Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Denim Stars & Circles Quilt

So, I may have mentioned that I was thinking of making a "stars & circles"-style quilt. (Maybe a time or two in the past couple of days, even. (g)) Well, I've already spent some time cutting out the denim circles.

99/365 - Starting a Quilt

When I took that photo, I had between 70 and 80 circles. I have over 100, now, with a goal of 160. I think 160 circles will give me a small quilt that's still large enough to cover up with on the couch (which is how I most often use my last quilt-- a denim and flannel rag quilt constructed with the squares "on point"). 

I cut my denim from old jeans-- some my own, some given to me by family who knew I'd made other things using recycled denim, and a couple of large pair bought at a church yard sale for 50 cents each.  As you can see, some of the circles have patches of darker colors.  That's where the back pockets used to be.  Removing those pockets is a bit of extra work, but it does often give you at least another couple circles per pair of jeans. I think the color shift will add another interesting touch to the finished quilt.  Of course, if you don't like the idea of using old jeans, it's probably a much faster process to just cut into a piece of fresh denim.  It will be a different look, if all the denim is the same shade, but different doesn't necessarily mean worse. 

I used a saucer as my template for the circles and traced around it on the back of the denim, using a ballpoint pen.  (I started with a black pen, but soon switched to a purple one because it was handy, and the purple ink really stands out on the denim.)  When I get tired of tracing, I spend some time cutting out the circles.  (I've been using my spring-loaded scissors.  I'm not sure if they're the best choice for cutting circles, but so far, so good.)

Once I reach 160 circles, I'll have to go back and trace squares onto them.  Oh, and cut out 160 squares to go inside each circle. . . (Yeah, can't forget that step!)  I've been waffling among a few options, but I think I'm mostly settled on using an old flat sheet for my squares.  That means they'd all be fairly identical, but since I don't have enough scraps of fabric to make each square unique, even if I wanted to, I thought I might go the opposite direction.  I really like the look of both the "every square's different"/charm quilt style and the one-fabric style.  And I do like this sheet. . .

After they're all cut and marked, I'll have to figure out how to put them together (eek!) and decide whether to go with white or black thread. . .  Decisions, decisions!