Upcycled Jean Quilts

I have been saving old jeans for a long time with the idea that I would eventually make a quilt or some other project out of the usable pieces. My sister-in-law even gave us some of their cast-offs to use.  It was a number of years before I actually sat down to make a quilt, but when the quilts the boys used for years began to wear thin, I decided it was time to finally put the jeans to use.

After going through various ideas for patterns and test sewing a few pieces, I decided that it would be best to make a quilt out of the largest pieces possible while maintaining some kind of visually appealing pattern.  My reasons were as follows:

Since most of the jeans were worn out at the knees, I eventually settled on using one of my rectangular quilting rulers for sizing the main pieces.  It fit well between the worn-out knee and the end of the leg lengthwise and just between the seams on either side for men's, women's and the larger youth sizes. This saved time on cutting the pieces.  I only needed to place the ruler and cut around it with a rotary cutter.  I then sketched out a simple pattern of rectangles and squares (for the ends) and calculated how many pieces I would need for a twin size quilt. For the first quilt, I had two different colors of fabric for the backing (I used what I had, which at the time was a couple of sheets) and three colors of jeans (blue, black, and cream), so I sketched a color pattern for both sides. For the second quilt, I used the same pattern, but since I only had blue and black jeans, I replaced the cream rectangles with black (see pictures below).  I only had one fabric for the back of the quilt, so I didn't need to worry about sewing the backing on in any particular order.

Front of the First Jean Quilt

Back of the First Jean Quilt

This quilt pattern was super easy because it did not require batting or joining three layers of materials.  I simply cut enough rectangles and squares for the front and back of the pattern, sewed the jean rectangles to the fabric rectangles in strips, leaving the seam up towards the jean side, and then sewed the strips together.  Once all the strips were sewn together, I sewed around the edge twice to secure the pieces together and to make it sturdy.  Finally, I cut the raised fabric on the seam with a pair of scissors every inch or so (being sure not to cut too close to the sewn seam) and washed the quilt to get the ragged look.  I used a heavy-duty thread to increase the durability and longevity of the quilt.

You could easily make your own pattern, as I did, or find one online.  The site I used for inspiration, which has very clear, step-by-step instructions, can be found here

These quilts are heavy, making them perfect for keeping warm during the cold winter.  They are also very durable, so they work well as picnic quilts or as an emergency quilt to throw in the back of your car.  I anticipate that these will last for a long time.

Front of the Second Jean Quilt