New life for old jeans
O.K., so I admit that I am a saver – of many things including old jeans. I save my old jeans when I am “ready” to stop wearing them ( did they shrink in the dryer??) and I try to save my family members old jeans……AND I even asked my sisters to send me their old faded jeans too! I hope they keep sending them to me.
It isn’t because I have a desire to be featured on the next episode of the television show Hoarders, it’s because I have wanted to make a quilt out of old blue jeans for quite some time now – I just haven’t found the right pattern OR look OR time. So the pile of jeans sat in a bag in my dining/sewing room for a while.
– The bag sat while I started and finished other projects and just couldn’t put the bag away. I kept thinking about how and what to make, and having the bag of jeans in the room kept this future project simmering in the back of my mind. Oh, AND did I say that I have also been wanting to make a cathedral window quilt for a long time too –
Serendipity intervened and I found some inspirational tutorials online while surfing the net for quilting ideas – this link from Quilt Inspiration was the first tutorial I read about recycled denim quilts in a faux Cathedral window look. Then, since one quilt blog is never enough, I kept searching. EQuilters had a similar post, with very similar directions on their website. Youtube has a video by Missouri Star Quilt Company in which they use cotton fabrics, rather than recycled denim and an acrylic template for cutting out the circles. I liked this post, but wanted to stick with denim. Finally, I read another denim cathedral window quilt pattern while visiting A Passionate Quilter Blog, she has a step by step tutorial on how to make a denim faux Cathedral Window pillow. All of this research gave me enough inspiration and information to try this project out on my own.
Cutting out the denim was the first task. The quilt requires cutting the denim into many circles. The diameter of the circle is up to the quilter and is only limited by either template size or leg width. Since denim material is heavy and I didn’t want to spend too much time drawing circles, then cutting circles with scissors – that would wear out my hand – I decided to try out some circle acrylic templates and use a rotary cutter on a “test” scrap of denim. I found two different circle templates in my local craft store.
For the first trial run, I chose a 5 inch round acrylic template and placed it on top of my scrap, then placed both the scrap and the template on a rotating cutting board. This worked out great for me – I used the smaller 28 mm rotary cutter and spun the board as I worked my way around the circle.
My next step was to decide what size fabric square I would use in the center of my denim “window”. For this 5 inch diameter circle, I found that a 3 1/2 inch square looks like it will fit nicely in the center for that POP of color.
I had some fabric squares left over from a fabric dyeing workshop I had attended, and I think that these hand-dyed cotton inserts will be great in the window centers.
Check back in with me to see how the other template worked out – and let me know if you have a great way to cut out circles.