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Making a Patchwork Quilt out of Recycled Upholstery Fabric

By: Amber B.
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Patchwork quilt made from recycled fabric.

Making quilts out of free upholstery samples is a fun way to recycle.  Did you know that furniture stores often get rid of and even throw away their fabric samples once or twice a year?   The beautiful material is already cut into squares or rectangles making the construction of a simple large patchwork quilt even easier.

For this plaid, shades of blue quilt I simply sewed the 12×12 inch squares together for the front.  I then sewed the larger 20×20 inch solid blue and brown squares together for the backside.  Placing the exterior sides together I sewed the entire perimeter of the blanket, leaving a small opening to pull the exterior out, leaving the sewn edges on the inside.  Because upholstery material is often thicker than other fabrics make sure you leave a large enough hole to pull all of the dense fabric through.  Next, you’ll want to hand stitch the hole.  I completed the quilt by taking a heavy duty embroidery thread to connect the front of the blanket to the back of the blanket in the corner of every couple of squares.  I stitched the front to the back tying off the embroidery thread and leaving a small amount of fringe for detail.

I made another quilt very similar but choose to include batting in the center.  It turned out a little lumpy for me, but overall is still a beautiful keepsake that keeps us warm at night.

My explanation of this project may not contain the most accurate sewing vocabulary.  I attribute this to being the “Jane of all crafts, the master of none.”  So, if I can do this with my limited sewing experience, anyone with access to a sewing machine and the desire to create can do this too.

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Patchwork quilt side view


Free fabric samples have endless possibilities for creation of stuffed animals, making or up-cycling clothes, table cloths and runners, braided rugs, doll clothes, valances, and so much more.   If you are interested in sample material, stop by your local furniture store to see what happens to the displays when they update their fabric.  Since this happens only once a year or so you may want to come back when it’s the right season for the new samples to arrive.  Introduce yourself to the manager and leave your name and number; he or she may even call you when the free samples are available.

Category: Arts & Crafts, DIY Projects, How-To

Comments (4)

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  1. Christy says:

    Great idea! Next time I pass a furniture store, I think I’ll just hop on in and see what they think! :)

  2. I am giving a talk at Grand Designs Live next week on recycled textiles – would it be possible to show an image of the lovely quilt you made?
    do please get in touch
    best wishes

  3. Amber says:

    Please feel free to use the photos. Thanks for reading!

  4. Vikram says:

    Eliese Broome – These are some of the best pictures I have ever seen! I can feel the love, joy, and coasmspion through each one. I am in awe! Congratulations to to Brian and Sara! They are both absolutely wonderful people and parents with the most beautiful children I have ever seen! xoxox

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