Sunday, May 15, 2011

What To Do With Used Dryer Sheets

Oh Ratz!   My "one day" Mother's Day project was not finished in one day.  I bit off more than I could chew.  My plan of making myself a sewing machine cover is not to be - for now at least.  I must put it on a shelf (another UFO) to meet some deadlines.

I visited The Red Rose Quilt Guild of Lancaster Tuesday night.  My presenation was a trunk show that I call One Quilter's Journey.  Packing my quilts for this talk is always a walk down memory lane.  I love sharing the first quilt I ever made with other quilters.  It is well loved quilt, but a testament of how a quilt should not be made.  It really inspires the ladies to see where I started and how far I've come and they can do the same thing.

My friend Rolinda moved out to Lancaster County a few years ago. She belongs to the Red Rose Quilters. At the meeting, someone handed her a pile of used dryer sheets. It piqued my curiosity.

Rolinda and another member of the guild, Patty,  and their team have now been to Budapest, Hungary three times to share quilting and their faith with women in church supported quilt clubs. The clubs meet monthly to sew, learn new techniques and be challenged by a devotional message. Of course, they don't use dryers much or even have them in Hungary so the team took all the extra dryer sheets along for future use by the clubs. They also take as many donated quilt supplies and fabric as they can fit into their luggage to share with the clubs.

So, the dryer sheets???? 

This is what Rolinda told me:
The drawback to paper piecing is removing the paper. It takes too much time. (And when we thought ahead to working with the Hungarian ladies we were afraid they would stop and take time to remove the paper instead of getting more sewing done.) Using twiced used and pressed dryer sheets eliminates the paper removal problem. The dryer sheet has minimal bulk so it may stay in the project (i.e. quilt block).

It would have been much easier to print paper patterns but they had an 'army' of friends help them prepare piles of patterns on the pressed dryer sheets (low/cool iron). They found that taping the patterns down (to a clipboard) and then taping the dryer sheet over top worked well to prevent shifting. Tracing with a pencil and using a ruler for straight line guidance seemed to work best.

Happy 25th Birthday Roger!


  1. Wow! I use dryer sheets for applicate. It never dawned on me to use them for paper piecing but they would be wonderful for crazy quilt blocks.

  2. Ithink the project your friends have is great. However I seem to remember reading in a # of places that using fabric softner sheets tend to make things much more flamable than they would be otherwise. They might want to look into this.


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