Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

Many of the people who work for our company enjoy sewing and other creative pursuits in their personal lives. As a result, there will often be supplies of various types on a table in our lunch room, free for the taking if anyone is interested. I can rarely turn these down because I love a good deal–and how much better a deal can you get than absolutely free?

panel1 Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

A while back I found this panel of cotton fabric by Timeless Treasures on the table. Its edges were uneven but its colors were so pleasing, I snatched it up. There’s just something about pink, yellow and green together. Thinking back to a Design Studio article written by Carolyn Beam in our Jan/Feb ’09 issue (No. 125) called Novel Ideas for Panels, I took the panel home and started to think.

I pulled a variety of fabrics in pinks, yellows and greens. I have a theory that you can almost never go wrong with Pinwheels, so I made some Pinwheels and put them up for audition.

panel2 Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

I like this! Next I sewed together some 1.5″ x 2.5″ patches, because I already had quite a few of those cut. Don’t you love this scientific approach to what comes next?

panel3 Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

I tried them on the right. Then moved them to the left.panel4 Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

Sewed a little more, thought a little more, auditioned a whole lot of possibilities and came up with this:

panel5 Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

Considering that I started with someone else’s giveaway, I’m pretty happy with it. Now for some interesting quilting, an easy by-machine binding and a label, and it will be a baby gift for my newest great-niece in Nebraska.

Have you created something with a supply you found or claimed when it was discarded by someone else? Leave a comment telling us about it and we’ll choose a winner for a giveaway–we have lots of miscellaneous things to send out, so we’ll put together a nice package and send it your way. Please comment by midnight on June 30.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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53 Responses to Giveaway: A Found Quilt Panel Put to Creative Use

  1. Pingback: רכישת בדים אונליין מחו"ל « toferethalomot

  2. Deb E says:

    Love the looks of vol 2 Looks like alot of fun coming up and hard work Thank YOu

  3. Judy raterink says:

    I love using scraps.the quilts have lots of character and usually contain many memories

  4. Yvonne says:

    My prize just arrived! Thanks SOOO much. What a lot of fun goodies!!! :-) WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  5. Marilyn Higgins says:

    I love working with scraps, my sister found some from my mom who passed many years ago and trying to find a way to use them.

  6. rachel crisman says:

    I can’t say that I have but I have been given scraps and my mom always finds something to do with them.She is scrappy that way!

  7. Wyo Di says:

    I once verbalized at a quilt guild meeting that I was not ashamed to “DUMSTER DIVE” for fabric scraps. Thereby declaring that any scraps found in the trash bags provided on our many sewing table were free for the taking. After a few good laughs, I just asked that my fellow quilters leave their scraps in a pile for me. While passing by a large pile of fabric leftover from a project, I jokingly thanked my friend for such a wonderful donation to my scrap project. She replied, seriously you can have them. Well, let me just share the fact that her stack contained a heap of beautiful flannels. I added a few other pieces (scraps of course) and was able to complete a double sized quilt! It’s so beautiful it truely is a shame to name it my “Dumpster Diving” quilt. but alas, if the name fits….

  8. Beth B Pa says:

    A friend was going through a divorce and left an item for us outside of her house. She also had a pile of discards out for the trash. We rescued several plants, numerous baskets, Christmas decorations and some games. Some we kept (One of the plants is still doing well fifteen years later.), some we shared with friends and some things we donated. Less went to the lanfill and others got use from our finds.

  9. Heather F says:

    I frequently use my mom’s stash of fabrics. Shhh don’t tell.

  10. Kaye M. says:

    I found a perfectly good man’s dress shirt at the Goodwill store. I washed it and cut it apart and used some of it for background in some blocks for our guild’s pinwheel challenge. I like how the quilt turned out and I would never have been able to find fabric like it at a quilt shop. Next I’m going to use it in some applique blocks that I want to make. Thanks for all your inspiring ideas

  11. Liz B says:

    Love how you used that panel!
    My great grandmother (then 99) was in need of a very small desk for her new very small nursing home room. My mother found one on the side of the road! We took it home and my uncle tightened the legs and that was all that really needed to be done. When she moved again last year, her space was even smaller, so the desk came to me. I use it for my sewing machine and re-assigned my larger desk for cutting. Yay! I also bought three plus-size knit shirts on clearance at Old navy for like 2 dollars total yesterday, and plan to use them as fabric to make myself some tops. I can’t buy the fabric for that cheap! I do love a good bargain (especially a free one.)
    Thanks for the chance at your giveaway.
    liz dot groleau at gmail dot com

  12. jean says:

    I found a partially put together double wedding ring quilt at an estate sale last year. A lady was going into a nursing home so they were selling lots of her fabrics. She had sewn together many of the tumblers for the rings, and some of the rings are completed into circles. As I dug through her fabrics, I kept finding more and more of it. I haven’t done much more to it at this point, but plan to finish what I have and see how big it turns out.

