Monday, November 17, 2014

Here it is. The jean quilt

I wish I would have started blogging before I started this project because I would have had a lot more pictures. Either way, I will explain how to make this quilt. What I like about this jean quilt is that it's not just boring old squares like most other jean quilts. This one has pattern because of the blocks. I saw the idea on this blog, and altered it just a little to fit what I was wanting from this quilt.

This block is called the disappearing 9 patch. If you google it you can find a ton of good tutorials on how to get started.

First you gather a bunch of old jeans....really, a ton. Then you cut them up. There are better ways to cut up jeans than I knew at first so I feel like I wasted a lot of jean at the beginning. But, you can also look that up too and find better ways to do it so you don't waste a lot.

Then after you have as much jean as you can get from your stash. I had 16 blocks so I cut around 200 squares so that I would have a good variety of combinations to work with. Then I used what I had left to cut the strips. Now, I didn't really measure the length of each strip. I just made sure that it was at least 17 inches long. I did make all the strips 3 inches wide though.

Next, lay out your squares in groups of nine. Again Creative Chicks has a good picture of this. Sorry, I don't. Then sew them together. When you're sewing them together, take 2 squares and put the right sides together and sew a strait stitch down one side. Then add the third square, on the same row. Do that to all three rows. Make sure you iron each seem. It makes sewing all of it together so much easier. Then you sew the rows together the same way. Row one and Row two with right sides together, then add row three. Do that with all the squares.

Then you're going to cut the squares right down the middle twice. This is what makes it a "disappearing" 9 patch. Then you just rotate the squares to get the pattern you want and you sew them together like you did the first time except this time you'll only have four blocks instead of nine.

Once all of those are sewn together, you need to play them out so you can put them in the pattern you want. This is where I started taking pictures :) . Lay the strips out too.

Sew the strips onto the blocks. Wait to sew the boarder on last though. I sewed the top strip and the side strip to all of the block first. Then I sewed the blocks all together before I sewed the boarder on.

When everything is sewn together, you need to pick out a backing and batting (the inside of the quilt). I used flannel. Its the most common fabric to use for these quilts and many other quilts. It's soft and warm. And I just got a small bag of thin batting from Joanns. The worst part of quilting for me is the math. I've never been good at math. This is what usually overwhelms me in piecing a quilt and I end up having my cousin and grandma help piece it so I can quilt it. Anyway, my point is DON'T PANIC! If you need help with the math, don't be scared to ask the people who are cutting the fabric for you. I love the Fabric Mill in Orem, Ut. They are always very good to help. But if you don't have one of those where you live. The people at the cutting counter should still know how to help you decide on the amount of material you need, if you let them know the size of the top or even how big the blocks are and how many you have of them. Make sure to get extra for the binding.

So, because of the way fabric is sold, you almost always have to sew your backing together to make it fit your quilt. This is a great chart to help. Again, if you have questions you  only need to ask someone. They will be happy to help.

Then you're going to pin it all over with those big safety pins. 

And start the tying. You can youtube a tutorial but all you really do is tie a square not and then cut the yarn. I'd use a medium weight yarn. I used a heavy weight and ended up having to divide the strands in half to make it thin enough to get through. Tape the end of the yarn to thread it through the needle if you need too. I did my ties on the back but you can do it either way. 

Once you have it all tied, you're going to bind it. This was the hardest part for me because jean is so hard to had sew through but it was worth the work. So instead of making a binding, I just folded the extra backing up over a little of the jean and hand stitched it. Make sure you cut the batting to the size of the top but leave about an inch of the backing to bind with. I folded the binding over a little bit and then folded it again over the jean. That way it wasn't a raw edge showing. Start by grabbing a little of the jean underneath the binding and then work the needle up through the edge of the binding.

Thats it! It seems like a lot of work, but this is a great starter quilt because its pretty forgiving. And look how good it turned out! 

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