Denim Quest: Projects 15, 16 & 17

Still in catch-up mode. Bad news, while I am feeling better, my son is down for the count. I guess that is how it works. 😦

Project 15:


This was something that just came to me. Oh, to be honest, I am sure that I have seen something similar in all the browsing I do. I just happened to have a bunch of 2″ white strips of denim left over from cutting and wanted to do something unique with it.

I still had a bunch of 8″ squares remaining from the huge initial reclamation of denim, so this was very easy. I randomly cut each square into two pieces and sewed in a piece of white and then trimmed it back down to the original 8″. From there it was just a matter of sewing them together. I didn’t plan the specific layout, I simply made several piles and then drew randomly from them to sew.

I did, of course, include (quickly becoming) my signature red by using a red square cut by the white strip. I liken the red accent piece to the little Levi tag on the back pocket. I would like to have some – not all – of the quilts recently completed, top-stitched with a gold thread – call it ‘denim stitch gold’. I think it could work really well. I think it will be especially work well on the next quilt that I am showing you.

Project 16:

DSCN5263This one was inspired by a Pinterest PIN. The one I saw (and which cannot locate now!) had a dark background with light colored triangles in a lightweight cotton. I had cut these triangles during the ‘great cut marathon’ with this quilt in mind.

Frayed Patch

However, I didn’t have a red triangle cut and really, think that a full triangle would be overpowering. These triangles are larger than 12 inches… that will give you an idea of how large these squares are.

The red accent is a little difficult to see in this photo, but I felt that a whole red triangle would be a bit too much. So, one of the triangles had some natural fraying, so I cut a small piece of red and sewed it to the back.

Decorative Top Stitch

As the quilt is washed, used and loved, the fraying will become more prominent. That is also the reason I sewed the triangles with a decorative stitch that should allow for more fraying, adding to its charms.

I think that the raw edges on some of these quilts just really makes them special. And with the backing of flannel, it really makes using one of these more personal, like being casual in your favorite pair of jeans with a soft flannel shirt.

Project 17:


Elsewhere during this current denim project, you have seen quilts made of 2″ x 6″, 6″ x 24″ and now here is an intermediate size of 3″ x 9″. While I love the 2″ x 6″ and have made this in many colors and fabrics, I wasn’t exactly happy about the turnout of 6″ x 24″ strips quilt.Rail TiesNow, this size – 3″ x 9″ – turned out pretty great, even if I have to say so myself. I think that the use of the red flannel would be the perfect ending for this quilt. Add to it the gold jeans stitching and this will be awesome!

In assessing the amount of denim left, I am guessing somewhere between 6 and 10 more quilts are yet to be made. So be sure to watch for new posts.

Thanks for dropping by!


Oh and before I forget, I have to include my shameless request: A quilt I made was the basis for an Instructable “ible” for the “Sew Warm” contest that they are having. If you haven’t, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for me. If you have voted, you can vote again! I know that this is a shameless plug again, But I really want to win! Please go here and vote!

Eye Glass Case, Pin Cushions

First off, here is my shameless request: A quilt I made was the basis for an Instructable “ible” for the “Sew Warm” contest that they are having. If you haven’t, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for me. If you have voted, you can vote again! I know that this is a shameless plug again, But I really want to win! Please go here and vote!

I have under the weather for some time, each time I thought that I was getting to feeling better, I’d have a relapse later in the day from trying to do too much. But, I did turn to my needlepoint (or cross stitch) to make the time pass while recuperating.

I ran across the pattern on Pinterest (don’tcha just love that site?) and thought it would be something that might be relatively straight forward and not take too much time. Something I could pick up and put down easily. It did go pretty quickly.


Here is the piece almost done. About two thirds complete, I decided what I was going to do with the final piece and made the curve along the top edge.


And here is the finished piece: an eyeglass case. I lined the inside with those microfiber cleaning cloths, so it will never scratch the glass. Other than my stitching the two edges together seeming a bit wonky, I think it turned out pretty good.

I also ordered sewing pins from the internet… I am one of those people who sew over pins although I am sure my first HomEc teacher would be out of her mind to hear this! The biggest problem I have is bent pins and I always throw those away. I do seem to go through them at a pretty good rate.

So, another thing I could do while laid up in bed… put pins from cute little containers into pin cushions.


The majority of the pins went into two very large tomato pin cushions that I use religiously, but this was enjoyable. The Kid thinks I am a nut!

I have been working on some more pieces, I hope to write a couple of more posts for them. For now, the headache has returned and it is about all I can do to keep my attention on the writing on not on Russell Crowe in this movie I am watching. ;-o


Denim Quest: Projects 13 & 14

Okay, things have been slowing down, but I think its only due to the cold weather and the fact that I have thrown myself into job hunting. Again.

