If you're like us, your closet is likely littered with clothes that no longer fit, items that just aren't your style anymore, or things you simply forgot you had. But before you Marie Kondo the place and throw everything out, stop and ask yourself: Can I upcycle this? We bet the answer is yes — here are a few fun ways to get started.
A jelly roll, AKA a set of 2½″ precut fabric strips, is a major time saver for quilters. With the fabric already cut and coordinated, all that’s left to do is sew the strips into a fantastic quilt top! So if you have a few jelly rolls you've collected over the years, here are a few designs that'll put them to good use.
Half-square triangles, or HSTs, have to be one of the most versatile quilt blocks around. No matter how you piece 'em together (yeah, there's more than one way to make an HST! ) the result is the same: a simple foundation block made in two contrasting fabrics, that can be arranged to create quilt designs ranging from crazy simple to beautifully complex.
If you're looking for a way to show off all your gorgeous fabric scraps, this is the perfect project. Mix and match patterns and prints, or keep things simple with a limited palette. Once you've picked your fabric, things really start to speed up — simple fusing and topstitched wool felt strips add a quilted look (no piecing required!), so even if you're not super confident in your quilting skills, you can definitely pull off this project.
English paper piecing, or EPP, is a classic quilting technique that never gets old. It involves wrapping fabric around a paper piece to stabilize and form a specific shape — usually hexagons — then basting and sewing by hand. It's a fun, yet simple way to create complex quilt blocks, and it's super easy to incorporate the technique into a ton of different projects. And since many EPP projects are comprised of little pieces of fabric, they're perfect to take on whenever your fabric stash starts to overflow juuust a smidge.
If there's anything we like more than making quilts, it's got to be free quilt patterns. Which is why Angela Walters, host of our uber-popular Midnight Quilt Show series, is our quilting BFF: not only can you download her most popular patterns below (did we mention they're free?!), but you can also stitch along with Angela as she works up each quilt. The only question: Which one will you make first?!
Bags, bags, bags! If you ask us, it's not possible to have too many in your closet — especially if you make them yourself. Add these fun projects to your queue and soon enough, you'll have the perfect handmade option for every occasion.
Finally, sew the blocks into rows and press the seams so they'll nest to make quilt top assembly a breeze. Plus, learn the best order to sew your rows together. Once your top is complete, it's up to you on how to baste, quilt and bind it. Don't worry; Bluprint has lots more classes to show you how!