Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to make a quilt from your jeans and denim skirts

Denim quilt made using nine patch option

After making these two denim quilts from old jeans and flannels that I have saved for years, I still have denim left!
Denim quilt made using four patch option

You can read more about these denim and flannel quilts at my How to Recycle Your Old Jeans to Make a Denim Picnic Blanket post.

I have a downloadable pattern available at Double Nickel Quilts or Craftsy.

The backs of the quilts are all denim-

I had several denim skirts and dresses and really didn't want to cut all that fabric into small squares so I came up with this idea! The front of each block is made from a four patch of denim squares

 and the back of the block is made from one large square.

This is a close-up of the front.

I did not add batting but you could. The quilt is very heavy without it. I made it to be a utilitarian quilt that can thrown on the ground. The raw edges ravel after washing. How much depends on the denim.

Here's how I made my quilt-

1. Cut 6" squares from jeans and 12 1/2" squares from denim skirts.

2. Sewed four 6" squares together to make four patch blocks. Ironed the seams open to make
    them lay flatter.

3. Centered four patch blocks on 12 1/2" denim squares, wrong sides together and sewed across
    blocks diagonally to secure the layers. I used orange thread just for the fun of it!

4. Sewed the blocks together with a 1/2" seam. Pressed the seam flat and stitched close to the edge to
    cover the edge of the four patch.
    I did not sew my blocks together in rows. I never do! I sewed it together in four sections. Since my
    quilt is 7 blocks across and 7 blocks down, all four sections were different sizes.
    For example, if your quilt is 6 blocks across and 6 blocks down, you would make 4 nine patch  
    blocks for your four sections.

5. Turned down the outside edges of the quilt to the front of the quilt (1/2") and stitched next to the
     raw edge.

I still have denim left! Maybe I can figure out another way to use it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Recycle Your Old Jeans to Make a Denim Picnic Blanket

I have a ton of old jeans I have been saving to make a denim quilt. I made one denim and flannel quilt for my daughter years ago using the rag quilt method where you clip all the seams. I decided I never wanted to do that again! The clipping is very tedious and hard on your hands.
denim and flannel rag quilt

So, I came up with the idea to just sew the seam flat instead of clipping it. The seam encases whatever fabric you put on the front of the quilt. I have piles of flannel plaids from old pajama pants and flannel shirts and scraps from other quilts so I decided to use them with my denim to create my picnic quilt.

quilt front-nine patch method
The combination of denim and flannel makes a very sturdy quilt perfect for throwing on the ground for a picnic or fireworks or other outdoor activity and it washes up easily.

I did not add batting but you certainly could. It's a very heavy quilt without batting and for what I intend to use my denim quilts for, I didn't feel I wanted any. The lack of batting means it's a blanket and not a quilt but I still think of it as a quilt!

quilt back-nine patch method

I constructed my quilt in four sections. That way you only have one long seam to sew as opposed to sewing many long rows.

I created two different ways to construct the four sections depending on how large you want your quilt to be- the Four Patch method and the Nine Patch method.

The size of your jeans and the number of pairs you have determines the size of your quilt. The Four Patch uses 64 squares and the Nine Patch quilt uses 144 squares of denim.

quilt front-four patch method

Linda of L&R Designs Quilting made her denim and flannel quilt using the four patch method. Check out her blog post about the quilt here.

quilt back-four patch method

Here is a close-up of the front of the quilt showing the raw edge seams of the denim. The flannel is secure under the edge of the denim.

Any fabric can be used on the front of your quilt. I'm making one with denim on the front also!

I have created a downloadable pattern that can be purchased at Double Nickel Quilts or Craftsy. Since there are so many sizes and styles of jeans, two methods for making this blanket are included in this pattern and two charts to guide you in choosing what size quilt you can make based on what size squares you can cut from your jeans.