Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Jean Quilt

This was by far my biggest, most frustrating, and most exciting project I have completed yet. This was also the first idea of my craft what I consider to be 'the one that started it all'. 

I had the idea to make a jean quilt because I had a couple of pairs of jeans that just didn't fit right anymore, so why not recycle and make something out of them? After deciding on square sizes, the size of quilt I wanted and collecting several pairs of jeans, I started cutting...and I continued cutting...for a long time. Finally, I had enough squares. 

I was so excited, but also now realized what a project I had gotten myself into. Oh boy. The next step was to lay out the squares in an arrangement I liked. All I wanted was a good spread of the different shades and the small squares spread out relatively even.

This looked good to me! piece this monster together. I started with the small squares in groups of four: sew two together, sew two together, sew the two sets of two together to make a large square made up of four small squares. 

(first small square complete)

When those were complete, I began with the rows, sewing the vertical sides of the squares together. This gave me 14 rows total, which I sewed together. I then added belt buckles, labels and other decorative things to add some dimension. This finished the top of the quilt! At this point I felt like I had done so much and yet I had so much left to do!

With the top of the quilt complete, I was ready to put it together with the batting and backing. The batting was graciously bought by my grandma and the backing was the flat sheet from a sheet set. Buying the sheet set was cheaper than buying that much fabric and was also all in one piece. It also gave us a matching fitted sheet and two pillowcases! That is a steel. My wonderful husband helped unpick the edges of the sheet and I ironed those down. The backing, batting and top of the quilt were laid down flat and pinned all over to hold it together. 

Now, to quilt it. I had decided to just quilt in the ditch between all the squares, both directions. This was the hardest, most frustrating job of the entire quilt. The first time I tried was a complete fail and I was so frustrated that I didn't even want to do any more. I left the room. After a long time, Nathan came and found me to tell me that he had unpicked it for me (he is so good), it was going to be put away for that day, but as long as I relaxed, I would finish it. He was right. With enough time, some muscle (jean quilts are very heavy), and lots of patience, I finished the quilting. Using my new rotary set, I was able to give the edges a nice clean cut. 

The only step left was the binding. I used some navy blue cotton fabric that I already had and followed the steps given here to bind my quilt. Finally, finally, finally it was finished. 

Joy and relief flooded my whole body. I was so happy to be done and so excited about how it turned out! 


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