21 Ways to Use Quilts!

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When people think “quilt” they usually conjure up an image of patchwork on a bed. This is probably the most common way to use a quilt. So it’s #1! But, there are MANY other uses for quilts. Take a look!

#1 Cover a Bed–from cot to California king, there are quilts available for beds. A quilt makes a bedroom cheery and inviting. Quilts on beds can even sell homes!

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#2 Drape as a backdrop at an outdoor wedding–rustic, outdoor ceremonies need something tall and wide to help frame photos. A patchwork quilt does the job!

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#3 Celebrate a first time grandmother–for years, I have given quilts to my friends who were becoming grandmothers for the first time. The quilts are meant to stay at the grandma’s house and not go with the child. Every time there is a new visit, or a new grandbaby, the Grandma Quilt is tossed on the floor for tummy time!

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#4 Cheer a friend going through cancer treatment–years ago, when my now 91-year-old mother-in-law was undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, I found lots of fabrics that related to her interests (bowling, painting, cards, grandchildren, the beach, etc.) I turned them into a lap quilt she could take to the treatments as well as snuggle under when she napped. I’ve made several “Caring Quilts” since then.

Patch from a Caring Quilt

#5 Wait for Santa!–during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, little ones have such a hard time containing excitement and keeping their behavior in check. A fun little quilt to use while watching all of the seasons specials helps to calm them.

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#6 Keep a little on dry at a sleepover–when a child’s bladder has not developed as quickly as his/her social skills, a quilt lined with PUL (poly-urethane lining) can prevent embarrassment. I call mine the UnderCover.

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#7 Raise money for a school–collecting children’s handprints, or using a school symbol/crest, and having them sewn into a quilt that boldly announces the school’s colors, can garner anywhere from $200 to $200 (depending on the school) to be used for new equipment and supplies.

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#8 Adorn a sanctuary–a church can celebrate a special occasion (in this case it was the installation of a new pastor) but commissioning a quilter to make altar and pulpit cloths.

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#9 Make a road trip extra fun–a small quilt with a print that screams, “we’re driving through many states!” is a great addition to a family road trip.

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#10 Toss on a rocker--what a classic! Quilts help a rocker say, “come, sit awhile with me.”

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#11 Thank a pastor/teacher–collect signatures and messages written on squares of fabric (Sharpie Ultra Fine markers work best for this) and have a quilter sew them into a lap size, or larger, quilt to give to a beloved pastor or teacher on a special occasion (anniversary, retirement, promotion).

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#12 Preserve high school memories–kids, especially those in athletics, amass quite a collection of t-shirts during high school. Have a quilter turn them into a gift to take to college.

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#13 Raise awareness for an orphan disease–recently, I have come to know two people who suffer from the little-known disease Prader-Willi Syndrome. I made a quilt that features the “color” for the cause, orange, and donated it to be auctioned at a walk to raise money and awareness.

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#14 Remember babyhood–babies grown into children (and then into adults so quickly, soon the only thing that’s left is their soft, sweet smelling outfits. Have a quilter make them into a keepsake.

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#15 Christmas tree skirt--a carefully-crafted quilt with a slit to the middle and a circle cut out of the center makes a lovely landing spot for gifts under the tree.

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#16 Improvisational tent–a small patchwork quilt does double duty as a fort house or tent! (samantharichardsonphotography)

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#17 Capture a moment–lay a quilt on a bed or the floor and then let your little one lie on top of it. Giggles will ensue and a great moment will be captured on your camera! (karenosdieck)

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#18 An alternative to a guestbook at a wedding— set up a special station with cotton squares, Sharpie Fine Point markers, and a sign encouraging wedding guests to write their names or leave a special message for the bride and groom. A quilter can bring all of the messages to life in a sure-to-love-for-forever wedding guestbook quilt.

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#19 Announce an engagement–just like a pet, a quilt is something special for a couple to purchase together as they set out to start a new life. Engagement quilts can provide attractive backdrops for the photos that say, “we’re getting married!”

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#20 Cover a table–my friend, Sam, uses a patchwork quilt she bought from me as a table cloth to showcase her line of skin and lip products, GOODNYOU? The quilt helps to say, “you can trust these things I’ve made for you.”

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#21And don’t forget the picnics–lots and lots of picnics are enjoyed on top of brightly colored patchwork quilts!

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