Monday, April 26, 2010

My Favorite Denim Quilt Tutorial Part 1

So here is part 1 of the tutorial that I promised. As you may or may not know I am a huge recycler! I love to take things that are old or used and make them into new and useful things. Sewing is no exception. This is one of my most favorite recycling projects!!! So here is what you need.

Old denim jeans
Friends with old denim jeans
Neighbors with old denim jeans
(do you get the hint that you need a lot of jeans!!)
Great pair of sharp scissors
Self healing mat
Rotary cutter
As a hint. I do not use any jeans that have a stretch to them. I always use 100% cotton jeans. My favorite jeans to use are the good 'ol cowboy type Wrangler jeans. So if you have a cowboy type hubby this is a great project for you. If not, find a neighbor (that's what I do) or you can go to a thrift store (not my favorite option I always like free!) but any cotton jeans are great. Jeans with a stretch to them never sew quite right and don't fray as nicely.

Let's get started!!! First you will want to cut the INSIDE seam of both of the pant legs with your super sharp scissors. Then cut off the bottom hem of both pant legs. You can do this with your scissors or your rotary cutter. Which ever you find is easier for you.
Next, cut the OUTSIDE seam of both pant legs.

Continue by removing the front zipper.

Now you will have four individual pant legs.

Take your two back pant legs and cut away the pockets. Measure down about 2-3 inches from the bottom of the pocket and cut a straight line with your ruler and rotary cutter. (The purpose is to leave enough room for a seam allowance. I always try to include a few pockets on my quilt, they are a fun addition)

Cut the side seam accordingly. When you get to a seam you may have to use scissors or cut a few times with your rotary cutter.

Then remove the top portion of the pants. You may have to leave a few belt loop parts attached while cutting but you can remove them with a seam ripper later.

Now it's time for the two front pant legs. Take the pockets and place them out of the way of the cut. Measure down to just below the place where the pocket attaches to the side seam and then cut away the pocket.

Now you have four individual pant legs with no pockets. Now it's time to start measuring for your squares! I start at the smallest part of the pants, place my ruler against the side seam and measure to see how wide the pant leg is. (Measure from the inside of the side seam. This will eventually be cut off but it make a great straight edge)

Take your widest measurement and then move your ruler up the pant leg that length to make the square. (So if your widest measurement at the bottom of the pant leg is 6 inches move six inches up the pant leg to make your first cut.) The farther up the pant leg you go the larger size squares you will get. Then using your self healing mat, ruler, and rotary cutter make your first cut.

Then flip the square around and cut off the side seam.

Next flip the square around and make the final cut. (Remember to measure twice and cut once!)

Repeat these steps for cutting the squares all the way up the pant leg and on the other 3 pant legs. When you are finished you will end up with squares of all different sizes. Then repeat all the steps with as many jeans as you have. I love to do the first steps and watch my favorite TV shows.

I usually spend a day or two just cutting up the jeans into different sized squares before I even try to put the quilt together. I write the size of the squares on a 3X5 note card and put them in bags so that they all stay separate. Then I always have a stash to make up a quick blanket as a gift too!
Comming soon part 2!!!


Heidi said...

Can't wait for part 2 tutorial!
And by the way...I have you on my email list for our family blog...but I must have an old address or something. So shoot me an email, and I'll add you again.

Christa said...

Coool, I will have to try that.

Leah said...

I have been saving denim jeans for several years now, specifically to make a quilt. I have never quilted before, but I think I'm ready now. This tutorial is exactly what I need. Thank you!