I started my denim experiments with a cotton fabric pieced top, tied it to a pieced denim back and bound it. It was a wonderful effect, but what a chore! I had almost given up denim. When I found the "Bonnie B. Buttons" method of construction (raw seams), I took off and have made about five of these blankets and have at least two more planned. I'm also planning a couple of non-traditional pieces. I'll send photos in if they work as I'm hoping they will.
Denim is now my favorite medium. I've had an overall backpack pattern published in a magazine and I like to make jean jackets, tote bags, etc. I have a closet designated for jeans, separated by light, medium, dark, specialty, button fly, etc. Clear recycling bags are wonderful for sorting jeans.
My best tip for working with jeans would be to invest in a spring loaded pair of scissors. I have two pair. I use a regular pair to split the jeans apart, and a pair of craft snips to aid in the 1/2" finishing snips that encourage fraying. I also use a "roller foot" on my machine while piecing, and I choose a specialty stitch to construct the blanket. When I used a straight stitch, I found I would accidentally snip the threads when finishing. I use a stitch that my sons say looks like sharks teeth. I simply aim to snip between the teeth. It's a triple stitch so it takes three times as long to sew (and three times as much thread), but I figure it's three times as strong also!
Thanks for bringing denim recycling to the forefront.
My three quilts:
1) Red White & Blue Jeans Flag Quilt - This is my best jean blanket to date. My inspiration for this blanket was from a quilting pattern that I designed. I made this blanket for my oldest son. Note the wavy scalloped edge finishing technique.
2) Pic-a-nic blanket - No picnic is complete without ants and spilled koolaid. The green grass fabric has ants marching across it, and the blue fabric has green splotches splattered across it. The third fabric looks like a plaid table cloth.
3) Seashore blanket - I have a pen-friend from Malta in the Mediterranean area. I made this for her family. The fabrics are water, sand, and shell prints.
Thanks for letting me share my work!