Sweater quilt, explained

I haven’t posted for awhile because I’ve been working on a special project: a sweater quilt!

When my mom died in February, she left behind a bunch of sweaters, mostly wool pullovers. Luckily for me, no one else in the family wanted them so they ended up at my house.


At the beginning of this month, I began an online search to learn about re-purposing sweaters into a quilt. I viewed tons of photos and read a lot of blog posts about sweater quilts, but details beyond how to wash the sweaters were scarce. Sifting through conflicting information also took time and delayed the starting of this project. After perusing 10 to 15 pages of web search hits over three or four days (unfortunately, I have other stuff to do), I finally felt like I had amassed enough information to feel comfortable tackling the project.


What follows for the next several days, is a comprehensive, one-stop shop of how-to information, with answers to more than a dozen questions you might have about the particulars of handling these warm, fuzzy, bulky, stretchy knitted garments.

Here are the questions that cropped up during my research:

1.    Wash at home or at the laundromat?

2.    Bag the sweaters during washing—or not?

3.    Cut them apart before or after washing?

4.    Stabilize before cutting—or not?

5.    Use the cables and ribbing—or not?

6.    How to piece?

  • right sides together
  • wrong sides together
  • butted
  • overlapped

7.    What size seam allowance?

8.    What presser foot?

9.    What kind of thread?

10.  What kind of stitch?

  • straight
  • zigzag
  • overlock

11.   What tension adjustments are needed?

12.  What kind of needle?

13.  What size of needle?

14.  Back it—or not?

15.  If backing, what kind?

  • fleece
  • flannel
  • homespun
  • regular cotton

16.  Batting or no batting?

17.  How to mark?

18.  How to layer and baste?

19.  How to quilt?

  • What kind of needle?
  • What kind of thread?

20.   How to bind?

Yikes! That’s a lot of stuff to have to figure out, but it all worked out in the end. Check back tomorrow for the first installment.



Filed under sweater quilt

3 responses to “Sweater quilt, explained

  1. Mel

    VERY interesting project – glad you are documenting your process! 😉

  2. Pingback: Sweater quilt: supplies and prep |

  3. Amie

    This is by far THE BEST tutorial EVER!! I cant thank you enough for sharing all you info. I hav been collecting 100% cotton sweaters for months, .99 Wednesdays at the Goodwill. I am starting tomorrow after reading every single post. Finally!! I wish there was a way I could post my progress for you to see. Excited and grateful! Amie

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