Thursday, November 3, 2016

DIY quilt made from old jeans


This is one of those projects I'd been meaning to do for YEARS and when I finally did it, I wondered what had taken me so long.

My mother-in-law had been talking for years about a jean quilt once gifted to my nephew. I never actually saw the quilt (still haven't) but liked the idea reusing something old AND getting a nice heavy quilt.

I'd been saving old jeans for ages in a garbage bag (mine, my sister's, and even my neighbour donated a few!) and I was sick of looking at the bag cluttering up my already-cluttered home office/studio.

So a few weeks ago, I spent a weekend afternoon (and evening, I think) watching Scream Queens on Netflix (I really liked it!) and tracing a zillion squares onto a zillion pairs of cut-open jeans.


The little square I cut out of cardboard was 5" x 5" I believe (it's since been tossed). 

I realized partway through that most of the jeans were really dark, so I ended up cutting up a pair of aspirational skinny jeans that had been taunting me from my closet since they were light-ish denim. It felt therapeutic to decide I didn't care if they were expensive -- they were uncomfortably tight and probably always would be -- and hack them apart!

It was totally mindless work and when I eventually stopped and counted the pile, I had 147. I cut three more and called it a call at 150 square, knowing I could make a quilt that was 10 x 15. Easy math is how I roll. 


Once I had all 150 squares cut, I started serging the squares together and made 15 rows of 10. (You could totally use a sewing machine and a denim needle -- the serger is just more powerful for sewing through thick denim.) 

This quilt doesn't have any batting in the middle (it would be too thick) and for the backing (and cheater binding) I used an old beige flat sheet (queen-sized) that we'd had on our bed for years. It's sooooo soft from being washed again and again, and it's the perfect backing for this quilt. 




Instead of actually "quilting" the layers together like I normally would, I spared my fingers (and my sewing machine) the agony and just "tied" the quilt together

It was my first time tying and it's really easy -- you just use embroidery thread to make little knots here and there to hold the layers together. 

After I finished the ties, I did the cheater binding (tutorial here, but you basically just fold your backing over and hand-sew it to the front of the quilt. 

And then ... I had a super-heavy, super-comfy quilt made from old jeans! 



Annabelle has actually claimed this quilt, and it's perfect for a dog because it's a sturdy quilt that doesn't mind a bit of drool.

I sometimes wipe my greasy potato-chip fingers on it and I'd never do that with one of my usual quilts! ;)

So what are you waiting for? Hoard those old ripped, outgrown jeans and make them into something awesome!

Pin this project!

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to quilt

Heather Laura Clarke said...

You should give it a try! It's easy and super rewarding.