So, I shared with you the quilt I made so that I could write a Instructable “ible” for the “Sew Warm” contest that they are having. I will shamelessly plug myself again, ’cause I really want to win! Please go here and vote!

Project 13:

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This quilt was given an interest row, that is, I turned one row on point. Not only did it make the quilt a little bit longer, but I like the way it draws your eye in. Makes you want to really look at it. (You might notice that the day, again, was windy and cold, making photo taking a real adventure!)

This one, already claimed by The Kid, was made to be a little more than a lap quilt. Rather it became a bed quilt. It measures 90″ x 74″ so that it covers his entire bed. Hopefully I will get this quilt tops off to my long-arm quilter before he becomes a father himself! I have a very tall stack of quilts that require Becky’s (hi Becky!) special touch!

If you’re looking for a longarm quilter check out Collis Country Quilting. If you’re interested in contacting Becky, you can reach here on her Facebook page: Collis Country Quilting. She can also be reached via email at:

Project 14:

I am still working through all those pre-cut pieces I originally had following the deconstruction of all those pairs of blue jeans. (To see more about this, go here.)IMG_4463I used up a fair amount of those big/long pieces (6″ x 24″) in other quilts, like a large scaled Fence Rails, but I still had a fair amount left. So, I used most of the up in a large scale “French Braids” quilt.

It didn’t really take too many to create this quilt and I can tell you that it isn’t my favorite quilt. Perhaps with some interesting top stitching it will be better. I am thinking that I want to use, what I lovingly call, “blue jeans top stitching gold”. Perhaps that will help. 🙂

So, well into another denim quilt which should be completed soon. I am working my way through all of that denim!

So, please, don’t forget about heading over to and voting up my quilt. I really, really, really want to win! 🙂 (Thank you in advance!)


I Need Your Help! The Denim Quest Continues…

Today, I posted an “ible” on that provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a “Denim Crazy Rails Quilt” which you can find here. I’ve written it to help others to be able to easily re-create one of my favorite quilts (and one of The Kid’s favorites – he now has three!) but also for the express purpose of entering one of their contests. The contest is called “Sew Warm Contest 2018”.

I think this particular quilt, made using recycled denim, is one of the most comfortable and warm, yet stylish quilts that you can make. It has always made me think of a comfortable pair of jeans worn with your favorite flannel shirt – something that is comfortable without being formal. Something you can relax in.

Now here it is in a quilt!

IMG_4580I am not including the instructions for making this quilt in this post (but may sometime soon). I have a ulterior motive for asking you to go to to view, I want you to vote the tutorial (or “ible” as they are called over there). I really want to win this particular contest.

So, if I can be so bold as to ask you to do this for me, I would be most appreciative! Ask you friends and family! Ask complete strangers… okay, so I am getting a bit carried away there.

And check out while you’re there, its a very cool place to find very cool instructions on making very cool stuff of all kinds!

Thanks in advance!


Denim and Needle Point

I took a little break from the mountains of denim in my sewing room and guest bedroom. I was working on some handbags and am having a heckuva time with the machine not going through the very thick intersections and multiple thread, bobbin and needle breaks. I honestly think the machine needs servicing before I do real damage to it.

It is amazing the dust and lint and threads that come from all this denim! I took the face plate off of my sewing machine and it was just packed with blue fuzz. I cleaned it out really well, but like I said, I think it needs servicing.

My son bought me the machine when my embroidery machines started giving me troubles. It is a simple heavy duty Janome (my first non-Singer) and it just tore through everything. I love it! And I love that my son just researched it and went out and bought it for me. Guess he is not too happy with the swearing coming out of the sewing room!

Okay, so I thought I would take a break from the quilting and do a little needlepoint. Honestly, I don’t know if it is needlepoint or if it is cross stitch. I just picked up some of the cloth you use and found pictures I like and did it. I didn’t follow a guide or anything, just started weaving that needle in and out.

So I started with this cartoon:

PIN Cusion Image 2So a few nights watching the new season of “Black Mirror” and then the “Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” and I ended up with this:

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The side is a waistband from one of those thousands of pairs of jeans and then a piece of denim on the back and a little stuffing and its done. A nice break. There has been this voice calling from the sewing room and I’ve got another idea for a denim quilt, so off I go!

In the middle of all this, I made this Mexican beef for burritos. I’ve been craving Mexican food so now I have it!

IMG_4505Thanks for dropping by!


Denim Quest: Projects 11 & 12

I actually finished these two projects a couple of days ago, just waiting for the weather to get nice enough that I could take them outside to do the photographs.

