Make a Recycled Denim Quilt

Denim Quilts

We all have them, that pair of jeans that fit us a years ago but not anymore! You know you do! They are either too large (yay!!) or too small (ut oh..) Why not use that GREAT fabric, that has been laundered a gazillion times, it is soft, and feels great to the touch.

There are hundreds of patterns on the web about making quilts with denim. Just Google it or look on Pinterest!














Let's make a quilt with your old denim blue jeans

denim rag quiltOf course, there are the 'rag quilts', where you take a square or rectangle of denim, batting and backing. Do a quick X quilting stitch through the three layers, and sew those packages together.

With this method, it is considered a "quilt as you go", so no quilting at the end, and no binding!

When you finish sewing the blocks together and clip the seam allowances, that's it, it's finished! No Muss, No Fuss, REALLY SIMPLE!!!

Then you just need REALLY good scissors to clip it every inch or so around the seam allowances, wash, dry and wa-la- rag quilt.


I Don't Have Enough Old Blue Jeans

Sure you do! But, if you don't have enough jeans of your own, just make a trip to the local Goodwill or thrift shop to purchase a few more.

Goodwill/Thrift Store Shopping Tips:

    • Different days, they have better discounts on items that have been there for awhile
    • When shopping look for the X-L or larger size jeans. XL means MORE fabric.
    • Different weight of denims is fine. Look for the stuff that has been laundered A LOT! This will be much softer.


OK, ESPECIALLY if you purchased some jeans at the thrift store. Who knows where they have been?? Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (a couple of glugs) in the wash cycle will get rid of any odors and other odd things that might be lurking.

Your jeans, not so much, unless you can't remember the last time they were laundered. Just sayin'

Get Your Jean Ready To Cut!

Most folks will tell you to cut along the seams, get rid of the pockets, get rid of the zippers.

Me? Not so much. I have made hundreds of memory quilts using clothing from those that have passed for over ten years. Having those pockets, sequins, labels, zippers and so on mean something. Of course it is easier to sew without the extra bulk. But, what are you wanting? Memories? Or, just a quilt.

Basic Cutting Instructions

denim memory quiltDetermine what style quilt you want. (i.e. rag quilt or a REAL Quilt). If going for the "real quilt" option, you want to determine a standard size block, and cut several squares (or rectangles) from each pair of jeans.

Partial Pockets from the jeanss are just fine. Just try to remove as much of the double layers (bulk) as possible.

"Straight of grain" is not an issue with jeans, although, if there is a pattern or design in the denim, you might want to consider.

With our memory quilts, we usually cut rectangles or squares.

The quilt to the left is from a pattern called "bricks and mortars". The 'bricks' are 6" x 10" rectangles, the 'mortars' are 2.5" x 6" rectangles of highlight fabric. In this case, we used a Texas wildflower fabric for the mortars and the borders. Notice the denim rectangles are all different jeans fabric in a random manner.

If the jeans are large, you'll be able to cut more squares/rectangles.

In the quilt shown above, it was quilted with three layers. Top, batting and backing.
See Quilt Sandwich.

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