  13. Yvonne Hamilton says:

    I’ve been trying to clean out my grown children’s “stuff” for ages now. Why is it that good ol’ mom and dad’s house is a storage unit? So..ha. This month when I unearthed a large cardboard box of t-shirts from son #2 and daughter–from their high school years (they are 28 and 32 now), I made t-shirt quilts! Son has his already and loves it. A sneaky way to return (and clean out) at least some of their stuff!

  14. Debbie says:

    A few weeks ago, I had my dh clean out his side of the closet. Out came flannel shirts and a couple pair of jeans. I took a set of twin flannel sheets out of the linen closet and cut them up and along with the flannel from the shirts and the jeans (including the pockets) became a beautiful quilt. Now my family is very careful as to what gets left out or on the floor for any length of time because they will eventually find that lost article in a scrap quilt! Thanks for letting me share!

  15. Mama Spark says:

    I was the winner in a giveaway of scraps set up by Cherry House. I designed a quilt around it. The fabrics were all from On A Whim II. I LOVE how it came out and so did Amy S. It is fun to play with others scraps!

  16. NorahS says:

    When I was in college, a friend gave me two table cloths. I made a skirt out of one and a jumper-type dress out of the other. They were great! She was dumbfounded when she saw them. ha! I love your quilt!

  17. daisy says:

    this looks amazing!!! i would never have thought that it wasn’te your design from the beggining, that you just picked it up and went from there. wow!!! i kust love love love the combination green-pink-yellow. i think it’s my favourite actually.
    i have never experienced something like you describe but it sounds really fun and I would love to try it some day!

  18. Christine M says:

    Your panel is looking great. I love the colours. Someone gave my friend and I a bag of scraps. The two of us sat on the floor having a wonderful time sorting them out. We were both making a scrappy embroidered quilt and we had fun adding all these extra fabrics into them.

  19. Colleen says:

    I use up all my friends old blue jeans – especially the pockets and bandanas – Thanks for the chance to win some lovely scraps!

  20. Janet says:

    I’m making a scrappy square in a square quilt where the finished blocks measure 2 1/2 inches. It’s all made with scraps that others are throwing away. I was going in to my LQS all the time and going through the garbage – they finally put out a little basket for people to put their discards in for me. I need 550 squares. I have almost 300 made.

  21. sy says:

    the quilt is pretty :D
    i took some leftover fabric squares and bia tape from my friend and is planning to sew some coasters or recipe card holders for her.

  22. Mary P says:

    My friend worked for a furniture store so she gave me those sample books that they throw away. I’ve made a couple purses out of them. Because the fabric is so thick, there is no need for interfacing!

  23. SheilaC says:

    I haven’t gotten anything big, but I do get scraps now and then from friends that I incorporate into my bigger projects. Its fun to share :)


  24. SoozeM says:

    A friend gave me some scraps of Liberty of London and I have made a little basket and a makeup purse out of them!

  25. duff says:

    I walked into an estate sale just as they were closing up and began to frantically search for something. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew I supposed to find something. In a back closet, inside a brown bag was a quilt top that needed some loving restoration. I grabbed it asked how much–they didn’t even know it was in the closet, thinking the bag was garbage. I offered $10 and now it’s loveliness is mine. It is an around-the world pattern of 2 inch squares made from feedsacks, measuring about 90″ square total! I am in the process of repairing it by hand seeing as that is the way it was originally constructed. Someone wanted me to find that quiltop and love it–mission accomplished!

  26. Patty says:

    Our quilt guild has an auction of donated books, scraps, kits, etc., anything members want to donate. I got the cutest little wall hanging that I’m finishing for my office.

  27. There were some give away panels on the table at the quilt guild meeting and I took some and made a Project Linus quilt!

  28. Hollie says:

    I collected discarded wine corks from all my friends and made a bath mat out of them recently.

  29. Ashley says:

    I received a couple large cuts of fabric from a friend of my mom’s that had been donated to her by a company getting rid of some fabric. I’ve used it in two quilts thus far and there is even more for me to use in the future.

  30. Patty says:

    at my guild there is a back table where people put various things that they no longer want. I’ve taken several treasures from that table and worked them into quilts, and piece of clothing for my great nieces. Love how your panel is turning out.

  31. Jill says:

    My SIL gave me a giant trash bag of tiny silk duponi scraps. I had a blast doing raw edge appliques and all sorts of other stuff with them. I always love a giveaway.

  32. Leah says:

    I have upcycled some clothes that I was given to me. But I would love to get someones fabric scraps to make a quilt with. :)
    thanks for the chance

  33. Diane Harris says:

    I’m having so much fun reading all of your responses! I guess I didn’t really know that re-using was so popular. I sure hope that one day I’ll find a whole truckload of fabric!!!

  34. Anita says:

    Many years ago my mother worked in a small clothing factory. She gave me a box full of scraps. I made my first quilt from those scraps…didn’t have a clue what I was doing!

  35. Carolyn says:

    I like using other folks stash fabrics for what I’m doing right now…Quilts of Valor {2 of them}. By using these fabrics it makes that many more hearts going into the quilts.

  36. Anna McD says:

    I’ve been sewing and crafting for years with fabric and crafting supplies I bought at an estate auction. I bought a truckload because nobody else wanted it.

