Friday, July 20, 2012

What to do with old jeans? Make a quilt!

What to do with old jeans and a ratty blanket? Make a picnic quilt!
One of my favourite memories of Fourth of Julys past include spending time in our family friends, the Willcuts', back yard eating homemade vanilla ice cream and lazing the day away on Grandma Willcuts' jean quilt, lovingly made at least 20 years prior. I remember hiding my not-quite-totally-used napkins in the pockets scattered throughout the quilt, while making sure I didn't sit on a jean rivet because they got amazingly HOT in the summer sunshine. This jean blanket went to the lake so we could lay on our backs while watching the fireworks light up the sky. More than once, I found myself wrapped up in it, papoose-style for the chilly post-fireworks walk home. I loved that blanket. It meant home and family and togetherness, mixed with a dash of ingenuity.

Fast-forward to last summer, when Matt and I pignicked on his yellow and white picnic blanket. I knew we could do better. Soon after, I started stockpiling jeans. A few from my dad, one special pair from his (deceased) dad, a pair of his (that ratty pocket in the picture above is his), a few pair of mine, and a couple of plus-sized pairs from a charity shop. They were quite the assortment: blacks and blues and greys. 

I kept the back pockets in tact and cut out 7" squares. From the "plain" squares, I cut triangles and started piecing the quilt together in random couplings. My serger was used for the entire project.

Sun-dappled and ready for pignicking! The top pocket was Matt's dad's.
The light blue pocket is Matt's and the dark blue with wooden button is mine.
The quilt in its entirety.
I really like how it turned out. Rushing only a little, it was ready for its unveiling THIS Fourth of July at my annual Croquet 'n Potluck celebration with friends. Both Matt and I love it, and look forward to using it in the years to come as we make our own happy celebratory memories.
Matt, on his new jean quilt.

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