My husband asked me recently which is my favourite of the quilts I’ve made.  This one.  I love everything about it.  The colors, the upcycled material, the process, its weight, its warmth.  I made it 2 years ago and it is used almost every day.  When our photographer, Nikki Hollett Photography, suggested we bring a blanket for family photos I knew exactly which one it would be!


I saw an ad for upholstery sample books and couldn’t resist. When I was growing up, my mom made a set of quilts from fabric sample books and I wanted to copy them.

The samples my mom used ended as nice big square blocks.  These ones were all slightly different shapes.  In addition, there were paper labels glued on the back of many of the samples.  I was not patient enough to soak and remove, and I cut it off the labels instead.  This meant I had about 5 different sizes blocks.


After much plotting and dithering, I wonky cut each sample to to get about 3 pieces from each.  I played careful mix up to make blocks out of 3 different samples of similar colored fabrics.

I spent a day laying it out in various different formats before settling on having each corner represent a different color.   I sewed the blocks of 3s in rows, and given each block had wonky edges, it meant the edges weren’t straight and square.  I thought this added to its charm so I evened out the rough parts but left the sides rough.

Upcycled quilt

The back was made with samples from a smaller book which did cut into consist squares.

upcycle quilt (4)

The plan to free motion quilt was quickly discarded as there was no way my Diva of a machine was going over all the bulky seams! Instead I did a free hand sun in the red corner with rays radiating out.

Did I mention how much I looooove this quilt!

The more I read about the tonnes of discarded fashion going to landfills, the more I want to quilt with re-purposed material.  I’m now eyeing up worn out clothes and getting ideas for the future.

What quilts have you made with upcycled or re-purposed material?