to do with it yet but maybe I'll include it as a panel in the back of another quilt I'm working on, we'll see.

One of Luke's pieces constructed using this method.

And this is Luke's Instagram pic from the workshop.  Several of my quilty friends were there too: Chris (The Tattooed Quilter); Nellie (Mama Peaches); Tina (The Other Side Of The Pom) Maria and Chris.

If you want to find out more about Luke's work here's a link to his website and also his Facebook page - go check it out and be inspired and Bernina's We All Sew website has a great tute from Luke on how to deconstruct a shirt too.

For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.


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  1. Wow, lucky you! I cannot wait to take his class at Quiltcon. I have been following his work for awhile

    1. Someone at the Workshop asked him about his Quilt Con classes - he said one will be very similar to this and the other will be something different. Enjoy, he's a good guy - he was in NYC for a couple of weeks staying with my friend Rachael who blogs at Rachael Rabbit and I got to see him a few times. Did you see my Amy Butler Talks Fabric post? He helped Amy hold up her quilts and you know I don't think the audience realised just who he was! He's in England now visiting many of my old stomping grounds. I think you'll have fun in his class :D

  2. So cool Chrissie! I saw him on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricki Tims. Luke is so gifted. Glad you were able to take his class and see his work. Thanks for sharing. Laura

  3. Luke's quilts are amazing, Chrissie!!! Lucky girl to attend the workshop.

  4. Wow Wow Wow! Luke's quilts are incredible - and what an amazing opportunity to go to a workshop and see how he works! Lucky you - love the block you created!

  5. Luke's work is awesome . . . and so is your quilt!!

  6. What a fantastic artist - thanks for showing the pictures of his work Chris. Sounds like a fantastic workshop and I love your final piece. That spot of red is just right. xx

  7. What a fantastic post, it looks like you had a fab day, your quilt is great! Luke's work is incredible with the 3d element to it as well. Did he talk about those quilts much for was it more about deconstructing clothing? I bet it was a brilliant day. xx

    1. Hi Sarah, no Luke doesn't talk about his quilts when he's teaching a workshop - he makes a quilt top too and demos teach stage as he's ready to move on to it himself. I guess if someone asked he'd tell but it was more about the process we were working on than about his oeuvre. :D

  8. Thanks for sharing this fantastic post and what a beautiful top you made!!!! I wish Luke had workshops in The Netherlands. But at least I have your post!!!!
    Love from Amsterdam.

  9. Wow, that workshop looks like a LOT of fun and your top has worked really well.

  10. Wow, thank you so much for introducing us to this amazing artist and a really cool technique. I'm gonna have to try it myself! Yours looks wonderful. I also like the one with tucks (looks like tux)!

  11. Thanks for the great peek into the workshop! Love your quilt. I have been working with men's shirts lately as well.

  12. This is so cool! I want to try this out!!

  13. I've admired his optical illusions for quite some time. You are so lucky to have been able to work and learn from him!

  14. That looks like it was a lot of fun! The piece you made is quite beautiful, and I noticed the pocket right away. I think that's my favourite part.

  15. I like to make quilts from old clothes..... always wondering what to do with the pockets . Thanks for a new perspective. These are amazing quilts. Makes me want to sew more with old clothes. Whoop-Whoop for you for the experience. Janita

  16. I'd love a tutorial for the process you used. This would make such a fun wallhanging


  17. Hi there
    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured this on my Round Tuit post this week!
    A Round Tuit 227
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    1. Yay, thanks Jill, it's taking me ages to catch up with all the comments on the blog that I missed while I was in Seville - Chris :D

  18. Really amazing!

    Cindy @ Upcycled Design Lab


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