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Patchwork Quilt Made From Old Tea Towels And Pillowcases


Every year the school holds a Summer fair to raise funds for the PTFA and I make various things for them to sell or raffle, often at the last minute, so I’m feeling a little bit smug that I’ve already started this year – and it’s not until June!

In three mammoth jam-making sessions I managed to make 42 jars of Blackberry and Apple jam, 25 of which are being donated for the school fair.


Last year there was a ‘Horsington’s Got Talent’ stall, whereby parents and pupils make all manner of crafty things to sell, and for which I made lots of things. It was a huge success, selling out completely apparently, so the Committee have put out another request for handmade items.

As I inevitably end up spending quite a bit of money on things I make like sugar and lemons for the jam, all the ingredients for 50 scones and cakes for the cake stall, I try to make the crafty items out of things I can source for free or that I already have in my supplies.

Like this pile of (freshly laundered) pillowcases and tea towels, all surplus to requirements and acquired from several different people who know I can’t say no to gifts of leftover/unwanted fabrics.

I don’t know what you see when you look at this mix but, add in a bit of vintage lace trim and it screams “Patchwork quilt” to me. No? Well, that’s how my mind works, anyway:)

The very word ‘vintage’ conjures up images of faded florals and linens, so I picked out the remaining old Ikea pillowcases (some of which had been cut up to make hats for the jars of jam) and 3 or 4 neutral tea towels which would work nicely.

My Olfa quilting set made short work of cutting out the 48 6″ squares needed to make a quilt just large enough for a single bed.

I laid them all out on the floor and fiddled around until I was happy with the arrangement.


All seams were stitched with 1/4″ seam allowance and pressed as each strip was completed.

This is the finished quilt top.


For the backing, I had to piece together bits of wadding and leftover curtain lining to make up the size I needed.

With right sides facing, lay the lining on the quilt top, then the wadding on top again.

I stitched around all four sides, leaving a gap through which to turn the quilt. Then the lace trim was sewn to the edge.

Finally I added a little “Sewchet” label.



I may go back and add a bit of hand quilting if I get time, but it actually doesn’t need it.


It’s just the right size to be a comforter on a single bed, or would make a cosy lap blanket for the sofa.



It took me six hours yesterday to make, so the fact that it will probably be sold for about a fiver has to be put to the back of my mind – but at least the fabric was free!

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

35 thoughts on “Patchwork Quilt Made From Old Tea Towels And Pillowcases

  1. “Work is love made visible” Kahlil Gibran

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It is absolutely charming, and to make sure you get some decent money for it, why not raffle it at 50 p or £1a ticket, you will mkae loads more then £5 that way. I would gladly pay £25 for it and consider I had a real bargain. I would like to say £50 put that would be out of my price range, but it is worth it.
    Your school is lucky to have you. Hope they know it.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I had considered a raffle, but I’m donating a big doll with a wardrobe full of handmade clothes as well, and that will be a raffle in “Name The Doll” format. People come with pennies for the kids and pounds for the parents to school fairs, as there are so many stalls between which to spread your money – kids want a go on everything! I am hoping that, by making some really lovely things that will be cheap to buy, it makes a change from the usual tat that is sold, and will be a better experience for parents and grandparents. It’s all profit for the school funds at the end of the day:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I certainly hope it sells for more than £5 – it should do… don’t let the school under-value it (suggest a price of at least £25… which is still too cheap really).

    Liked by 4 people

    • Trouble is, parents come to school fairs knowing their money is going to have to stretch a long way, so big ticket items are never going to sell. I hope that having some nice items for sale rather than the usual tat will make it a nicer experience for parents and grandparents. Every penny made is profit for the school!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s lovely! A fiver is not nearly enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is why handcrafters can’t make their livings from their crafts. I also think the raffle idea is a better way to raise funds. Your work is as usual beautiful and stylish!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very, very beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nanacathys suggestion of raffling that to make more money is a good one. I agree that it will never make the sort of money it deserves to (and yes, I agree with thecontentedcrafter too) but it may come closer. Well done being so prepared!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m raffling a doll with a wardrobe full of clothes (not all finished yet) so this will have a price on it. School fairs are not the place to sell crafts for sensible money, so I’ll be happy if it just sells, as it’s all only for the school funds.


