felted sweater blanket

Someone emailed me recently and asked me to explain how I made the felted sweater blanket I have posted on my projects page.  I found some old pictures on my laptop and put this post together.

105 thoughts on “felted sweater blanket

  1. hannah January 15, 2012 / 10:14 pm

    so glad to have found you, jennifer – this quilt is SMASHING!

  2. Anne January 15, 2012 / 10:14 pm

    Thank you for the instructions, I’ve been wanting to make something like this for a while now. Yours is lovely.

  3. Melissa January 17, 2012 / 4:33 am

    This looks beyond warm and very pretty,

  4. Jacki January 18, 2012 / 5:21 pm

    I love this! I already have a ton of felted sweaters scraps I could use to make this. Thanks for the fantastic idea! Plus, since you already felted the sweaters, you can machine wash this on cold! woot!

  5. jan January 20, 2012 / 12:05 am

    Don’t you need to attach the front to the back, so the batting doesn’t bunch up if you do wash it?

    • recovergirl January 20, 2012 / 1:13 am

      I did hand stitch the front and the back together in spots so that it wouldn’t bunch together.

  6. Susan January 20, 2012 / 12:52 pm

    It’s beautiful! I started cutting squares from felted wool sweaters for this very type of quilt, but then I began to wonder how much wear and tear it would have on my sewing machine. Did you notice any troubles with your machine during the process of sewing this quilt? Thank you for any insight.

    • recovergirl January 20, 2012 / 11:15 pm

      Hmmm? I didn’t notice any extra wear on my machine. I did need to clean the inside of it a couple of times because a lot of wool fibers collected inside, underneath the bobbin. But I made this a while ago and I’ve been using my machine and I haven’t noticed a difference. Cheers and good luck!

  7. Cary January 20, 2012 / 12:56 pm

    Beautiful! What a wonderful (and warm) idea!!!!!!

  8. Lynn Casasanta January 20, 2012 / 1:58 pm

    I love this. It is cozy and warm looking.

  9. Cindy January 21, 2012 / 3:57 am

    My grandmother made these types of quilts out of my grandfather and my dads wool long sleeve shirts. They kept us warm during the winter months.

  10. Ana January 22, 2012 / 10:04 pm

    How beautiful, did you just sew them with a regular foot? I have trouble getting the thick layers under my walking foot. And if I may ask you one more question: did you need to fiddle with the tension?

    Thank you for the post!

    • recovergirl January 26, 2012 / 2:51 am

      I did use a regular foot. Your question makes me think I should have fiddled with the tension. Is that something you typically do when you sew something thick? I’m self taught so maybe I’m missing a step. I will say that it all looked fine when I sewed it. I made the quilt for an auction so I don’t have it now to refer to.

      • Rae June 27, 2012 / 8:20 am

        I’m no expert either, but I think tension means the height of the foot. Did you raise the foot higher than usual? Some sewing machines have that option…
        I live in South Korea and sewing machines are hard to come by. Doing this by hand would be really time consuming, but probably worth it! Thanks for the idea!

      • recovergirl June 28, 2012 / 1:40 am

        I did not raise the foot. It didn’t feel necessary. Love that someone from South Korea is reading my silly little blog. I’d love to see how your hand made blanket comes out. Keep in touch! xo jam

    • Hagrids Mom June 18, 2015 / 8:21 pm

      tension has nothing to do with the height of the foot. You would need to loosen it probably a little to make the stitches meet in the middle since the 2 layers would be so thick. I have a question on seam allowance? Most of the felted sweater items i’ve seen sew the layers together flat, side by side, with a zig zag stitch or some other bridging stitch. Instead of having the edges sewn together like clothing with the extra fabric inside. I have a polyester quilt top made of squares and sewn together by hand like clothing and I can tell you there is no way to quilt that – it stands up on the edges of the seam allowance. I have all sorts of felted sweaters but not enough nerve to try this yet.

  11. Lydia January 24, 2012 / 10:14 pm

    I love it!

  12. Lise January 26, 2012 / 12:46 am

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve made longies for my daughter and her Halloween costume and a few other things from felted sweaters; now I have a goal for the scraps!

  13. Lydia January 26, 2012 / 2:36 am

    I cannot wait to start this! Going out this weekend to thrift for wool sweaters.

