You may remember a few weeks ago I was finally putting the binding on a patchwork quilt made from vintage sheets. Over the years making quilts with old sheets has been a fun trend. These cheerful retro-prints bring a sweet wave of nostalgia. And the sturdy cotton/poly blend also makes for sturdy quilts.
This quilt has been a WIP (Work In Progress) f o r e v e r – I started ages ago. I cut the squares about 10 years ago and then finally pieced the top over 6 years ago. It’s sat patiently in the UFO (UnFinished Object) pile for years, finally resurfacing in 2019. Then it took me another year to piece a back and another year after that to get it to longarm quilter.
Since that time I have finished hand-stitching the binding and put it through a wash cycle for good measure and to soften it up. This quilt is fast becoming a favorite snuggle quilt.
This quilt is made entirely from vintage sheets – mostly 50/50 cotton/poly blends that were produced in the 1960’s and 70’s. I found most of the pieces at local thrift stores over the years. These older linens are SO soft after years of washing, but have held up really well because of their polyester content. It’s a pretty sturdy quilt.
I love the way all of the bright pastels play together. It’s a wild quilt, but in a harmonious way. I have no idea the number of different prints I incorporated into this quilt. As I say, most were from sheets I found myself at thrift stores, but others were scraps or fat quarters given to me by friends or pieces I found on Etsy – just to give myself a good variety. As much as I love the floral fabulousness of this quilt, I also wanted to add in some stripes, ginghams and plaids (and solids) to create some contrast.
For the backing I used a whole sheet with this sweet yellow and green daisy pattern. My grandma had these sheets at her house and they remind me so much for her home and sleepovers we had in her basement. I love the nostalgia. Does this daisy sheet (or any of the other prints) look familiar to you?
Advice and Best Practices for Sewing with Vintage Sheets
If you want to learn more about how to work with vintage sheets, Jeni Baker has written some really helpful posts about How to Identify, Shop For, and Sew with Vintage Sheets as well as Tips for How to Cut Up a Vintage Sheet. Jeni has also made lots of projects using her Vintage Sheet collection. She is the pro when it comes to sewing with vintage fabrics and linens.
For the binding on my quilt I used a pale green print from my Sugarhouse Park fabric collection – the color went perfectly as it was also inspired by vintage colors. So, in this case I did mix a 100% cotton fabric as the binding with the rest of the 50/50 blends.
How I made this quilt:
I cut 6″ x 6″ squares for my blocks and laid out the patchwork 12 squares x 17 squares. The finished quilt measures 66″ x 93.5″ – which could also work as a small twin size quilt.
I pieced the squares my self and my friend Monica did an all over stipple design on her longarm machine.
For the binding I used ⅝ yard – cut into 8 strips 2 ½″ x WOF. I bound the quilt using this method.
Happy this cheerful quilt is done and ready to use. And having finally completed it, I’m feeling some closure with my gathering of thrifted vintage sheets.
If you’re looking for vintage sheets, you can find various assortments of vintage sheet fat quarters or even pre-cut squares on Etsy. Or keep an eye out at your own local thrift shops!