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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts on Jeans, and Where to Find Them

I'd been thinking about making a jeans quilt, when I happened upon some 3X denim dresses at a garage sale.  I loved the light denim with pink flowers so much I decided right then and there to make this quilt.  The pink jeans came from Goodwill and St. Vinnie's thrift shops.  This quilt was an HS graduation gift for my neice.  A young friend of mine was expected to graduate from HS one year later.  I asked if she wanted a college quilt too, and she said "Yes, but make mine purple."  I spent the next year combing thrift shops and garage sales to produce this quilt.  There's a black on purple paisley fabric in this quilt that I would love to find again.
This quilt included some corduroy and twills.  Had I not modified my plan I'd probably still be looking for purple jeans.  I found that Oshkosh B'Gosh girls clothing and Lands End lilac jeans in womens and girls sizes worked great.  I did cheat a bit and bought the fabric for the border.  After a year of hunting I wanted to get this project done on time.  I made the small quilt below from the purple and lilac scraps.

In the process of hunting down these fabrics, I managed to acquire a whole bunch of old jeans, and found several yards of a dark, dark denim at a yard sale.  So I was inspired to make a quilt for a nephew.  I didn't think to weigh this quilt...but it was even heavier than the one I'm making now.

Next I made a red, white and blue quilt during the presidential election.

While hunting down more red jeans, I found some wild aqua colored jeans, prompting me to make this quilt for my Sweetie and I to use at football games and marching band competions in late autumn.
 Meanwhile my jeans stash grew.  I still have pastels....
...and reds, whites, and red and whites.

And one of my favorites - sparkly jeans!

Then there are the light weight denims used for shirting.  I even found denim sheets and bed skirts (another garage sale special).  These allow you to make a lightweight binding, without losing the jeans look.

Prior to starting my latest quilt, I unearthed 20-30 leftover squares, then cut up 5 or 6 pairs of jeans.  Eventually, when word gets out that you make quilts from jeans, people start giving you stuff and you only need to hunt for the different or unusual.  Anything I can't use gets donated to Goodwill and St. Vinnie's.

Funny how one thing leads to another! 
Currently I need a very large and tall person to donate (to me, Goodwill or St. Vinnies) some black jeans - preferably ones they outgrew or that didn't fit just right...before the jeans wore out.  That, or I have to come up with a better idea for an inner border and binding on my current project.   :)


Anna said...

I just love your upcycled denim quilts - they are so creative and cool!

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

Hi Chris-- Thanks for the note on my blog! I hope you're right about the summer wonder! Your email isn't on your profile but wanted to let you know that I appreciate you getting in touch. You've got some great stuff going on with your quilts! Take care---

Zoey said...

Wow, Chris, you have a huge collection of colored denim! I have some, but not nearly as many as you have.

I really love the small quilt from the purple and lilac scraps--the addition of those flowers really catches my eye.

What great gifts you have made!