  37. Shelley C says:

    I saw this idea online but went out and did the same: I found an old spice rack at a garage sale for $1 with 10 glass jars with cork stoppers. I painted the rack to match my sewing room and then filled the jars with buttons, snaps, beads and such… cute and nice colorful accent!
    freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

  38. Doina says:

    As in Romania are not special quilting shop I’m forced to use materials found in markets or from friends or even used clothes that I no longer wear.

  39. Deci Worland says:

    My local senior citizen center has a thrift store and I find fabulous vintage fabrics and patterns there. Most of my projects are inspired by them.

  40. Katie B says:

    Oh, I find lots of giveaway stuff at work, but I try to restrain myself from bringing it home! I did recently score a plain wood picture frame. I lined it with some fun robot scrapbook paper and hung it in my son’s room.

  41. Mary says:

    I love what you created. It is amazing what an impact the borders made on it. I love to pick up extra fabric off the table at our guild meetings, bring it home and create scrap quilts for donating to the organizations we sponser.

  42. Michele says:

    I get more excitement and inspiration from other people’s stash. Especially if it’s free!

  43. We have a get together once a week with all of my friends to sew. I am now known as the scrap miser. No one throws away any scraps without first checking if I would want it. It is pretty fun and it really helps to increase the variety of my scrappy quilts.

  44. rafael's mum says:

    Your panel quilt looks lovely! I haven’t finished it yet, but I have started a quilt made with shirt material from when I found a lot of shirts in a thrift shop (called charity shop here in the UK) that I really liked and collected more over time when I thought they’d go with the colourscheme I had in mind. I am nearly so far that I can cut into them and going to make an oldfashioned patchwork throw with patches of different sizes. It is the fabrics and textures that are going to make this quilt so special (a few wooly and wintery ones there in lovely greys, beige and creams) and can’t wait to start on it later this summer!

  45. annie says:

    I cut the bottom of a dress off and made it into a shirt for a customer. There is enough to make her a hand bag to match her blouse. I am so excited to give it to her, just because. She is such a nice lady, and the fabric is so beautiful, I just hated throwing it away.
    I made pillow cases for a customer, and with the left over strips, I was able to make several sweet quilt blocks.
    I use the dryer sheets (pressed flat) to be a base for strip quilt blocks.

  46. Lisa says:

    My friend Deb dearly loved a length of decorator weight fabric she picked up at a rummage sale, but it didn’t go with her decor. Not even so much as a throw pillow would be fitting. So, she gave it to me and I designed a tote for her lined with a lovely vintage linen. She loves the bag and carries it frequently. She gave me enough to make one of my own too!

  47. Jocelyn says:

    I have been picking up denim mini skirts from the thrift stores, with the plan to make a denim quilt. It’s fun to find different kinds and colors of denim. Most of the time I can find the skirts on the $1.oo rack and can sometimes be a designer label. I’ve got enough saved to now start cutting out 5″ or 6″ squares. I’d love to quilt it with red thread for a more stunning effect.

  48. Sandy Allen says:

    I’m always buying bags of fabric and scraps from thrift stores. I have used them to make many quilts and fun blocks. I use some of the panels like you did here, adding different borders to make them larger.

  49. Judy says:

    I enjoy making quilt blocks I end up not setting them into a quilt just put them away. I have given many of them to my daughter who has made them into quilts for gifts. It is interesting what someone else can do with your blocks. It would be fun having the table to pick and choose what you would like to finish.

    Happy Quilting

  50. Betty says:

    I love to use panels in this way! At my quilt guild meetings, we have boxes full of scraps for our members to use, we buy baby panels that we make into quilts for our “new moms” at our local hospital and we find vintage blocks that have just come our way for members to use. I’ve used these panels and donated fabric, added various borders, and practiced my machine quilting on quilts that I use for maternity quilts and gifts.

  51. Marcia says:

    Recently we visited a local quilting club spot and were encouraged to take some old fabrics that the members did not want as they needed the space. Someone had left a fabric sample book of polished cotton solids. I made a quilt using these and old print scraps, sashed with black scraps, and backed with flea market shirtings. Amazingly, this “Leftovers II” quilt looks really good. And, it all started with an old fabric sample book that someone was going to throw away.

  52. Years ago, I used an old wooden crate to hold soda bottles (Coke), painted it a nice yellow color. Next, I collected baby food bottles from Mom’s with infants. The metal tops of the baby food jars were painted blue. I used the baby food jars for spice jars. The jars were placed in the wooden soda bottle container for a unique spice rack.

  53. Regina says:

    About 12 years ago, I was in a gallery in the mountains of North Carolina and saw a great little bud vase made out of a twisted spiral of wire and a test tube, that hung from the wall. Motivated to make some of my own, the hunt for the glass was on. I ended up recycling maple syrup bottles from Cracker Barrel restaurant, and my “bud vases” could also double as message/photo holders on the desk top. Not able to eat enough flapjacks to keep up with a craft show demand, I was able to get the managers to put out a 5 gallon bucket for me and fill it with the empties.

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