  14. monalewisgabriel January 28, 2012 / 1:09 am

    love your quilt. I have cut many squares of cashmere already..this inspires me to get mine done! good blog post..thanks
    Mona

  15. Sara J January 28, 2012 / 6:39 am

    Fantastic and I can’t wait to give this ago!!! I have always wanted to work with old sweaters – felting, quilting just awesome

  16. Sara J January 28, 2012 / 6:41 am

    This looks like an awesome project – I have been wanting to felt and quilt old sweaters for some time – thanks for posting this!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Danielle Guyear February 4, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    Hi……when you washed the sweaters initially, did you machine dry them or air dry them? Thanks

    • recovergirl February 4, 2012 / 5:50 pm

      I dried them in the dryer as I do all my regular loads of laundry.

  18. Tara February 5, 2012 / 12:07 am

    This is adorable. I have started cutting squares from cashmere sweaters that I have which now have holes in them in hopes of eventually having enough for a blanket one day. Did you sew the squares together by hand or with a sewing machine? Thanks for sharing, love love love it:):)

  19. aimee February 5, 2012 / 7:17 am

    Hi! Love your quilt. Do you intend on laundering as you do with regular laundry or will it continue to felt/shrink over time if not cared for differently? Thanks!!

    • recovergirl February 5, 2012 / 12:51 pm

      I don’t own the quilt. I made it for an auction. I wouldn’t recommend washing it in a washing machine. I think it should be dry cleaned.

    • Jessie January 7, 2014 / 6:47 am

      I made a similar quilt years ago and it is our family favourite! The kids jockey for position to lay claim to it when the weather turns cold:) I should get on the ball and make another one. Since it is such a favourited covering it gets lots of use & I launder it regularly at home. The wool is already felted and I see no difference once it goes through the washer & dryer.

      • recovergirl January 7, 2014 / 7:10 am

        Hey Thanks for the comment! The one I made I gave immediately to a school for an auction. I should make another one too just to have at home. Cheers! jam

  20. ginger February 8, 2012 / 1:52 am

    Thanks for sharing this , great idea for sure❤

  21. Heather S February 16, 2012 / 10:29 pm

    I have never felted wool before and was wondering if it has to be 100% or can it be a combination? I love this idea and would really like to try it.

    • recovergirl February 16, 2012 / 11:52 pm

      It doesn’t need to be 100% but it needs to be over 90% (I think) and you want to select sweaters that are tightly knit. Old gap and JCrew sweaters work really well.

  22. Meg February 17, 2012 / 3:08 am

    Terrific!So glad you posted this.

  23. sistersmine February 17, 2012 / 7:03 pm

    I so enjoy what you have done with the sweaters! Clever lady and economical. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great weekend!

  24. Teresa February 27, 2012 / 5:19 pm

    I love this…thanks to Pinterest for finding you. I also like to repurpose or upcycle…can’t wait to try this!!
    Thanks for posting it!

  25. teddi14 March 24, 2012 / 5:32 pm

    I just absolutely love it! Have tons of scraps that I have collected to do something like this and now I feel like I am read to do it. Thanks! BTW, found you from a pin on pinterest.

    Teddi
    http://www.squidoo.com/teddi

  26. sharonivy March 25, 2012 / 4:05 pm

    Having a ball thrifting and felting old sweaters for this project. Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. Gail Camp March 31, 2012 / 8:45 pm

    Beautiful.

  28. Sarah Gesiakowski April 4, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    I like working with recycled wool and have made a baby blanket in a similar way but used wool for the backside as well. I was afraid that to mix fibers I would create a washing nightmare. How does your blanket wash up with the cotton on one side and the wool on the other? What method of washing have you used? and detergent? Thanks.

  29. Marie May 25, 2012 / 4:15 pm

    Love your blanket! I would love to try something like this!

  30. trixi June 2, 2012 / 3:48 am

    Your blanket is beautiful…I wish I was at that auction!

  31. Mary G June 6, 2012 / 2:43 pm

    I LOVE your sweater quilt!
    I’m always looking for recycled projects. I’ve made plenty of blue jean quilts. This will be next.

  32. Irene June 7, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    Thanks for posting. I already cut up several t-shirts but did not know where to start. Now I know! Thanks.

  33. Kim June 14, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    I love this idea thanks for sharing

  34. scary games June 18, 2012 / 12:14 pm

    Thanks for another informative blog. The place else may I get that kind of information written in such an ideal method? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  35. meexiles June 21, 2012 / 3:24 pm

    what would happen if you zigzaged them together before felting them? would it pucker?

    • recovergirl June 25, 2012 / 1:58 am

      hmmm? I’m not sure but I would hate to learn the hard way.

