How To Create A Sweater Quilt
It’s cold outside. Even with the heat on and the fireplace blazing I still need a small blanket for the evenings when I am watching television or just hanging out with my family.
I do have some small blankets in my family room for these cool nights, but typically they are being used by my dogs, my husband or my boys.
I wanted to make a warm comfy blanket just for myself and what's better than a sweater to keep you warm, right? So, I decided to make a quilt out of old sweaters.
I headed to my local thrift store to find some sweaters that would match my family room to make my sweater quilt. I found 4 of them that I thought would look great together and in colors that match my décor.
I found a white one, gray one, teal one, and a multi-colored one with all the colors that blend well with my room. I wanted it to be quick and easy to complete….and it was just that!
I knew I didn’t want it to be too big, plus I also knew I wasn't going to get much fabric from the sweaters, so I simply cut them into 8” x 8” blocks. I ended up with 48 blocks which was all I could get from the 4 sweaters and it turns out that 48 blocks equaled the perfect size quilt.
I used my rotary cutter to cut the blocks on my quilting mat. You can see in the pictures how well all of the colors go together:
I laid out the pattern that I wanted (on my upstairs hallway floor). I laid them in rows 8 x 6 and scattered them with no real pattern in mind. I just wanted the colors to be mixed up row by row. So here you can see how I laid them out.
Then I picked them up row by row and began to sew the 6 across. I did that for each row of 6 until I had 8 rows completed. I also moved the patterns of the sweater blocks up and down to add some interest, rather than them all being the same direction. Here is how one row looked:
After I completed each of the 8 rows of 6, I laid them out again because frankly I lost track of which row was supposed to go where. (My mind is not what it used to be!) Here are the layout of the rows I finally settled on which looks better than the original layout because the blocks are more scattered:
At this point, I picked up two rows and pinned them together so that the seams matched up when I began to sew the rows together. The sweaters are very stretchy so I was able to pull them as I sewed each completed row together.
This worked out well because some of the seams didn’t match up exactly right. (Honestly, I wasn’t looking for perfection with this project, I was looking to have this quilt completed so that I could use it as soon as possible!) In each picture you can see how I lined up the rows and pinned them for sewing.
I continued this until all of the 8 rows were sewn together and I think it turned out pretty even.
For the binding and backing I used a twin flat sheet. The sheet was bigger than I needed so it had to be cut it size. I simply folded the sheet over the top and sewed it around the quilt. It was easy to do it this way and really an inexpensive option. (The sheet was only $4.57 at Walmart).
For the binding, I folded the sheet over twice and sewed it as close to the edge as I could. I am happy with how this technique worked out, because although it is an unconventional way to sew a binding, it was the quickest and easiest way to do it. The corners don’t look amazing, but as I said, this was a quick project and for personal use.
Once I finished sewing the twin sheet on as my binding, I sewed some simple X’s on the white and multi-colored blocks as my quilting. (I should have done this step before I sewed the binding, but it all worked out in the end).
I did not want to sew over the gray and teal blocks because I liked how those blocks looked without additional quilting. The first picture below shows how the x’s look on the back and the second picture is how they look on the front. (This may be hard to see in the picture, but that was kind of the point for me). Also, I used white thread because I ran out of gray and didn’t want to stop sewing!!
The last thing I did was put the quilt through a delicate wash and dry to “fluff” it up and make it smell good; after all, I did buy the sweaters at a thrift shop.
I think that the end result for a day’s work came out pretty good! (And by the way, that day’s work included breaks, so let's say half a day!)
I love how the quilt looks on my family room chair, but I love even more how it keeps me warm when I am snuggled on that chair when it’s cold outside!
I encourage you to create your own sweater quilt. It was so easy, especially for someone like me who isn't an expert at sewing! Not only that, it will be such a pretty addition to your home!
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I hope you enjoy your cold winter nights…I know I will!!