3 Uses for Old Quilts


Frist a disclaimer: Don’t cut up a vintage family quilt in mint condition. Put it on the bed, hang it on the wall, pass it on to another generation and think of the person who (lovingly) made it.

But lots of quilts come to me ragged, frayed and without a personal connection. Here are 3 uses for vintage quilts I stitched last year:

1) Cover a cushion:

This cotton crazy quilt is the perfect weight for a bench seat

This cotton crazy quilt is the perfect weight for a bench seat

It's tied rather than quilted.  I used the back side of the quilt as the boxing strip.

It’s tied rather than quilted. I used the back side of the quilt as the boxing strip.

Don’t forget to add a zipper so you can wash your cushion cover.

2) Cut out your state, or another shape:

These NC pillows were a big hit at my holiday shows last year.

These NC pillows were a big hit at my holiday shows last year.

First I cut out my state using a pattern purchased on ETSY. I machine quilted it to the pillow background following the lines of the piecing, then covered the edges with a machine satin stitch.

bestpatchnc

This year I plan use the same technique to make Christmas tree pillows.

3) Cover a tree:

And speaking of trees…

A craft store cone and a piece of wood from my yard stitched into a colorful tree

A craft store cone and a piece of wood from my yard stitched into a colorful tree

To add to the rustic charm, I hand stitched seams on the outside, using gold sewing thread.

tree_2

These are fun to make and use up lots of small quilt scarps. What do you think?

Any ideas to add to the project list? What do you like to use old quilts?

What to Do With an Old Patchwork Quilt #1: Make a Pet Place Mat


I live in the South, where everyone quilted back in the day.   That makes it easy to find lots of ratty old scrap quilts in thrift stores and flea markets for just a few bucks.

And like any vintage textile that’s super-abundant (think 70s polyester), I’m always wondering:  How can I upcycle that?oldquilt1

Case in point:  This recent purchase  from  Cause for Paws Thrift  in Raleigh.  I’ll admit the front is pretty unremarkable, but I thought the back had tons of possibilities thanks to 4 LARGE pieces of vintage fabric.  (Note to self: always turn a quilt over before passing it by.)

Once I brought the quilt home, I threw it in my (front load) washer,  then dryer.  Since front loaders don’t wring clothes, they’re much easier on quilts.

The batting came out of the wash a little lumpy, but (thankfully) stayed intact. I have dug loose cotton out of the wash before–not pretty.

Next, I cut and squared, a large rectangle for my pet place mat.oldquiltback

Applique made it more fun.  The cat  is actually  WRONG side up.  Flipping it gave the print a faded, aged look.  I used a “halo” of brown fabric to make my cat and  the words “Spoil Me” stand out.oldquilt_appli

All the pieces are cut out and arranged first, stuck with quilters adhesive spray , and stitched down with two rows of zig-zag.  As with any layered applique, start in the center and work out.oldquiltrows

Next, I quilted my place mat to an old bath towel using the original diagonal quilting lines, plus an extra row in between.  This is an important step since it stabilizes the vintage fabrics, keeps the batting from shifting anymore, and generally beefs-up the piece.  Pet place mats need a lot of washing, after all.oldquilt_towel

I re-squared, and trimmed before adding my mitered edges.

And here it is–oldquiltfinished

I’m taking this, 5 more pet place mats,  and my other Kiki’s Rewind Designs to the holiday craft sale at St Thomas More in Chapel Hill on Saturday.  If you want to buy and give “local”,  check it out.  I love to sell and shop there! Great venue, great vibe!HolidayShoppePoster-1

 

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