Q for you re blue jean quilts

bev2009April 27, 2012

A group of ladies and myself will be making quilts to send to a children's home for Moms and kids with HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso, Africa. I have a lot of my son's blue jeans here and thought about making blue jean quilts. I imagine they will have to wash these by hand. Do you think they would be too heavy for the Mom's who often aren't feeling well?

If you think it would be OK...I was thinking 6" squares and just backing them with fabric. I know they like color and Blue Bamboo has a great sale going. Or should I just do the quilt unbacked and fray the edges. Do they hold up well that way? I don't want them to fall apart quickly.

Thanks for the advice...you guys are the best!

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I have made several denim/flannel rag quilts and I would hate to hand wash them. I do think they are too heavy and would take a while to air dry. I also have made rag quilts with just cotton and a light batting. I think a lighter fabric might be better. I have a rag quilt made out of polyester squares that I think will definitely last longer than me.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:25AM
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I hadn't thought about polyester, since we usually use cotton in quilts, but I bet they would hold up longer. I bet if I put the request on FreeCycle I could get some polyester.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I have a little polyester. If you will send me your address, I'll send it to you. I need to start downsizing and this would be for a great cause!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:18AM
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I think the denim would be too heavy - I have made these and they take forever to dry even with high heat. I would opt for just about anything else to send to them. Polyester would dry much quicker, but can be quite heavy also.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I guess I'm going to be odd 'man' out. I do not use a modern washer, so my laundry is not 'spun' to near dryness but hung quite wet by today's standards. I hang all my clothing, winter and summer. An un-batting blue jean quilt does not take any longer to dry than pairs of blue jeans and they dry within a few hours in the sun.....something Africa has plenty of, btw. These may not be used for cover, but would make just excellent bedding for throwing down on a bed pallet. They are durable past all belief, and long past thin quilts of polyester or cotton. I can see a use for them in tropical countries. Not as bed-covers but to lay down to nap upon. Denim is a luxury in other parts of the world, and jeans are very popular. My extended family loves to pick their jeans up when they visit America because of how much cheaper they are here than even Europe. I suspect younger kids would really prize such an item.

Perhaps you may want to make some lighter quilts for use as cover and throw a few denim ones into the mix for other uses.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:38AM
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My family loves raggedy demin quilts and they last forever!

I'm sure they will find a use for them!!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:21PM
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csackett, thanks! an email is on the way. Now I wish I hadn't given away all my polyester when we moved seven years ago.

callipoe, you're right, they do put then down on top of their pallets. I can get the size of their pallets and make some of the demin just to fit that and the polyester and any cotton we do larger so they can wrap that around themselves.

Last year we mailed the quilts and it cost a fortune. At least this year they will be hand carried back.

Thanks for all you advice!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:57PM
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I would think that the seams in a denim quilt would not be very comfortable to lay on.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Maybe do fewer seams, like using long strips of jeans leg pieces instead of 6" squares? And use batting and backing to make it a soft pad? Of course, batting and backing gets back to it being heavy to wash and slow to dry.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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I made a denim (used old Levi jeans) and pillow ticking quilt for DH many years ago, he still loves it. But, it just about killed my sewing machine, very heavy Levi jeans denim. It's a good thing I used a very simple block, anything with lots of seams would have been impossible.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Just reading through all the messages made me think of one of my sewing friends who made denim quilts for her grandchildren. She used a sheet as a foundation and laid the denim pieces on it crazy-quilt style - so the edges butt up against each other, and zig-zagged the edges together with colorful thread. So there were no bulk denim seams, and the quilts were just above the weight of jeans with the sheet added, but the sheet made a clean finish for the backing.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Karlene, sounds like a good idea and easier on the machine too. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Great plan!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Amy Ramsay

How did she do the edges? A roll-over for binding?

    Bookmark   last Friday at 8:58PM
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