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Making a Quilt Out of Clothing

Category Quilting
An inexpensive way to make a quilt is by using old clothing. This is also a great way to preserve special clothing, whether your own or maybe your children's old clothes. This is a guide about making a quilt out of clothing.


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By 19 found this helpful
August 20, 2010

This is a quilt I made using denim jeans and some flannel flat sheets.

Approximate Time: 14 days



For a picnic sized quilt that measures 79 x 79 inches, cut 400 circles from denim and 400 squares from flannel.

Join 4 circles and sew square centers in, sewing the "scallops" down in a zig-zag stitch to secure.

I make blocks and find it easier in joining the pieces later as the quilt becomes heavier. This quilt has no batting.

It weighs 5 lbs. and is quite warm for summer or winter.

Machine wash.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

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August 26, 20100 found this helpful

I've made two denim quilts in the past, and have been saving old jeans to make a third. I've also been saving flannel because I knew that I wanted to back it with the flannel somehow. Several ideas have been swirling around in my head, but I really like this one! I've always wanted to make a cathedral window quilt, and although this one isn't traditional, I really love it. Thank you so much for the inspiration! I can hardly wait to finish my other projects so I can get started on it.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 8, 2017

Here is my quilt top that I made using old clothes and fabric remnants. I am not going to put a backing on this one, it works great as a throw. I was inspired not to put a backing on it when I read about a woman who made a quilt top and left it that way. If the season had been closer to winter, I would have put a backing on this quilt top.

This has been such an inspirational project for me. In getting rid of things I no longer need, I have a completely new item to have in my home. I really like getting rid of clutter, and this beautiful quilt top represents the beauty that results from getting rid of too many things and having room for more meaningful things ;)

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September 9, 20161 found this helpful

Quilt made from a variety of knitted squares

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This is a guide about making a quilt from old sweaters. Quilts have long been a handicraft that was a perfect way to recycle old clothing and linens into a new useful item.


By 1 found this helpful
April 27, 2011

I have been second-hand shopping for several years. I got a beautiful ski coat with real fox fur on the hood for $5. I have also bought shoes that were just like new. Since I quilt, I look at 100% cotton clothes, which look better and better with the price of fabric rising. The bargains are wonderful, and it is such fun! Now if I could only get rid of things I no longer use, I would be really doing something good!


By winterquiltersummergolfer from Craftsbury Common, VT

Comment Was this helpful? 1
May 1, 20110 found this helpful

The only people you might take away from that really need it are the other countries where these rip off goods come from. Does anyone really think that a skirt, with 2.00 of material and literally a waist casing, a back seam and a hem should cost someone 50.00?

I have been proudly shopping at thrift shops since I can remember. I buy everything there so I can afford the things I can' rent, utilties, food and insurance.

The money and jobs and food boxes stay in the local community, I bring home bargains you can't even imagine, and folks who can't get a job anywhere else get to live independently, have some self esteem and thier lives are better for it.

A rock dropped in a pond doesn't just ripple a little here or there, it goes everywhere evenly. The good these places do helps everyone. No one know from week to week where their jobs or lives or homes will be next month...still theirs or in foreclosure. The money saved with these wonderful places keeps people from over spending and then having nothing to fall back on when their world falls out from under them.

Sandi/Poor But Proud to shope at Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent dePaul, Value Village, Helping Paws, Union Gosple Mission all in Salem, OR.

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April 25, 20051 found this helpful

Ask one of the elder family members to let you take their old shirts or dresses. Cut them up into strips or squares and make a quilt for the persons child or grandchild. It doesn't have to be fancy. What a treasure this was for my stepdaughter to get a quilt made out of her daddy's old shirts.

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By 4 found this helpful
July 21, 2010

A friend gave me some sweats she couldn't wear anymore, but they didn't fit me or anyone in my family. I decided to try to make a quilt. I used light green, black, and red sweats and made a lap quilt. It's really warm and great for using during trips.

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April 14, 20102 found this helpful

Make a quilt easily and cheaply. Use a flashy fabric for the top made from cheap clothing from the second hand shop. Use a mattress pad for the batting, and a nice fleecy or soft bedspread for the backing. Sew together and put a few ties into the center for stability.

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November 22, 2011

I have made a quilt out of my son's favorite graphic T-shirts. I just kept saving the shirts. When we had a few dozen, I cut huge squares with the designs, and the plain sides the same size.

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January 25, 20070 found this helpful

When I no longer need an item of clothing, I cut it apart at the seams and use the pieces to make quilt squares. I only use 100% cotton, that has been washed many times and will no longer shrink.

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December 13, 20040 found this helpful

For an easy Christmas gift, save your used children's clothes. Cut out as many squares and sew them together to make a front cover for a quilt.

