Dreams In Old Denim

After a marathon of three weeks of working diligently I finally got the raw edge denim quilt I was working on all put together. My son and his wife had asked me several years ago if I would make them a denim rag quilt.IMG_0245 I agreed and they brought me several bags and boxes of old denim. There were his jeans, her jeans, welding aprons and I think some that they just got at a thrift store. No guarantee on that guess. But there were enough to make more than one quilt I was sure.

I agonized over how to make that quilt for something like 3 or 4 years. I didn’t want to make something just like everyone else makes with a bunch of uniform squares. Besides, I dreaded cutting hundreds of 6″ or whatever size squares from both the denim and flannel that they wanted on the back. It wasn’t until June 2015 that I had the idea of making a raw edge denim crazy quilt. I cut apart a number of jeans and welding aprons of various shades of denim from almost white to black and just about every shade of blue I could find in that stash of jeans. I pulled out my flannels and made sure that some were from the fabrics that my daughter-in-law’s grandmother had given me a few months before she passed away in early 2015. I began cutting 13 -14 inch squares of the flannel.demin blocks ready to sew There were about 64 that I cut at first, but I knew that I’d need 81 to make a king size quilt of approximately 108″ x 108″ The starting squares had to be big enough that I could cut 12 1/2″ squares after I sewed the denim pieces together.

I’m not thrilled with what I did. I had wanted to sew the denim to a thin fabric but they only wanted two layers, the denim on the front and the flannel on the back. So I did sew the crazy pieces to the flannel. That meant my fancy stitches show on the back. But they are happy with that. I explained what would happen and they wanted it that way. I think they really didn’t have a good idea of what I was going to do until I started. During the summer and early autumn I managed to make about 24 blocks.IMG_0468 Warm weather keeps me outside a lot and instead of quilting I spent most of the warm weather reading, voraciously.

When Thanksgiving came and went I decided that I needed to finish the quilt. I cut the remaining flannel squares and diligently worked on making the blocks. Some days family things prevented me from getting as much done as I wanted. As December progressed I kept sewing daily making as many blocks in a day as I could. My rats nest of scraps of denim and flannel kept growing. Still, it wasn’t going fast enough, I dropped almost everything else and spent the whole day sewing that last couple of weeks. I’d sew until my back wouldn’t let me at first, then I began to pace myself throughout the day. Making a block or two, taking a break for awhile, sitting in my rocking chair, reading, catching up on social media, or just working puzzles. That really helped, I could get a lot more done in a day. The last week and a half I did that. I really wasn’t sure that I would in fact get it done in time for Christmas. I had all the blocks completed by Tuesday before Christmas, but I still had to sew them together. Part of that was planning where to place the blocks. Since I had several different flannels I wanted them to be in some kind of semblance of order. That required discovering just how many of each different fabric I had. It turned out that, though I just cut them willy-nilly not considering how many of each fabric or how they would be organized the different fabrics were all in even numbers except one block that I had accidentally sewn the denim on the front side of the flannel. I needed at least one odd square for the middle anyway.  As I counted how  many I had of each fabric an almost symmetrical pattern emerged. Across the diagonal some of the rows aren’t exactly the same pattern, but they are in same color range.IMG_1381 To me it was a realization that, though I was not paying attention, God had his hand upon mine as I cut the various fabrics. He watches over me in even the small things. It turned out to be a nice back even if all the stitching shows through.

The kids knew I was working on it. I wanted a finished quilt to give them for Christmas.  I sewed until 3 a.m. Christmas Eve into Christmas morning.  It was all together, although I didn’t have all the seams clipped and there certainly wasn’t anyway I could take it to the laundromat to wash and dry it to make it fray even if I had gotten all the seams clipped.

After getting it sewn all together I chose not to wrap it, instead I put it on display across my 12′ quilting frame. I took some pictures and when my son and his wife came over later on Christmas morning I told them their gift was not wrapped but they had to come downstairs to see it.Dreams in Old Denim 3 They were delighted. My son told me that when he first asked he envisioned a typical rag quilt in uniform squares with the frayed edges. Looking at the one I made he said, “Mom, this is so much better!” I got lots of hugs and I know that it will be appreciated and loved for many years.

I named it “Dreams in Old Denim” and I know that there will be years and years of dreams dreamed under that old denim quilt. I hope and pray that their best dreams come true. That the plans and dreams they create as a couple while laying under that old denim quilt will come to fruition.  It was a great Christmas!

Blessing to all my readers,

Grandma Peachy


About grandmapeachy

I am a retired grandmother and amateur quilter. Generally I do not discuss religion and politics with people other than my family and even then I do more listening than talking. Because I dislike confrontation this blog is a way for me to express opinions that I hold on these and other issues without having to delve into controversial discussions with others who may not agree with me. I am also an avid supporter of indie authors. There are a lot of great books that are not available through traditional publishing and I believe that these stories need to be brought to the attention of the reading public.
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4 Responses to Dreams In Old Denim

  1. This is beautiful! I love the denim and the fact that it isn’t plain ol’ squares. This is a work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. saharafoley says:

    What a gorgeous quilt. You did an amazing job. I’m sure your children, and their children, will cherish it for years. 🙂


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