Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Work Jeans Quilt

Even though people generally see my husband on TV and assume that he's got a fairly glamorous day job, this couldn't be farther from the truth. He brings our little guy out fishing on the weekends and will go out on the ice to hang out with my dad when he's up, but otherwise he really doesn't do all that much fishing. The majority of his work week (which is like 80+ hours in the winter) is spent in the shop. He's got a couple of mechanics to help him, but he is responsible for the design and maintenance of all of the track rigs. All of this time working in the shop means that he goes through a lot of jeans. He tears the butt out and gets terrible grease stains all over.

I just couldn't let all that denim go to waste! I've been saving jeans for years -- literally years! My original plan was to make a rag rug. (I have one started around here somewhere.) Then I found this cute quilt pattern and changed direction.

I started by cutting 2.7 million circles. Well, it felt like 2.7 million, but was really only like 200. About a hundred denim circles from the old jeans and another hundred in flannel. After sewing each denim circle to a flannel circle (right sides out) I stitched them into rows. Cutting and sewing the circles was tedious, but getting them into rows was actually kind of hard. The problem is that work jeans are about twice the thickness of standard denim. It was heavy and very hard to maneuver.

Assembling all of the rows just about threw my back out. Oddly enough, I only broke 3 needles and got like 10 errors on my machine. When I made my brother's Crown Royal quilt, I broke nearly a dozen and I think my machine spent more time beeping at me that actually stitching!

Every time I make a full size quilt, I get about halfway done and have this incredibly strong urge to quit. I can make a baby quilt and breeze through it. I can do table runners and place mats and all things kitchen related. I've even done okay with some "throw" sized quilts. But big quilts kick my butt.
I just about gave up a couple of different times, but I did finally finish the quilt. In all honesty, I had some pretty crooked quilting at the end -- the white zin was my quilters equivalent to liquid courage. It took me a couple of evenings to get it all fringed up, but I'm pretty happy with the results. The hubby seems pretty happy with the results, too. After a super long day at work, he usually crashes on the couch, so he's getting a lot of use out of this very heavy, but very snuggly, quilt. Plus, I chose fabrics that match our family room, so I don't nag him to fold it up and put it away every morning!
Above are picture of the front and back of the quilt. Of course, Molly couldn't let me take pictures of any sort without posing for a few. Notice the grease stains on the denim -- extra character, right?
This is the hubby -- enjoying his quilt. Yes, he really is sleeping -- I took this like 10 minutes ago.

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