Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Patchwork quilts from old clothes and reclaimed fabrics

I love sewing quilt blocks.  At the end of a stressful, hair-frazzling day, there is nothing more soothing than sitting down at my sewing machine and sewing quilt blocks.  The creative process of selecting and cutting fabric, sewing them together, and then ironing the final result is a refreshing balm.

I first got into quilting when I was 7 years old when I read "Little House in the Big Woods".   The idea of making a warm, snuggly quilt from castoffs appealed to me.  Not only was I creating something from nothing.  But I was also creating something substantial and beautiful a little piece at a time.

Both the quilt tops below were sewn from mostly reclaimed fabric.  These quilts are almost complete, I'm in the final stages of putting them together.

9 Patch Quilt with Glow-in-the-dark lips on the border

The quilt above (pardon the crappy picture)  has alternating nine-patches.  This quilt is made mostly from turquoise fabric which I received for free after an estate sale.  Other material used includes a pair of blue jeans, a pair of red jeans, a dark plaid shirt, and some leftover fabric from a previous quilting project.  The material on the border was purchased.  It features glow-in-the-dark lips.

The backing for this quilt is going to be a fleece sheet.  Instead of the traditional quilt batting in the middle, I'm going to have a wool blanket that can be buttoned in on the inside.

I started this quilt a few months ago.  So it was a relatively quick project.  Sewing the blocks was quick and easy.  But I took forever putting the blocks together in a way that made sense.  I kept arranging and rearranging the blocks and leaving it for a day or two.  Eventually I stumbled upon the idea of arranging the blocks into a larger 5 by 5 pattern.

This pinwheel quilt was truly a labour of love.  I started it over a year ago.  I originally envisioned a quilt made of different plaids, but I didn't have enough plaid in my stash.  Then I focused on creating pinwheels from red, beige or white.  I ran out of beige and white, so I swapped in some gold fabric in the centre of the quilt.  

This quilt was made almost entirely from castoff clothing.  Around 6 shirts, 2 skirts and 4 pairs of pants went into this quilt.  The backing is a flannel sheet, the middle is a premium quality batting that I got on sale.  The binding is going to be some fabric I had purchased for another project.

Quilting isn't for everyone.  And a lot of people choose not to use reclaimed fabric. It's more time-consuming to cut up and piece.  But the material is definitely more durable and better quality than what you'd find in a fabric store.

Quilting doesn't have to be an expensive hobby.  Use what you have and you may be surprised with the results.

Happy thrifting everyone.


  1. What a beautiful quilt! I'm so impressed by your talent! xxx

  2. Thanks Vix. I looooove your patchwork curtains, and your funky patchwork lampshade. I definitely plan to try making my own (unlined) patchwork curtains too!

    Happy thrifting!

  3. I soo want to learn to sew, your creations are so beautiful and thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog. LOVE your thrifted finds xxx

    1. hey Tanaya, when I'm done my next round of quilted projects I think I'm going to try making block printed clothing next. Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Friday, this quilt turned out a lot larger than I anticipated (most of my quilts do). I backed it with a flannel sheet, so it's very snuggly to sleep under. Stay tuned for more quilts.