February 12, 2015

Amazingly Simple Jean Quilt

During our recent visit to my sister's home something I hadn't noticed
before caught my attention ~ the most adorable jean quilt ever.
She had it rolled up in a basket just asking to be used.  Love in a bundle.

I am not a quilter.  Never have been.
However, this looked like something I could do.
I had previously been intrigued by the jean quilt idea.
Jeans were collected and saved.  For years.

But, that quilt never got made.  It was much more involved than this one.
I must admit, I was slightly frightened by the project.  It kept getting put off.
But, the jeans were still there just waiting to be made into something.

Enter Janine's amazingly-simple-I-can-do-this jean quilt.

I took photos and measurements and came home with
renewed enthusiasm for this long ago abandoned idea.
The box of jeans was dug out of the closet.
A partially made flannel nightgown was cut apart.
And, a teeny bit of cream coloured flannel was purchased.  I was all set.

And, the quilting began.

One side is raggedy with all the seams unfinished.

The other side is finished and randomly patched together.
There's no right or wrong to this.  It was a wonderful quilt to begin with.
If you look closely, you will see some of my mistakes.
But, that makes it all the more endearing.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

My sister had hearts on her quilt.  I copied.  Cute, don't you think?

Want to know how to make one yourself?  Easy peasy.
Here's how you do it.  Gather together all your jeans with holes in the knees.
Or, do like my sister did, and buy a few pairs from the thrift store.
I just happened to have a big ol' collection in the closet.  So, I was prepared!

I didn't have any quilting supplies.  But, I must say, a rotary blade, cutting mat,
and clear quilting ruler came in mighty handy.  I borrowed the ruler from
my sister and bought the cutting mat and rotary blade as a set.
It was the most economical way to go.

First, I cut off the seams and pockets of the jeans.
Then, the remaining material was cut into 5 inch squares.
I needed 144 squares for each side of my quilt.
My plan was for the finished product to be 12 squares by 12 squares.
The jean side and the flannel side require the same number of squares.

So...144 squares of jean material and 144 squares of flannel were cut.
This is by far the least fun part of making this quilt.
But, what's gotta be done must be done.

If you want hearts...cut those out and randomly
stitch them to a few of your squares.

Once you have all your jean and flannel squares cut out, this is how you begin.
Take one of your jean squares and lay it on the table right side down.
Lay a flannel piece right side up on top of that jean piece.
These two pieces should match up exactly and be right sides out.
Take another piece of flannel and lay it right sides together on top of the last flannel piece.
Then, take a piece of jean material and lay it right side up.

You should have a stack of four squares in the following order:
Jean ~ right side down; Flannel ~ right side up; Flannel ~ right side down;
Jean ~ right side up.  Now, sew a straight line down one side connecting all
four squares together.  Make sure your seams are a consistent measurement.
They all need to be the same in order for the quilt pieces to fit together nicely.

I used just shy of 1/2 inch seam allowance.
You could go as narrow as 1/4 inch if you want less fray.

On a side note ~ It's advisable to use a jean needle for this project.
I broke at least four while putting this quilt together.  I thought it was only
fair to warn you.  Just buy a package of needles and you'll be fine.  :)

Once you have sewn one side...open up to expose the flannel as shown above.
Now, take another square of flannel and place it right side down
directly on top of the square on the far right (the one to the left doesn't get added to).
Place a square of jean directly on top of that flannel right side up.
Stitch together at the far right with another straight seam.  Open up and repeat.

Keep adding to your quilt in this manner until you have
12 squares sewn together in a single row.

One side will be jean with raw edges exposed as shown above.

And, the other side will be flannel with finished seams as shown above.

 Iron your raw edges flat for each row of quilting as you complete it.

Once you have two rows of 12 quilt patches made, sew one of the long edges together.
Press flat and make another row to add to these two.  
Continue until you have 12 rows all sewn together.

Sew the full length of the quilted row on one edge only.
Remember to piece your quilt together with jean/raw edges on one side
and flannel/finished edges on the other as shown below.

Iron the quilt flat between each new addition.

Once your quilt is all pieced together, sew a straight seam
along the outer edges to finish it off.  The outer edges will fray just like the jean side.
It will get cosier with each wash.  According to my sister, you will
need to trim the threads after the first few washes due to all the fraying.
But, that's the charm of it...don't you think?

And, that's it.  It's as simple as that!

My quilt was made up of pieces of jeans collected from
each of the children through the years.  Some were even mine.
I embellished the finished quilt with a label from inside a pair of Austin's jeans.

