1.04.2010

Simply Denim Quilt Tutorial

Simply Denim Quilt Tutorial by Natalia Bonner, Whitnee North & Kathleen Whiting.
Finished quilt size 80"x100"
Materials needed:
8-10 pairs of adult size jeans.
1 Fat Quarter for monogram.
1 Yard binding & monogram material.
Take your jeans and measure the skinniest part of the leg. usually somewhere between the knee and ankle.
Start at the bottom of the jeans and tear the material. (This is much kinder to your hands then trying to cut denim.)
Cut and tear all of your jeans the same width. Ours were 8" wide.
You should end up with a pile of strips. They should all be different lengths. The more random the better the final result.
You'll have a pile of scraps. Mostly pockets and seams.
Lay out your strips of denim.
Sew all of the strips together. Use 1/4" seam allowance and then press all seams OPEN. It is very important to press the seams open with this quilt as it will make it much easier for the machine quilter.
Add a monogram using our starch applique tutorial. Our circle is 18". The best template is a large serving bowl.
Now machine quilt, bind and enjoy.
*Kathleen and I came up with this idea about 10 years ago after I spent a whole summer cutting 6" squares for two denim quilt tops. By the end my hands had blisters and I was quite frustrated. Then I pieced the two tops together and it was very difficult to sew the intersections on my conventional machine. My dad was working construction at the time and always wearing out jeans. We had seen some strip quilts and decided that tearing the denim and having the intersections not line up would be much easier. I made the whole top in one day. Then took it to the long arm quilter. This quilt is still one of our families' favorite quilts.
This is one that one of our friends pieced using this tutorial.

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~Natalia

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25 comments:

  1. I love this idea! I'm adding it to my list of projects! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. i absolutely love this. i have a pile of jeans stashed in the top of my closet that i have been waiting to use. This might be the perfect way to use them. Do you have any other tips for making it easy, considering the bulk in the fabric?

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  3. That is fantastic! I'm due for a closet clean-out too. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

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  4. I'm due to make another jeans quilt soon. Great pointers - I've always cut 6.5" squares. Your method would be much better. I've used flannel or low loft batting and fleece backing. Tied them, rather than quilting. Aren't the seams hard to quilt over?

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    1. I would do it this way. I think to quilt over the seams you should press the seams open. That way you are sewing over 2 layers of denim rather than 3 with regular pressing of the seams.

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  5. I have put this on my list of "resolutions" to to this year. I think it would be great for our cabin. Thanks for the cute idea.

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  6. I can't wait to get home and try this denim quilt tutorial. I'm going to use the idea with jeans as well as left over dresses that I have two baby quilt orders to create. Thank u for the inspiring ideas.

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  7. How did you quilt it? Is it free motion?

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  8. Did you use any batting in this quilt? Would you suggest it?
    I'm getting ready to tear my strips!!

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  9. I have close to 100 pairs of jeans laying around. Getting ready to make slipcovers for the sofas with them. The dogs tear the sheets to shreads in a matter of days, so I am hoping the jeans hold up much better, also I am thinking of doing it rag quilt style to help hold all the sand they bring in the house too.

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  10. I like your works, they are beautiful.

    Congratulations

    have a good day

    Josefina

    tijerasycuchara.wordpress.com

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  11. I see another asked above - and maybe got a directly reply...I love this quilt...but am wondering about batting? Did you use it and then do you use regular cotten for the backing? I'm gonna start seeking out old jeans to make one... THanks so much in advance!

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  12. As luck would have it, or God showing me the way...I found your tutorial on this jean quilt just when I needed an idea on how to do one!! Thank you for sharing it!!

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  13. Thanks for posting this, my mother found and forwarded it to me, as I have probably 50 pairs of jeans I wanted to make a quilt out, from the last 20 years.
    likely i will use the pockets to "patch" holes in the Knees.

    Our neighbor made me a Tooth fairy pillow, out of the butt from an old pair of jeans, with the pocket still attached. When I had my front teeth knocked out at 3. She then cross stitched "Tooth Fairy Pillow" on the side.

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  14. Wow this is exactly what I needed! I've got jeans that I still love but no longer are they wearable and with winter coming what a better way to keep my favorite jeans with me for a long time.

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  15. I'm making my first Denim quilt and spent two days ripping jeans rather than cutting them. My wrists can't handle a lot of activity so I snipped the jeans at the foot opening and ripped up the pant cutting across with the sissors. It's much faster and saves wear and tear on your hands/wrists, rotery cutter and sissors. I'm dissapointed in the fact that my seams show through the thin batting and the backing matterial but perhaps it will not be as noticable after it's quilted.

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  16. "Ann Marie" with 16 muddy feet - please try Bitter Barrier for your material coverings. Dogs do not like to chew on anything treated with Bitter Barrier. The smell is obnoxious to some at first but will subside to where humans do not even notice it. Well worth the money!

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  17. My husband has lost a considerable amount of weight to get on a kidney transplant list. This will solve the issue of do we keep the jeans or do we get rid of them. Now I can keep them while destroying them at the same time. I will not have to see him with plumber's butt any more or walk across the floor and lose his pants before he gets six feet! Wonderful tutorial on a denim quilt project. Thank you.

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  18. a pair of black and decker electric scissors make short work of cutting up the jeans. Saves on the fingers and wrists also. The long strands left over from the seams are great to use as a dog toy. Take 7 - 10 strips of the same length or close to the same length and tie in one knot. Pull each strand tight against the know and then let your dog have it. Mine absolutely loves his. (He is a Lab) When they get dirty, grungy and just plain destroyed - throw it away and give them a new one. For smaller dogs - 4 or 5 strands tied together work well.

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    Replies
    1. that should be "pull each strand tight against the knot...

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  19. It's a great quilt, Natalia, did you put batting in the middle?

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  20. That is a wonderful idea!! I would've never thought of it. Thanks for sharing! Now I will know what to do with all the worn out jeans laying around!!

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  21. Batting isn't mentioned in the 'materials needed' section or anywhere in the instructions so I don't think it was used. Denim is already quite heavy so it's probably not really needed. But I guess you can use it if you want.

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  22. I remember my Mom making quilts out of jeans when I was a kid -- well over 50 years ago. She did not use batting, and sometimes did not use backing. Some were very scrappy with different size squares, or rectangles, then put together. They were to be used by the kids, not for display! These were great picnic quilts, or just to throw under a shade tree to read a book -- you know one with lots of paper pages! LOL If she did put backing, then the quilts were tied, not quilted in any way. They stood up to lots of use for years and years. They were heavy enough to stay flat unless the wind was really blowing. Bringing back great memories.

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  23. How many inches wide were each strip?

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