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Ana Earl's Jeans Quilts 
 page 1 of 2

Ana Earl
Amarillo, Texas

I have 2 boys ages 19 and 22, enjoy piecing quilts, fishing and hunting are our family's hobbies, I'm a stay at home Mom and love it.

These jeans quilts have been made almost entirely of jeans scraps. When I use large denim squares I usually try to find a gathered denim skirt or a long dress at a yard sale to cut up and recycle. My boys have always liked the light colored denim jeans so I have a variety of denim shades between my husband's jeans and theirs.

[Note from Susan: Ana's very interesting and detailed comments about each quilt are under the photos.]

quilt 1. Denim Quilt - "Sandie" "AHS"

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt - Sandie quilt

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt detail

Denim Quilt - "Sandie" "AHS"

In 1996 a high school Parent Booster Club I was a member of was in need of a fund-raiser project. I made and donated this quilt and it raised over $500 in funds.
The quilt measures 61 ½ by 76 ½, the blocks measure 9 ½ x 9 ½ inches finished, and 3x3 inches dark jean squares (finished) connect the 3 x 9 ½ inch sashes. There are 30 large squares, 20 3x3 small squares and 24 3 x 9 ½ sash pieces. The jean scraps were cut from our 2 sons' old jeans as well as from old jeans donated by students at the high school. The dark denim pieces were cut from a ladies gathered jean skirt I bought at a yard sale! I strongly recommend using ½ inch seams when sewing denim; also using bigger size scraps as I broke many, many needles putting the squares and quilt together. A thin flannel blanket is between the quilt top and the back fabric. Another member of the parent club donated the time and machine quilted the quilt, using stipple on the sashes and large X's on the squares.
I took a denim fabric square to a local embroidery shop and had the school mascot put on it. I drew, cut out and appliquéd the school initials on another denim square. A friend made the small squares with the school initials on her embroidery machine using different script. At first I just sewed scraps together randomly to make the squares, then as I made more and more squares I learned that the bigger the jean scrap the less seams! Each square is different, using different shades of jean scraps to give it variety. I squared each square as I got close to the desired size of 10 x 10 (unfinished). The back of the quilt is a piece of striped denim that was 54 inches wide so it has only one seam. The lady whose name was drawn as the winner says it is the perfect size to take to football games.

The main cost of the quilt was the embroidery work but it gave the quilt a personality of it's own. Making quilts like this gives me a good feeling, especially when you catch a glimpse of them at the football games!

quilt 2. Denim Quilt - 1st Jean Quilt I Made

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt - first denim quilt

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt  - back of quilt

Denim Quilt - 1st Jean Quilt I Made

This is a special quilt; my boys have worn it out. As you can see from the picture it has been repaired many times and is in need of repair today. It measures 60 ½ x 65 ½; blocks are 5 ½ x 5 ½. Following true quilt making tradition, I made the seams ¼ inch and that proved to be a disaster when sewing denim. Since this quilt was washed several times a week the seams began coming apart, thus the many repair jobs! Our boys could eat in the "living room" as long as they were on top of "the" quilt. We would have picnics in the living room and all sit and watch Sesame Street (ages ago) together, as well as cartoons. When I unfolded this quilt to take pictures of it one of our boys asked, "are we going to have a picnic with #1 sandwiches." He remembered I would make sandwiches for our picnics, cut them into sticks and tell them we were eating the number 1! As they grew older the quilt was used as a blanket to take to the park to sit on. Eventually it transferred to the bed but because of the delicate state it is in, it is now used sparingly. Of course now it is a question of who will get the quilt after they move out! I did not have a pattern in mind when I made it, just placed the squares randomly. 

Since the time I have made this quilt I now sew ½ inch seams in the denim quilts I put together and also when possible, topstitch each seam down for stabilization. The topstitch can make for bulky seams but I work around that by being careful when sewing.

quilt pillows 3. Floor Pillows with Denim coverings - for Doug and Adam

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt pillow

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt pillow

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt pillow back

Ana Earl's Jeans Quilt pillow back

Floor Pillows with Denim coverings - for Doug and Adam

I made these pillows in 1999 for the boys to use in their college dorm room (actually they make great graduation presents). I had their names done at a local embroidery shop then I did the rest myself. I stabilized the back of some of their old High School t-shirts and cut out motifs to appliqué on squares. I made the half triangle squares from old jeans and some striped denim fabric. On the backside of the pillow I put the name or initials of the college they would be attending. 

After constructing the front and back panels, I sewed 3 sides and 1/3 on the remaining side of the pillow top. I turned it inside out and used a pre-formed floor pillow (26x26) as stuffing. It was rather awkward sewing up the opening but I found out that if I hand basted the opening closed first I could then machine sew all the way around for a decorative stitch. I made the front and back panels slightly larger then the inside pillow so I could have a "lip" left over to top stitch. The boys have commented the pillows work great to rest on, to take to the "rec" room to watch TV, or just to put on their beds. My son commented it was a pillow he could throw on the floor and not feel guilty if it got some dirt on it!

 Go to Page 2 of Ana's Gallery for Quilts #4 and 5

If you have a jeans quilt you'd like to add to the collection, I'd love to show it off for you. 
Email me by clicking here:  quilts -at- equilters.com 

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