  36. Tara July 2, 2012 / 7:33 pm

    Love this idea! I’ll have to start collecting sweaters now…

  37. Dianne September 11, 2012 / 7:02 pm

    First of all I love this idea. You mention both 3×3, and 5inch squares. I am a little confused. Also can you use wool pants or skirts?

    • recovergirl September 11, 2012 / 7:15 pm

      I cut 5 inch squares, then sewed 3 together in a row. When I had 3 rows of 3 squares I sewed them together to make a square of 9 smaller squares. 3×3. I just used felted sweaters but you could try using different kinds of wool. I wouldn’t mix different weights though. I think it will make the blanket uneven. Know what I mean?

  38. Mary Beth September 18, 2012 / 1:18 am

    I, too was confused by the 5″ squares becoming 3″ squares. I take it you used a 1″ seam allowance?

    • recovergirl September 18, 2012 / 1:59 am

      Do I say that? 5″ squares becoming 3″ squares? Yikes! What I hope I said is that I sewed the small 5 inch squares together, 3 across and 3 down (3×3). I think I used a half inch seam allowance.

      • Dianne September 18, 2012 / 6:56 pm

        How it is worded. You say you kept sewing these 3×3 squares untilI you had enough to cover the surface of a twin size duvet cover.
        Now that I have looked at it again, I realize you meant you used 9, 5″ squares to make one finished square. It just was a little confusing. Thanks for your reply.

      • Jo October 24, 2012 / 7:45 pm

        In quilting it is referred to as a 9 patch – 3 across, 3 down. I too wondered about the 3 x 3 squares until I looked at the picture. For being self taught, you have done a beautiful job, even if you don’t know the terms, etc.!! I love this quilt! You have inspired me to make one. :-) Keep up the great work!
        PS. Found this on Pinterest.

      • recovergirl October 25, 2012 / 2:15 am

        …a 9 patch. Thank you! So glad to know this.

  39. margo.wells September 18, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    Ca n ‘ t wait to mae this

  40. kellie November 6, 2012 / 3:10 am

    this is awesome!!

  41. De-anna Lea November 6, 2012 / 3:14 am

    This is beautiful! I totally want to give it a try.

  42. Cecelia November 8, 2012 / 7:54 pm

    Did you do anything special to your seams like press them open or to 1 side???

    • recovergirl November 8, 2012 / 8:48 pm

      A woman I work who is a quilter said you should press them both to one side.

  43. la dieta dukan November 16, 2012 / 8:19 pm

    Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use
    WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • recovergirl November 30, 2012 / 8:13 pm

      Hello. I don’t have any coding or HTML experience either. I find WordPress pretty intuitive. You can figure most things out by clicking around until you figure it out. Good luck with your blog.

  44. Sheri December 17, 2012 / 5:46 pm

    how did you keep the sweaters from unraveling when you cut the squares?

    • recovergirl December 24, 2012 / 2:22 pm

      oh, hi. I didn’t see your comment there. The sweaters do not unravel after they have been felted. They must be a high wool content and it works better if you start with a tight knit, but yeah — after you wash them in hot water they get felted. They tighten up and you can cut them easily.

  45. Cheryl R. January 10, 2013 / 6:55 pm

    Is it possible to use/felt cashmere sweaters? Could cashmere and wool sweaters be used in the same quilt? And..what type of stitch did you use…length etc.

    • recovergirl January 11, 2013 / 1:30 pm

      Hmmm? I wouldn’t mix cashmere and wool together. The weights are different so I think it would make the quilt feel wonky. I have seen people make entire quilts out of recycled cashmere sweaters. It seems like a good idea for making a baby blanket.

  46. Mary February 21, 2013 / 2:59 am

    I am hoping to make this awesome quilt! However, I know that I will have some questions. The first being, were all of your sweaters 100% wool? I found many that were 85% wool, but didn’t pick those ones up. Can I use those as well?

    • recovergirl February 21, 2013 / 3:07 am

      Gosh. It’s been a long while since I made this but I think I went with sweaters with a higher wool content. I would should for 90-100%. Vintage Gap wool sweaters always seemed to work well. Good Luck!

  47. Mari Moore February 22, 2013 / 10:26 am

    I’ve been working on this ever since I found your blog. I finally have enough pieces and I am starting to sew them together. So glad I found you!

    • recovergirl February 22, 2013 / 10:47 am

      Me too. Be sure to share what you’ve done. I’ll share it on my blog too. Good luck! xo jam

      • Mari Moore May 10, 2013 / 11:21 am

        I finished it off! I am emailing you a pic!

