Source: Bing images

Have you been in the stores lately? I recently made a rare shopping trip into town. Some stores were better than others, but there were some real holes in shelves where products should be. Apparently toliet paper (TP) is an item that is stuck on a ship in some harbor. That being said, quilters and toliet paper crisis should not go together.

Source: Bing images

I can hear it from here – some of you are saying, “what is this crazy woman talking about? Of course the lack of TP on store shelves is a crisis!!!”

Well…maybe not.

I personally have already solved the quilters & toliet paper crisis for my household.

Be creative

Here is my take on this. Most quilters have lots of fabric that they consider ugly. Most quilters keep shoving it back farther on the closet shelves and hope it magically disappears.

Also we usually have enough muslin to make several backs of quilts.

Bolt of muslin
Source: Bing images

In the spring of 2020 when the great Toliet Paper Crisis hit the US (world?) I was on a rare shopping trip to town with my hubby**. I stopped to see the fabric department – wow, what hit that area??

**My hubby likes to shop and does most of our household shopping. He is great at it too!

There was very little nice fabric to quilt with except for muslin. The worker told me the folks making masks had gotten all the nice or fun fabrics, leaving only the muslin and some really hideous stuff behind.

My hubby and I had already found out there was very limited TP supply in the stores he normally shops in. While I stood there in shock looking at the fabric department, I could hear grandma in my head.

Roll of toliet paper
Source: Bing clip art

Grandma was a great one for telling me to think of other alternatives. Make do. Create something good with what you have on hand.

The little light bulb in my head went off. Why couldn’t muslin be used for TP? We had a few rolls of TP at home, but how long would those last?

Long story short

I bought five yards of muslin. At home I washed and dried the muslin and cut a small part of it into 6″ squares. A small stack of 20 squares went into a basket by the toliet. There was already a trash can in the bathroom.

I used it as my private stash since this was still in the experiment stage. The muslin worked fine as TP. With this extra supply of product, we were able to have TP all thru the crisis.

A word of caution here – do not flush this fabric. It needs to go in the trash. I know some of you are saying that is not sanitary. Well honestly, neither is it sanitary to put pet poop or disposable diapers in the trash.

Quilters are creative

Here we are entering the 2021-22 winter and probably another TP crisis.

Source: Bing images

While cleaning my sewing room last week, I put all the muslin I found in a laundry basket. There are several yards. It is now washed, dried, and cut up ready to use.

As my daughter says, “better muslin than corn cobs or newspaper.” I agree.

For those of you who recycle, are frugal, or use what you have on hand, fabric may be the answer to the upcoming TP crisis.

So…in my head I do not see that quilters & toliet paper crisis go together at all.

Make today amazing
Source: Bing clip art


  1. I live over 50 miles from the nearest place to shop in Wyoming, half of that is gravel and dirt roads. We make a run into town once a week with a list. Sometimes even before all the current shipping issues we couldn’t find everything on the list. “Oh well, maybe next time” is the attitude we have.

    I have been using fabric squares as TP for years just to stretch the supply of toilet paper we have on hand.

    When my daughters and I were menstruating, we used cloth pads that were soaked, washed, and re-used many times before being thrown away. I have long since thrown away the directions, but one daughter is still using cloth pads and said she found a nicer version on the internet to make for the gals in her home.

    We live in a time that is all about throw away. Previous generations would have found solutions that involved reusing and recycling. It was known as “waste not, want not”. Thanks for reminding people to think outside the box and find solutions that work for them.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I think each of us needs to find creative ideas for stretching our budgets and being less wasteful. Quilters as a group tend to be pretty resourceful about finding ways to solve problems in quilts and our individual lives. Our female ancestors would be proud of us. Keep up the great work, and happy quilting.

  2. Hi we had a toilet paper crisis here in Australia but it was people panic buying.
    We are lucky we have manufacturers in Australia they made sure there was plenty working overtime to get more out so lucky I didn’t get to the point where I needed them.
    A friend of mine made these toilet paper fabric sheets. Flannel is softer too.
    Rather than throwing them away she had two buckets like you do with baby cloth nappies. One for number ones and another for number twos. The solid material was put into the toilet then into the bucket with antibacterial wash. Then after they soaked for awhile she put them in the washing machine. No waste of fabric just like grandma would have wanted.

    1. I like your idea of washing the fabric squares and just reusing. No different than the days of cloth diapers.

      You are right, flannel would be much softer. I am being frugal and using what fabric I have on hand, but I may go get some flannel.

      Recycling and reusing is certainly not a modern thing – our grandmas would be proud of us 🙂

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