Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ethan's Blue Jean Project is Finished

It spent almost a year in the drawer but I have finally finished the Blue Jean Quilt I was making for my grandson Ethan. I had gotten discouraged with the process and had to work it out in my head how to do it right. The theory is that I was going to be really green and reuse old blue jeans that had been discarded by my family and it turned into a major project. 

While I grasped the concept of how a rag blue jean quilt went together, my changes made it kind of hard to implement. My changes were to use my new embroidery machine to personalize several of the squares on the quilt and then spell out Ethan’s name. Then I decided to use fleece for the backing. I had not counted on the shear weight and mass of the thing. I ended up using my new Brother pq1500s  sewing machine with the wonderful walking foot that came with it.

I had gotten it semi-assembled and then realized that the fleece on the back had some of the same fabrics touching. That’s what put it in the drawer because I had been aiming for alternating dark and light squares to give it some diagonal movement. I got overwhelmed and it went in the drawer.

Many months later, the quilt had been long forgotten and what should but Ethan came over to Nanna’s house to visit with his mother and he disappears and I found him in the sewing room pulling those cotton picking squares out of the drawer and arranging them into a design. Spelling out his name. Okay, the first time he pulled that trick I was able to shrug it off, because it really was a nightmare project that I wished would go away. But, A couple of months later there he was again in my drawer pulling all those squares out, trying to put that quilt together. What was I to do? So….. I put it together.

I think it turned out okay. I got some really good shears on Ebay for about 30 dollars that cut through the denim like butter so trimming the seam was easy and I got some help from Ethan's mother and my wonderful husband. I spent about 3 days with sore hands from it just the same, but I didn't mind. 

The Border had my husband worried because he thought the edges needed something. I was going to get some kind of ribbon to sew along the edge to make him happy but was unhappy about losing the grunge look. I also considered making double fold tape out of denim but that looked like depressingly too much work. Then .... I came up with using the side seams from the jeans I had cut from the pants in the first place. 
I left about a half and inch on each side.
Leaving a strip that looks like this. 
Then sewed them on top of the edge of the quilt all the way around with the edges even with the cut edges of  the quilt. and sewed them (using a zipper foot very close to the edges). I loved the effect.
Here's the back of the quilt being modeled by Chester. The different fleece fabrics are truly random and I love the them just like they are. Once I faced them the didn't seem so hard to deal with  after all. 


  1. I like your blue jean quilt. It turned out very nice. Great job! Lisa

  2. Nice job!!
    I know how hard that is -- My DH is a truckdriver and I made a jeans quilt for him.
    Weighed a TON!