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.

Scraps

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!

Our Favorite Quick & Easy Scrap Buster Projects

10 scrap buster projects pinnable

Quilters are resourceful people who are hesitant to throw anything away, after all, fabric scraps are precious. You never know what they might become. Maybe a beautiful crazy quilt, a fun tote, or a cozy bed for your pet. There are so many possibilities!

This Earth Day, we want to show you some fun ways to reduce your stash, reuse those scraps, and recycle them into fabulous, earth-friendly projects! Show the planet a little love and #makesomethingtoday!

Missouri- 9931

 

1. Free Piecing Quilt

When you aren’t using a pattern, you can use more of your scraps! Give improvisational quilting a try and watch your scraps disappear. They’ll become something even more wonderful than you thought they could be: a cozy, beautiful quilt!

2. The Crazy Quilt

Don’t be afraid to go a little crazy! If you have a lot of little trimmings left over from strip quilting, this is the perfect project for you. Just grab our crazy quilt template and stitch away! The fabrics don’t have to match, in fact, they shouldn’t. Just put them together in any way you please.

3. Easy Scrap Buster Table Runner Using Binding Tool

This table runner is the perfect solution for all the different shapes of scraps you have hanging around. It uses up 10” squares, 2.5” squares, and 2.5” strips too! Gather them all up and make table runners for every season!

4. Pet Bed

Do you hate wasting fabric, but love your pet? Don’t throw away a single scrap of fabric! They’ll all come together into a super-comfy bed to pamper your furry friends in this tutorial.

5. The Improv Tote

This tutorial doesn’t have to use one single jelly roll. You could use multiple pieces from projects you’ve finished and come up with something totally new! Then, take this tote to the market and avoid using plastic bags too.

6. Wrapped Fabric Bowl

Need a place to store those odds and ends? Don’t go out and buy another plastic container. Stitch up your very own wrapped fabric bowl and organize in an environmentally-friendly way!

7. Wristlet Key Fob

Keep your keys on hand and your scrap pile low with this super-cute key fob. You can use some of your smallest scraps with this project. It’s so much fun, you’ll want to make key fobs for all your friends!

8. Design Your Own Applique

If you’re looking for a new challenge, give this amazing tutorial a try! Create a tribute to Mother Earth by turning your favorite landscape photo into a quilt. Give your scraps new life with this applique project.

9. The String Quilt

This is a great quilt for using up all those little skinny pieces you have left over from trimming. Piece them together into a smart string quilt and get them out of the scrap heap!

10. Fabric Catch-All

These great little catch-alls are awesome for organization and storage. There’s no need to go out and buy little boxes and bins. Stitch them up yourself and watch your scrap pile diminish. When you’re done, you’ll have a more organized home and fewer scraps. Whoo hoo!

Enjoy this playlist of our Favorite YouTube Scrap Buster Tutorials!

 

A “Good Cause” Baby Quilt

Here is my baby quilt to donate to the Quilts for Kids Charityp4040071 I was really excited by the challenge to use my stash and scraps to make something cute.

This one is made all out of scraps except the green border. The floral is leftover from a dress I made myself (ten years ago), the white is from a sheet that I cut up for a mummy wrap game! I am especially proud of this one because I was able to make something amazing with stuff I already had! Who knew this was hiding in my closet all this time…disguised as old fabric that I almost tossed into the trash thinking that I would NEVER use! This was so much fun! I am already thinking up new quilts! We have a few (growing) bins of scraps here at the shop and we would love to have some help putting together baby size quilt tops. We are planning to have one night a month to work on this…we will let you know as soon as we decide which night and time!