When your favorite jeans wear out, it can be difficult to give them up. A quilt made from those perfectly broken in jeans can be just as comfy and comforting as the jeans themselves. Denim makes a very warm and heavy quilt, just right for keeping warm on cold winter nights, and recycling used jeans to make a quilt is a fun and easy activity.
It’s a good idea to back the denim with a soft fabric to make your quilt extra snuggly. I like to use flannel. Recycled sheets from the thrift store are a great source of broken in flannel for quilts.
To begin your quilt, prepare your jeans for crafting, and decide what size you’d like the squares to be. Four to six inches is a good size. Making the squares larger will make the quilt making go more quickly, but making them smaller will allow more squares to be cut from the jeans, especially the smaller sizes.
Trace and cut the squares from the jeans. I like to use a fine tip sharpie marker to trace on the denim. Generally, this isn’t the correct practice, and fabric should be marked with chalk or other washable materials, but the fine line the marker makes can be trimmed when the squares are cut out and it shows up much better on the dark material.
It can be pretty fun to cut the squares to include the pockets and belt loops as well. This way the denim quilt will have a very casual, jeans theme. And kids like to hide small toys and notes in the pockets of the quilt after it’s finished.
I like to make denim quilts in a raggy style. To do this, layer the denim with any lining squares wrong sides together and sew the squares wrong side together. Sew together the squares into strips and then sew the strips together, using a half inch seam allowance. Clip the seams on the front of the quilt every half inch or so, to about 1/8 of an inch from the stitching.
After you’ve clipped the seams, washing the quilt will make them ravel and get soft and chenille like. This will produce a very large amount of lint and fuzz. I’d recommend washing the quilt a few times after making it. While it’s in the dryer, be sure to empty the lint trap a few times during the cycle. The large amount of fuzz can pack the trap too full pretty quickly.
Reusing old jeans is a great way to make a lovely warm denim quilt. Your finished quilt will be “green” in more than one way, being made from recycled materials, and allowing the thermostat to be set slightly lower, since it’s so warm.