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quilting with old jeans, Help

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Flojo posted on Tue, Dec 20 2011 8:50 AM
  • I've sewn with denim making clothing and hemming my Own (and every one else's in the family).  I'm looking for hints that will help me speed up the process.  Hear is what I've learned so far
  • undo the hem and open the inseam first this gives nice flat legs to cut from  -
  •  reduce the pressure on your pressure foot  so that the two layers start and feed without having to raise the foot -
  •  use a denim needle (size 18 for my machine) -
  •  lengthen your stitch ( on my machine) by 1 or 2 per inch - make as large pieces as possible -
  • use the cut 2 squares (one from each color) mark the diagional, sew 1/4 inch on each side of line and then cut on line method for making half square blocks (you get 2 this way)  -
  • press seams open - steam the dickens out of each seam -
  • square up each piece before sewing together in block - then square up block.  All the squaring up because denim tends to 'give' or 'stretch' in all directions, and is almost impossible to find stright of grain on used jeans  -
  • remember denim has 2 sides use both.  Now does anyone else have any tips on how to handle old jeans? 
  •  so far the ones I have worked with have not been starched.  However I have some that have been (heavy starch, stand alone style) 
  • Do starched ones hold shape better,
  •  are they eaiser to cut ,
  • any advantage at all having it starched ? 
  • Should I wash the starch out before I start cutting them up? 
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Answered (Verified) Flojo replied on Wed, Dec 21 2011 10:24 AM
Verified by Flojo

Carol:

Pamela:

 

This site is great for suggestions on jeans quilts.  I've made several of them, all different ways.  Sometimes I put strips around squares of denim, similar to log cabin, makes them easy to sew together.  Then I put scrap hearts appliques on each square - i like hearts, and love to work with scraps.  I even made one with the pockets, one for each block.  It was so heavy, wondered what I was going to do with it - then my sister visited from upper Michigan, and said they use the quilts I made for them as "summer quilts" , they needed heavier ones for winter ~~ so, the denim pockets now lives in upper Michigan!                 The first ones I made were  lap robes  sizes for my kids - using their old jeans, including pockets and appliques, even zippers (one for my GD, I put a note inside the zipper, and she found it years later!)   I have a lot of denim squares cut into simple patterns, too, ready to sew up when I have time (when!?!)

Thanks ever so much for this site!  I have about 100 pr of jeans that I can not find homes for from my DH (deceased)  They are out of style, etc. and don't fit the modern day  'jeans'. Some are from the 70's but  the sizes from the 70's don't seam to fit the same sizes today.Besides only 6th graders have a 30" inseam now days. Also the colors, greens, grays, reds, browns ect are out of date.  I gave away and donated about an equal amount of his newer jeans. He kept every pr he ever had.  I have made several jeans quilts based on simple squares but I really like the circle jean quilt.  I can just see the quilt made with his colored jeans and shirts (same situation as his jeans).  It should be simple to make and all the grandkids could have one!   

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gini replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 11:02 AM

i don't bother opening the seams up.  i use scissors on one side, then the rotary cutter for as much as i can.   you get a bit of waste, but it is a lot quicker.     the jeans quilts i've made, i also reinforced the seams with top stitching.   i wash everything that comes into the sewing room, so i've never dealt with starch.

gini in north idaho

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Karla replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 11:44 AM

I had my husband open all of the seams on the old jeans.   I thought it was a good job for him while he was sitting around watching the TV.  He didn't fuss too much!

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Nana replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 11:49 AM

I haven't used old jeans yet so I really can't help.  Sounds like you have a good plan though.

Vinton, Virginia

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I agree with Gini - don't bother opening the seams, just whack them off. The amount of waste is soooo minimal as opposed to the time/effort you put into taking those seams out.

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Pamela replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 12:12 PM

My sister & I have been planning to make a blue jean quilt for years, but haven't gotten around to it. She has a pattern that doesn't sews the quilt together while it's pieced. Can't remember the website where she got the pattern, but it looks like the following:

Circles of denim and squares of fabric are used with the circles folded in, like a cathedral window pattern. The nice thing about the pattern is that after sewing together, the quilt is done. No need to use batting or backing. Here's a website to check out about making quilts with denim:

http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/bluejeans.html

There are a bunch of links at the bottom of the page for sewing with denim, as well. Sorry, no tips of my own.

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gini replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 1:25 PM

we used to live in an old house with no insulation.  i made both the kids a levi quilt with double batting.   they loved those warm quilts so much they named them.  fred and willie.  i rebacked both of them.  sadly,  freddy died in a house fire.

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Flojo replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 2:04 PM

Jennsquilts:

I agree with Gini - don't bother opening the seams, just whack them off. The amount of waste is soooo minimal as opposed to the time/effort you put into taking those seams out.

I agree, but  the jeans I am using are from my GS elementary years so every fraction of an inch is vital.  I am pairing them with their Sunday khakies, worn knees and all. I will reinforce knees with patches, If not already patched or iron on interfacing as needed. I have decided on a 9" T block (aka temprance block) because their last name begans with  a T.  Below is 4 sample blocks made of my old jeans (wrong side of reg blue pr and right side of brown pr)  I even topstitched around the T in one an 1/8 inch away from the seam to see how it would look. I might use 1/4 inch in quilting around the T instead. The method I used to make the blocks (above) gives me 2 blocks for each set of squares so I did a dark pr and a light pr of blocks.  No difference in cutting, just how you turn the squares.  The large is 6" finnished, the small 3" finnished. 

I am thinking of making a column quilt with a column of their t-shirts seperated by the jeans T blocks.  I will probably have to put 'cheater' strips between the T blocks to make them the same length as the t-shirt blocks and use a little heavier interfacing behind the t-shirts to make the weight of the fabric balance.

The topstitched block is in the lower left corner.

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Nana replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 2:17 PM

Flojo

These are very pretty.

Vinton, Virginia

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Suggested by Barbara

Fol Jo I agree with Gini, I usually cut the seams off as close as I can get to them I've even cut off the pockets and use that fabric. I am doing this with the houses that I'm making for my LQS this lady had alot of denim  pants. I really didn't waste that much cutting around the seams those strips were so tuff being doubled I dont'think you could even get a needle thru them. I like what you have done with the Double T pattern ,It is a good one for boys ,guys males . LOL. Look foward to seeing how it comes out . Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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Suggested by Carol

TOO COOL, FLO

Judylee

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Answered (Not Verified) Carol replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 10:44 PM
Suggested by Carol

Pamela:

This site is great for suggestions on jeans quilts.  I've made several of them, all different ways.  Sometimes I put strips around squares of denim, similar to log cabin, makes them easy to sew together.  Then I put scrap hearts appliques on each square - i like hearts, and love to work with scraps.  I even made one with the pockets, one for each block.  It was so heavy, wondered what I was going to do with it - then my sister visited from upper Michigan, and said they use the quilts I made for them as "summer quilts" , they needed heavier ones for winter ~~ so, the denim pockets now lives in upper Michigan!                 The first ones I made were  lap robes  sizes for my kids - using their old jeans, including pockets and appliques, even zippers (one for my GD, I put a note inside the zipper, and she found it years later!)   I have a lot of denim squares cut into simple patterns, too, ready to sew up when I have time (when!?!)

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I hope it will provide good help.

websites boca raton

 

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Kris replied on Wed, Dec 21 2011 1:19 AM

Flojo,

I like your T blocks.

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I have this pattern but I will have to find it when I do I will post the name of it.

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