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April 6, 20050 found this helpful

When my boys were small they loved wearing the character socks (Batman, Spiderman, Looney Tunes, etc.) As they grew older or wore out a pair, I saved them to make a quilt. I'm going to use the socks that don't have holes in them to make a "wheel" pattern and use solid fabrics as the background.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 13, 2010

How do I make a quilt out of old clothes? What size are the squares suppose to be? After I sew them together what is my next step? My mother just passed away and I really want to make a quilt out of her clothes.

By Connie from Canton, GA

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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

You can make the squares any size that you want. Myself being I'm not real patient, I make them as large as I can. lol Usually I make about a nine inch square. One thing you don't want to do is mix wovens and knits together. Also real light weight fabrics don't endure real long in a quilt. My Mother made my disabled daughter a quilt out of old clothes one time and the squares that were made out of lighter weight fabrics combined with the fact that they were slightly worn, didn't last as long as the ones made out of heavier cotton type fabrics and the new ones. As each square wore out I just covered it with a new square.

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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

Here is a site with instructions on how to make a simple crib quilt, but you can adjust the measurements to make it any size you want.

http://www.asso  uilt.html?cat=24

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November 14, 20100 found this helpful

My sister makes the cutest vests from acquired fabrics. Lightweight fabrics can be cut in to thin strips for crocheting a cloche or toque a trendy item the kids are wearing these days.

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January 8, 20140 found this helpful

My mother had a few dresses she wore a lot. After she passed away, I got the idea to make a quilt top using the clothes, but I wanted to keep the pieces large. I was thinking of maybe cutting a dress long ways down a seam so you could see the buttons. Maybe put her apron in. The problem is I have never quilted, so I don't know if a quilt of this type is possible.

By JoAnn

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January 13, 20140 found this helpful

It is possible, and what a lovely way to keep your mum's memory alive! You can use her blouses or perhaps a lovely bodice (top part of a dress) to make a coordinated pillow (or first project to learn quilting without the daunting prospect of a entire bed quilt).

See the following link for a great quilting site with numerous beginner quilter pages, and a fantastic forum to ask for special help:

I hope when your project is finished you will post a picture.

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May 2, 20160 found this helpful

Wonderful idea!!! A local quilting shop or the Quilt Guild can help you along with this!! Great idea, don't get discouraged, and you can accomplish this project!!!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 13, 20100 found this helpful

I have a lot of my late mother's clothes and would love to make a beginners quilt out of them. Does anyone have directions to share?

Debra from Hampton, Tenn


Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

How detailed do you need the directions? I started out with a book called "Quilt in a Day" and although it called for yards of fabric you could still use what you have. It is the Log Cabin pattern and uses strips sewn together to make blocks. This book has very basic instructions that almost anybody could follow even if they can barely sew. Or you could just cut blocks whatever size you want and.. Anyway, how much detail do you need? Do you already sew? (07/14/2008)

By Glenn'sMom

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

I would cut blocks and sew together. Nothing simpler. I cut dad's shirts to make a sunbonnet Sue quilt to honor him. The quilt is still in progress after five years. It is a wonderful way to honor someone and the fabrics bring back memories. (07/15/2008)

By sunshineRose

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

Try both of these links: (07/15/2008)

By Deeli

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

I made a quilt from my dad's clothes and it turned out great. I had never quilted before. I cut 6 inch squares (using a quilt ruler and a rotary cutter) and sewed them together in rows, and then sewed the rows together. You can make it as long or wide as you wish. This is the quilt top. Then put quilt batting (all in one large piece) behind the squares you have sewn together. My dad was a railroader, so I bought a print material with pictures of all kinds of trains for the backing. Then I put quilt binding around the edges to hold the 3 layers together. Then I took yarn and tied every other square to hold the 3 layers together and keep the batting from moving around in the quilt. Good luck. I hope these instructions help. I have since made 3 more for friends of mine when their parents passed away. (07/15/2008)

By Joy

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

Just a note to say my cousins made teddy bears of material quilted from their mom's dresses. So they all have a keepsake. Really a nice idea I thought. (07/16/2008)

By Great Granny Vi

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

I once made little suit coats for new teddy bears, out of a sport coat from a friend's dad. I kept everything in plastic as much as possible because she said the sport coat still smelled like her Daddy. I know the fragrance didn't last forever, but she and her sister had a extra sweet remembrance and a special bear from "Daddy". (07/18/2008)

By OrahLee

Making A Quilt Out Of Clothing

As a Newbie, too, "Quilting for Dummies" has been my best friend. Some important points include: cut same-size squares, allow for 1/4 inch hem, try to use the same material so laundering will not be a problem, and set the length of your stitches medium to long. I began sewing the squares together using a small-length stitch, and the squares detached themselves as though they were connected using perforated paper! And, to ensure hem lines are all 1/4 inch, and sewn straight, measure 1/4 inch on every side and put a strip of masking tape down, this serves as a good guide. (07/15/2010)

By dmatuzak

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