A New Twist on an Old Stitch
12 Tried and True Ways to Repurpose Old Quilts
We’re going to bet there’s a story to go along with the ancient quilt you have tucked away at the back of your linen closet. Maybe it’s from your child’s first Christmas or maybe it was a gift from your great grandma that you’ve hung onto all these years. Chances are, it has deep sentimental value, hence why you’ve kept it for so long. There are several reasons why it’s not currently on display; it just doesn’t go with your décor anymore, it’s too big and bulky for the warm summer months, or it’s too tattered and fragile to be exposed to every day wear and tear.
You’ve often thought it should be visible in your home but can never make up your mind about where to put it. If you’re not opposed to repurposing the quilt into a more useful and practical object you can place around your home, you’re in luck.
Early this year we asked our readers for creative suggestions on what to do with old, unused quilts and the ideas flooded in. We received over 1000 responses and selected the very best of them. Here they are!
Repurposed old quilts can become…
This was one of the most popular responses to our survey. Some people suggested making shams or small decorative accent pillows out of your favorite sections of the quilt.
Table runners are a great way to spruce up an otherwise dull table setting. Make a table runner (or several) to add a pop of color to your dining room or kitchen. You can even get creative with adding tassels or buttons for an extra piece of flare.
3.Teddy Bears and Other Stuffed Animals
Making stuffed animals, particularly teddy bears, was another popular response among readers. This is a cute and unique way to repurpose an old quilt, especially if the better part of it is unusable or overly worn. Give them away as baby shower gifts or display them on window seats, couches, or bedrooms.
4.Christmas Ornaments and Stockings
During the winter months, Christmas decorations are the centerpiece of your living room. Why not cozy up your living space with a beautiful “new” set of stockings or ornaments dangling from the tree? You’ll especially cherish the memories held in the old quilting fabric during the holidays. Perfect as gifts for relatives and family members, quilt decorations can be great conversation starters and sweet reminders of Christmases past.
Struggling to find space to display your quilt? Consider turning your favorite sections into framed wall hangings. If you don’t want to mess with the overall integrity of the quilt, pick an empty wall and hang the entire thing, tapestry-style, for a bold, decorative piece. Setting up a blanket ladder or quilt rack in your living room is also a cozy alternative.
6.Handbags and Purses
You can never have too many bags! The pattern possibilities are endless. Make an oversized bag to lug all your beach gear or a small crossbody to carry the essentials. You can even make a unique weekender bag to use as a checked bag or carry-on for vacations. You won’t lose sight of it in baggage claim!
Repurposing an old quilt into clothing can be a fun and sometimes daunting project to undertake. If you’re up for the challenge, try making jackets or vests out of your favorite sections. You can even use smaller scraps as pockets or inner cuff lining. Make doll, infant, or stuffed animal clothing with the leftover pieces.
8.Placemats and Pot Holders
It’s often said that nothing brings people together like good food. Display your delicious home cooking with table settings that reflect your tight family ties. Make beautiful place mats and pot holders out of your old quilt for decorative and practical kitchen essentials.
Pets are as much a part of the family as anyone else. Create a comfy pet bed or mat for your furry friend out of a worn quilt or cover their existing bed with a washable quilted slip cover.
Spruce up your sewing kit with a new pincushion made from the leftover pieces of an old quilt. You can stick to the traditional style or get creative with one of the pin cushion patterns from our magazine.
There are so many different things you can upholster with that old quilt you have laying around. Try making new seat cushions for dining room or kitchen chairs or cover a footstool or ottoman in your living room. You can even use the fabric to cover barstools, an old bench or window seat cushions.
Old quilts are perfect for all your crafting needs. Use the patterned fabric for collage making, year-round seasonal wreaths, pot holders, gift wrap ties, coasters, or wall decorations. Keep a box of old fabric pieces on hand for whenever you get the urge to create something new!
Whichever method you choose, you’ll put extra dedication and care into repurposing your old quilts and preserving these little pieces of history. Your family and friends will enjoy reminiscing on the old memories contained in your new décor and you’ll cherish the sweet reminders it brings!