Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jean Quilts - New and Improved!

I have been saving old jeans for over 10 years now in hopes to make a jean quilt, well I finally did it! But not for myself, I made 3 full size quilts for Christmas gifts last year and 1 small lap quilt for my 3 year old son.

Something about old, used jeans made into quilts makes me think... Cabin. Antique. Old Fashioned. Most of all, Outdated. So I wanted to give it a fresh spin. I know I'm not the first person to make jean quilts into rag quilts, but I haven't yet found anyone who has done them using a quilt block pattern like I did. Have a look...

This one is a Log Cabin block with contrasting top and bottom borders. Two of them have a soft fleece backing.  I really like the look of the frayed jeans on the outside edges! What do you think?

The other two are camoflauge sweatshirt fleece which is super soft on the inside,(which happens to be in the middle of the quilt so you can't feel it), and kinda canvas like texture on the shown side. Oh well. It looks good right?

This one is just a diagonal pattern, not a quilt block experiment... :-) With Fleece also.

I did try something different, though I'm not sure it worked out very well. I put squares with handles on them from men's jeans. You know the loop on the side of Men's carpenter jeans, I was hoping they would make carrying handles for folding the blanket and carrying it places.

The handles work great for folding it, but these suckers are HEAVY, so not great for carrying this bad boy! Oh well, gave it a shot...

And here is my first completed Jean Quilt I made for Ethan. It is very small. I was getting the hang of sewing the jeans and experimented with using seams and lining them up to make lines and visual interest.  You could say this mini quilt was my "test block" for the other quilts.  Oh, and my first time using bias seam ignore those imperfections!! :-)

Using the Seams on blocks was a big mistake! Way too difficult to sew through, especially in a rag quilt!

But Ethan's handles work perfectly on his tiny quilt and he loves carrying it around! Ahhh, what a nice compliment it is when my children enjoy using something I made for them.

Here's a few close ups of my homemade binding... Jeans. I actually didn't bind it the traditional way since it is a rag quilt.  I just cut strips of jeans, sewed them together, and sewed them along the back edge of the blanket. No folding over or anything! Easy! And looks great too!

Lastly, I didn't know ANYTHING about quilting when I started these projects, so I used my VERY SOPHISTICATED quilt drawing program "Paint" Here's how I planned out my patterns for the Log Cabin and I think the other one is a variation of the Log Cabin called Courthouse Steps.

I'm trying some more linky parties!

Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Chic Cottage


Bree said...

I can see how sewing over the seams would have been a hassle, but I love the look of it! I'm starting to kick myself for all the pairs of jeans I've gotten rid of over the past few years as my husband wears them out. I'm going to start collecting now!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Teena said...

This is great! A fantastic way to use up pieces of old jeans. Happy Transformation Thursday <3

Sparta Savings said...

I've been doing these for several years and have never put the flannel or fleece on the back. I usually try to randomly put pockets or unique features on the non-ragged side, so that it has a different interest than the rag size. By not using the extra flannel, you cut down the weight of the quilt. You can also cut the flannel into squares and use them on the back side of the jeans and sew an X through them to before sewing all the squares together. Hope that's not too complicated, but I love making these for my kids because they are so durable!

Larissa said...

Hey so I came from someday crafts, and I have looked through a lot of your stuff. I LOVE the cardboard car tracks. I also love the Backyardigans blocks.

I would love it you came over to my first linky party for my month long Christmas in July homemade gift event. Link some of your great ideas up!

I hope to see you there.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Queli said...

Wow those blankets are amazing! I just made a small rag quilt for Elaina & it was very time consuming!you did an awesome job!

Cecily said...

These quilts and blocks are great... love recycling fabrics for quilt projects. I am a self-taught quilter too and think that's the best way to come up with a fresh perspective to the art. Hope you keep quilting!!

Cecily said...

Hi again! The bargello was WAY easier than it looks. It's a trick. You cut all your fabrics into strips of the same width and then sew those strips together in the order you choose. Then you cut those sewn-together strips in varying widths. Then you stagger each strip by one block and sew them together... here are some great sites that can help...

The whole quilt took me maybe a couple weeks (and several days was just arranging the fabrics). They're super easy. I think I might try writing a tutorial on them soon because they look like you slaved over them when they're really not that hard... :)

cindy said...

I'm gathering jeans to make a quilt and love you're layouts! I'm wondering how you put the fleece on. Is it quilted to the jeans or is the binding holding it all together?

Kristi McGowan McLenaghan said...

I am interested in doing something like this. I have some cute girls jeans that have holes in the knees. I was going to just giv them away, but I think this is better. I also have dark new denim that I can use as contrast. Love you quilts and am inspired to do one for my girls. Thanks. If mine looks half as nice as yours I will share a picture. Thanks



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