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Thread: Denim quilts

  1. #1
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I am working on a denim circle quilt...It calls for used Jeans..It is supposed to go quickly but I have to much else to do Does anyone have any hints to working on denim......You can only cut one piece at a time. Has anyone used this pattern or the rag quilt?

  2. #2

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    I have made several jean quilts and I am going to begin making another as soon as I get a quilt finished I am working on. I cut my peices denim and flannel for backing at the same time and then they are ready to go when sewing together--I use 1/2" seam to make it raggy I have never done a circle , just square

  3. #3

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    ruth, i've never seen a denim quilt done in circles .can't wait to see yours.

  4. #4
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I can't wait either, that's odd you posted to this i came across it today while hoeing out my mess and was thinking I should finish it It's close

  5. #5
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    Here is a link for making denim quilts:

    http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/bluejeans.html

    Be sure to check the gallery of quilts others have made. There is one that is made from circles and is similar to a Cathedral Window. Also some tips on working with denim.

    June

  6. #6
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    The circle quilt looks like the Fons and Porter Peek a Boo quilt. I have one started that takes 180 circles. I was going to make all 180 with novelty centers, but have decided to do every other circle with plain calmer fabric, because I think otherwise it will be way to busy. It's supposed to be a donation quilt, but will probably not be done for another year or so. I had to buy a pair of cordless scissors because my hand kept giving out trimming all the circles. I want to put some together soon, and then I'll post a WIP picture.

  7. #7

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    My mom and I have had great success with denim squares alternating with squares from old corduroy pants and or drapery or upholstery remnants. The suggestion to cut the flannel backing squares at the same time is a good one too although we have often pieced only the quilt front and purchased enough yardage of all the same flannel to back the quilt with, seaming it in half or thirds depending on the width of the finished quilt that is planned.
    I would reccomment using a serger to put the squares together or alternatively using a straight stitch with a second row of narrow zig zag to prevent fraying unless the plan is to have all the squares with the seams outside and delberately frayed fringe edges on each square or circle. They then last longer through many more washings before needing repair, and are usually heavy enough to not need any batting in the middle and still be nice and warm as a TV blanket or summer bedspread or blanket 8)

  8. #8
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I used spring assisted scissors or clippers when cutting denim. You cut and they spring open.........come in all price ranges.....super for rag quilts. Makes it a lot easier on your hands

  9. #9

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    I hadn't tried spring scissors yet as my kitchen spring type ones seem so clumsy and dull. I bought a pair of electric scissors on special to try and will let folk know what I think of them, has any one else used electric scissors successfully for fabric and denim work?

  10. #10
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    I just bought a pair of Black and Decker cordless scissors. I have used them just a little to cut out some 3 layer circles. I think it will take a little practice to keep the cut smooth, but it sure was easier on my hand. I haven't cut anything really heavy yet, but these are supposed to do almost anything, including vinyl and leather. They were not as expensive as I thought they would be (about 20 at Lowe's).

  11. #11
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    are these electric plug in or battery? I can remember having some a long time ago, they worked good for patterns. When my oldest daughter was 3 she cut holes in the clothes she was wearing, not funny then but it is now. I think I will take a look at the [email protected] I always like their stuff, and my finger joints hurt at times. Thanks for the tip

  12. #12
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    They are the ones that you plug in to charge.

  13. #13
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Wish I could have found out about the spring and electric scissors before cutting 10 pairs of jeans on my denim quilt. My hands were SORE!

    My suggestions:

    *I'd use a heavy duty needle since you're going to be working with thicker fabric. You might not really need it (I'm not sure since I'm not an expert at the durability of needles on certain fabrics), but I'd use it just to be safe so you don't have to worry about your needle breaking in the middle of a seam trying to stitch through two layers of denim. If you own a Singer it'd be a Style 2020 Size 80/118 needle.

    *If you plan on getting denim thread, remember to get several spools of it since there's only 164m of it instead of the usual 274m. It goes by real fast! I'd at least get one spool for your machine and another just for bobbin winding. I got the denim thread because the regular "all-purpose" thread looked too thin to be able to hold two thick layers of denim together without breaking.

  14. #14
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I was told somewhere to buy all cotton thread. I used # 40 and 50
    Wally world sells jean needles about 2 dollars for 4........Most jeans are sewed with cotton when made. It worked for me. Do you know what was the most fun about sewing on jean fabric? No seam ripper required. If you need to rip out ,just give it a good yank.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by june6995
    http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/bluejeans.html

    Be sure to check the gallery of quilts others have made. There is one that is made from circles and is similar to a Cathedral Window.
    Hi June,

    Excellent link! I hadn't seen this quilt pattern before, and I think I may finally get back to making bed sized quilts because of this pattern. After making fabric postcards, bed-sized quilts just look SOOO big :shock: But this pattern has no batting or backing, and not a lot of finishing work, just the wave stitching around the circle edges. Not at all intimidating, with beautiful results. Glad for the idea about the electric scissors, too!

    I was thinking of checking eBay for used denim fabric, rather than buying new denim by the yard at the store. Anyone have an opinion on that?

    Thanks again,
    Crystal

  16. #16

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    cdub, you don't know anybody who could save for you their old jeans.thats the way i do it .i usually use my boys old blue jeans or their cousins.

