Patching Blue Jeans

March 2, 2012

Newly patched blue jeans

Time to patch another pair of blue jeans.  I had worn a hole in the knee, but denim is such a durable cloth that the rest of the jeans were still serviceable.  The colorful, log-cabin quilted patch will give new life to these jeans.  This patching project was quick, pleasurable, and satisfying.

Hole on the knee of a pair of blue jeans

Finding fabric for the patch from the scraps of my scraps

Sewing a log-cabin quilt block from the scrappy strips

Big enough

I used adhesive bonding to hold the patch in place.

Then I machine-sewed the patch to the jeans along the outside edge of the block.

Finally, I hand-quilted along the inside seams.

All done. Patched jeans. Ready to wear again.



My Latest Quilting Project

February 3, 2012

“Any day spent sewing is a good day.”
– Author unknown

Twilight Village place mats

“Our lives are like quilts — bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.”
– Author unknown

I finished piecing and hand-quilting another project, two placemats.  The pattern is called “Twilight Village” and I found it in The Thimbleberries Book of Quilts by Lynette Jensen.  The placemats will be a gift for a young couple as they start their married life together.

Detail of house and star blocks

Signed by the quilter!

Re-Purposed Dresses

October 17, 2010

My daughter wearing a dress given to her by her Samoan host family

When my daughter was in high school, she took a school-sponsored trip to Samoa where she stayed with a host family.  During her stay, they sewed and gave her several cotton dresses.  Now that she has graduated from college, my daughter has started going through her old things, deciding what to keep and what to donate to Goodwill.  Among the things she was ready to pass on were several of her Samoan outfits.

I know that she will likely never again wear these dresses, but it seemed hard to just give away such lovely gifts.  I decided I’d take one or two dresses and re-make the fabric into table runners and placemats, so that she can still have a keepsake of her trip, but in a usable form.  Here are the table linens I pieced from a blue print dress:

Pieced table runner and place mats from Samoan fabric

I used the “Safari” quilt block design that I found in the quilt book, New Cuts for New Quilts: More Ways to Stack the Deck by Karla Alexander.

Piecing a quilt top on my dining room table

I accomplished one of my goals — piecing a quilt top — during the library’s unpaid furlough week.  I started this project years ago, and finally got 16 Bear Paw blocks pieced.  The pattern, called “Big Bear Lodge” by Country Threads, actually called for 35 Bear Paw blocks, but I decided to make a wall hanging instead of a bed quilt so I could stop after 16 blocks.  And then those 16 blocks sat in a pile for even more months.  It definitely was time to finish this project.

I set up my sewing machine on the dining room table, plugged in the iron nearby, and got out my stash of red and off-white fabric scraps.  Then I sewed for a good part of three days.

First I sewed the 16 blocks together in a square separated by narrow strips of sashing.  Then I sewed 124 Flying Geese blocks, in assorted reds, for a border.  Each Flying Geese block is 1-inch x 2-inches in the final quilt, and it took me one full day to sew all these tiny blocks.  Finally, I sewed the Flying Geese blocks into strips and sewed them, as a border, around the Bear Paw blocks. 

I finished the piecing, but I’m still not quite done.  I still have to find batting and backing and hand quilt it.  That will be a project for this winter.

I think this is one of the prettiest quilt tops I’ve made! 

Sewing the Bear Paw blocks together with sashing

I always press each seam as I go.

Piecing 124 tiny Flying Geese blocks

The dining room floor while I'm working

We can't eat at the dining room table while I'm quilting.

Starting to sew the Flying Geese blocks together, then pressing flat

Assembling 31 Flying Geese blocks into a long strip for the border

And here's the pieced quilt top, called "Big Bear Lodge" by Country Threads


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