Well, it wasn’t getting any warmer and I needed to air the house out (long story, but a burner was left on unlit and the house filled up with gas) so I figured while it was the same temp inside and out, I’d get the photos taken.

DSCN5241But, as you can see, it was cold and windy and we were trying whatever it took to get those pictures and get back in the house… QUICK!

So, I worked on another ‘log rails’ only in an even larger size. While I was precutting all of the denim, I ended up with quite a few pieces sized 6″ x 24″. I am going to use these in all of the ‘normal’ patterns, like the fence rails and braids. I think it is interesting to go bigger rather than smaller in some of these patterns.

Here is are the fence rails using the large pieces:

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Now, that’s a big quilt… it tops out at 84″ square. That’s going to be a cozy quilt once it is topped stitched and bound. I love the variety of the colors… remember that these were all once worn jeans, so that they have warmth and comfort in every piece!

This next one is kind of a experiment for me.


I don’t do many quilts that are specifically for me, but this one is a quilt based on a photo of my son’s face.IMG_0806

I took a favorite photograph in Photoshop and reduced it to four shades. Streeter

From there it was enlarged many times (thanks to the services of Office Depot). The photo printed out on four sheets of 24″ x 36″ paper.

I took those and taped them all together.IMG_4430I then carefully cut it into the separate pieces based on color. I used a wash-away adhesive to adhere the pieces to a single piece of denim. Once the top stitching is done (and I expect nothing but perfection from my long arm quilter), then the adhesive can be washed away.

DSCN5246I really liked the way his face is offset in the photo and am contemplating stitching or embroidering his name into the quilt below it. There is a very special place in the house where this is destined to go. I just love it!

I have been working on a few more quilts and I also have some ideas for handbags and carry bags to be made from waistbands. I also have a log cabin style quilt in the works from the waistbands.

Having this spate of cold has sure made it easy to justify staying indoors! And what could be better than making quilts and sewing?!


Denim Quest: Projects 8, 9 & 10

Well, I’m starting to feel like I am making some real progress! The piles in the sewing room, outside the sewing room and in the guest bedroom are starting to diminish and some are even disappearing! There are still projects ahead and of course, the pile of quilts that need the top stitching grows all the time.

Project 8:

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This quilt started out with the medallion – which was really an experiment. I thought the use of harvested fabric that had the removed pockets, but as I look at it completed, the medallion shape sort of gets lost because of it. I might try this again, however, I would make the medallion larger and perhaps use the larger squares as well. This particular quilt is 5″ squares, but I think a larger medallion with 8″ or even 10″ squares might be the trick.

Project 9:

DSCN5236DSCN5237I really like this one and so does The Kid; he has already claimed this one! Like he needs another quilt on his bed!53647418560__736E739E-FDCC-4711-9B54-2C4863C97F50.JPG

This is a larger version of quilts that he is currently using. I think the original strips were 3″ x 9″, but once assembled there was some significant trimming. You can see my ‘signature’ red strip and one in the corner piece (this will have a bright red flannel backing). I didn’t quite have enough border fabric, so I improvised on the two sides with a tiny patched strip. I really like this. Happy accidents!

Project 10:

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This quilt is still in the “wait & see” category. I actually saw this block originally as one of many, in fact, the star was actually less than 10″. I took the pattern and blew it up really large and then used strips of denim to create the arms.

After sewing the strips together to make the star, I removed the paper backing, but now I am thinking I should have left it until it could be top stitched. I think this might be a real headache to do without getting the quilt all distorted.

I thought about adding a border, but just with the star alone is already 75″ square! I think it might work better this way, without a border. We’ll see, I guess.

We took the quilts outside to the front to photograph them. It was a bitter 10 degrees while we were doing this and the wind was blowing pretty well. That’s why The Kid is in the photos trying to keep them still enough to take the photos. In the short time it took to hang and take the photos, we both had numb fingers and faces. I don’t know if you live in a colder part of the states (of the world?) but our memories of the last few winters were pretty warm and almost coat-less. In fact, it was in the mid-fifties until Christmas and then a real cold front moved across the nation. At least we only got minimal snow (*fingers crossed). These are the days when I miss California the most!!

Well, a few hours and we’ll be into 2018. Wow. Time sure flies!

Happy New Years

Happy New Years folks!


Denim Quest: Projects 6 & 7

Okay, two more done. Ish. Done-ish. Oh, you get it.

And should I mention that I have not been sleeping real well. So slinging denim and hunched over the sewing machine for hours… ah, I digress. In actuality, if I could figure out a way, I would make quilts for a living.

So, on to the projects du jour.

The first one I put together awhile back. Just been sitting on a shelf waiting for borders. And with the recent purchase of 16 million yards of denim, well, now I have no excuse.