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    A suggestion if I may......consider collecting old jeans from friends and neigbors. They will give them to you. Or at least go to a thrift store or some yard sales and buy used jeans. I would skip kids jeans and buy men's sizes that have larger areas to use, such as the legs. They will be softer and easier to work with considering they have been washed many time.

    I tried the design made from circles and thought they were too small. I would make them dinner plate size if/when I begin to work with denim again.

    My husband wears out the knees in his jeans (lots of praying, you know!) so I cut out anything I cannot use, after I have cut away the seams. Maybe the dinner plate is a bit too big, but at least the largest circle you can find. I made about 9 pieces with the coffee can lid and felt it was so small I would never get the thing done.

    June


  18. #18

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    you might luck out and get some bolt ends or remnants that way, you just really need to know your prices as their is always the shipping costs on top of that.There may be an on line fabric shop that would make bolt ends or 3 metre cuts available at a discount too as that is what our local fabric shops do. I cultivate a relationship with the gals at my favorite store and they post ads on our guild website too or call me when something I am waiting for goes on special that month.
    do the fabric stores in your area schedule periodic car pooling or bus tour shop hops. They are usually quite recceptive here if we ask for cetain specials or they give guild members a 10% discount on our regular price fabrics too.










  19. #19
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I pick up jeans, shirts, sheets, blankets, and what have you from friends ,garage sales ect I got some bright gaudy print shirts 100 percent cotton It's going to look good in a quilt......I check remenants.and sales and coupons.......I'm bargin queen

  20. #20

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    were you using a one pound coffe lid, I would recommend intead the lids from the big kilogram size (i gues Us about 3 and a half pound size cans, as they are a bit bigger than a bread and butter plate size.Mom used those for here cathedral window circle quilt and it went together fast.

  21. #21

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    Wow! MUCH better ideas than buying from eBay, paying for shipping, and having to wait for the fabric to arrive. There are always plenty of yard sales around, and I pluck through them for books and buttons and such, but hadn't thought of jeans...DUH :?

    Sarah ~
    I'll definitely check in with my family and see what they have, but all of us have moved in the past 2-3 years, and you know how folks clean out then! The thrift store got heaps of stuff from all of us.

    June ~
    My neighborhood is busy folks in their individual condos. We've lived here a year and a half and only know the names of three people. We can go for days and never see anyone else come or go. Sad isn't it?

    But yard sales...there are always plenty of those around :D Your suggestion is right on time...there will probably be some biggies over the holiday weekend. Will be sure to stick to larger jeans and avoid those worn out knees! I did a little math, and it looks like 8-1/2" circle will let me use a 6" square in the middle, so your dinner plate size sounds just right, doesn't it?

    Dawn ~
    Wow, your guild is something! I don't belong to one, but I can see where there are a lot of benefits to shopping with a crowd...

    Ruth ~
    Another great yard sale idea from the Bargain Queen :) I'll keep an eye out for groovy cotton shirts...maybe I'll luck into some Hawaiian prints or something. It's going to take a while for me to collect, cut and piece the denim, so there's plenty of time to collect a whole theme on something. Will check in with hubby-to-be and see what he'll like.

    Great ideas y'all, many thanks for saving me from eBay!!

    ~Crystal



  22. #22
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_V_Goddess
    Wish I could have found out about the spring and electric scissors before cutting 10 pairs of jeans on my denim quilt. My hands were SORE!

    My suggestions:

    *I'd use a heavy duty needle since you're going to be working with thicker fabric. You might not really need it (I'm not sure since I'm not an expert at the durability of needles on certain fabrics), but I'd use it just to be safe so you don't have to worry about your needle breaking in the middle of a seam trying to stitch through two layers of denim. If you own a Singer it'd be a Style 2020 Size 80/118 needle.

    *If you plan on getting denim thread, remember to get several spools of it since there's only 164m of it instead of the usual 274m. It goes by real fast! I'd at least get one spool for your machine and another just for bobbin winding. I got the denim thread because the regular "all-purpose" thread looked too thin to be able to hold two thick layers of denim together without breaking.
    I am wondering about thread size
    Would upholstery thread be effective, also?

  23. #23
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    I go to garage sales, rummage sales and used clothing stores. I scored big today, I got a brown paper grocery sack of bluejeans for $00.50 !!! Probably the deal of the month!!!! :lol:

  24. #24
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    I have made this circle quilt from the site that was posted. I begged old jeans from co workers and my sons' friends. I, (stupidly) took apart all the seams and then cut each 6 inch circle by hand. DH helped draw and cut circles. I then used 4 inch squares in the centers of the circles. I made it very large...400 six inch circles. :) Using denim is a really good way to "recycle" and makes for an extremely heavy quilt. I used denim needles and cotton thread. Good luck on your denim quilt and post pics of yours. (If you look at my avatar it is the denim quilt I made. Also, I have posted pics of mine on the board.)

    P.S. I also cut the pockets out of Levi's and used them for the center of the quilt where the squares go. :D

  25. #25
    Member deanna.r's Avatar
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    One thing you could try is to go to a local thrift store when they have a sale, sometimes you can get jeans; or, better yet, large denim skirts for next to nothing.
    Also, let all your friends, neighbours, relatives, etc. that you would like any jeans that they would otherwise throw out.

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