  48. Margaret Carey February 28, 2013 / 1:41 am

    Op shops here I come….Fabulous idea… I LOVE it… thanks so much for sharing…

  49. Mary Kay Fish October 16, 2013 / 9:34 am

    Hi, just saw your quilt in the All You mag, was wondering if a novice could do this or do you need experience ? Thanks Mary Kay

    • recovergirl October 16, 2013 / 10:13 am

      Mary Kay,
      I’m a novice! Go for it!

  50. Diane October 25, 2013 / 9:45 am

    This is just so awesome, I loooove this quilt. Umm gives me ideas.

  51. Rhonda McGoldrick October 28, 2013 / 11:01 pm

    Im confused. Did you cut each square 5 x 5 or 3 x 3? You refer to both.

    • recovergirl October 29, 2013 / 7:52 am

      Sorry. It is confusing the way I wrote it. Each individual square is 5 inches by 5 inches. When I started sewing them together I sewed them into blocks of 3 squares by 3 squares — a block of 9 squares. Does that make sense?

  52. Jennifer December 10, 2013 / 4:16 pm

    any tips for handsewing? ive got one of these in progress (it was nice to see your tutorial and know that i had been doing it the same way just with different sizing of pieces) but i dont have a sewing machine…. any ideas for solid handsewing that wont pull out (its mostly felted anyway so its fairly solid material) thanks!

    • recovergirl December 13, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      hmmm. The only hand sewing I’ve ever done is a blanket stitch on the edge of things. If your pieces are felted tight like you say they are then I think it might work. I follow Crispina French and it looks she does a lot of hand sewing. You should check out her work at http://crispina.com/. Thank you for saying hello. Good luck with your project!

  53. Micaela March 29, 2014 / 1:01 pm

    So how many total squares did you use? I can’t tell by the photo since it’s folded…

    • recovergirl March 30, 2014 / 9:02 am

      Oh Gosh. I’m not sure. I just looked at the image again to see if I could figure it out. Each little square is sewed into a group of 9 squares. It looks like I put 6 groups across. I can’t tell how many tall. I suggest once you make a group of squares lay them on top of a twin blanket you like and see how they fit. That is what I did. Good luck!

  54. Donna Faye September 21, 2014 / 7:30 pm

    hi, I have been quilting for 58 years and I want to say be proud of your lovely quilt! You did a very good job and your color selection is smashing! Kudos my dear, you are a Quilter! Donna Faye

    • recovergirl September 21, 2014 / 8:07 pm

      :) What a nice comment. How kind of you. Thank you! xo jam

  55. Nia Lorre November 16, 2014 / 2:30 am

    Well this is nothing short of brilliant. Thanks for sharing how you did this.

  56. Nancy Chandler November 24, 2014 / 11:39 am

    Yesterday I finally finished the top of my blanket. Now I have to make a decision to finish the edges and put on a backing. The blanket is queen sized and is quite heavy even though it’s made of (Goodwill) cashmere sweaters only! Its already quite heavy and I’m concerned if I put on a backing it’ll be way too heavy. How heavy is your blanket and do you wish you hadn’t backed it?

    • recovergirl December 4, 2014 / 11:35 am

      Oh Gosh. I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I was just making my son’s bed and remembered that I never responded to your comment. My blanket was very heavy too. And backing it was clunky. I’ve never asked myself if I would have liked it better if I hadn’t backed it. I guess I would have. The blanket was sold at an auction so I don’t have it around. But I think you are right. Perhaps it is better not to back it. Look at these blankets by MES textiles. They don’t looked backed. They look great. Hope this is helpful. http://www.mes.nl/#blankets

  57. bernadine February 9, 2015 / 3:06 am

    HI can you tell me how you sewed the squares together. ie did you put the wrong sides together and sew as one would normally do and have the seams on the inside.

    • recovergirl February 10, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      Yes. exactly. I sewed the wrong sides together and then ironed the seams to the side.

  58. Tray April 5, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    Maybe someone can give me a rough estimate as to how many sweaters it takes to make one? I love the idea and have been collecting some sweaters for a felting project.:)

    • recovergirl April 5, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      I would think a dozen at least for a twin blanket.

  59. Jean October 10, 2015 / 10:45 am

    love this!!!!

  60. Thea January 11, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Found you via Refashionista. Very cool project — it’s so simple and straightforward I’m ashamed I never thought of it. I am an avid longtime knitter but have never been interested in knitting an entire blanket, even though there are some great patterns replicating the look of a quilt. I particularly *love* that this is an easy way to use damaged sweaters. This is the best of all worlds: recycled, super wool, colorful and quilted, and relatively (vs knitting the equivalent) quick! Thank you so much for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s