snowman made from vintage quilt

Recycling an Old or Ugly Quilt into a New Project!

When is the Time Right?

      When is the right time for recycling an old or ugly quilt into a new project?

     Sometimes we come across quilts that are very old, ripped, and falling apart. Sometimes we’re given (how do I say this) an UGLY quilt. In both these instances we wouldn’t want to put them on our beds or display them anywhere, but we have a connection with the person who made it and we feel we have to keep it.

     At this point we have two choices: 

  1. Stick it way back in a closet, or maybe pack it in a trunk, placed in the attic never to be opened again.


  • We can celebrate all the time, money, and effort it took to create the quilt by recycling it into a new project! One that we can display and enjoy just the way it is!

What Sparked the Recycle Idea

     This topic came to my attention when I received a very thoughtful Christmas gift from a dear friend of mine. It was an adorable stuffed snowman made from an old chenille bedspread with his hat and scarf made from a 1930’s quilt! The other gift was a nativity ornament with a fabric star made from an old quilt as well. She knows I’m a quilter and I would love an appreciate them and what they were made from. Almost immediately I knew I had to write a blog about this.

Stuffed snowman made from vintage quilt
Nativity ornament made with a piece of vintage quilt.

Objects Made from Vintage Quilts

     Why had I not thought about doing this before? When I started looking into this recycle trend, I found a boat load of items that can be made from quilts!

  • Pincushions
  • Handbags
  • Jackets/Clothing
  • Ornaments
  • Keychains
  • Jewelry
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Stockings
  • Pillows
  • Framed Piece/Block

I want to send you to look at Tammy Morez’s Pinterest board she has on repurposing old quilts HERE.

     The wheels in my head started turning and I became very excited about this. You see, I have several old quilts from my husband’s side of the family. A few of them I could never bring myself to cut up. They are old, but still in pretty good condition. I hang them on one of my quilt racks in the sewing room. The other quilt, however, was found in his grandparent’s barn in a plastic container. It is still in that container in our basement because I didn’t know what to do with it. We figured it must not have been a precious heirloom to his grandma considering where it was found and the condition it was in.

old vintage quilt in bad shape

     The quilt is extremely dirty and has a lot of holes and worn through areas. This is the type of quilt I will consider cutting up. I think first I will gently wash it. The areas that make it through the wash are ones that can be used for different projects. This is definitely a project for another day, but now I know after 15 years of keeping it in my basement what I want to do with it. All thanks to a thoughtful gift I received!

Let Me Hear from You in the Comments

If you have any experience with washing and recycling old quilts please let me know in the comments. It would really be appreciated. I hope this has sparked an interest with you and inspired you to think about recycling an old or ugly quilt into a new project. I would imagine your friends who quilt would love getting a gift made from an old quilt like I did!

Have a great week!

Always Find Time to Sew,

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