The pocket from a pair of Emma's jeans made up one of the squares.
Memories are all tied up in this quilt.  It's a treasure.
Get creative with your quilt and customize it to make it extra special.
And, most of all...have fun!

Here it is ~ all rolled up and ready to be put to use.

Any questions?  Clear as mud?
Start collecting those jeans.  Happy quilting!

With Love, Camille


Angela said...

What a great idea! You could probably do the same with any kind of material keep sake. I'm sure it will be a wonderful treasure.

Anonymous said...

That is GREAT!!! I LOVE it!! Maybe someday I will get brave enough to try one. :) Thanks for sharing yours!

Maryann said...

I love this idea, it makes it even more special that there are memories tied up into this quilt. I've always wanted to quilt (even had the roller and cutting board but never secure enough in my sewing skills to follow through. Yours is lovely.

Stephanie said...

Oh Camille, I LOVE the quilt! I have been saving jeans for years and have quite a few totes full of them and this would be the perfect project for them. I am definitely going to have to make one. Thank you so much, sweet friend, for the inspiration and the instruction on how to make it. Love and hugs to you!

Jennifer Jo said...

It's beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful quilt!!
At some thrift shops you can buy the jean squares .So safes you time cutting them out .

Esther said...

Your quilt is so beautiful!! I love your colours!! If you want a different effect, you can make it into a rag quilt by cutting into your seam every 1/2 inch or so and then running it through the wash a couple of times. It looks really neat. Something like this:


Phil made me a quilt out of all the jeans we wore when we were dating. It was, and still is, my favourite to snuggle with. It needs some repairs after all these years but there is so many memories in it. I bet you didn't know Phil was a quilting, cross stitching, sewing, special kind of guy! LOL :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Camille, It was nice seeing you! Your quite is so beautiful. Thank you for always been a inspiration and blessing to the people around you. Love and Blessings to you and your family :)

Patty said...


Camille said...

Dear Angela ~ Yes, I am sure you could just about use any material for this quilt. It's a wonderful thing to create a keepsake out of the children's worn out jeans...I'm loving it. :)

Dear Nikki ~ Oh...you can do it!! I know you can. Save up those jeans and create a lovely keepsake. You'll be so glad you did. :)

Dear Maryann ~ This is the perfect quilt to begin with!! I am sure you could collect some worn out jeans from your daughter-in-love and create a special one full of patches of your grandchildren's cast offs. Please let me know if you do it! :)

Dear Stephanie ~ Sounds like you have enough jeans to create a few of these!! I hope you do tackle this project and have success at it! I'd love to see photos of your finished quilt. :)

Dear Jennifer Jo ~ Awww...thank you! It was super duper easy....the only reason I tackled it. :)

Dear Anonymous ~ Ah...yes, it would save time for sure! However, all those squares carry memories. I am glad I know where mine came from. It makes the quilt that much more precious. :)

Dear Esther ~ Great idea! Thank you for sharing the link. And, yes...I know that your hubby is a man of many talents. However, I didn't know he quilted! :)

Dear Angela ~ It was lovely to see you, too. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the other day. It was a blessing to my heart that you did. Thank you for your kind words here today. Hugs. :)

Dear Patty ~ Thank you my friend. Soon you will have little jeans to save up and stitch into one of these. Have fun! :)

With love,

Cinnamon said...

What a beautiful quilt. The love and care that went into each square. I love it. Every inch of it.


Unknown said...

This is gorgeous!!!! I love it!

Pam said...

Oh I just love this Camille. I love that you shared the step by step, because I would really like to make one. I made a jean quilt for each of my two oldest boys years ago. It was a Christmas present for them. I did it similarly to how you did it, in terms of squares, but turned the rough edges in, and used a flannel sheet and backed it with that. I like your version, because not only is it adorable, it is finished on both sides, so you don't have to back it with anything; what a great idea. I love the hearts on it. Thanks for sharing.
Love and blessings,

Camille said...

Dear Cinnamon ~ Thank you, my sweet friend. :)

Dear Jenny ~ Aww...thank you so much! :)

Dear Pam ~ You will have to post photos of your quilt when it is done...what fun! :)

With love,

Intentional Living Homestead said...

Now that takes patience. I don't think I could sit that long and work on a project with such detail. You did an amazing job....looks awesome.


Camille said...

Dear Connie ~ LOL...not much patience required for this one...it's very forgiving. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. Hugs! Camille