How to Recycle Old Quilts

Written by addie protivnak
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How to Recycle Old Quilts
Quilt and pillows (patchwork quilt and pillows image by Gina Smith from

Old quilts themselves are often a product of recycling. Many old quilts are made from material left over from sewing projects or from clothing no longer useful to a family. The recycling can continue even after the quilts become worn and no longer usable for bed coverings. Recycle old quilts to preserve the artistry and family history they contain and to keep them out of landfills.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Yarn
  • Glue
  • Sewing machine
  • Foam
  • Picture frames
  • White curtains

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  1. 1

    Take a quilt that is partially salvageable and make a quilt doll. Use the good parts of the fabric to make the doll's body and use contrasting fabric for doll clothes. Glue yarn to the doll for hair.

  2. 2

    Cut two hearts out of an old quilt. Sew them together and stuff them with foam to make a country pillow for the sofa or bed.

  3. 3

    Frame a square from an old quilt to hang on your wall. Frame several quilt blocks in different sizes and make a picture arrangement.

  4. 4

    Take the good squares from several old quilts and sew a quilt for a child's bed. Add some squares to white curtains for the windows.

  5. 5

    Recycle the leftovers. After you've taken the artwork and used all of the salvageable parts of the old quilts, take the remains to a textile recycling company. Textile manufacturers turn used yard goods into new material.

Tips and warnings

  • Display the old quilts in your home. Buy a quilt rack or hang them on the wall. Put one or two over a stair banister.

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