June 2012
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Upcycled Quilted Pillows


I wanted to make some brightly colored throw pillows for the sofa and loveseat at our camp, so I tried cutting up and dyeing an old quilt (not like a valuable, antique quilt. Just a store-bought quilt we used to have in our guest room 10 years ago). The front of the quilt looked like this:

But the back was just plain white. (I thought maybe I’d like how the patterned side looked when over-dyed, but the dark blue turned a funny color and it just didn’t look good. But I bet on a quilt that was all light colors to start with, that would look really pretty). I used the dye from Dharma Trading that I bought ¬†along time ago when I tried dyeing linen napkins. Similar to that experience, I had mixed results. But I think my problem was I was trying to cut corners and get more out of the dye than I really good. So for the pillow covers, I mixed up some red (actually more like pink), yellow, green and blue dye (in large, plastic buckets that used to hold cat litter. We have three cats. We go through a lot of litter). The pieces I put in first and followed all the instructions to the letter did indeed turn out nice and bright. But then I thought I could take those out of the dye and keep using it for other bits and pieces, but that didn’t seem to work as well, I think because the original instructions call for adding various fixers and stuff at different points. So while many of those pieces looked great at first, once they had been rinsed, washed and dried, they had faded considerably.

But I still have a nice stack of pastel pieces… no idea what I will use them for, but I’ll think of something. In the meantime, I think I need an orange pillow as well…Speaking of orange, here’s my kitty, Tangerine, checking out my work:


3 comments to Upcycled Quilted Pillows

  • Tiffany

    This is such a great idea! I have an old quilt in my closet I can use in just this way! Perfect!

  • […] mentioned in previous posts, I made the quilts on the sofa and our bed, as well as the sofa throw pillows. I also dyed the sofa slipcovers (not very successfully, but still better than plain white, I […]

  • I like your upcycle. I am all about over-dyeing things. I had the same experience with dye (also from dharma) trying to use it for more fabric than I had mixed it up for. I think that, even though the dye bath still looks intense after the initial dyeing, it really doesn’t have enough dye in it to dye a second batch of fabric. Unless you’ve measured it out for that poundage. It’s only meant to dye a certain amount of fabric. But, like you did, I’ve dyed second batches of pastels and that’s fun, too. I can’t ever bear to let the dye go to waste, even if the results are really light. Anyway, good project.

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