Saturday, 5 March 2011

Denim Quilts

I saw some denim quilts on the web and thought it would be a good idea as I love the idea of recycling so I asked everyone if they could save me their old jeans and I had enough to have a go.  The ones I had seen were what you call raggy quilts where the seams are done inside out so that you get a shabby look to them.  Some had fleece on the back and this too had been put through to the front and fringed but on pricing it up I thought it would cost too much to buy fleece as I wanted to make four of these quilts for my four nieces.  Their ages range from 12 to 21.

On the web it said a good size to cut the squares is 10 inches and to do the quilt 6 by 8 blocks.  I started to cut out the squares from the jeans but soon found that it was hard work trying to find a big enough piece of denim in todays style of jeans to cut a 10 inch square so I started to cut them with a seam in them going down the middle or to one side what ever.

After cutting out as many as I could I decided that the ones with the seams might look better with some embroidery down each side so it made it more of a feature.  My sewing machine does embroidery stitches but I had not yet used any of them so did a try on a spare bit and was happy with it so carried on.

When I had done them all I decided I would sew some wadding onto the back of each square as I am not that keen on quilting by machine and I thought it would be tough going trying to quilt through the whole quilt once made up.  I stitched around the out side of the semaed squares and diagonally across the middle of the plain squares.

When I came to piecing them together I thought it looked very drab and dark and I wasn.t that pleased with the effect, not for the four girls.  It would have been better for a boys room but not with the embroidery on.  So I put it away and had a think for a couple of days and came up with a solution.  I decided to firstly make the quilt smaller so just had it 5 x 6 squares, and then I cut out some smaller squares (4 inches I think) and sewed these onto the fronts of the plain squares.  I used nice bright girly fabrics in a 100% cotton left over from other projects.  Then I sewed the completed squares into strips and the strips into the top of the quilt.  I found when sewing the strips together I just sewed along one edge of a square at a time finishing off and startiing again on the next so that I didnt sew down any of the cross ways seams or they might not rag properly.

This is a photo of how it looks so far.  I am pleased with the effect, I have some nice bright coloured buttons to sew on when its finished which I hope will hold it all together.  I am going to look our for some pretty duvet covers to use as backing for them.

Finished Item

I managed to find some nice fabric for the backing and finished off the quilt the other night.  I have sewn a quite large, very primitive looking running stitch just inside the outer edge of the squares with the coloured fabric sewn on to join the layers together.  It is not proper quilting as I had already sewn the waddding to the back of the denim squares so I only needed to attach the backing fabric.  I sewed the buttons on randomly on the other squares.

I used some strips of fabric I had left over from the Oriental quilt for the edging as the red colours went with the fabrics I had used.  Then when it was finished I put it through the washing machine and then trimmed the raggy bits to make it look a bit better.

I am quite happy with the finished product although it is quite a heavy item now with the denim being quite weighty in itself.  I think this would look nice as a throw across the back of a settee or something rather than as a quilt on a bed.


  1. I'm sure the teenagers will think it's great, what a lovely present to get.

  2. Wow that looks fantastic. I hadn't thought of using denim for a quilt before but it really does look fab.

  3. Les - this is absolutely stunning! I bet my daughter would love one.

  4. wow lesley these are absolutly fab, have you got an idiots guide to making one? you should do a tutorial, a step by step guide. i'd love to give it a go at making one.

    xxx Milla xxx