Upcycling a Vintage Window as a Quilt Frame for an Antique Quilt

Upcycling a Vintage Window as a Quilt Frame for an Antique Quilt

Antique quilts aren’t something you see at thrift stores very often. But on a little jaunt through the Georgia mountains one weekend, I found TWO old quilts. I didn’t want to be greedy and buy both, but I did take one of them home. It was crumbling and damaged, so it was definitely a cutter quilt that was destined for upcycling. And I knew right away that I wanted to display it by using a vintage window as a quilt frame.

Antique quilts or vintage quilts at a thrift store

Now. Let’s just get something out of the way before I continue. I’m going to upcycle this quilt– and some folks may consider that a sacrilege. It’s threadbare and tattered beyond repair in some places.

Vintage quilt that is falling apart for upcycling crafts

I feel like a news anchor warning viewers of graphic footage ahead! 

And if you can’t bear to see it repurposed, then you may want to stop reading right now.

Still with me? Ok, good!

I already had this old window in my garage and thought it might be perfect as a quilt frame.

Vintage window to be used for displaying an antique quilt

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Creating a Quilt Frame with a Vintage Window

First, I needed to find a segment of vintage quilt that not only fit inside the old window, but had the least amount of damage.

Let me tell you, that was no easy task!

But, I spread it out on my kitchen floor and moved the window around until I found the right section for a quilt display.

How to display a quilt in an antique window for country decor

Next, I slid my self-healing cutting mat underneath the vintage quilt and old window. Then, I used a rotary cutter to cut the quilt along the edge of the window frame, leaving a 1″ margin.

Then, using painter’s tape (like this kind), I added a bubble of tape at each corner between the wood and the quilt. The tape would hold the quilt in place on the window frame.

Centering a cutter quilt in a quilt frame with a vintage window

With the front of my vintage window facing the floor, I needed to secure the section of cutter quilt to the quilt frame. Because this was a fairly delicate procedure, I used dainty wire nails and my silly (but super handy) craft hammer.

Ever so carefully, I tapped the nails through the quilt into the outer frame of the window. I pulled it snug without stretching out the old quilt.I also removed the bubbles of painter’s tape as I went along.

Tacking an antique quilt to a vintage window for a quilt display

With my quilt piece securely attached to the window, I simply needed to trim off the excess. My rotary cutter was perfect for the task of trimming the antique quilt right along the edge of the window.

Cutting a vintage quilt to fit in an old window as a quilt frame

Ready to see how my quilt display in the vintage window turned out?

Upcycling a Vintage Window as a Quilt Frame for an Antique Quilt

The vintage window worked out perfectly as a quilt frame!

Quilt display in a vintage window for primitive decor

I think I’ll display my quilt frame on our mantel for now. It works perfectly as country decor or vintage farmhouse decor, don’t you think?

Upcycling a vintage window as a quilt frame for primitive decor

And guess what, I already repurposed another portion of the vintage quilt into a potholder for my kitchen!

quilted pot holder from a vintage quilt

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a quilt frame in an old window, then you’ll love this shabby chic wall decor that I made with vintage doilies!

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

Plus, if you love simple sewing projects and upcycling fabric, then you may also be interested in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”! It’s available for online purchase from Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart.

Craft book for flannel shirts

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I love what you did! Its a great way to display a wonderful pattern! I don’t know how much you have left but a few ideas are a pillow cover, valance, table runner, tote bag. I have 2 old worn quilts that I used to cover cushions on a wood frame chair.

  2. This would be wonderful to display the quilt that my mother’s mother made for me when I was little. Thank you for the inspiration. I would have never thought of this.

  3. Lois Stimax says

    I used an equally worn quilt to make cushions for a chair. And it is a favorite for everyone who comes in! I also put an old quilt block into a frame but wrapped it around foam core board and just pushed it into place. It wedged in and looks great!

  4. I love this project! It is so charming and would make an adorable addition to any room!

  5. Sarah, this is a really neat idea. Vintage windows and vintage quilts are something that lots of us have hiding in our houses. This is a sweet way to feature both. Pinning.


