Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Charming Denim Quilt - tutorial

Have you ever made a denim quilt from castoff jeans from family members or thrift stores?  My hubby donated his jeans when he was done with them.  I inherited about 6 pair and promptly cut them down to bigger fabric pieces until I could decide what to do with them. Then about a year ago, I decided to do something with them.

I salvage everything usable and store the pockets in a bin for who knows what.  The rest is thrown away. 

I searched Pinterest for an idea. There were a lot of ideas and a lot of them don't address bulk.  I was concerned about bulky seams going through both my machine and my longarm. So I waited until this idea hit me.

I had a cute charm pack (5" precuts) and wondered what would happen if I raw edge appliqued them onto 8" denim squares?  Hmmmm.  I liked both the colours of the charms against the denim and the fact that it didn't add much bulk.

I used a low tech method of getting them centered.  I basically pressed the denim squares into quarters and then lined up the four corners of the charm squares on those fold lines and stitched them about a 1/4" from the edge.  I just did raw edge applique because I envisioned them fluffing up when washed.  You could satin stitch yours down if you prefer.

Once I finished all my blocks and laid them out in a 5 x 7 layout, I started to think about sashing.  Remember:  we are on a mission to reduce bulk!

I found some fabric in my stash which complimented the charm square colours and decided that a 2" sashing between the blocks would also add some colour and accomplish my goal of relieving the burden of bulk. I cut 27 strips 2" x 8" for the vertical sashing.  

I'm now to the point where the horizontal sashing is added between the rows but I don't have enough fabric for the outside edges of the quilt.  Not a big deal.  You can add the sashing on the outside of yours if you prefer that encased look. For the horizontal sashing, I measured the width of the row and cut one strip 2" by that measurement. And voila!

At this point I wondered if I should add borders.  I looked online for the same fabric line as the charm squares.  I managed to find a lovely lady named Grace on one of my Canadian Facebook quilt groups that sold me her 4 yards of coordinating fabric that she didn't need.  She had purchased a kit but ended up using something else for her backing.  I will use it for borders, backing and binding.  It's from Lily & Loom and called the Dreamfield line.  I purchased my charms online from Craftsy/Bluprint awhile back and it is no longer available due to the sale of Bluprint/Craftsy to a new owner and a reconfiguration of their website/business so I was very grateful to Grace for being willing to part with her stash so I could finish my project.  Quilters are the greatest people!  

The quilt top is done and ready for quilting!

I chose an edge to edge design called Classic Blossoms and finished the quilting just before midnight last night.  I used Wonderfil Master Quilter 40wt for the top and Magnaglide 60wt for the bobbin. I just need to add the binding, sew it down and decide what to do with my finished quilt.  Oh, and I will be washing it to see if my 'fluffy' expectation becomes a reality.  Some of the raw edges flipped up during quilting but that doesn't bother me because none of them will be flat after washing and that's part of the charm I wanted to create.

I had zero Janome problems with the denim because I worked hard to reduce bulk.   Likewise, my APQS Millennium quilted it flawlessly like it was her job!  I'm so excited to finish another UFO. Woohoo!  I'll be pulling out the next one in no time flat.

This quilt is more feminine than masculine due to the colours.  Maybe this will be a picnic quilt for us or maybe it will be for someone else or maybe it will be for sale in my Etsy shop.  We shall see!

I still have some remaining denim in my stash.  I'm not yet sure if I'll make another quilt or donate my denim scraps to another quilter to realize her ideas.  But for now, I'm feeling great having accomplished the completion of another UFO!

Let me know in your comments if you have done a denim quilt.  If you decide to make this quilt I'd love to see your pictures.  Use the hashtag #charmingdenimquilt so I can find them. 

PS - I'm on track with  #sewthescrapoutofmarch and the #NQMScrapChallenge.  This denim is from the scrap bin, even if it was started a year ago!  ;)