I feel like jean quilts get a bad rap. One does not often think of jeans as something beautiful. On this, I completely disagree. I believe that jean quilts are beautiful. And they are some of the warmest quilts you can make. They don’t require batting, and they go together quick! I’ve made a few for Christmas presents this year (click here for my post on a homemade Christmas), so I’m using this post to show you how to make a jean quilt.
Have you noticed this weighted blanket trend lately? The thought is that they make you feel more secure. They help calm anxiety, and aide in better sleep. You can find these blankets for sale online. You can even find articles on how to add weights to your existing blankets. Jean quilts are heavy by nature. My husband loves napping under our jean quilts. Not because they are visually pleasing to him, but because they are heavier than our other blankets.
Jean quilts are really easy and forgiving quilts to make. You just strip the pieces together to your desired length and width, add some flannel or fleece backing, and tie the quilt with yarn.
You could get crazy with it and make the reverse out of cotton fabrics, and you could even quilt the entire thing. But isn’t necessary. The quilts look just as good, and are just as warm by hand tying them.
There is one aspect of jean quilt creation that is a huge pain in the butt. And that is cutting up all the jeans. This takes a while until you find your groove. Expect that your hands will be sore, and you lap will be full of denim fiber.
Once you have your strips of jean, you will need to iron them. Then cut them into squares. There are two things to consider when cutting out squares: 1) the bigger your squares, the less you will need to piece, and 2) not all of your jeans will be big enough to cut the length of square. I will usually cut two different square measurements so I waste as little as possible.
You can either make two different quilts with the different sizes, or you cut them in similar multiples for one quilt. What I mean by this is; if one size is 10″, cut the other squares at 5″. You could have strips of five 10″ squares, and the next strip would be comprised of ten 5″ squares. The rows will line up, and you will have a quilt with visual uniqueness. And who doesn’t love visual uniqueness?
I use a 1/4″ seam allowance, and batch sew all of my strips. I will batch sew all squares into 2 squares, then sew the 2 squares together. Followed by however many more squares I need to make the width of blanket I’m looking for.
Once I have full strips, I batch sew those. I sew two single strips together until I have a pile of two strip pieces, then sew the four strip pieces together, and so on until I reach the length of blanket I want. So easy!
Next, I add the backing. I have only ever used a fleece backing on my jean quilts, but while lost within Pinterest from time to time, I see some amazing pieced backings. Eventually I will make one. They are breathtaking!
The backing is sewn on to the jean top by placing the right sides together, and using a 1/4″ seem allowance. You will leave a wide enough hole in one side to allow you to turn the quilt right side out.
Once your quilt is turned right side out, hand sew the hole together, and grab some yarn! I use a large needle and corresponding yarn to hand tie my jean quilts. It’s easy, and with the right yarn, it looks cute.
I’ve also made a scrappy jean quilt. To do this, you just sew with wrong sides together when piecing the top. This creates a seam on the top of the quilt. It will fray with time. This tends to be a little more forgiving when you have squares that don’t quite line up at the seams.
And there you have it – a beautiful napping quilt! Naturally weighted, and cozy warm!
I still have a huge pile of old jeans, so I want to start working on a king size jean comforter for our bed. It will be warm during the winter. And since our dog sleeps on the end of the bed, I think it will hold up better to his grossness.