Project 6:

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I really like this one with the stars. It feels like a real quilt, rather than just patchwork of old pieces of jeans. Which is so like many quilts, so, I should stop while I am ahead.

Project 7

This one is made of a more unusual material harvested from the old jeans: inside seams! (Which I just found out are referred to as “fell flat seams” like this:

Jean SeamsThe seams from the back and crotch go into this as well, when they represent a significant length. Most of the time, to get really long unbroken seams I will leave in the ‘intersections’ of the seams, but in most cases I will try to remove them when they’re too bulky. Unless you have a heavy duty sewing machine, you’re going to lost your cool sooner or later as these “knots” (as I call ’em) will break your thread, break your needle and in the worst conditions, break your machine!

Okay, back to the quilt:

IMG_4477There she is! It is about 90″ long and about 70″ wide. I argued with myself back and forth on adding a border, but in the end, I think it will go without. I think just about any borders would pale in comparison and take the emphasis of the quilt away from its uniqueness. The backing is a deep indigo blue flannel that is just so soft. Once it is top-stitched (I am thinking blue jean “yellow orange” stitching) to help keep this beast together.

A few more photos:

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Only about four or so more quilt tops that need attention. If I can continue in this manner, should be no problem!


Denim Quest: Project 5

Just because I have “finished” five projects, doesn’t mean it was start to finish. Often – as many of you – like to have multiple projects going. With this obscene amount of denim, I knew that there would be projects that I would start almost simultaneously. As I wrote in my last post, there are definitely days (actually most days) when I just want to sew and thus have many projects in “almost done” status.

Today’s project is made entirely out of blue (and some black, white, grey and even some tan) jeans’ waistbands. They first had their belt loops removed and then the button tack and their button holes. Still trying to figure out if there is anything I can do with these ends…

So, for today’s reveal:

IMG_4473It wasn’t planned, but they finished all about the same size and was relatively easy to cut them to 24″ square.IMG_4475At first, it was relatively easy to sew together. First in three rows and then the long strips together… that was when it got slightly more difficult and required help.IMG_4474With The Kid’s help maneuvering the large, heavy strips, I finally got it assembled. Creating the back – a solid deep blue flannel – was a breeze.

The next step is that the both of us are going to sit on the coach and trim threads!!

Let me know if you have questions about any aspect of the denim quilt series. I love comments and questions!


Denim Quest: Projects 3 & 4

Wow, am I glad that it is cold and snowy out – otherwise I would be slightly upset about spending so much time in front of my sewing machine.

So, I have been determined (and so far, so good) on getting all the denim projects done. Today, I readied two more for my wonderful, tolerant and happy long arm quilter – hi Becky! If you’re looking for a longarm quilter check out Collis Country Quilting. If you’re interested in contacting Becky, you can reach here on her Facebook page: Collis Country Quilting. She can also be reached via email at:

I’ve had a number of partial quilt tops created, but wanted to add sashing to them and prep the backing fabric. There are many, many, MANY days that I love to just go up to my sewing room, load a few good movies and just sew, sew, sew! The tops have been piling up, along with all of the flannel I intended to use as backings. So, now is the time to get things done!

Here is the first quilt that was treated with 6″ borders.

braided-2.jpegYeah, that’s me hiding from the camera in the upper corner 🙂

This is one of my favorite patterns, I call it “braids”, made using 2″ x 6″ pieces. I have done several of these in denim and are always quickly claimed. My son has two of them!

The borders were initially supposed to have a woven corner from the inside seams of jeans. I sat for a bunch of evenings weaving them using fabric glue. They are very cool looking but…

…they are also very bulky and in trying to add it as the corner on the border, I ended up breaking three needles!

Realized that I had made them 8″ instead of 6″, I cut each one down, only to end up not using them. And now I have a huge pile of them and not sure what to do with ’em! Ideas?

That was enough. I switched to leftover pieces from the quilts that I made using the pant leg hems.Braided 1I started using just the tiniest bits of red in the denim quilts as a sort of signature. Having this red piece (and one more in a corner) I opted to use the bright red flannel for the backing fabric. It is STUNNING.

Braided 3The next quilt was my little hexie quilt experiment. I am very happy with how it turned out, I simply appliqued the hexies onto four equal pieces of white denim. It worked better than I could have hoped!

HexiesIt came together so well you can’t even see the seams! Added a border of 6″ squares alternating with 2″ x 6″ strips and prepared the backing fabric, more of the bright red flannel – to match the red hex – and it, too, is ready to be top quilted.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to continue the push and get at least two more ready to be quilted. It has gotten very cold around here, a whopping 10 degrees (unusual considering a week ago it was in the sixties) and it sure isn’t enticing me to leave the house!!


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