Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Denim Graduation Quilt

I am quilting ahead so when graduation time rolls around, I won't be stitching at the last minute.

In May, it's high school graduation for an Idaho ranch kid that has grown into a wonderful young man.

I asked a family member what his favorite color was and she told me it was maroon.  When I looked through all my flannel backings, I remembered I had the perfect color!  

I had this large 62x90 piece of maroon flannel.

All I had to do is make the top to fit with enough room to pin on the frame.

I have about 14-15 more quilts left in this pile of denim.

Years ago, I started "deboning" every pair of jeans that came into my studio.  I know there are lots of super cute quilts with pockets, zippers, etc. But I only use the main part of the legs because that's what I can quilt over with my longarm.

This is all I keep because it is all I use.  I trim the leg with my 6.5" ruler, making sure to keep the denim on grain.

You will end up with strips up to 40" depending on the size of the jeans.  Then you can sub cut these into any size you want.  Easy.

I use a standard 1/4" seam and steam press as I sew each row.

 I press all seams open.
I sewed several whole strips end to end and then started cutting them into 58" pieces. (remember, I only had a 62" backing.)  As you go, you get uneven ends and this makes it good if you want a random color pattern. 

You can see where you want to move the strips to spread out the color.  If you sew them all together by twos, then the twos together to make sets of 4 and then the fours together to make a set of 8 strips.  Then you only have to wrangle the biggest bulk of the quilt through your Bernina only once.

This is where I like to use up a lot of my random spools of thread.  I 

I sewed garments for 40 years before I started quilting.  I sewed all through my teen years, made all my hubby's shirts, sewed for my kids, you name it, I had a thread color for it.  So, I am working my way through a ton of spools for my domestic.  I might add that I always do the snap test to make sure each spool of thread is still strong.  One of my blues didn't make the cut and I had to toss it.

I don't buy spools anymore, I really love using cones of thread on my  Bernina.  My hubby made me a thread holder that will work with spools or cones...so I am gradually using up all my collection of spools,  you can see a lot of empty space, right? 
I just happened to have some yellow flannel for the binding.
 Quilt pattern is Square Spiral by Karen Emmerson. 

How fun is that?


  1. I love denim quilts, and this one is fantastic. The young man is going to love it. I have one of my Mom's denim quilts.

    I've been working my way through some older thread spools, too. The "tug test" lets me know it's strong and useable.

  2. Thanks, Nancy, I added the tug test to my blog as I had for gotten to mention this.

  3. I just heard that you can 'help' your cotton threads by putting them in the fridge. Cotton likes the humidity, and it's supposed to strengthen it.



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