How to cut and piece denim from old jeans to make quilt blocks

Yesterday I took the first step in making a denim quilt featuring clothing. The work was accomplished with the help of these OLFA and Omigrip tools.

Omnigrip rulers and OLFA 60mm rotary cutter

Yesterday, I cut the legs off five pairs of jeans, then squared them off after I cut them open. My first idea for making this quilt was going to be simple – take the pant legs and sew them end to end, as shown in the photo. Once I auditioned the clothing on the denim, I didn’t like the look or the size, so I took it all apart and came up with plan B, which is what today’s post is about.

First attempt at the denim quilt

Plan B is to make large blocks. The size of these blocks was not difficult to determine. I measured the width of all 10 pant legs. The narrowest pant leg width was approximately 14½”. I could therefore certainly get 14” x 14” squares. Unfortunately, none of the pant legs were long enough to get two blocks, but I got rectangles. Once every block was cut, I cut 7¼” x 14” rectangles from what was remaining from the legs. I also calculated I’d need an additional two pairs of jeans for a total of 14 pant legs.

Note: When cutting out the blocks, it’s not important to keep the leg’s seam centered in the block. If some of the seams are more to one side of the block than the other, it’s ok.

Cut a 14” x 14” square from each pant leg.

From the same pant leg, I cut out a 7¼” x 14” rectangle.

Cut a 7¼” x 14” rectangle from each pant leg.

I then sewed the 7¼” x 14” rectangles by mix matching them into pairs to make six more 14” x 14” blocks. You need a total of 20 blocks to make this quilt.

As I was sewing, I noticed two rectangles with flaws; one had a hole and the other one had a rip. I made sure to sew them together with the hole and rip toward the center of the block.

When possible, sew defects in the pant legs together.

The fix for this was simple. From the upper part of one of the pair of jeans, I cut a larger square. I then put a piece of HeatnBond Non-Woven Light Weight Fusible Interfacing – 50.8cm x 22.8m (20″ x 25yds) large enough to cover the hole. I then fused it to the inside of the piece of denim.

Fuse a piece of HeatnBond fusible interfacing to the back of a piece of denim.

I adjusted the TrueCut 360° Circle Cutter to make an approximate 6” circle.

Use the TrueCut 360° Circle Cutter cut a circle.

Cut circle.

Cut circle

I then fused the circle over the section with the torn denim.

Fuse circle over torn denim.

It’s now time to select a thread from the Gütermann Denim Love Nostalgia Box for machine applique.

Select a thread from the Gütermann Denim Love Nostalgia Box.

I machined appliqued a single blanket stitch around the circle.

Machine applique a single blanket stitch around the circle.

I enjoyed selecting and using thread from the Gütermann Denim Love Nostalgia Box for my machine applique. I’m now looking forward to using more of these threads.

The Gütermann Denim Love Nostalgia Box with 12 shades

Tomorrow, in addition to sewing the two pieces of clothing to the quilt top, I’ll be adding some interest to the quilt top.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: OLFA cutters cut through denim with ease – Make a denim quilt

Go to part 3: Gütermann Denim Love Nostalgia Box INSPIRES a creative denim quilt

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