April 11, 2023

Upcycled Fabric Projects & Going Green Tips for Earth Day

Quilters are some of the most resourceful, green people we know! We are always saving up scraps and asking other quilters for ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle quilting and sewing materials. We never want to throw anything away if we don’t have to!

In recognition of Earth Day and being green, here are a few ways that we choose to reduce, reuse, and recycle to demonstrate our support for the environment!

Upcycle Fabric Scraps

Do you have tiny leftover scraps that you just can’t bear to throw away? Do you have a stray block or two sitting around, and you don’t know what to do with them? Don’t let those scraps go to waste! There are plenty of ways to upcycle small fabric scraps!

Give crumb quilting a try! Those itty bitty fabric scraps are just itchin’ to become a mosaic masterpiece. Watch our free triple play crumb quilting tutorial with Jenny, Natalie and Misty to learn more about this scrap busting technique (shown above).


Try free pieced log cabin blocks using fabric scraps and leftover strips with our tutorial inspired by the historical quilters of Gee's Bend.


You can even use your leftover strips to create a reusable shopping tote.

Make a new pincushion for your sewing space. (Make a whole bunch and give ‘em to your quilting friends!) Upcycle a mason jar to create a pincushion with storage.

Repurpose Found Fabrics

Found fabric is fabric that you can find . . . anywhere! Make a trip to your closet, a loved one’s storage room, or the closest thrift store. Or, have a stash swap with friends, and start cutting and stitching the fabric back together to create something new and beautiful!

Jean quilts are great found fabric quilts! Take some old jeans, cut them up, and you’ll have a quilt that will last! Bust these out during a camping trip, outdoor sporting event, picnic, or outside playtime. A denim quilt is perfect for staying warm and dry; the sturdy material won’t pick up dirt and debris as easily as other fabrics. It’s the perfect outdoor blanket! Try a denim strip quilt (shown above) or a denim snowball quilt. Click here for more tips and tricks from Jenny for working with old jeans.

Creating a T-Shirt quilt is another way to upcycle your found fabrics. They’re a great way to preserve memories and make wonderful graduation or wedding gifts. Learn more about creating these keepsake quilts with our Tackling T-Shirt Quilts class or grab a Step-by-Step T-Shirt Quilt Kit.

Repurposed Items

Many items around you can be repurposed into something new. The possibilities are endless!

Repurpose a cup or pot by turning it into a cactus pincushion (shown above).

Are you in need of an ironing station closer to your sewing machine? Use a TV tray! Simply grab a heat-proof surface such as the Missouri Star Wooly Betty Board to lay on top of the tray and you have the perfect portable ironing station so you can iron as you work! There are so many ways things around us can be repurposed and transformed into something new.

Misty's Tips for Going Green

I’m one who is easily overwhelmed, so for me, the little things I can do go a LONG way. Here are a few things I do to get my green on…


  1. Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose. I’m a big believer in making something old new again. Step outside of the box, and before you throw something away, think about what it could become!


  1. Buy in bulk. I know what you’re thinking… I’m not talking about everything here, but the stuff you know you’re going to consistently be using, buy it in larger quantities at one time. Think shampoo. You’re always going to need it (hopefully!), you might as well buy the biggest bottle you can. If you don’t like having a giant bottle in the shower with you, keep the little bottles you used before and refill them.


  1. Turn off the lights. During the day I open all my drapes and blinds to allow natural light to fill my house, not only does it use less energy, it lowers your bills.


  1. Make a MENU. I have found that not only does it help me know what I need when grocery shopping, it also lowers the amount of leftovers and general waste. (We’re not big leftover eaters at our house, so cutting back on that is good for us! I guess another version of this could be… EAT YOUR LEFTOVERS! hehe)

Cloud9 uses 100% organic cotton fabrics and eco-responsible, low impact dyes.

For even more inspiration on how to go green this Earth Day, check out our Celebrate Issue of BLOCK Magazine! This issue is filled with projects you can stitch up using your small pieces and scraps. Download the digital version and get started on a t-shirt quilt, wall hanging, denim bag buckets, adorable little aprons, and more – today!

Digital Download - Summer Squares Quilt Pattern by Missouri Star Primary Image

Published by Danae M.