Monday, January 6, 2014

A Jean Quilt

This quilt was made for Jesse’s brother for Christmas. All the materials (except the thread) were “recycled” which really fits his lifestyle of living simply. It’s also extremely thick and heavy, which should be durable and hopefully keep him warm. He lives in Canada, and enjoys camping in the winter, so I hope it will get lots of use! The quilt top is made out of 7 pairs of jeans – all but one were Jesse’s. The middle layer was a fleece blanket we were about to donate to Goodwill. Backing was fabric their grandma had and passed down to me. The binding is a canvas type material purchased from Fabric Recycles (a local store, it’s like a consignment fabric/craft shop).

It was fun to put the top together, but a bitch to quilt. It was so thick and heavy, and while my machine held up to the task, it definitely was a struggle. I have to say, I did not have fun quilting this, and wonder if using a long arm machine would have made the process more enjoyable.

This is the first jean quilt I made, here are some things I learned along the way: 
*I cut out each leg, cutting around the seams/pockets/zipper/knee holes as I went along. If you are doing an improv style quilt, you can wait to cut down the pieces as you go along. You’ll have to adjust width and length as you sew pieces together anyway. 
*Use a jean needle. I should have changed the needle at least once. It got dull, especially when quilting through all those layers. 
*Due to the large weave and thickness of jeans, I used a 3/8” seam allowance. I also tried to avoid cutting small pieces. I pressed the seams open after sewing two pieces together, but pressed to the side when joining strips (it gets bulky fast). 
*I cut 60 degree angles for the strips. I like the way it looks, but it did create extra material waste.

I used one of the pockets as the label, and left it open at the top. I used a fabric marker to letter the label. I have a hard time naming quilts, but we decided on Reclaimed Blues.


  1. I love this! Thanks for posting and sharing tips:)

  2. This is the coolest jeans quilt I think I've ever seen! You did such a nice job making it your own--you know I love the angles and lines. :) Great work!!

  3. This is really lovely! I'm planning to make a heavy quilt in needlecord, hand-sewn (it'll be tied, don't worry), and this is the design I keep coming back to as a starting point, the strips and the 60° angles. How big was it overall? I'm trying to work out the scale. Apart from loving the look of it, I see you've cleverly avoided multi-seam joins, which must have helped technically.

  4. Thanks! I'm not sure exactly how big it is, but approximately 58" x 87" I think. I did avoid multi-seams - jeans material is quite thick, and it would have gotten bulky really fast.