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How to Make a Denim Rag Quilt With Step-by-Step Photo Guide

My husband liked this quilt so much he took it to use in his big truck sleeper.

Denim rag quilt

Denim rag quilt

Making a Denim Rag Quilt

I had been thinking about making a denim rag quilt for a while, but I never really had enough old jeans to have enough denim—because it does take a lot.

But one day, I got lucky when I visited a Saint Vincents thrift store. I love going to these kinds of stores because you never know what you will find.

What I found was a huge denim couch cover set. It was in perfect condition and only cost five dollars. So bingo, I bought it.

It was shaped differently than my own couch, so I couldn't use it for that. But I was determined to put all that fabulous material to use. So I set out to cut up the denim couch cover.

The first thing I did was remove all seams and zippers so all I was left with was big panels of denim. It came to quite a bit of fabric, enough to make the quilt I had in mind.

I also had some patriotic red and blue fabric, about four yards of each, so I had plenty of that to use for the back of the quilt. I opted not to use batting for padding for this quilt, since denim is already pretty heavy.

Supplies: rolling cutter, 6"x6" acrylic block, sharp snips

Supplies: rolling cutter, 6"x6" acrylic block, sharp snips

Supplies

Now that I had the material I had to cut all of it into blocks, I used a rolling cutter and 6" x 6" acrylic block to cut the fabric. You will also need a small pair of very sharp scissors later to snip the seam allowances.

I used just my plain old sewing machine to put the blocks together, and a 100/16 size sewing needle for heavyweight fabrics.

Step 1: Cut the Blocks

The first thing I did was cut all the blocks. A 6"x6" block will make a 5" block if you allow a 1/2" seam allowance so that is what I did.

So this quilt was made 12 blocks x 14 blocks, which would be 60" wide x 70" long. This size quilt will be big enough for a twin size bed or in this case my husband has already claimed it for his sleeper in his big truck.

But using these simple measurements you could add or take away depending on how big you want your quilt to be. This quilt used a total of 168 blocks for the front and 168 blocks for the back.

Cut-up denim couch cover

Cut-up denim couch cover

Cut denim squares

Cut denim squares

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Cut blocks of blue and red material

Cut blocks of blue and red material

Step 2: Arrange the Blocks

Once all the material is cut up into blocks, you will then want to lay out each row the way you want the material to show. In this case I wanted a completely denim quilt top, with red and blue repeated blocks on the back of the quilt.

Lay out one row of twelve of the backing fabric, with the right sides of the fabric facing down. Rotate the blue, then red, or whatever pattern you wish to accomplish. Then you will layer a block of denim over the backing material, with wrong sides together, this means the right side of the denim will be facing up.

Do this at 10 rows of 12 blocks, So looking at it you should have all blocks to be one backing fabric and one denim.

Of course this can be adjusted to the number of rows you would like to accomplish.

All blocks arranged into rows then turned by corners rotating out for easier sewing of rows.

All blocks arranged into rows then turned by corners rotating out for easier sewing of rows.

Step 3: Sew the Blocks Together

Once you have your rows all planned and organized you can start sewing the rows together.

Sew each block with backing materials facing each other and denim side facing out. Sew a least a 1/2 inch seam allowance, so you will have enough for snipping.

So you should in thin instance have at least 12 rows of denim on one side and alternating red and blue material on the bottom with all seams showing on the denim side.

Once all the rows are sewed you may want to press open all seams to make it easier to sew the rows together.

Backing sides face each other

Backing sides face each other

Denim sides facing out

Denim sides facing out

Sewed rows with red and blue backing and denim showing seams

Sewed rows with red and blue backing and denim showing seams

Step 4: Sew the Rows Together

Once all the rows are sewed you should have 12 rows. Now you can sew all the rows together.

Keep in mind as you sew the rows together, that you line up all the seams, and denim does have a little give in it so make sure that you watch that it doesn't stretch too much, while sewing.

This is a very forgiving quilt so if it is off a smidgen it won't matter too much but you do want to keep all the rows matching up as much as possible, so you don't have one row longer than the other.

Once all rows are sewed together you should now have a quilt that is the complete size.

Now sew along the edge of the whole quilt, with a 5/8ths inch seam allowance. So that all the edges will be able to fray as well.

All rows sewed together, denim side with seams showing

All rows sewed together, denim side with seams showing

All rows sewed together, with backing alternating red and blue material

All rows sewed together, with backing alternating red and blue material