Upcycled Outdoor Quilts

My sweet friend Miss Pat of Muddy Boot Prints educates youngsters in her outdoor learning program full days, outsidemostly. Rain or shine, they do have warm up spots for wet little ones out of the rain for brief times.

This is where my two new quilts almost finished will go. 

These are reused moving blanket from U-Haul, are onto a new life, giving warmth and comfort to red nosed children and two sweet ladies, Miss Pat and Miss Velma.

This began as a way to reintroduce myself to being able to plan out my projects and realizing that I had way too many quilts that need desparately to be completed. But while completing those quilts which need my attention in my sewing womb.

I began with an idea.

I  began with reusing moving blankets for new quilts that can take the abuse of outdoor use. I pictured my friend and her business partner getting a wee bit chilly at times, I wanted to jump in and get busy on this project.

When you have the means to buy fabric it is a luxury. 

As a sidebar, I have been thinking about climate change. I reckon that if I use more upcycled materials to make my quilts this can only equal no more fuel used in its manufacturing and distribution. 

In Canada, the price of new fabric does instill a feeling that its only those well off folks who can afford make a quilt. Buying new fabric is expensive today and only those with enough 'extra money' on hand actually can afford to buy new fabric.

BUT, if you take thrifting as a viable alternative, you can make just about anything you'd ever want to sew or craft.

Thrifting fabric is a practice that thousands of smart sewist's male and female take to heart and make do with many fabulous fabrics found at thrift shops, found at garage sales or given to them by those who support their art or handmade crafting business.

Kantha stitching is stitching seen all over the web at Pinterest, Facebook and bloggers who are champions of reusing, repurposing and upcycling. Its the same kind of tight running stitch of quilting used in my Modern Makeover.

Since I first began writing this blog, "Recycling became upcycling" and its downright exciting!

Onto the second moving blanket quilt, I got smarter for time constraints and used 1 m. flannel chunk and filled in the bottom edge with other scraps. This close show the simple running stitch.

On the seam edges, I did a fast whip stitch.

Its a hodge podge approach, but it works for this fast and durable project.

Now, I just need to bind these two quilts, then they are ready for shipping to Muddy Boot Prints in Vancouver.

I know my friend will delight in these two quilts. 

The organization Earthand.com in Vancouver, gleans useful natural and ignored wild things and holds workshops to teach using naturally gleaned materials.

I took very little time deliberating which chunks of my scraps and orphaned blocks found a new purpose by hanging out on one corner or spot of these two Kantha Stiched Outdoor Quilts.

This the back side of one of them. More on these two quilts in my next post.

I have also begun to continue piecing on my Happiness Quilt. I like it on our bed and my hubby says its really "A Carli Quilt" and I was surprised. He said "You have your own style sweetie. I can tell a Carli quilt a mile away." It was so funny. I didn't realize he'd actually been paying attention.

Then I was really surprised when he stood back and said "Carli, you have a way of blending generations of fabric. Your quilts are always bright and bold, you use up fabric like nobody else"

Well, I'll take that encouragement. I'm sure your hubby has expressed his thought on your quilts and encouraging thoughts are to be shared here. Leave me a comment of your most special encouragement that you've recieved from your spouse.

Its another weekend, and I thank you all for reading and commenting. I'm piecing and binding this weekend. Happy Quilting!


  1. I agree completely with your thoughts about how our quilting impacts on the environment, and have completely changed the way I think about (and buy) fabric in the last couple of years, choosing, like you, to move towards recycling rather than buying new. I like your two blanket quilts very much.

    1. Kaja thank you for your agreement on upcycling. I have a love of making quilts from almost nothing to begin with.Thanks again for your comment.

  2. What a very, very interesting post Carli! Two wonderful pieces involving recycling materials on hand, the moving blankets was a great idea.

    1. Hi Maureen! Thank you! I just love to use up scraps etc that I have on hand. More posts coming.

  3. Your work reflects the real history of quilts - the 'make do' philosophy which was the norm in the time of our grandmothers (and previously). By far the more meaningful way to create something that would keep people warm than the current trend towards buying 'matchy-poo' expensive fabrics and making perfect quilts that more often than not end up put away carefully simply because they ARE so expensive to create. Give me a lovely warm one like yours any day!

    1. wow Maryanne your comment makes me feel warm and fuzzy! yes I live by make do and carry on. It bothers me when people I meet talk about quilting as something done only by wealthy people. I aim to change this misconception that defers interest because of cost.

  4. I love your "crazy" warm quilts!! Great way to use those orphan blocks is a totally creative way!! So modern of you *grin* in such a traditional way!! You rather remind me of Jo of http://www.joscountryjunction.com/ - she goes to thrift shops and buys large men's cotton shirts to make into beautiful quilts. She is a devoted follower of Bonnie Hunter! I find that most of the time I prefer scrappy quilts over most matchy-matchy quilts. It totally makes sense to reuse/recycle/upcycle everything we can, both to conserve our finances and the environment.

    1. hi farmquilter! Thank you for hearty enthusiasm for thrifting and living frugal. do you follow my blog yet?

  5. I love your quilts! And what a great way to use up scraps and help someone at the same time. I don't know what the Canadian exchange rate is right now so I don't know if I will understand, but what is the price of fabric in Canada? It has gone up a lot in the US also, averaging about $12 a yard at most fabric stores and about half that or less at Walmart (but then you have Walmart quality fabric).

    1. Thank you for posting your thoughts on the cost of fabric in Canada. Average consumer would tell you good cotton is on average 16.00 per meter.

  6. Thank you for your kind support for upcycling!
    the canadian has risen slightly but our fabric prices are based per m. which 39 inches instead of 36 inches for a yard. good quality cotton ranges between 15 to 28 per m. in my area of B.C.


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