As summer filtered away into deepest August, Rod from Carson City, Nevada decided to do something about a lingering idea. His used jeans pile had grown to 15 after going through his right knee at least as many times and he had been searching for someone to, in his words, “assemble them into a quilt versus discarding them.” Cue the vast and wonderful interwebs, which led him to my email.
And so it was that come fall, I opened a box to find multiple Levi’s (size 34-32), Lee, Kirkland (the Costco brand – thanks Lori!), GAP (relaxed fit), and Joseph Abboud jeans. Rod’s jeans were all retired around the same level of wear (right knee out of most, left in some), some with dark brown spot stains (Rod guessed paint, or maybe blood? He’s a hunter), all neatly folded. The charge at this juncture: pattern ideas for Rod choose from.
This random arrangement of legs in rows reminded me of a Diamond in the Square wall hanging I made a few years ago
and I wondered if this quilt style would work in this setting. After checking with Rod (and marveling yet again at the trust people place in strangers), it was a go for my first Denim Diamond in the Square.
I cut sections for fade, wear, stain spots, and pockets until there were enough for four quadrants.
This looks nice and orderly, but after the cut …
… it looks so much livelier. And now for the fun, or paradox, of quilting … sewing pieces back together
This takes time: two triangles are placed right side against each other, care is taken that seam presses are all laying in the right direction, then sides are pinned together to hold through the machine
I don’t know how well pictures and words convey the literally painstaking (needles, knees on the floor) nature of this process, but it’s a good example of how a word like “painstaking” arose in our shared language
As the whole grows in size, it pays to carefully fold it up at each step both to keep it straight and facilitate feeding through Modest Machine.
Unfortunately for my knees, this tedious work is best not interrupted because the concentration and resulting work quality might not return in matching levels. So I keep at it until all sides are done.
Quilt folkways generally call for a border around a design, so it’s time to confer with Rod. He agrees with my recommendation of a simple “strip” border, and so I paw through the pieces that remain. This turns out to be a good way to deploy the decorative potential of all those jeans pockets.
I probably spent more time than absolutely necessary selecting pieces for the border, but this part of the process was fun, and I was seeking a feeling of balance
Joining, sewing, and iron pressing continues until the border lengths surround all four sides, which means the quiltop is done
Now for a quick review of the end process that returning Patwig readers may recall:
Until that’s done, and I’ll leave off the last tedious details to show the finished quilt …
….and with this view I appreciate it much more, and the work it represents. I hope Rod from Carson City is enjoying its use, and that you enjoyed reading about its creation. Thanks for reading to the end. If you want to be sure to see more of my projects, scroll down and hit the Sign Me Up! button to subscribe, and when I publish it will come to your email automatically.