Monday, January 27, 2014

The Jean Quilt Saga

(On a two hour delay from work this morning.  Yay!  I don't have to chug my coffee like it's last call!)

So several years back, I learned how to make jean quilts.  It's not all that tricky, it's like regular quilting except in squares and strips without any fancy shapes or fabrics or colors and jean quilts are hand tied, not machine quilted.  (Well I suppose you could machine quilt but I don't.  It can be a lot of stress on the sewing machine.)  The thing with starting a thing is that all of a sudden, it's your thing.  People heard I've made jean quilts and they started giving me their old jeans.  Um...

Don't get me wrong, I like jean quilts for various reasons.  First the majority of the fabric is kinda free (old jeans), it follows Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, and jeans quilts are cozy and warm.  But all of a sudden, I had tons of jeans, no time to make quilts and kinda no place to store the jeans.  When we moved into the townhouse, the laundry baskets of jeans ended up in the upstairs hall.  I hate clutter and things not having a place and all these jeans were cluttery and not in a place.  Annoyed the crap out of me for oh, 10 months.  (Procrastination, thou art a bitch.)

Anyway with all the various snow days and holidays and just being stuck in the house more often, I decided to tackle the jeans.  Here are the steps:

Tear all the jeans into usable pieces.
Puzzle piece and place in rows.
Pin and sew all the pieces in a row together.
Sew the rows together.
Iron seams flat.
Trim edges to make straight.
Sew together the backing fabric (fabric isn't sold wide enough so requires sewing two pieces together).
Use basting spray and pins to hold the jeans and backing fabric together.
Hand tie the two layers.
Baste stitch the edges.
Trim the excess backing fabric.
Machine sew one side of the bias tape binding to the quilt edge.
Hand stitch the other side of the bias tape binding to the quilt edge.
Voila!  Jean quilt!

Honestly for me the longest part is tearing all the damn blasted jeans apart into usable pieces.  Did you catch where I said laundry baskets of jeans?  And there were also 2 black trash bags full.  We had A LOT of jeans.  I almost had enough to make 5 jeans quilts.  Well I am making 5 jean quilts anyway and I would have had enough except I decided to make the boys' quilts one row longer than the girls and I'm short ONE pair of jeans.  I think I have an old pair I can sacrifice, I just haven't gone digging in my closet yet.

Anyway here's where I am currently:

Jean Quilt #1 & #2: need to machine sew and hand stitch bias tape on and DONE.
Jean Quilt #3: need to trim jean edges, sew backing fabric pieces together, and so on
Jean Quilt #4: needs one pair of jeans to sew on to finish last row, otherwise it's to "iron seams flat" stage
Jean Quilt #5: ran out of heavy duty jean thread, in the middle of "sew all the pieces in a row together"

(I guess technically I'm out of thread for Jean Quilt #4 as well.)

(Also I don't have the backing fabric for Jean Quilts #4 or #5 yet.)

At least the project is well under way.  I'm actually quite good at finishing projects once started, it's the starting that holds me up for quite awhile.  I hope to be finished by mid-February.  And then, done done done done done.  I kinda never want to make another jean quilt in my life.

tl;dr  I had a lot of old jeans, I'm making quilts out of them.  Also?  No more jean donations ever!

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