This quilt project has been on my wish list for a while. If you follow me at all here or on my blog Will Cook for Shoes, you know that as much as I love to make things myself, I’m even more excited to repurpose things around the house.
- worn out jeans
- jeans that don’t fit (too big / too small)
- jeans that have gone out of style (boot leg, skinny leg, curvy, I can’t even keep track anymore!)
In my on-going attempts to purge stuff around the house, the one thing I haven’t been able to let go of has been jeans. I’ve had a stack of jeans in my craft room for longer than I care to admit to (#honestcraftroom). Well, it was finally time to get to this long overdue project.
The idea of a denim quilt has been fascinating to me. A mostly indigo coloured, monochromatic quilt seems sooo appealing. Plus – repurposing fabric no longer being used just seems so productive.
One night (probably while watching The Bachelorette – I know, I can’t help it) I spent the entire evening cutting up jeans and getting my quilt squares ready.
I found that by cutting off the legs at the pockets, it made it much easier to flatten seams and cut squares one leg at a time. Make sure your rotary cutter has a fresh blade as some denim can be quite thick. Ideally you don’t want to choose denim with too much spandex or stretch (is that still a thing?). The stretch won’t be consistent and may cause your quilt to wear inconsistently.
I smoothed out each leg and cut six inch squares for my quilt.
Isn’t that a pretty stack of quilt squares!
Some further sorting of my quilt room had me stumble across this beautiful little stack of pre-cut goodies.
Some time ago, I spent another evening (probably again while The Bachelor was on… I’m sorry, I can’t look away) going through my haphazard scrap fabric drawer. I ironed all the fabric scrap pieces and then cut into squares based on size. I find I’m using these pieces much more now that they are prepped and ready to go!
I love the vintage look of these squares and thought if I added a few into the quilt it would add some interest and texture, breaking up the monochromatic just enough.
If you decide to do something like this, if the weight between your fabric scraps and denim is significant, you may want to consider adding a medium weight interfacing to the back of your fabric scrap squares so they hold up to the denim.
I love these little scrap squares. I’ll have to trim them slightly so they match my six inch denim pieces.
One of the tools I’ve starting using when I’m piecing multiple squares together is this little roller presser. It eliminates the need for ironing between stitching (yaaasss!!).
Here are a few of my first denim squares.
If you are sewing heavier denim, you may want to talk to your local Janome quilt shop about a denim needle. A denim needle has a thicker, stronger shaft and very sharp point – obviously just the thing for sewing denim.
I found a lot of my jeans weren’t too heavy and my regular needle worked just fine. And of course, starting a new project with a fresh sewing needle always helps! My Janome Skyline S7 handles this fabric with ease.
I’ve just started to layout my quilt. I’m loving the vintage feel of the scrappy squares peeking through.
You’ll have to wait for my next post to see the reveal of my finished quilt top!
What fabrics and clothing items have you repurposed in your sewing projects? When it comes to quilt scraps – are you a saver or do you discard your quilt scraps?
Thanks for the great idea, Trina! I appreciated the tip about adding interfacing to the cotton fabric, if needed – I wouldn’t have thought of that! Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.
My first full sized quilt was a denim one for our son who is in the Canadian Navy. He loved it..Wish I could share a picture.