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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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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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Pamela replied on Thu, Dec 22 2011 11:28 AM

I found the pattern for the jean quilt that I talked about previously. Here is a link to a website with a free pattern and pictures showing how it goes together. It's called a "Circle Blue Jean Quilt".

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=blue+jean+quilt+patterns&view=detail&id=A706F1157B0736A0616DB596FCDDF2C8D0058544&first=0&qpvt=blue+jean+quilt+patterns&FORM=IDFRIR&adlt=strict

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Flojo:

  • 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? 

 

Flojo:

  • 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? 

  Hi Flojo

 

I have used denim to make college quilts for family member as they go to college.  I used old jean that the knees wee worn out, thee is still alot of great material left in the jean.  I did not use starch, the material is stiff enough.  I cut the material in any shape.  I just over lapped the pieces and used the ziz-zaz stitch on the seam.  One needs to cut extra material around the pockets for the seam overlap (thickness of material in the seam)  One quilt is over 10 years old and is still going strong.  I did use a poly batting and the backing is a flannel sheet that I got on sale.  I washed the sheet before using as backing.

Llinda

 

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Great way to give each grandkid a little bit of Grampa. Be like having his hugs!

Also, I have seen the circle qult pattern used for little area/throw rugs!

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Flojo replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 12:56 PM

my daughter really liked the circle jeans pattern.  She said that leave out the batting and you would have a summer quilt! OH MY so many quilts to make and so little time. 

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Pamela replied on Sun, Jan 22 2012 1:41 PM

Flojo,

Know what you mean about so many quilts. My sister & I planned to make this over a year ago and still haven't started it. I did get out some blue jeans I've saved and start cutting them apart. That was as far as I got. Not even on my radar right now. Just one of those quilts I want to do someday.

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Annette replied on Mon, Jan 23 2012 10:33 PM

Our church group makes denim 'rag' quilts from old still-in-good-shape jeans.   We cut (by hand) just to the side of the seam on the legs, and cut out 6 1/2 squares.   We then match these squares up with 6 1/2 flannel prints, wrong sides together.   This is one block.   Two blocks are sewn together (flannel right sides are together on the inside, denim outside - seam will be on denim side).   So you have four layers.   Need a denim needle and use the stitch that goes forward-back-forward again, using 1/2" seam.   I can never recall what the stitch is called.   When your size is reached (we make ours 10 x 12 blocks), you sew round the outside edge.   you clip all the seams close to the stitching, about 1/4" to 1/2" apart.   This is then washed.   I go to the laundry mat.   The clipped seams fray in the wash.   Using colorful multi-print flannel prints (and we use multiple prints) adds to the colorful fray.   These are good car/picnic quilts.

Annette

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