Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easiest Denim Quilt Instructions- part 2

Ready for part two of the easiest denim quilt ever?  If you haven't read it yet, here's part one.

You will love these quilts... They are frugal (save those worn out jeans), warm and aesthetically pleasing too.  I am including instructions for both twin and crib sized quilts.

**note: as far a colors go... the colors listed below are just a suggestion.  I have also used white denim, and even dark green, black and khaki as well.... pretty much whatever I have on hand.  The splash of unexpected color can be refreshing in a sea of blue pieces!

Cutting list: Twin sized denim quilt
24 light blue 6 1/4" squares
23 medium blue 6 1/4" squares
23 dark blue 6 1/4" squares
70 3" x 10 1/2" medium blue rectangles
70 3" x 10 1/2" dark blue rectangles

The finished twin sized quilt will be 5 blocks wide by 7 blocks long.  (approx. 61" x 86")


Cutting list: for Crib or youth bed sized quilt
10 light blue 6 1/4" squares
10 medium blue 6 1/4" squares
10 dark blue 6 1/4" squares
30 3" x 10 1/2" strips of medium blue denim
30 3" x 10 1/2" strips of dark blue denim

The finished crib or youth sized quilt will be  3 blocks x 5 blocks. (approx. 36" x 64")

It is possible to cut all of those pieces with scissors, but it is much easier to cut them with a rotary cutter and mat.  Not only is it faster to cut them that way, but the pieces will be more uniform in size which makes it easier to sew your quilt together.

Here are the pieces you will need for one quilt block.
 To sew your first block together, you will first need to cut all of the 6 1/4" squares in half diagionally once.  Each square will be cut into two triangles. Watch that rotary cutter blade... it is super, super sharp!

For your first quilt block, choose two squares of different values, like a light blue and  a medium or dark blue.  As mentioned above, cut each of the two squares in half diagionally once.  Those four triangles will be sewn together to form the center of your square. 

To begin, take two triangles of different colored denim and sew them together along a short side, right sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Do the same thing with the other two triangles of denim.
Next you will sew the pairs of triangles together.  This will form the center of your block.  To cut down on bulk, it is best to hold the seams so they are going opposite directions when you sew the pairs of triangles right sides together.

 Here is the back of the center of your block, with all four triangles sewn together.
 Next you will be sewing the long strips that form the outer part of each block.  Begin by choosing two pair of strips (two medium blue, two dark blue).  To begin sewing them, you will place the first strip, right sides together, lining up one end with the center square of triangles which you have already  sewn.  Don't worry... the strip is supposed to be longer than the center pieces. 

Begin sewing the side  strip to the center square, but do not sew all the way to the end of the pieces. Stop sewing 2" short of the end of the center square. (see photo above)

Open that side strip out and place the next side strip along the outside of the center square.  It will extend along the whole length of that side.  Sew this strip  on the whole length of that side... it should match up  perfectly.

Using the last two strips sew them on the same way and then you will be able to sew down the final strip which you couldn't fully sew down before.

Ta-Da!  You have finished your first denim quilt block.  Once you have completed the blocks required for each quilt, you can sew them together and form your quilt top! 

Here's a quilt top that Abbie recently finished.  Should be a fabulous Christmas gift, don't you think?
You have several options for finishing your quilt.  The first time we made these I used cotton quilting fabric for the back and Warm and Natural cotton quilt batting for the interior.  This worked just fine, but it can be a hassle to layer, sew and tie so much fabric.  Plus, the quilts were almost too warm that way!  Now I like to use fleece fabric for the back of the quilt.  Fleece goes on sale so often that I pretty much refuse to pay full price any more!

If you want to use batting and a sheet or cotton fabric for the backing of your quilt you will need to layer like this: first spread your quilt top out, right side up, on top of that place your back, right side down (against the right side of the quilt top), and finally place your batting on top.  Being sure that there are no wrinkles in any of your layers, pin them all together, especially around the edges.  Sew all of the layers together using a 1/4" seam allowance, being careful to catch all of the fabric in your  seams.  Don't sew quite all the way around your quilt.  You will need an opening so you can turn your quilt right-side-out.

If you are going to use fleece for your quilt back all you need to do is layer your quilt top and the fleece right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving an opening for turning right side out. 

Once you have turned your quilt right sides out, you will need to slip-stitch the opening closed.

To finish your quilt and hold all of the layers together, you could quilt the quilt by hand (if you have super-strong hands to quilt through the denim!) or with  a machine.  Or you could tie your quilt.  I usually tie my denim quilts.   I  like to use a nice thick cotton thread to tie with... like DMC Perle cotton thread.  Be sure to tie your knots carefully so they won't come untied after all of your hard work!

There you have it! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me and I'll do my best to clarify.


  1. I really want to try this! Thanks for including the directions for the toddler size! :) I am still collecting jeans.

    Thanks for the encouraging words and pictures!

    Happy weekend,


  2. Great my daughter is taking a quilting and will enjoy this post :)

  3. hi have just finished your quilt with a fleece back for my son and i know he will love it - so easy and quick to make, thank you. we had all the aunties and uncles and his grandad donate their jeans, so a real family present to go under the tree for him to open on christmas day.

  4. ~jacquisj, Wow! So cool that it was a group effort... I'd love to see a photo, if you have opportunity. Merry Christmas!

  5. can you publish a photo of the finished quilt so I can see how you tied it?

    1. I'm sorry, I don't have a picture to post right now. I have used both yarn and pearl embroidery floss with success. I simply used a large-eyed needle and sewed through all layers of the quilt, from the top down, then back up to the top. We simply tied the ends together in a knot. I think that the girls and I tried to tie through the center of each piece of denim on the quilt.

      I hope that helps a bit!


  6. If I wanted to do 1/2" seems, what size would I need to cut out the squares and rectangles? Sorry, I am not the smartest quilter here! Thanks!

    1. Good question! I could try to figure it out for you, but I'd actually encourage you to try making it the way the directions say because the denim is so stiff that it is easy to not get the pieces lined up exactly right when sewing. If you do it the way I describe you'll have a bit more margin for error there.


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