If you’ve ever wondered what to do with old jeans, you might like to read my post about turning them into a fun quilt. It’s a great eco-friendly project that results in an incredibly warm quilt that is also quite a conversation piece. I’m revisiting that project for you today, but with an extra touch — embroidery.
A few months ago, my four-year-old niece saw me while I was in bed sick with a cold, and covered up with my super-warm jean quilt. She was fascinated by it, especially when I explained that I had made it from old jeans. A week later, when she was feeling ill herself, she asked her Mommy if she had a “sick blanket made from old jeans”, which would surely make her feel better. She did not, of course, but when I heard the story I knew right away that I would be making her one soon.
So I set out a month ago to make my niece a jean quilt as a Christmas present. I used mostly the same construction techniques as before, but with a few variations. The biggest embellishment I made was to embroider a cute design onto every other block. I did this with my new Singer Futura CE-150 electronic sewing and embroidery machine. (This machine is absolutely fantastic, and I’ll write more about it later, when I’ve gotten more experience with it. I’ve got so many fun projects in mind!) For the embroidery designs, I chose fun images that she would like, and I did them all in pink and white, since her favorite color is pink. I also did three blocks with her initials on them, which I put in the center of the quilt.
Once the designs were embroidered, I cut all the denim pieces into 5″x5″ squares. I alternated embroidered and plain blocks in the middle, in a checkerboard pattern. Then I put a row of plain blocks all around the edges. I sewed them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
My quilt was 9 blocks wide by 9 blocks long, and with seam allowances, the finished product ended up being about 40″ x 40″, which was plenty big enough for a child’s blanket.
When the jean blocks were all sewn together, I backed the whole piece with some batting and then with a super-soft, plush throw blanket that I picked up at the store for about $6 (which was much cheaper than buying plush fabric by the yard). I machine quilted the entire piece by putting a row of stitches along each side of every seam. I brought the edges of the plush around to the front of the quilt and sewed them down, so that it had a nice, soft, finished edge.
When my niece opened the box with the quilt in it on Christmas morning, she instantly jumped up and down and then wrapped herself with it, and was so excited to have her very own jean quilt. The effort I put into this was definitely all worth it when I saw her reaction!