Sunday, September 19, 2010


I posted this on my family blog too, but it fits here too for upcycling. I haven't thought I've been doing anything new, just trying to maintain what I've already taken on.... and trying to get hubby to use our bags instead of the plastic store bags.

Last January I committed to attacking my UFO stash of quilt tops as my husband was out of work by saying publicly over at kleio's belly that I would work on them. Nothing like using what you already have, and not buying new things. I started to finish a knitting project, but eventually got bored, and distracted, so I stuck all of my project stuff away. A few weeks ago I bought some mesh because I want to make my own veggie bags for the grocery store and farmer's market instead of the plastic ones, but I couldn't because I had this pile of jeans on top of my sewing machine (a UFO in the middle of my work space). The intention was to take these jeans from various family members and cut them into squares, back them with flannel, and then when we travel buy patches as souvenirs instead of all the kids buying junk. We've been buying the patches, and they were on my sewing table too.

A couple weekends ago I really wanted to make these bags, but I had to keep moving the jeans.... could have thrown them on the bed, but I remembered how excited I was to attack things I had already started. So out came the rotary cutter, a few good movies, and I cut all the jeans up into 6 inch squares, and saved the back pockets off of the jeans. For the 6 inch squares only the kids pockets fit, but I'll save the others (plus a few squares) for another quilt like this --- of course that sounds like another UFO. I backed each square of denim with flannel, and sewed it to the next one, seams out so it will fray. I used every last inch of flannel and bound it with the flannel too. I still have a couple patches to sew on, but I'll be finished by lunch with those.

Now the kids all want to know who "gets it" so I told them I will deal with the jeans they outgrow or run into the ground, as they come in, and I have a bag of a few leftover squares to store in my art closet instead of a ton of jeans lying on top of my sewing machine. Eventually I may end up with one for each of them to add too, but right now this is the family travel quilt. An easy way to upcycle as long as I stay focused.