  6. Such a clever girl!…and you have plenty of quilt left for more projects!…how about matching pillows?

  7. Peggy Gooch says

    I love this idea. I have an old one here in bad shape and this gives me incentive to do something with it. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Do you know this idea was meant for me! Seriously, I have quite a few quilts in my home that are in cedar chests. I feel just awful that they are not displayed and you have shared a most amazing way to show them off!
    Thanks for sharing this great DIY at Thoughts Of Home On Thursday!

  9. LOVE! Stars though a window, how perfect!

  10. What a great idea!

  11. It’s darling! No worries about up cycling the quilt. If a quilt is beyond repair, the best way to still love it is to use pieces of it. Great job.

    Susan and Bentley

  12. This is such a great idea! I’m so glad you chose the star quilt, as they look perfect in the window. I have an old tattered quilt that my grandmother made, and I’ve been searching for some way to display a piece of it. This idea has really connected with me. I just need to find a plain window frame (I only have a couple of stained glass). Thanks for the inspiration. Pinning for sure 🙂

  13. What a wonderful idea and by displaying that colorful quilt that way it gives both a new lease on life.
    I love it when that happens!

    Thank you for joining TOHOT!

    White Spray Paint

  14. Camp Cammidge says

    I made a bright colorful quilt for my daughter when she was born, which she used to stand on and gaze at in the Jolly Jumper. I have pictures now of all four grandsons, doing almost the exact same thing! Now it’s worn and tattered too, so this would be a fitting end for it, and a new life.

  15. I think you did a lovely job, salvaging what you can from a tattered and well loved quilt, to give it extra life. The window idea is charming.

  16. Hi Sarah!!! Thank you for linking up at Funtastic Friday! I picked your your Wine Rack to Ribbon Cradle as my feature pick this week! As usual I just love your newest project! I added fabric to an old window years ago but hot glued to the front of the glass panes! This idea is much better! You can literally change it out anytime! Love!

  17. This is a great idea,I have a few quilts I could use!

  18. Hi Sarah!… you have combined two of my favorite things, “quilts and old windows”!! Oh how I wished I could travel some of the states that have wonderful treasures like you find. Alberta does not have alot of these wonderful stores. (sad face) I am your newest follower and can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of the old quilt. Have a wonderful day!

  19. I love that you warned us, some people might go faint at the idea of scissors or your rotary cutter going near a quilt! Much better it can now been seen and enjoyed. I’m sure you have a kabillion ideas for the rest, I’d probably do cushions, or a runner, or more art in embroidery hoops, or maybe even a tote bag if there is enough.

  20. That looks amazing, Sarah! I have an old window very much like yours, and I’ve done various things with it, but have never secured a quilt (or part of a quilt) behind it….love this idea. I’ve made teddy bears off and on over the last twenty or so years, and have used old quilts for some of them. If the quilts were very old, the inside “batting” had strange things in it (almost like seeds) that made sewing kind of tricky and pretty hard on needles and scissors. It was well-worth dulled scissors and broken needles to see the end result. Have fun coming up with creative ideas for the rest of your old quilt.

  21. I love how your project turned out!! As Julie in the comments above mentions now you’ll have the rest for other ideas. Not sure if I could do this but, I love the idea. But, if I got 2 I probably would.Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared. Hope to see you again soon.

  22. Sarah, this is such a beautiful way to display this quilt!! I can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of it!!

  23. I love it, the window is the perfect frame! It’s nice you found a way to repurpose an old worn out quilt. Can’t wait to see what else you make!

  24. Sarah, not only is your project a wonderful idea for keeping an old, beautiful quilt alive, but I’ve just learned of several other great ideas from your readers. Thanks, everyone!

  25. I have bee painting and crocheting for many years. Have oodles of afghans on hand. This is exactly what I am going to do with some of them. Thanks for sharing.

  26. I have to admit I cringed a bit that you would cut up a vintage quilt but I think you totally made the right decision. You gave this quilt a whole new life that it deserves. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the rest of it!

  27. nice idea

  28. What a fabulous way to display such a lovely old quilt! What a treasure! 🙂

  29. That’s a creative way to display quilts! Love the chipped window too!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration party!! I hope you have a wonderful week!!



  30. Such a great way to repurpose a keepsake quilt that may not be useable any more. Lovely! So glad you linked up to Dishing It! this week!

