Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It’s Go Green Tuesday again! Today I wanted to talk about a few websites/blogs that have some good ideas about being a green quilter or crafter.

You can get lots of great tips from the Forever Green Quilts website. Just go to http://www.forevergreenquilts.com/ . One tip from that site is about greening up your sewing space. No matter the size of your space you should consider making some simple changes to reduce your impact on the earth:
- switch to fluorescent lighting or LED lights when you are working at night- use natural light only during the day and position your machine in the room to optimize the natural light
- turn your iron off when you are not using it – you’ll use less energy and your room will stay cooler
- use recycled paper for any printing you do- put a ceiling fan in the room to lower your heat and AC bills
- think about the destination of everything you use – where did it come from and where will it end up

At the Craftstylish website you can find instructions on making a simple quilt using recycled sheets and a recycled blanket. For those of us who love vintage linens this would be a great project! I know I’m going to try it, Check it all out at http://www.craftstylish.com/item/39940/how-to-make-a-super-simple-recycled-quilt

eHow.com has a great tutorial on making a rag quilt from old jeans like I talked about in my previous blog. You can find those instructions at http://www.ehow.com/how_2113371_rag-quilt.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art .

Finally, for those of us who have hundreds of tiny fabric scraps hanging around that you just can’t stand to throw out I found a great project at Jennifer Perkins’ “Naughty Secretary” Blog. She uses 1” x 1” fabric squares and the “inside” of a roll of packing tape to make the cutest bracelets!! As a seller who uses miles of packing tape to mail items, I have lots of those cardboard things available. Check out the project at http://naughtysecretaryclub.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-love-to-create-recycled-fabric.html .

I would love to hear from our readers about different ways you “Go Green” in quilting or any other crafts. How do you reuse and recycle? Next Tuesday I’m going to have my fellow RQQ bloggers look at all the ideas and vote on a favorite. The winner will get a special prize from me – a fat quarter of vintage fabric.


  1. Oh Barbara what a clever idea for the empty packing tape spools and scraps of fabric.
    I found a way to create your own gift bows out of old magazines. Definitely something I can tackle. What do you all think...of this recycling idea???

  2. If I am using all denim squares for the back I don't use a layer in the middle. The denim is heavy enough I think. Most of the ones I make I use some denim squares on the front as well. One of the first ones I did with recycled denim I recyled some flannel shirts for the middle instead of buying new flannel. I am starting on a new one that I will use some cotton work shirts from a bag of jeans my sister gave me this weekend. Some of them are heavy cotton so I am thinking they will make an interesting quilt.
    When you are cutting up the old jeans make sure and put those odd shaped pieces to the side to use in a scrappy quilt or as I just discovered some pieces not quite big enough for my 8" squares but will work in a pieced square.

    Also don't get in a rut using the same sized squares all the time in your raggies (like I was doing). Measure the widest usable part of the jeans and adjust the size to get as many squares as possible from them. Different sizes and styles of jeans will have more or less usuable fabric.

    Here is a pin cushion that uses several recycled items at one time. The grandbabies had some stuffed animals with the little pellets like they use in bean bags that got torn. I just can't throw things away so I put them on a shelve. I took an empty small candle jar that is frosted, took some scrap pieces of fabric and sewed them together crazy quilt style and cut a 9 x 9 square. I poured some of the "beans" into center making a ball about three inches round that would sit on top of the candle jar, size will vary according to size of jar. I twisted the fabric around the bottom (like you do when making wedding rice bags), sewed a few stitches along the bottom to close it. I took the "ball" and stuff into the jar with the dangling fabric going in first. Then put some glue around the lip of the jar and pressed slightly to hold it in place. I then took a piece of ribbon and tied it around the edge of the jar. You can also use pieces of batting instead of the "beans".

    Now that I have confused everyone....lol

  3. This is a wonderful blog; so glad I know these members from groups. This is my latest recycling tip: I made some scrappy strip blocks and decided to put together as a raggy quilt. Since I used white cotton as the foundation, I only used flannel on back. When I clipped, the layers of flannel, foundation and strips made a beautiful bloom. I also recycle my mother's stash into my raggy quilts.

  4. I keep a special "trash" bag on the floor in my sewing room. I save all un-useable sized pieces of fabric scraps, trimmed threads, battings, corners, yarn ends, trimmings, selveges of fabrics, trimmed ends of fabrics when first "squaring"up your first cut with a rotary cutter, etc. in this bag.

    When I have a couple of these bags full of this special "recycled stuffing", I make a fleece pillow case size Pet Pillow Bed and stuff it full, then sew up the open end.

    These make marvelous, soft, cushy Pet Pillow beds for our furry friends. If I have too many of these for my pets, then I give them to a friend of mine who belongs to a dog rescue group. She gives them to the Rescue Foster Members who keep the rescued dogs until they are placed in new adoption homes. The Pet Pillow Beds go to the new adoption homes with the dogs and it makes their transition more comfortable for them. AND...they are completely washable!

    Try it. You'll be amazed at how fast you can accumulate a bag full of this wonderful "recycled stuffing" and you will be giving your beloved pets nice soft pillow beds. If you don't need them, you can donate them to your local animal shelter too!

  5. Ummm... I've been sewing scraps together to make squares that will fit in my rag quilts, so I end up having to buy less fabric. My last quilt I did 10 inch squares--so did 5 3/4 in by 10 in, and sewed them together. It turned out really good, I was happy with it. Also, my kids have jammies made out of sheets, and things like that.

  6. I like the idea for the animal pillows. I save my very small snips, threads and scraps in a small bucket, i.e., ice cream, cookies dough, butter bin. I put the scraps out in the yard for the birds to use in their nests.

  7. thanks for stopping by my blog. I love quilts

  8. Hey Barb thanks a ton for the shout out about my bracelet. Glad you like it. Most of the scraps I have I buy from quilters, they always have the best stuff. Just made a top for my baby out of a vintage quilting square this weekend and my mom took some of my quilting scraps to make her hat!