Sweater quilt: getting started

Sorry I didn’t post as promised yesterday. I played hooky with a quilter friend. We took a little road trip to visit a couple shops in south Denver–totally worth the drive! Then last night there was a three-hour marching band meeting at school. Once home, all I wanted to do was change into jammies and go to sleep. ZZZZZZ.

Today I have a brief Q&A about sweater quilts.

Q:  How many sweaters do I need?

A:  As many as you have.

I say this not to be vague, but rather to emphasize that if you are creating a keepsake of a loved one’s sweaters, you are limited to what you have. This means you should avoid purging your own closet or supplementing with sweaters from the thrift store.

If you’re still looking for a number, I’ll say you need a minimum of seven to eight adult sized sweaters to create a small lap sized throw. If you only have two or three, don’t despair! You can still use them to create some cute pillows or bags, and there are plenty of sources on the internet describing how to do this.

sixteen sweaters

My mom left me with 16 sweaters, which was more than enough to make a decent sized quilt. With that many, I had the option to make a big one and a small one, or two small ones. In my case, since my dad is the recipient,


I figured he would prefer something he could possibly use on the bed, as he’s not one to cover up when watching TV.

Q:  What kinds of sweaters are suitable?

A:  I used all wool because that’s what I had,

but this topic generated a lot of conflicting information. Some web sources encouraged the use of any kind of sweater and mixing them together in the same quilt; others recommended sorting sweaters by fiber content and not combining them in the same quilt. I would be inclined to keep the fiber content the same throughout the quilt because my OCD nature would dictate it, but to each, her own.

The sweaters do not need to be a certain style. My mom preferred pullovers, but cardigans would work also. You would just need to remove zippers, buttons, pockets and any other embellishments before cutting.


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