  31. Great save and such a clever idea! You really did bring it back to life!

  32. That’s such a neat idea! Pinned. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again next week!

  33. This is such an amazing idea! It turned out beautiful!

  34. I love your quilt and you repurposed it beautifully in a repurposed window. Win Win. Can’t wait to see what you do with the remainder of the quilt. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  35. Such a beautiful display for a quilt, especially a vintage one. Love it!

  36. I would have chosen that one too — it’s fabulous and it looks terrific in the frame. I confess, my heart skips a beat when the rotary cutter comes out but sometimes they are so damaged that they’d never be seen if not repurposed into some thing so beautiful as this. Exquisite.

  37. Oh dear — I hate it when I lose the comment before it posts! I just wanted to say that I would have chosen the same quilt and I love the finished piece. It looks terrific. My heart did stop a bit when I saw the rotary cutter come out — it just hurts to see a quilt cut, but I know that when one is badly damaged it will do no good to just sit about. This way you can enjoy your magnificent piece all the time! Very nice work!

  38. This project is PERFECTION! I have some perfect tattered pieces for it too!

  39. I recently decided that it is time to repurpose an old crib quilt made by my great granny and used by three generations. This gives me the confidence to go for it. I have a stash of old 1800 windows with wavy glass and the quilt. I’m ready to give it a try. I just found your blog and love it. Coming over from one of my favorite bloggers, the talented Shannon at AKA Design!

  40. Such a pretty idea!

  41. This is such a lovely way to repurpose a well-loved quilt! It’s beautiful! Thanks for linking up with Creative Spark – we’re featuring your quilt window this week. Hope you’ll stop by and link up again!

  42. This is SUCH a great idea! I so love this!

    I would LOVE for you to share this with my Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  43. Very cute! love the quilt… I have a post from a couple years ago where I did a similar treatment with a pair of matching windows I took out of an antique house, but I didn’t have such a pretty quilt to use for them, I just had fabric… then I mounted them on the wall above a pair of twin beds as ‘headboards’…

  44. My mom’s a quilter, and she would die cutting it. I, however, love the final product. So cute and colorful. If I stumble on an old quilt, I could do this … but it won’t be one of my mom’s old quilts. 😉

    • I can certainly appreciate that!! And had I not found this at a thrift store (which likely means a relative of the creater donated it!), I wouldn’t have cut into it, either. But it also wasn’t in good enough shape to use as a quilt anyway. My Project #2 from the quilt will be posted later this week- I hope you come back!

  45. Thanks for sharing this on our weekly link up! Our next party starts tomorrow at 6 so stop on by and share anything else you are working on! : )

  46. Sarah, what a pretty creation that uses 2 recycled items. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Design LInk Party.

  47. I think you should just give me the rest of the quilt and you don’t have to worry about it! Love your window.

  48. Great way to display a beautiful old quilt! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party

  49. Love, love, love this idea! I have a quilt that my mother in law started making for our granddaughter before she passed away. It’s pretty fragile as she had dementia so her quilting skills were not what they used to be, but I still think our granddaughter would love to have it to remember her great grandmother. This might be just what is called for! Thanks for the inspiration!! Thanks for visiting our Link Up Party this week!!

  50. Regina Kemp says

    Any suggestions on how to display a quilt that you don’t want to cut up. I have a baby quilt that was my 86 yr old father’s. It has a few places where the material is ragged but in general, the quilt is in very good condition. I have a window, but not sure how to secure it without cutting and using nails.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Could you stitch on a few loops of thread along the perimeter of the quilt, tap in some nails along the perimeter of the window, and then wrap the loops around the nails?

  51. I wonder if those odd bits were part of the cotton plant? I’m sure cotton processing has come a long way.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      That’s what I think, too, Carma. I don’t even know how much the cotton was processed back when this quilt was made!!

  52. I LOVE all these ideas! I have an old quilt that I’ve been trying to decide what to do with . (I actually thought about putting it in the trash but glad I saved it) Before I make any projects with it, I would like some ideas on how to carefully clean it. THANK YOU.


  1. […] in April, I decided to use a less-tattered section of the quilt in my salvaged window frame to create some rustic wall decor for our Spring mantel. I love how it turned out, but better yet, I […]

  2. Cut a Quilt? says:

    […] I did a bit of web surfing and absolutely loved the idea of placing a quilt piece inside an old window on Sadie Seasongoods website. To read this delightful story click here. […]

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