Upcycled Antique Quilt

While vacationing at my parent’s cabin in northern Minnesota two years ago, I came across an old quilt made by my Swedish great grandmother, Hannah Anderson. It was in terrible shape but no one had had the heart to throw it out so it had sat in a closet for years. It was a simple tied quilt so I decided to take it apart. The inside was literally disintegrating.

I was fascinated with this quilt knowing that Hannah had used thier discarded clothing, curtains, table clothes etc. to make it. What a history!  I fingered the quilt wondering if this material was from one of great grandpa Charlie’s shirts or a baby dress from my grandma Hazel.

I carefully washed the quilt on the gentle cycle and decided to take the squares apart rather than keep it as one quilt. This way, I could make up pillows and share with other family members. I recently completed one pillow and have another in the works. Here is how it turned out:

I’m happy with it and enjoy having a piece of my heritage in my home. Hope this inspires you to upcycle a family heirloom that has been sitting around in a closet for far too long.

Happy creating,



  1. How inspirational! I love hearing about family heirlooms, and everything about them. I especially love memory quilts, made from t-shirts and old clothing in grandma and grandpa’s closet. HOwever, I have never thought of how to reuse quilts that had already been made. This has inspired me to try a new way of thinking, and looking at how things can be transformed and still retain their sentimental and historical value!

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