Denim Rag Bedspreads and Pocket Pillow Shams


| 9/30/2016 9:29:00 AM


Tags: Sewing, projects using old jeans, sewing with blue jeans, using snipping shears, denim bedspreads, denim pocket pillows, Mary Conley, Nebraska,

Mary ConleyDear Friends,

Once upon a time, many, many, many years ago, I decided to save all our worn-out denim jeans. I had some here and there in sacks in our attic, but eventually found a tall box, and continually added to it until the box was overflowing. I am now 74, and suddenly got in the mood to do something with those jeans. So, I ripped them apart, and started cutting 8x8 squares from the larger areas, 6x6 squares from the smaller parts, until I was accumulating several piles of each.

After first thinking I would sew two small denim rag throws to keep us warm while watching TV in the winter, I realized maybe I could make something bigger. I ended up deciding on two twin bedspreads. Quite a difference! About that time is when I read on the web that I shouldn't use stretchy jeans, and had to toss out my contributions to the box from the last several years. I continued to cut and cut, anyway, while realizing I wouldn't have quite enough without my stretchy jeans. The only thing I could do was become a beggar to my family, friends, and neighbors. I finally had all I needed for 140 large squares for one spread, and 221 small squares for the other. Yes, that is a lot of squares, but ... I needed to cut the same amount out of another material for the backing!

I already had a sewing machine, cutting board, and rotary cutter, and I wanted to keep my expenses down. It made the project even more fun. My only purchases were a template for the squares, five spools of thread, strong denim needles for my machine, and special snipping shears. Luckily, it was the end of winter, and I was able to purchase two sets of twin, navy blue, flannel sheets on sale, plus using coupons at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. What a bargain! What a giveaway! I started cutting flannel squares from them, and together with the denim squares I cut 280 large, and 442 small. I can't believe it either! It didn't seem like a job, but something to do here and there in snippets of spare time.

We go to our farm for the summer months, and although I'm busy gardening, processing the produce, painting, and regular household duties, there are times when I need something to do since we don't have TV or internet. I thought this project would be perfect, so I gathered up everything and took it with me. I have a large table there where I can lay everything out and not worry about the mess.

Soon it was time to sew, and I chose to work with the large squares first. I placed each denim square, right side up, on top of a flannel square and sewed diagonally from corner to corner, forming an "X." Now, some people could do it just that easily, but I pinned my squares together and marked the X lines before I sewed. I also strip-sewed, which means when you finish a line on one square, then you push in the next square and just keep going. After about six squares, I cut them apart and did the same thing for the other half of the X. This method worked especially well on the smaller squares.




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