Quilt Filler Tips

Tips for Affordable Quilt Filler

It’s important that all Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief are made to provide warmth—Quilts are not sorted in the warehouse by weight. Even in tropical countries it gets cool at night and local people feel the coolness more acutely than a person in a colder climate. We have found that no matter where the Quilts go, people use them for warmth. For that reason, affordable, suitable filler is a necessity.

Thanks to everyone who wrote and emailed with your ideas for Quilt filler:

  • “We ask the rest homes and motels in the area to save us the sheets and light blankets that they can no longer use,” wrote Muriel Greene from Tescott, Kansas.
  • Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, also requests sheets from area motels, as well as bed spreads, pillow cases and drapes. Sheets that are in good condition are dyed to be used as backs for the Quilts. (The quilters also get outdated samples from drapery and upholstery shops to make beautiful Quilt tops.)
  • A special memorial fund was established at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Delafield, Wisconsin, to assist with the purchase of Quilt batting.
  • Jackie Mortenson from the “Quilt Squares” of First Lutheran Church of Crystal in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, suggests watching for 50% off coupons from JoAnn Fabrics and other fabric or craft supply stores for good savings on Quilt batting. Also, the women’s group at First Lutheran includes the quilting project in their annual budget to purchase supplies and sells some of their Quilts to raise money for batting (this is also a good way to raise funds for LWR’s Quilt & Kit Shipping Fund). The Quilt Squares have also received funds from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to assist with their costs.
  • Velma Keerbs from Mallard, Iowa, wrote to explain how her group uses shirts and t-shirts for filler by cutting away sleeves and collars to create a large piece of fabric to work with.

    Step 1:
    Cut away sleeves and tops of shirts, including yokes and collars. (If necessary, also cut the bottom off flat.)

    Step 2:
    Sew the armholes shut and open the shirt out flat to sew together with other shirts to make a piece large enough to fill the Quilt. This method of recycling used clothing is great for items that are torn or stained and not suitable to donate to LWR! In the past, Velma’s group has also received pieces of sweatshirt fleece from a local factory.Note: it may be necessary to use more than one layer of the clothing filler to provide adequate warmth, depending on the weight of the top and bottom.
  • Sandy Johnson from Faith Lutheran Church in Derby, Kansas, recommends well-washed old mattress pads for filler. “Just cut off the elastic around the outside and it’s ready,” she wrote.
  • Several quilters, including Eleanor G. Disselhorst, shared that they purchase reasonably priced Quilt batting from Oklee Quilting Supply in Oklee, Minnesota. You can contact Oklee at 1-800-777-7403. Ask for their 60″ wide batting for mission quilts.

More ideas are always welcome!

Write to:
LWR Quilt & Kit Ministry
700 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
800.597.5972
lwr@lwr.org