A Jean Quilt

This quilt was made for Jesse’s brother for Christmas. All the materials (except the thread) were “recycled” which really fits his lifestyle of living simply. It’s also extremely thick and heavy, which should be durable and hopefully keep him warm. He lives in Canada, and enjoys camping in the winter, so I hope it will get lots of use! The quilt top is made out of 7 pairs of jeans – all but one were Jesse’s. The middle layer was a fleece blanket we were about to donate to Goodwill. Backing was fabric their grandma had and passed down to me. The binding is a canvas type material purchased from Fabric Recycles (a local store, it’s like a consignment fabric/craft shop).

It was fun to put the top together, but a bitch to quilt. It was so thick and heavy, and while my machine held up to the task, it definitely was a struggle. I have to say, I did not have fun quilting this, and wonder if using a long arm machine would have made the process more enjoyable.

This is the first jean quilt I made, here are some things I learned along the way: 
*I cut out each leg, cutting around the seams/pockets/zipper/knee holes as I went along. If you are doing an improv style quilt, you can wait to cut down the pieces as you go along. You’ll have to adjust width and length as you sew pieces together anyway. 
*Use a jean needle. I should have changed the needle at least once. It got dull, especially when quilting through all those layers. 
*Due to the large weave and thickness of jeans, I used a 3/8” seam allowance. I also tried to avoid cutting small pieces. I pressed the seams open after sewing two pieces together, but pressed to the side when joining strips (it gets bulky fast). 
*I cut 60 degree angles for the strips. I like the way it looks, but it did create extra material waste.

I used one of the pockets as the label, and left it open at the top. I used a fabric marker to letter the label. I have a hard time naming quilts, but we decided on Reclaimed Blues.