Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ties That Bind

I tend to outgrow my jeans before they get too worn to wear, and I cling to them in hopes of one day being able to fit into them again. But this was not always the case. No, I actually did wear out several pair in the days before desk jobs and blogging. I became attached to them because they represented a time in my life when I was finally the size I wanted to be. I had worked hard to achieve that goal, and I maintained my weight for almost 15 years. Those were the days.

Anyway, I didn't want to just throw out my favorite jeans, so I made a quilt out of them. I cut them into 6-inch squares and laid the pieces on the floor in rows about the width of a twin mattress and columns the approximate length. I rearranged the squares until the color pattern suited me, then I stitched them all together using a 1/4" seam allowance. This would be the quilt top. Then I cut a sheet to the same size at the quilt top to use for backing. Denim is heavier than most quilting fabrics, so no batting was needed. I sewed top and back together (outsides facing in) around the edges, leaving an opening in one end for turning. After turning, I stitched the opening closed and continued the seam along all 4 edges to give it a uniform look and to prevent ravelling. The finishing touch was to take contrasting yarn and tie the quilt back to the quilt top at the corner of each piece. I had made my first. quilt. ever.

When we were dating, my husband wanted me to show him how to make one. We gathered up all his worn-out jeans to make a quilt for his son. We cut squares from the jeans and from an old sheet and alternated the blue and green squares. We backed it with a dark blue sheet and tied it with orange yarn.


I showed him how to use the machine so he could finish the project himself. He enjoyed it so much, he even made a binding for the finished quilt! (Don't you love a man who can sew? And quilt? I do!)



Tomorrow, I'll tell you about a ladies' group project I led.

4 comments:

BooMama said...

What a cool idea!

I wish I knew how to sew (she says, sighing).

Brenda said...

I taught myself, boomama. I started by learning several handstitches, but when I decided that I wanted to make clothes for me and the kids, I bought a machine.

I promise, if I can do it, you can.

Diane said...

I quilt, too, but it's been a while. I mostly hand sew them, just to make it more personal and for something to occupy my hands...(before blogging!) I may post a picture of one of my quilts...Hmmm.....

So far I've only handsewn some lap quilts and baby quilts, and I've made few full sized ones on the machine.

And yes, BooMama, you can do it if I can. Maybe someone can show you the basics, but if not, if you can figure out all this techie computer geekery, you can figure out a sewing machine or read a book on sewing and teach yourself. :-)

Neat idea for a quilt, Brenda, Thanks for sharing. :-)

Barb said...

Bev and I both learned to sew on Mom's old Singer. My first projects were clothes for my Barbies. By the time I was fourteen, I was making all my school clothes because my parents could afford more fabric than ready made clothes.

My mother-in-law, a good Mormon woman, took many a blue ribbon for her quilts in Mormon craft fairs in Utah when she was growing up. She taught me to quilt. Every single stitch by hand. I hated it because you can't believe what that needle does to your poor fingers. You actually have to get callouses on your quilting finger before it stops hurting and bleeding. Then Bev told me she was learning to machine quilt and that sounds like fun to me! Bev's very good at it.

I love quilts that use fabric from memories, Brenda. My friend and future in-law, Aaron's Mom Jan, lost her husband three years ago. He worked a job where he wore a uniform. Blue and white pin striped shirts and dark blue pants. She took his uniforms and had a friend cut them into squares like yours and make a quilt out of them. She gave it to her mother for Christmas. I was there and I saw the way Jan's mom got big tears in her eyes and hugged that quilt to her. You could tell that her son-in-law had meant the world to her. These are priceless things.

xoxoxo