Go Green for Earth Day!

Quilters are some of the most resourceful, green people we know! We are always saving up scraps and asking other quilters for ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle quilting and sewing materials. We never want to throw anything away if we don’t have to!

In recognition of Earth Day and being green, here are a few ways that we choose to reduce, reuse, and recycle to demonstrate our support for the environment!

Found Fabrics

Found fabric is fabric that you can find . . . anywhere! Make a trip into your closet, into a loved ones closet, to the closest thrift store, or have a stash swap with friends and start cutting up and stitching the fabric back together to create something new and beautiful!

Jean quilts, like the one pictured below, are great found fabric quilts! Take some old jeans, cut them up, and you’ll have a quilt that will last! Bust these out during a camping trip, outdoor sporting event, picnic, or outside play time and they’re perfect for staying warm and dry. The sturdy material won’t pick up dirt and debris as easily as other fabrics can – it’s the perfect outdoor blanket!

Jenny Doan and granddaughter Katie on a jean quilt.
Jenny and granddaughter Katie enjoy some sunshine out on the jean quilt Jenny made years ago!

Jeans are not the only clothing item that can be used as quilting material! Shirts of all kind (T-shirts, plaid shirts, flannel shirts, and more!) are great fabric sources. Who knows, you could find the perfect missing piece for your next project in your very own closet!

T-shirt quilts and memory quilts are perfect ways to hold loved ones and warm memories close for years to come.


Don’t let those scraps go to waste! There are plenty of ways to make use of small pieces of fabric.

Do you have tiny scraps from a project that you just can’t bear to throw away? Do you have a stray block sitting around that you don’t know what to do with? Make a pincushion! Those tiny pieces are perfect for stitching together to create a cute new home for your pins – make a new one for your sewing space or make a few and gift them to your quilting friends!

Do you or a loved one have a pet? Make a fabric scrap animal bed! Do you want to use those scraps to make something bigger than a pincushion? Try crumb quilting! There are countless ways to make use of those tiny pieces that we may not think twice about as we sew along on other projects. What is your favorite way to use up scraps?

Re-Purposed Items

Many items around you can be re-purposed into something new. The possibilities are endless!

Do you have a cute little cup or pot that needs a new home? Turn it into a cactus pincushion!

Easy Cactus Pincushion project by the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
Easy Cactus Shaped Pincushion project.

Are you in need of an ironing station closer to your sewing machine? Use a TV tray! Simply grab a heatproof surface such as the Missouri Star Wooly Betty Board to lay on top of the tray and you have the perfect portable ironing station so you can iron as you work! There are so many ways things around us can be re-purposed and transformed into something new. What items have you transformed?

For even more inspiration on how to go Green this Earth Day, check out our Celebrate Issue of BLOCK Magazine! This issue is filled with projects you can stitch up using your small pieces and scraps. Download the digital version and get started on a t-shirt quilt, wall hanging, denim bag buckets, adorable little aprons, and more – today!

Tell us how you go green while quilting in the comments below!

Giving new life to old clothes….

to old ratty jeans!  I mean really we all want to extend the life of our kids clothes, right!?!!?  They wear them out so fast, especially when we are buying them half worn out already! 🙂 tehehehe.

What we had to work with

Today what we did was take a pair of old jeans, and cut them off….

Pretty easy, of course…..But I have issures with things being straight.  So, we used the good old rotary cutter and mat for a more precise line!

Straighten the cut

The next thing we did, was fold the end of the shorts up.  Yes, I said UP….here let me show you.

Fold the jean up

See, it is gonna make a cute edge at the bottom with a minimal amount of work.  (My favorite!!)

Then you pick out the kind of trim you want to use.  My crazy girl picked this mini dingle-ball stuff we have in the shop, and I think it turned out darling.

Work the trim in

Next of course, measure your trim…..cut it and get ready to sew it on!!

Sew it all together!

Slip the jeans through the throat of your machine, and we just zig-zag stitched around the whole thing.  Rinse and repeat.  (uh, skip the rinse part) WHat I mean is, do the same thing to both legs.  🙂


Badd-A-bing.  You are done.  The only other step now, is to have your child try them on!

Now we’re stylin’

Now you have one project complete, a happy child and many more ideas of repurposing old clothes running through your head!  🙂

I am SO loving these pink dingle-balls (we have then in white too) that I want to give some away!  Mention this blog with your order today and I will throw some (a yard)  in your package.  (and if you have already ordered just email me…chances are I can still throw some in!)

Hope you are all having a great day, and WHY not!?!?!?  It’s Friday!

I love Fridays!