Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stadium Quilt from old Jeans

Searching the internet there are quite a few patterns for quilts from old Jeans - but seriously, most of them are pretty basic.  Nearly all are quilts made from plain squares.  There is one that uses circles folded over a square of fabric rather like Cathederal Window quilts, and I saw one that used huge half-square triangles.

Here's one I made that has a little more zip.

Stadium quilt front
Stadium quilt back
There are two fabrics: old denim jeans, and plaid flannel.  There is no batting.  Denim quilts are heavy enough as it is!  The fabrics are placed wrong sides together and a 1/2 inch seam is sewn 'raggy quilt style'. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do raggy seams, so I'll leave that to you.
The quilt has two basic blocks.  The first is a portion of a Drunkard's Path block.  A good pattern can be found free here at Quilters Cache.  The second block is a four-patch using whatever size block is needed to make it the same size as your Drunkard's Path block. 

four blocks: two Four-Patches and two Drunkards Path
My blocks were a little bigger than the Quilter's Cache pattern because I used a pattern from a magazine.  My Drunkard's Path sections are cut 8 inches and the Four-Patch blocks are made up of four 4-inch cut squares.  With the half-inch seams instead of 1/4 inch, the blocks finish at 7 inches.   (If I ever figure out how to made a PDF pattern for you I'll update and put it in here.)  Since the Drunkard's Path block is the more difficult, find a pattern for that first and work off of that size.
I did a little top stitching with yellow thread - like side seams on jeans - in the Drunkard's Path blocks to hold the denim and flannel together.  The Four Patches were small enough that they didn't really need any extra quilting.   This can be done before the blocks are pieced together.
Play around with block placement. There are so many possibilities!  One thing that gave way more interest to the quilt was stitching the raggy seams of the piecing on one side, and then stitching the raggy seams to join the blocks on the opposite side.  That gave some texture to both sides of the quilt.   
After clipping, this really makes a mess in the washing machine!  One thing that helped was making a huge pillowcase out of an old bedsheet and putting the quilt inside.  A number of big safety pins held it closed.  I took it all outside and gave it a good shaking off before putting it in the dryer.  Check and clean the dryer lint trap a couple of times while it's tumbling.
I also made a little carry bag for the quilt. It's just 8 squares cut 8.5 inches and sewn in to a Four-patch for each side.  Handles are made from the inseam seams from the jeans.  A couple of the squares are from the seat and have the pocket centered on them.  Handy!
It's great for taking to the football stadium.  The quilt in the bag makes a nice cushion to sit on in the bleachers, and just pull out the quilt when the sun goes down and it gets chilly!

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