Saturday, November 8, 2014

Finish It Up Friday - Jean's Jean Quilt is done

It was so great to get a finish this week. I have already blogged about it on WIP Wednesday but when you haven't had a finish for a while its hard to let a good thing go.

Jean's Jeans Quilt.
This quilt has been my machine project for our camping holiday. Fixit Guy and I left our home in Central Queensland October 4th and have been on the road ever since... well sort of. We have had lots of stops along the way. (for between 2 and 7 days ... we did have had a couple of overnight stops that we haven't put the tent up for. One time we stayed in a motel and once we stayed with my sister)

I did all the prep for this quilt it before I left home... cutting up the jeans, marking out the circles, marking the square inside the circle, cutting all the square fabric (well they mostly came from my 5" square scrap drawer). I didn't do any sewing though and I was busting to get down to it


THe pattern I used was The Blue Jean Quilt by Penny Halgren as demonstrated on her YouTube video here

I started sewing the circles together Monday October 6th and finished it on Wednesday November 6th so that was pretty organised of me now wasn't it
I had planned to make the quilt 17 rows by 15 rows. To make the quilt I sewed 4 circles together to make one "flower". I then sewed in the coloured squares os, zigzagging the petals down on two sides to secure them.

Because there was to be originally an odd number of rows both length and breadth of the quilt I also made some 6 circle units and one 9 circle unit. Then I sewed the 4 circle units into strips with one 6 circle unit to make 7 strips 2 circle x 15 circles long. I also sewed one strip using all 6 circle unit strips plus the 9 circle unit to make one strip 3 x 15 circles.


Once I had all the strips completed  I decided I would like it a little wider. I had enough extra circles with me and almost enough of the 5 " squares. I had some other scrap fabric with me to do another project and was able to cut enough squares from that to enable me to make all the extra units. So eventually the quilt was 17 circles by 16 circles, a total of 272 circles.
I sewed all this using my little Janome Jem which, whilst being a work horse, doesn't have a very big harp to squish fabric through. Its been made a bit smaller by Fixit Guy adding some extra lights there for me. I had to be very particular how I sewed things together adding one strip at a time to the next - not making it any more than 2 or 3 units being squished under the harp to be zigzagged down. Usually I tend to keep adding to multiple units and then sew some bigger units together but this had to be just one getting added to the bigger unit at a time.
I did run into a few problems along the way. The main was that I kept getting little holes where the 4 circles would meet up. It didn't all fit neatly together like Penny's did in her video. The main reason for this I believe is that my initial circle wasn't drawn out properly. I wanted to use my 5" squares that I already had cut. So the circle had to fit the square. After some difficulty trying to work out what the radius of such a circle was my FG pointed out that I already had the diameter... just fold the 5"square on the diagonal and measure that... simple really. I did that and then halved it. However when drawing my circle I just used the "tie a pencil to a bit of string and pin the string at the length you want the radius to be  and trace around" trick... and I did it on my own and in a hurry and... I think my circle was a bit wonky. I traced off heaps of circles and then started to draw off my square and I knew straight away that the circle wasn't quite right... but since I had already traced and cut out a heap I just kept going... and as a result it wasn't accurate and so it didn't fit properly.

It meant a bit more fiddling around... a bit of darning of holes. It meant that not all the petals are the same size and its not all nicely matched up. BUT... it is done. Its on the bed. It looks lovely and its been keeping us warm. It was never going to be a show quilt. Being a bit vain I didn't take photos of the holes.

Anyway its done and on the bed and I love it

I've sewn this quilt whilst we have travelled down the Australian Eastern Seaboard from Maroochydoore to Lakes Entrance. I have sewn it  in my sons' town house, 3 National Parks, and 3 caravan parks so its been a well travelled quilt. My sewing room has been in a lot of different places. I have photographed most of them... flick back through my blog over the last month if you don't usually follow me and you can see some of the lovely places that I have been

We still have another month on the road so I have moved on to another project although it won't be a finish this trip... making the borders for a quilt that is at home still 

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday

and Mrs Sew and Sows blog


  1. It's wonderful. We can't tell that you made wonky circles and had holes to darn. I guess we can all learn from it though. My sister in law is starting a traditional one with muslin. I like yours much better.

  2. An achievement of epic proportions given the preparation, the travelling and the sorting out of issues! Great scrappy project and thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

  3. What a super scraptastic creation!! You've been diligent and it's paid off! It's gorgeous! I've always wanted to do a denim quilt and have a basket full of everyone's old jeans waiting to be cut into some shape. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just love your quilt. Great accomplishment. Excellent idea.

  5. I absolutely love this quilt! What a fantastic use of denim. It is wonderful!

  6. Thank you for sharing this wonderful quilt. I have stacks of old jeans waiting for a project. I love that this gives you a finished blanket with no need for backing or quilting. I'm putting it on my list.

  7. Gorgeous quilt. It caught my eye right away.

  8. Oh my gosh! I've Been cutting/ ripping jeans into "bricks" but I've still got loads of uncut jeans (Two daughters in early twenties!!!!) so I know what I'm doing next! Thank you