Newest addition to the Upcycled Fashion Family!

We have decided that on special occasions we will provide the most unique arrangements around town, Anita has been an experienced producer growing organic vegetables and flowers for decades, and this time “The Boutique” wants to make sure the community knows about this beautiful creations. Stop by today at 397 NM-518 or preorder 575-387-2308, please leave a message.

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T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial

I was asked by dear cousins to create a memory quilt for their VERY active daughters. They wanted something they could take to games to keep them warm, as well as for snuggling and watching movies at home.

A twin size quilt fit the bill. Not too cumbersome to tote to games and still big enough it covers the top of a full size bed (Twin is usually 60″x90″)

So, where to start? The girls helped their mom decide which shirts and where to lay them out. You can tell they were pretty thoughtful as the colors balance very well from top to bottom and side to side.

Masking tape on each helped keep t-shirts in order and then stacked to ship without worry of things getting mixed up.

Very active girls! Look at all those team sports!

From there, they arrive in a big box all sorted by row and numbered. That was a really big help in the process. Huge time saver. If you are going to do one for someone else, have them help with this time saving task because these are quilts are labor intensive.

Next, taking each row, iron on stabilizer on the back of each shirt; medium or heavy is best. Stabilizer keeps the stretch from happening as you cut and sew. I pre-cut 13″ squares which gave me a little wiggle room when I came back and cut down the 12×12″ squares.

Using 2 – 6″ quilting rules allowed me to move around to find the best part of the logo. You can use a 10″ or 12″ square. 12″ seemed to work best to get the most logo possible. When you look at the finished product you will see that still some parts are cut off. If these gals were High school football players, we would have done 16″ and fewer squares.

The center filled the top of a full size mattress. Sashing between squares would look nice, but, it would have been too big in the end.

A BIG work space makes things easier and keeps frustration down. Backing fabric is ironed well, batting is worked to make sure back and batting are free from lumps before adding the top. Notice the large extra overhang on the bottom? Instead of doing a separate binding, I cut that to an even 2″ after quilting to create a border by folding over the top. This gave nice weight to the edges and cut down on time.

After pinning the centers of each, the sides are rolled so it can be quilted on a standard sewing machine. If you take a look in the bottom corner, you can see my dumbbell. The weight of the quilt made things a little difficult, so, I used my weights to keep things in order. Start your quilting from the center blocks to discourage the fabric from creeping. I also prefer to quilt the length first. If this is your first attempt at a quilt, you NEED a walking foot. Take the time to look it up on YouTube. It could be the difference from “why did I”, to “I can do”. (This is a great tutorial on a walking foot that really explains it in basic bits!)

And, the final reveal!!
Seeing smiles on these young ladies faces is priceless!
The family dedication to supporting their community
and following through with their teams is complete inspiration.

Succulents are all the hype right now!

These cute, hardy plants are extremely popular among many ages and audiences. Succulents make awesome gifts for anyone and everyone, from college students to office workers. Succulents range in size and appearance, which makes them appeal to many people.

Fill some mugs as a gift for guests at your next Sunday brunch

This swan candy dish makes a perfect small arrangement for the office
Hen and Chick & Dragon’s Blood Sedum

Recently, succulents have become popular home décor items, and for good reason. Many people get creative with what they put their succulents in- teapots, old mugs, candleholders, terrariums… the possibilities are endless! Not only are succulents easy to care for, but they are inexpensive compared to other popular houseplants.

We love this organic plant food for our air plants and succulents. Every Sunday everyone gets a spray.


We made tons of planters from old records. They have been a hit at our local farmer’s market. We thought we were so smart… a drain hole is pre-placed. 


Succulents require little energy, as they only need to be watered once a week and need somewhere around six hours of sunlight per day. Succulent plants are perfect for areas prone to drought, as they require little water and are very hardy.

Rock wall with Sedum is located in the arid southwest mountains in Northern NM. Drought is something we work with. Sedum is a great rock wall addition, adding texture and color while needed practically no care. This Sedum can go for a month with no rain.

There are many different types of succulents and each plant has a fun, unique appearance. They are easy to propagate. This flat is all new starts from one plant. We literally just plucked them off and stuck them in soil!

Hope you are inspired to start your own arrangement. Surprise someone with a living gift.


Hand Quilted Blankets – Honoring Our History

Scrap quilts have been a mainstay
in American History, since America!

Our family and friends respect and honor what we now call “sustainability, and homesteading”. I grew up (I’m mid-40’s) making do and not being wasteful. My Great Grandmother, Lela Belle Welty, was early 20’s, newly married, move from the city to become a farmer’s wife, and BAM! The Great Depression…

I would love to say that my talents as a seamstress, my love of growing, canning, cooking, candle making, reinventing everything, came from my very best friend, Grandma Lela. But, no, she truthfully wasn’t very good at any of these things. What she had, her best talent, was an amazing attitude.

What I learned from her, is with or without these skills, you can make do. You need to laugh as you plug along. Value a great attitude and that will help you persevere better than honing domestic skills. Grandma made it through trying times making use of everything. Yes, the saving of bread bags, washing butter tubs for storing leftovers, the whole shebang.

With that lesson, scrap quilts hold a new spot in my artistic space and a connection to my valuable time with her. I hope you can see a bit of the “no resource wasted” sensibility of our amazing Great Depression Generation.

A wonderful quilter in California heard what we are doing here in rural NM. She asked if she could donate her scraps. YES! Here is a box of pieces that came in the mail.


Look at what our designer created from some of these.

Nature inspired hand quilted blanket or lap quilt

We think it a great fun going through these boxes and see what we can create with the palette and textures another fiber artist had used.

This cute hat was made from a man’s shirt:

Child red plaid sunhat

Left over pieces didn’t go to waste:

We look forward to writing more quilting blogs.
These scraps have inspired us to make many more Upcycled Home products.


Vintage Leather Bracelets

Local Leather Worker/Designer, Vicki Brown

Vicki’s home had been Northern New Mexico in her youth.
Coming back home this talent is right at home here with our
working cowboys, ranchers, tourists and home town folk.

These are some of her “Wild, Wild, West” collection;
bracelets made from vintage leather belts.
They come in two sizes, 9″ and 7.5″ closed.
Several she has made are adjustable with two heavy duty snaps.

This amazing machine can stitch through almost an inch of leather.
Rarely is that ever needed, but, we believe in having the best tools for the job.

Qualities that our designers share are, community, compassion, and a willingness to give back. Vicki has made hundreds of custom gear for New Mexico State Police at bargain prices. These civil servants need the equipment, and she has expressed her gratitude for the hard and dangerous work they do, making sure her custom gear is affordable, quality and custom fitted. These black bracelets are made from hand tooled samples she created for them to choose from.
As the Director of Upcycled, I can personally add that she takes our dedication to mentoring youth and adults seriously. Anytime we can pass our skills on and help someone gain confidence in adding another “notch to their belt”, we count it as a success. This is a students very first leather project. Not only did she send him home with knowledge, but, she personally sent this young man, and another, a starter kit because she believes in their character! That is what makes our designers and our philosophy different than most businesses.

Vicki has made hundreds of customs designs including purses from prize Pendelton blankets, trench coats, leather wedding albums, wallets, belts, and on and on…

Contact us if you are interested in more of Vicki Brown’s creations…
We are excited to feature more of her work in the feature and report on the progress of our mentorees.