Monday, August 6, 2007

It's all in the jeans












Once upon a time, I made two full size quilts for a woman who had saved up all her family's old jeans. She sent a very grand and heavy box from Philadelphia and asked me to work some magic with her stash of old pants.

I cut, ripped, manipulated and cursed the TOUGH-AS-NAILS old trousers. Then I broke needles, fingernails and almost my arms trying to manipulate the fabric through my machine.

Then I did all AGAIN.

I pieced some soft soft flannel for the backs and sent these 2 extremely HEAVY quilts off to be quilted. I do have SOME respect for my machine (and myself). It would have maimed us both for sure!

I swore I would never work with denim like this again. In my lifetime, I have made 4 old-jeans-quilts, but I own not a one to show for it. (One for my brother, at least it's in the family.) So, I have again been saving old jeans for some time now, and what better way to use them than to make a charming and full-of-memories quilt? Are you with me here? Quilting is like childbirth - you sort of forget the pain once you see the product of your hardwork.

Someone PLEASE talk me out of this!!!

15 comments:

wendy said...

I've always wanted to make a jean quilt and have been saving jeans from everyone in the family for a few years now. Problem is, I've never made a quilt before. Now I am worried about my jean quilt dream, since you had a hard time with them, and you are like the queen of quilt-making. :-)

I found you from Emily. :-)

Sarah said...

Wendy, you could do it. Just be prepared to be fa little frustrated. I KNOW you have much more patience than I do. I am so impatient when it comes to this, and everything else, really.

Emily said...

You know what happened to the owners of the Philadelphia quilts. . . . You don't want the same fate for your own children. I say forget the denim quilt and make something nice and soft for your sister in Phoenix.

Sarah said...

Emily, what would you like?

Nancy said...

I have thought about that for years too, so cute, I just might have to put that into my stack of someday ideas.

wendy said...

I actually have very little patience. I think that having (almost) 8 kids makes people *think* I am patient! I so am not. :-) Truly.

I might still give the quilt a whirl, though. If you think I can, maybe I can.

Emily said...

Hmm, are you taking orders? One Grandma's Dishes, please!

If only I had some skill set to offer in return. . .

Sarah said...

Wendy,
If you really want to do it, here's what you'll need:
*Rotary cutter with 1 or 2 replacement blades - denim really dulls them.
*Heavy duty needles - someone at a quilt store or Joann's would be able to tell you which ones work for denim. The needles will breeak, especially going over seams, so you'll need some extra.
*Extra denim - no matter how many pairs of old jeans you have, you'll need more, I promise. So take a look at what you've got, and buy a yard or two of a color you don't have much of. Or get more of what you've got to keep the tones the same.
*Use at LEAST a 1/2 or 3/4 inch seam allowance. Denim frays easily.
*Don't be rushed. I told the woman I did this for that I could not work with a deadline. She was fine with that. I worked on them on and off for 8 months.
*Hire someone to machine quilt it. Tawnya Mecham did mine for 1 1/2 cents per square inch. It was about $120 per full quilt.
Whew, that was lengthy!

Sarah said...

Emily, We'll talk.

wendy said...

Thanks for the tips, Sarah! :-)

nie nie said...

whatever you do, it will look wonderful...



ps. my favorite person at the ranch was mark. i really like that guy. he makes me happy and makes me laugh.

Sarah said...

nienie,
He makes me happy and makes me laugh too.

We had a great time with you!

Neil and Diana said...

Can I have a quilting lesson?

Sarah said...

Diana,
You betcha! Maybe at Thanksgiving or Christmas or sometime when we're not too busy.

Tip Junkie said...

What an amazing quilt!!