Sweater quilt: supplies and prep

Today I continue with information about making a quilt from old sweaters. If you’re just joining me and would like to catch up, the sweater quilt series began August 26. Click here to start at the beginning.

Q:  What supplies do I need to prepare the sweaters for sewing?

A:  Just the basics:

  • 20″ square quilter’s ruler
  • Optional (but nice to have): 9″ and 12″ or 15″ square quilter’s ruler
Clockwise from top left: 20" square, 15" square, 9" square and 12" square.

Clockwise from top left: 20″ square, 15″ square, 9″ square and 12″ square.

You could cut all your squares and rectangles with the 20″ square ruler if that’s all you have, but it’s much easier to cut the smaller shapes with a smaller ruler.

  • 35″ x 23″ cutting mat
  • rotary cutter
  • sharp pair of scissors
  • vacuum cleaner with crevice tool attachment—yes, I’m serious. Park it next to your cutting table and plug it in.

sweater quilt supplies2

Q:  My sweaters are washed, my supplies are ready, what’s next?

A:  Turn the sweater inside out,

find a side seam and with your scissors, carefully cut along the seam line.

cut side seam

Take your time; do not hurry. If you confine your cutting to the seam line, the edges will ravel less.

Cut along the opposite side seam,

side seams cut

and then the sleeve and shoulder seams. You will end up with oddly shaped pieces.

Front (left) and back.

Front (left) and back.

Here is the front and back of a different sweater:

front and back2 

Here are the sleeves:

sleeves cut

Sleeves won’t always be the same shape. Just follow the seam lines, whatever they may be.

sleeves cut2

One source said to discard the sleeves, but I ignored that advice and cut smaller pieces from them, saving the front and back for the larger squares and rectangles.


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