Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quilting the BlueJeans Quilt

Here's the finished blue jeans quilt

I laid it across the dining room table and flipped over 10 inches of the backside in order to hand stitch the binding in place. 

Let me back up a couple of photos, and show you how I quilted it on the frame.

Every job has a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

This is the beginning of the long arm quilting process.  

The dark blue fabric backing (underneath) is attached to the frame and is rolled on the leaders of the middle rail (belly bar), and the upper rail (take up rail).  Those rails advance the quilt during the quilting process. 

I like to "float" the batting and top during the quilting process.  Floating means the batting and top are laying on the backing and are not pinned to rails.  I like this method and it allows me to make minor adjustments if necessary.

Upper left of photo is the take up rail with the leader cloth rolled, then moving down you see the leader cloth with reference marks so the batting and quilt top are straight.  And as you can see, I've already started my swirl and fish tail design.  Ha Ha my new design I call Fish Feathers.  

I had such fun making the blocks for this quilt with 3 pair of old blue jeans, including pockets, and a zipper.  I put the zipper block at the bottom of the quilt.

Mamma mia, the quilt got heavy using even small portions of blue jeans along with the cotton scraps, so I opted to use polyester batting (lighter weight).  The denim shows the quilting nicely.

I didn't quilt the blue jeans pocket blocks for several reasons.  1) I wanted to keep it fun so the pockets can open.  Hey, even the zipper works on the zipper block.  2) I didn't want to risk beating up my quilting machine stitching over the blue jeans heavy duty seams.  3) Not quilting the pockets made the block puffier, and it stands out from the other blocks.  

For fun, I embroidered bugs on some of the blocks: grasshopper, bee, dragonfly.

Some blocks I hand sewed fabric yo-yos and buttons.

Here's the beast, coming off of the frame--quilting finished.

After I removed the quilt from the frame, I turned it over on the back and draped it so you could see how I make the backing wider, to make a 90 x 100 ample queen, and to accommodate the side clamp tension during the quilting process.

I like adding the swath of extra fabric--to reintroduce the colors used on the top.

Working in the studio--I am reminded one of grandpa Bert's favorite sayings, "The Early Bird Gets the Worm"

This is a great way to plow through piles of fabric scraps.  For me, it is more than using up the scraps, it's modern art
every block is different

This morning, I finished sewing another quilt top 90 x 100 Queen.  It is the arrowhead block, designed by  Anita Grossman Soloman--a class I took on  


  1. That quilt is a masterpiece! Just beautiful, and I really like all the detail you've put into it.
    The love just shines!

  2. What a colorful quilt. Very creative, but I'd expect nothing less from you. I wonder how many girls would part with a pair of old wornout blue jeans. Nowadays that's when they like them the best! Thanks for showing your latest creation.

  3. Dear Mrs. D.,

    Your quilting is indeed a wonderful piece of modern art, and I am enjoying your witty inclusion of the pockets and zippers. I know that whoever uses it will find joy in it.

    And I am using and enjoying the Ruffnerian bag you created — it always elicits admiring comments!

  4. Looks great Mrs. D! I also like the little touch of colour on the back.

  5. Fantastic quilt, idea, piecing, quilting and back! This quilt must have a lot of memories associated with it from all the fabrics and jeans.