Friday, November 22, 2013

Finished Blue Jeans Quilts

You know how sometimes you're cleaning out your closet, switching the summer clothes for the winter ones. And then you start sorting out the things that need to go to donations because you can't remember the last time you wore them.  And then the next thing you know you're staring at a pile of worn out jeans and thinking about making a blue jean quilt?  Well, that's where I was Sunday.

I turned 8 pairs of old jeans into 32 fabric panels (2 from each leg) each about 30" long and between 6.5"-9" wide.  I was worried that 8 pairs wouldn't be enough for a good sized quilt (hah!)  Turns out I had enough for not one, but two good sized throws. These are going to be Christmas presents for some family members.

Panels of fabric ready to turn into tops

Making these was everything I expected it to be.  The simple design makes them really quick.  The weight of all those pairs of jeans is kind of absurd, and really hard to shove through the machine.  And it is pretty hard on your sewing needles!  You'll need to start with a new needle, and maybe have a couple standing by.

Normally I know that people usually skip the batting with jean quilts, since they are already so heavy, but I wanted these to also be really soft. The Hobbs batting I usually use is so low loft anyway, it adds a negligible amount of weight.  I quilted these really simply, just top-stitching the seams down with a copper-y colored thread the matched the thread normally used in jeans.

The quilts are backed with a super, super soft blue flannel home spun.  It feels so nice! There was an issue with shrinkage, as you can see. The backing and batting shrank a lot while the top didn't shrink at all (old jeans being thoroughly pre-washed.)  I'm not bothered by the slightly baggy look left behind.

These are so soft and cuddly.  The jeans feel really nice-- and I suppose that makes sense, I mean, what is your most comfortable, cozy, worn-in, lived-in item of clothing? Mine would be my jeans.  It's only natural that they would make a comfy quilt.

The quilts are both 70" long and about 55" wide (the red one is a little bigger).  They're the same except for the binding. I thought the pops of colors on the binding would be fun, so one got a golden yellow solid and the other got red.

These weigh a ton, so I hope I get to make the trip to deliver them in person!  Can't wait for them to get some quality couch time.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. Great job Kat.. Awesome idea - thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing -- good idea for a gift for next Christmas! I'll have my grandkids start saving their worn out jeans!

  3. My husband has one of these from his mother. They are very warm!

  4. I really like your quilts, they look so cuddly. And the binding colours are perfect!

  5. I love how you cut them in strips. I have only ever cut jeans into squares for rag quilts. I love this look.

  6. What a great idea! Glad you used some low loft batting too. I like a soft quilt, even if it is a smidge heavy.

  7. Ohhhh good upcycle. I really like this idea! Looks cozy and calming - heavy is good to help people feel calm and grounded.

  8. Cat tested and approved! It doesn't get much better than that! Am currently making a denim and a flannel rag quilt-- so cozy!

  9. There is something quite lovely about seeing a cat enjoying a newly made quilt and what a loving cat to.