Denim! Is There Anything More American?

I started thinking about this as baseball, apple pie and denim. We Americans love our jeans!

I played around with the waistbands that I harvested from 50 or 60 pairs of jeans. I’ve already sewn the pairs together and it is going to be handful. I am thinking that this might work… lay them in pairs and then piece them together:DSCN3709

Due to the heaviness of the denim and the small neck opening on my sewing machine, I am going to have to simply add the pairs to the existing piece. Usually, you sew two together, then sew two of those together. Then sew the 4’s to other 4’s, etc., but like I said, that will create way too much bulk and weight. And way too quickly!

I’ve been trying to varying the lengths, but they are all over the place. The piece will also inevitably get longer than it is wide, so I am thinking that maybe four large pieces placed ninety degrees to each other.

Here’s a mockup to show you what I mean, only you have to use your imagination to include many more waistbands and the thing being a whole lot bigger!

Waistband Quilt ConceptI haven’t been able to decide what to do with the metal clasp/button. They wouldn’t be nice to lay on or step on and most of the time they aren’t lining up with the band below or above it. But I think it is kind of an essential part of a pair of jeans, so I am tempted to figure out a way to use them. I guess we’ll see.

Another thing that I’ve not decided if I will resew the belt loops back down or glue them – either way it will have to be a lot of hand work. I like the look of the belt loops, but this is going to be a heavy and it won’t be able to be top stitched – so not a “real” quilt. But it is going to be heavy and warm, I promise! So far, I’ve not lost a single needle yet to this work, as the waist bands are generally only two layers thick, unless you hit one of those &@#$! belt loops. :-\ And wow, with the zigzag stitching, it is using up a LOT of thread and bobbins! I have been trying to use a light blue matching thread on top, and white for the bobbin.

I have to say, though, there is something inherently beautiful in denim – especially as they come out of an old pair of jeans. I had a few pieces, like from the zipper enclosure or a side pocket or seam and just love the way that the fabric fades and wears.

photoThe varying degrees of exposure to sunlight and the dimpled, wrinkled way that seams create wonderful color variations are something to behold. After I go through the ton of denim that I have to be cut into strips for the rag rug, I know I will end up with many weird little shaped pieces. I might see about just using all those weird shapes to create another quilt, less bulk might actually mean being able to top stitch it. And can you imagine using the ubiquitous gold thread to do so?

I started this during my sabbatical, but have since returned to work (three wonderful months now!). I am driving down to meet Rebecca, the woman who will be top stitching all my quilts this weekend. She has invited me to check out Collis Country Quilting – her setup and more importantly, meet. I have so many quilt tops and their backs ready to be completed… I am sure that I won’t even remember doing some of them it has been so long. I want to write a post for Rebecca and her services, so that she can continue to be available for my top stitching (I know, I am selfish!). I am so excited!

So onto the weekend!


About MacCupcake

Obviously, a big Mac fan (my first Mac was the first Mac) and mother to the most awesome kid in the world. A techno-junkie and self-proclaimed geek... I love anything and everything relating to computers. Addicted to collecting Pyrex! Also love making things and figuring out how to make or adapt existing stuff into something new! Always ready to try something new!

2 responses to “Denim! Is There Anything More American?

  1. Juanita Moore

    The arrangement is so intriguing, Julie, you might consider a wall hanging of just the denim😃

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