  8. It all looks very charming ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Yeah, I’m with the raffle crowd too and came here to suggest it! If the worst comes to worst, buy it yourself or have someone else buy it for a decent price and then sell it or raffle it again another time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m making a wardrobe full of clothes to raffle with a doll, so the quilt will just have a price on it. Fairs are quite a pull on the purse strings as kids want to have a go on every stall, so the prices need to be kept very low for things to sell. It’s all profit for the school funds, so I don’t really mind – a fiver is five pounds more than nothing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sheila, the jams are charming (and I’m sure delicious). Congratulations on getting these ready so early. I love your patchwork quilt, but agree with the others that you’re undervaluing your quilt. I hope you’ll take that to heart. It’s charming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Alys, our current B+B guests are certainly enjoying the variety of homemade jams on offer every morning. Trouble with crafts is that they’re generally undervalued and even more so at a school fair where parent’s money is wanted left, right and centre. Kids only have pennies to spend so I try to make something that they can buy, too. If the materials are free and I’m donating my time, every penny is profit for the school, so I’m happy with that.


  11. If only my tea towels were so lovely 😦 They make a wonderful quilt. In fact I think the quilt I’m currently not making has that rose pattern fabric in a quilting weight in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My tea towels are in no fit state to be made into anything else by the time I’m finished with them. I do have a couple of those Ikea Catherine Kidstonesque bedding sets which are probably ready to be repurposed now they have been on both daughters’ beds on and off for years.
    I totally agree about the price of course. Having made lots of stuff for fund raisers, I know people just won’t pay the money so you sort of have to take the hit and content yourself it’s for a good cause – if only some of the buyers would have the same attitude :/

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did have to pick carefully through the tea towels to find the good bits, I must admit, but the pillowcases were discarded as part of a bedroom revamp at my sister’s, and were still perfectly usable. Yes, I try not to look at the prices put on my work, as I understand that parents can easily spend fifty pounds or more just pootling around at the fair, on ice creams, raffle, tea, tombola, etc. – I know we do! As I said, at least the materials cost nothing and I’m happy to donate my time, so however little is raised, it’s all profit.


      • Yes, we raised a very healthy sum yesterday for the old and disabled dog refuge – mostly by selling cakes, bric a brac, books and a raffle. The stallholders selling their own wares pay 10 euros to have a stall but I’m not sure they actually sold much. I think supporters – and it’s usually the same ones – come with a budget of, say, 20euros and try to distribute it evenly amongst the cakes, books and bric-a-brac – the proceeds of which they know go directly to the refuge.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. It is gorgeous – and in the true patchwork tradition. Fabrics that have been laundered many times have such a beautiful softness that only comes with age. Your design is beautiful I hope it raises more than a £5 – that is sweatshop wages!
    I love making jam as well, but I don’t eat enough of it, maybe it is time to get involved with the local school!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Much as I love jam, I don’t eat it very often, either. Sugar, and all that. You’re so right about the softness of old linen. That was made all the more apparent as the lining was new offcuts and still stiff. As my time is donated I try not to value anything for the school in terms of an hourly rate otherwise, even at minimum wage it would be priced too high to sell.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It is stunning, and I am sure it will one of the first items to go. Unless all the jams goes first. 🙂 I can never resist a nice jar of jam or two.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve already sold some jars of jam to various b+b guests who begged me to let them buy some, so I may have to make some more for the school! All the money is going to the school anyway, so I didn’t mind letting them. Trouble is, my jam has a bit of a reputation and sold out within fifteen minutes last year – there’ll be disappointment if I sell it all beforehand:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was just thinking about your jams on the weekend. When I visited a tiny tiny town here in SA in December, we drooled over the jams and goodies at the place we had breakfast. The jams was lovely and I was having some of the marmalade on the weekend on toast and then thought of your jams. My thinking was exactly that. The guests will be wanting some. 🙂 You will have to brand them soon.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I was thinking about making some half-size jars of jam to give every set of guests as they leave. That would be a USP, wouldn’t it?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 Now there is a good business strategy. Take home the goodness and spread the love / word.
        And I do find it is all about home and hand made these days. Mass produce store items are just not as popular any more. At least that is what I am finding here. I myself drive to the local smaller markets to get the nice goodies. 🙂 Worth every trip.
        Definitely a very good USP. I would even think of some pretty labels, make them even more unique.

        Liked by 1 person

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