Friday, November 28, 2008

A denim quilt that you can make.

Easy Project for Beginners

If you can sew a straight seam, you can make this lap quilt. It is truly a recycled work of art. No two squares are alike unless you want them to be. You can use your imagination and big or small pieces of denim. The color of thread doesn't matter when you're making the squares, so you can use up all those old spools that you have in your bobbin and top threads. The fabric you use for the base of the squares doesn't matter either! Use up whatever you have, as long as it's not a knit.

Start with an old lap blanket or a piece of fleece or whatever you want to use as the backing. We're not going to use traditional top, batting, and backing for this quilt. You can if you want to, but the denim is heavy enough that you don't need it. In my case, I used an old "Mexican" blanket that was purchased for $5 many, many years ago. It was already lap sized, so I used it as a guide and decided on 7 x 9 squares for the top.

Gather up your junk jeans and cut with scissors or rotary cutter into 2" strips, long and short. You'll need quite a bit. Make a few squares and see how much you use, and then estimate how much you'll need for the whole project. Vary your blues - light, dark, medium.

Cut 6 or 8 inch squares of a woven fabric. As mentioned above, I decided on 7 x 9, so I needed 63. The color of the fabric and design do not matter. This fabric will not show on the finished project. You can use any color thread because, again, it will not show.

For this square, I decided on a modified log cabin. I started with a small piece in the corner.

The second piece was placed face to face with the first, a seam of 1/4-inch taken, and then it was turned right side up. The third piece (the darker blue) was placed face down on the two pieces already stitched, a 1-4-inch seam was taken, and then that was turned right side up. Use your hands to "press" as you go. Don't worry about a perfect length - each strip is going to be sewn over with another strip when you're doing log cabin work. The overhang on the dark blue in this example will not show.

Continue with the strips until you have completed the square. All of the base fabric should be covered.

Turn your square over and stitch along the edge of the base fabric, very close to the edge.

Trim the excess denim with the base fabric side up, squaring it off as you go if necessary.

You should have a neat edge when you're done.

Turn your square over and, voila, a denim strip pieced quilt square.

Here is the square turned another way. You can decide how you want it to be oriented when you make your strips.

An example square.

Another example square.

I chose to make my rows 7 squares wide. This is an example photo of a few of the squares sewn together.

Another example of a portion of a row.

The rows were sewn on the recycled blanket binding using strip quilting methods. Each row was considered a strip. One row was sewn down face up. The next row was placed face down upon this one and a seam taken. This method was followed until all rows were attached. This photo shows some of the squares. Each one is different.

The back is, as described earlier, a recycled "Mexican" blanket that we were using as a lap blanket. Because it's open weave, it never really was warm! I cut my own binding at 3" wide and applied it by hand, mitering the corners.

The finished lap quilt. Have fun!

Free denim, an essentially free backing source, and other items used from the fabric room. Not one iota of anything was purchased for this project. And I tell you what - it's warm! One small problem using recycled denim is that it is a bit heavy, so keep that in mind as you work with it. Take your time, don't rush through it, sew slowly on the machine (especially when several layers are involved), and you'll have a one of a kind lap blanket all your own or to give as a gift. You would use fleece for the back or use traditional batting and muslin. there are no rules. It's totally up to you. (11/15/2008)

Back to home.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen many jean quilts/blankets.....But I really like your lap quilt! very cute!