Thursday, 6 June 2013

A recycled quilt....

If you have been a reader for a while, you will know that I like to make quilts from old jeans. I made one for Jess from all the baby denim and then one for Eliza and lastly one from old camo trousers for my son. Katy, as ever, is the picky one and wanted a black one so it has taken a while to save up enough in the correct colour. So here is my step-by-step;

Collect a variety of old, clean jeans or other denim items. It is hard to be exact about quantities because it depends rather on the size if them! But as a rough guide, I can get 20 squares out of an adult pair. That is not a skinny pair and the squares are 6 1/2 inch.

Decide which leg seam you want to have in your square. By that I mean the inside leg double stitched one or the outside leg, plainer one. Then cut up the leg to about level with the crutch and lay the leg out flat. Don't cut all the way up because you will need to have a bit of room to fit in squares around the hip part. Then trim the bottom edge so that it is straight...

Work your way up the leg, cutting 6 1/2 inch squares. I was getting two across each of these legs. As you near the top you will need to re-straighten the leg.

When you reach the top, use a square patchwork guide to work out the best way to preserve the decorative parts like pockets and trimmings. Cut through all the layers and I find a rotary cutter is really the best way to go.

Then tack your cut pockets to give support until you assemble the squares. At this point I like to sort my squares into three piles; plain, seamed and fancy so that I get an idea of the ratios I need. Keep cutting in this way until you have enough for your chosen size. If you have tons of plain ones now would be the time to add some decoration to them in the way of buttons, ribbons, applique etc. Press them.

Next step is to lay them out in a "pleasing fashion". This can be mathematical, random or however you like but I find that it helps to take a black and white pic as it shows the contrasts more clearly and enables me to see any areas that are too dark/light.
Now it is a question of joining them all together; first across the row then join each row to the one below. Before you start to stitch just 2 things to do;
1. choose if you want your seams "in" to give the usual smooth finish, or "out" which will give a lovely ragged finish as the quilt washes and wears
2. FIT A DENIM NEEDLE! If there is just one thing you must do, it is this. I broke two needles on the first denim quilt I made and it doesn't do the motor much good either.
Now sew!
Posted by Picasa


Linda said...

Great tutorial Tash! Lovely to see how it all came together:)

Burnice said...

Oooh you can see you work with kiddy winks! As Linda commented before me - great tut (and a great quilt!)
Burn xx

Burnice said...

Oooh you can see you work with kiddy winks! As Linda commented before me - great tut (and a great quilt!)
Burn xx