Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Recycled Patchwork Quilt

Excuse the messy bedroom!
After several long months, I've finally finished this beautiful patchwork throw. It's taken me about a year and a half, although I must admit there were several months where I hid it in a cupboard and tried to forget I'd ever started on this doomed endeavor.

I'm pleased with how pretty this quilt looks, it really brightens up the room, but the achievement I'm most proud of is that this project is made from 100% recycled material (if we discount the cotton thread used to sew things together ;) )

I decided to try this out when I had lots of old pairs of jeans, full of holes, sitting in my fabric box. The throw is made of alternating denim patches. It is 20x20 patches, which means that overall these are 400 squares! So 200 of these are denim. It took 4 pairs of jeans, a denim jacket and a denim skirt to make enough patches. I deliberately cut some patches from pockets, or over seams, so that the details remained, and you could tell a little bit about the former life of the fabric.

The darker area shows where there used to be a pocket
The seam from the leg of a jean adds a cute detail

Where two seams meet, an interesting bit of detail

This is probably my favourite denim patch!

The coloured patches are made from any scraps of fabric I could find. There are old curtains and cushion covers, table cloths and tea towels. There are cut offs from old cosplay costumes, and scraps left from homemade Christmas gifts. There's bits of at least 2 old shirts in there. I tried not to cut up anything that would be otherwise useful, and so a lot of the time it took to make this quilt was waiting for the right patches to turn up.

The backing for the quilt is an old flat sheet, bought second hand on eBay. The seller was selling a plain flat sheet and 3 floral pillowcases in a matching colour. The pillow cases didn't get put to waste; I used one to create the floral binding to edge the quilt. The two other pillow cases might be turned into craft projects, or might just adorn our bed...I've not quite decided yet!

This is more of a throw than a quilt, as I didn't use any batting. The throw is incredibly heavy already, as the denim is such a heavy fabric, and quilting through just the denim and the sheet was difficult enough, without adding an extra layer to battle through with my machine. I'm not sure I could actually lift and carry the thing if it had another layer! If you did want to make a smaller throw than this, an old blanket could replace the batting, but it really is quite warm and heavy without it!

I'm always needing denim projects, as I love to wear jeans, so I've always got a pair or two in need of recycling. This project dealt with that issue for quite a while! But I've just put a hole in another pair of jeans...what will I do with them now?!

Edit: I made a matching patchwork cushion, you can do the same by following along with my video here

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