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Thread: Wisdom for cutting blue jeans for quilts

  1. #1
    CPH
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    Wisdom for cutting blue jeans for quilts

    Can anyone share the best way to cut apart blue jeans to use the fabric for quilts? I've cut one pair and my fingers ache. There must be a better way. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Well, honey, I must say that I have to pace myself because those suckers are thick and if your blade is not sharp, it is a LOT of work!

    I usually open most of the seams (sometimes leave the double stitched one for decorative effect) because it will give me at least another inch in width, and sometimes a nice colour variation. But there is really no way of making it any easier than to keep a sharp blade and just do a bit at a time. That is why I rarely do rag quilts from denim--just too darned thick and hard to snip!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  3. #3
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    I've lost a lot of weight and have been recycling my old jeans for a denim quilt. I snip a notch in the fabric and then tear.

  4. #4
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    p/s...Natalia Bonner has a great tutorial for a denim quilt. Check it out here:
    http://www.pieceandquilt.com/2010/01...-tutorial.html

  5. #5
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Keep those pockets foe other crafts, or stratagically place them.
    I've used a rotary cutter kinda like a sem ripper to tear thru the fab.

  6. #6
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Me too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ladyjanedoe View Post
    I snip a notch in the fabric and then tear.


    Qwerty

  7. #7
    CPH
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    Thank you for all your quick replies. I have never been a part of anything like this so I appreciate your help. I was wondering, lynnie, when you use a rotary cutter what do you put inside the pant leg to cut against? Or do you? Or quite how do you use the cutter? With the scissors I cut up the seam or just next to it so as to gain the most fabric.

  8. #8
    CPH
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    Thank you ladyjanedoe for the tutorial link. It is really interesting. I am making a rag style quilt but will keep that tutorial in mind for another project.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Be very careful when cutting blue jeans. It can put enough stress on your hands to induce damage (in my case, arthritis).

    I have an electric scissors for cutting apart blue jeans, and I highly recommend them. Mine are very old and I haven't researched new ones, but this is similar in looks to what I have:
    http://www.amazon.com/SKIL-2352-01-3...dp/B001B64ZEE/

    The electric scissors make cutting the blue jeans apart ***enormously*** easier! You still have to subcut with a rotary cutter to get the shapes you want (an electric scissors is probably not accurate enough for this; I know mine is not), but at least your hands will be in better shape for that. Aside from making the job a lot easier, the electric scissors is also much faster than using a scissors or rotary cutter for getting the flat pieces.

  10. #10
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I agree with Prism99 -- electric scissors. Ripping works, but denim is harder to rip than qulting cotton.

    These are mine:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DRITZ-Premiu...item337abf58a2
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  11. #11
    CPH
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    Hmmmm electric scissors. Thanks for the ideas. I knew there had to be a better way!!

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    I love the tutorial! I'll be ripping soon!

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    I use a orange craft scissors with a spring in it I got at Michael's. I cut up along the seams. I use a 8 1/2 inch ruler to cut out the squares. Also use smaller square rulers to use up the rest of jeans. I make pocket purses out of the pockets and use the seam from the jeans for the strap. I use pearl cotton instead of yarn to tie the quilt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    Heavy (pnking) scissors to begin with. Save pockets and waist bands for bags and organizers etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bueniebabe View Post
    I use a orange craft scissors with a spring in it . . .
    That is what I was going to mention and I didn't know what to call the scissors. I have a pair that has the spring to open them. That spring takes over half of the action of using scissors so my hand doesn't get tired so easily.

  16. #16
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    keep the top part too and leave it intact you can cut it off straight and line it for a purse then use the long seams on the side for a handle make a strip fabric belt for it and bling it up i have one i bought on ebay and i get more compliments on it than youd believe and you could really dress it up just leave a tiny bit of denim on the seam on each side like half an inch and rag it out its really cute, i love mine.
    carla

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    About the fifth pair of jeans I cut up, I got so over being so thrifty and just bought the denim fabric by the yard.
    Got fabric?

  18. #18
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    I used electric scissors, then the GO! to cut 6 1/2" pieces.

  19. #19
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    I have electric scissors but the new blades are like $ 35 and get dull fast from cutting jeans. The rotary cutter works for me cutting out 8 1/2 inch squares with a ruler. I make 4 jean quilts a year so that is 80 squares for each quilt.

  20. #20
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    I chopped off the bottom hems and the top part with the pockets. I chucked out the hems (wasteful me!) and saved some of the tops of the pants for making bags (not sure in which lifetime). Then I cut the side seams off and chucked them out too (My heart ached at the waste) and cut the legs in 1" strips. That was for the first 6 pairs. Now to get the guts to do the 20 pairs collected since January! The first six made up the centre piece of a crocheted rag rug and I added a different colour of narrow satin ribbon to each round to bring in some colour. The rest can wait for the December summer holidays.

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