Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recycle Jeans to Make a Quilt

This basket has been sitting in my closet for years,
collecting all the jeans and flannel shirts that have been discarded for one reason or another.
Frankly, I'm sick of moving the basket from one location to another to get it out of the way.
It's time to recycle this pile into something useful.

Did you know jeans make great quilts?
If you try this, you'll want to use heavy duty scissors like the one pictured above.
The spring loaded handle makes it easy to cut through heavy fabrics.

After the seams have been removed, the fabric can be easily cut into blocks.

Generally, I cut my blocks into 7" squares, 5" squares, and 3" x 7" blocks.
I have found these sizes to work best for me.

This pile can now be made into a quilt.
If you decide to make a quilt be sure to purchase a denim needle.
It will save you a ton of grief!

This raggy edge baby quilt was made with denim on one side and flannel on the other.

Here is a peek at the back of the quilt.

This picnic size quilt was also made with the raggy edge method.
The squares have jean fabric on one side and cotton print on the other.

The squares were laid out in a pattern where some cotton blocks
 faced the front and others the back.

This denim quilt was made with the trip around the world pattern
and was one of the first quilts I made.
Details are posted here.

The back of this quilt was lined with flannel.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas to get started on your own jean quilt project.
If you have already made a denim quilt, please send me a link.
I'd love to see it!

Just a reminder that this months Friday Night Sew In is right around the corner.
Be sure to mark your calendar and join us on Friday, March 18th!

May you always Sew in Peace!


  1. Sandra, Thank you so much for the idea of jeans and flannels. My husband lives in them, and all these 33 years we've been married, I never saved one of his shirts when the sleeves fell apart or whatever. I wish I had! Well, it's never too late, I'm going to begin now saving those ragged shirts, I know he's got to have a few in the closet that he just won't throw away yet, and begin making my blocks. Can't wait to get started on it, but oh my, another project!! Have a wonderful day.

  2. Love this idea. ANd I bet that quilt is so warm in the winter :)

    Check out my giveaway!

  3. One warning .... I made a denim & flannel quilt for my nephew last year. That puppy is HEAVY!! When I was sewing the blocks together, and then the rows, it kept trying to pull off the side of the table! I should have put TV tray or my ironing board next to my sewing table to help hold it up.
    But he LOVED it!

  4. You just reminded me that I have a blue jean quilt UFO that I need to finish!

  5. I have four boxes of my husband's old jeans and this will be perfect! Thank you for the great tutorial!!

  6. New follower. Saw your link on Pinterest. I've been saving my kids' levis for years with the idea of a blanket in mind down the road. Thanks for your tips. Your quilts are fabulous!

  7. I made a jean quilt for my oldest grandson last Christmas. Some of the squares included the back pockets. On some I actually left the seam in the square to give the quilt more personality. He loves the quilt and the throw pillow that I made to match. I used a flannel sheet that was the same size as the bed for the backing so it's nice and soft.

  8. Do you bother with any batting inside of the blocks or just attach the flannel directly to the denim?

    1. Great question. On most denim quilts I use low loft batting which adds a nice weight to the quilt. They are nice and warm in winter and last for years.

  9. I made a queen sized denim quilt once and will never do it again. It's too heavy to wash at home! I stick to twin/picnic blanket sizes and it's much better. However, I cut the blocks about an inch larger than the finished size and use a 1/2" seam allowance, then flatten the seams and top stitch them flat. The finished quilt will last longer as the seams won't fray. Yes, extra work, but so worth it!

  10. I love the look of the flannel and jean quilt but you use batting or just sew the front and back together? seems like it would be very thick and difficult to sew with batting.

  11. Been saving old jeans from my husband, son and myself for years for quilting. Also have saved some of my sons old camo hunting jeans and shirts as he outgrew them for using in a quilt also. Can't wait to get started.

  12. I made my son a queen size quilt from blue jean squares. Yes it is very heavy. I did put a lightweight batting in the quilt. It was backed with a king size sheet. I did not machine or hand quilt it - just tied it. I used the pockets - some seams inside the squares and patched over any holes after it was put together. You have to wash blue jean quilts somewhere where they have big machines. Most home machines are not made for that much wet weight. I made my other son a King size t-shirt quilt and backed it with fleece and used no batting. It too is very warm. Not quite as heavy but still would take it out to wash it.

  13. collecting all the jeans and flannel shirts that have been discarded for one reason ...

  14. I have loads of my son-in-law's old jeans and lots of homespuns fabrics. I'm going to make a "beach blanket" (we live by the beach)but I won't do it "raggy" as that will hold the sand in. I think it will be a nice gift.

  15. My first quilt ever was denim on the front and red and black plaid corduroy on the back, with a blanket as a middle. Needless to say it to heavy to even use. But I just can't take it apart to make it lighter. I now do light weight denim quilts as FFA auction donations to our local high school.

  16. My first quilt ever was denim on the front and red and black plaid corduroy on the back, with a blanket as a middle. Needless to say it to heavy to even use. But I just can't take it apart to make it lighter. I now do light weight denim quilts as FFA auction donations to our local high school.

  17. I made a jean quilt for my nephew about 7 years ago and yes it is heavy. At the time our pool table was in the sewing room so I had my husband lay a sheet of plywood on top of the pool table and cover it with contact paper. I put the quilt together on the pool table. I only weighed about 100 lbs at the time and could not lift the quilt as I was making it. It really helped a lot. My nephew loved it, his van broke down in February going home to Florida and he was very happy he had this quilt while waiting for help. I'm going to make my son and daughter-in-law one for this winter.

  18. Many years ago I made a jeans quilt for my eldest son. My youngest had outgrown a tiny pair of overalls which I used as the centerpiece. The back center was the eldest brother's baby blanket. I did not use any fill. He loved that quilt! Until one day, The mobile home he was living in burned to the ground. That quilt was his most treasured loss.

  19. thank you for all your advice on the making of a denim quilt,I have just spent the weekend cutting up denim squares to make a quilt for my 18 yr old grandson . Sandy x


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