Monday, June 12, 2017

Sewing denim pointers, the AHIQ denim quilt, and more

I spent the majority of my weekend working on the AHIQ denim quilt. This quilt is going to be a present for the father next door. The family is moving and there was a pile of his jeans that he couldn't wear anymore - he said they had shrunk too much - sounds better than, like it happens to most of us, he has gained a little weight. I told his wife I would make a quilt for him out of the jeans and it could come from the kids for Father's Day.

As soon as I got home from work on Friday I got started on sewing the jeans together. Here are my top tips for sewing denim.

1. At the beginning and end of a seam, sew tiny stitches (1.5) for about an inch or so. The tiny stitches will help keep the seams from coming apart which they will with the weight of the denim and from pressing the seams open

2. Press the seam open to help distribute the weight of the fabric. I also sewed the seam slightly wider than 1/4" to again spread the weight of the seam out so I didn't have such a hump.

3. Press the seams on both the front and back and use lots of seam. I press the backside first then turn the fabric over and press the front. I try to push down on the iron to really flatten the seam and then let the fabric sit until it cools. The flatter the seams the easier it will be to quilt over the seams.

4. Clip the seam allowances. By this I mean to clip the part of the seam that ends up in another seam. I just cut it at an angle and this helps spread the weight of the material. In this picture you can see where I clipped the seam on the right vs the non-clipped seam on the left. It is a small thing but it does help reduce that extra thickness

here is a block clipped and pressed. It was improv pieced and that is why the seams don't match. Staggering the seams also spreads out the weight so improv piecing works well with denim

By end of day Friday this is how the quilt looked

By end of day Sunday, I had the quilt 62% quilted. I am doing free motion machine quilting and the design is very large to keep the quilt from getting too stiff. In this picture the quilt is hanging over the edge of my table.

I needed to use two different blocks in this quilt for the AHIQ aspect so I went with a striped block

and instead of a nine patch, I decided to go with an improv pieced drunkard path. I love the look of the different colors of denim

If you have any questions about working with denim, ask and I will try and answer. To say the least this quilt is heavy. I did use warm and natural 80/20 for the batting and regular backing fabric. I am using Aurfil in a gray/blue color for the top quilting and Connecting Thread Essential in the bobbin. I haven't figured out what I will use for the binding yet.

I had to get my AC/DC piece ready for delivery today to the art gallery. I bought a couple more patches so I need to get them attached to the quilt. The Angus devil was an iron on (and it stuck really good!) and the round patch was a sew on. The quilt is all packed in the car and ready to go.

Friday I got a good shot of the hawk sitting on the light pole.

Then this box showed up last week. It is the t-shirts for the Harley quilt for the poker run in August. I think I have bit off more than I can chew. I just don't know that I can get both the R.E.M. quilt and the Harley quilt done by August 18. Last year I kept track of my time and it took me 60 hours to make the Harley quilt and 300 hours to embroider the AC/DC quilt. That is a lot of hours of work to squeeze in the next two months.

4 comments:

Vicki W said...

That is a lot to get done in 2 months. Would it be feasible to pay someone to quilt the Harley quilt?

barbara woods bewtjw@gmail.com said...

thanks for the tips

QuiltSwissy said...

LOL do you need me to come up and help?

Kaja said...

Blimey, you have set yourself a big task. I found your denim tips very useful - I had never thought about bashing the seams down with the iron, but I think it would make life easier, even for hand quilting.