Friday, 30 May 2014

From Jean Jeanie to Golden Brown - Upcycled Denim Patchwork Picnic Rug

Upcycled patchwork Picnic Rug
One of the articles in the Summer 2014 edition of Creative Crafting magazine is a tutorial I wrote to make a picnic rug or small patchwork quilt from completely recycled materials.

I just love working with pre-loved denim jeans - they are so soft, especially the vintage styles from Levis, Wranger and Lee. But denim is a really heavy fabric and can be difficult to machine quilt in one piece. So it's perfect for a quilt as you go technique such as rag quilting.
Previous denim rag quilt in reds and blues

I made my first denim rag quilt a couple of years ago, combining checked shirts in reds and blues with old jeans. I used a simple chequerboard design, alternating red and blue patches against denim patches cut from jeans in a similar mid blue tone. 

In keeping with the eco theme, I used bamboo wadding - a fantastic soft low loft batting wadding that is so easy to machine and hand quilt. Bamboo is a very eco resource - it grows very quickly and doesn't need the same chemicals as cotton to grow and process.

Perfect for picnics
For this new quilt tutorial, I used the same technique for the central panel. I chose denim for both dark and light jeans this tiime and added patches of recycled sarong fabrics from vintage garments and offcuts from the manufacturing of new sarongs. 

The indonesian batik sarong prints are just gorgeous - traditional floral, leafy and designs in gold, brown, navy, cream and blues. I think they are stunning against the denim.

This time I chose green wadding - made from recycled plastic bottles. Again very easy to quilt, and washes and dries brilliantly - perfect for a picnic rug!  

I decided to add straight solid pieced denim borders made from patches that included some denim seams - giving extra strength to the rug and adding extra texture. And finished off with a pieced binding from more sarong offcuts. 

If you'd like to have a go at making this picnic rug for yourself and would like instructions, you'll find the full tutorial on
the Summer edition of Creative Crafting - you can buy a download or order a printed copy by clicking this link.

So why Jean Jeanie and Golden Brown the post title?  As well as the link to the golden brown sarong prints and the old denim jeans, these were two of my favourite songs from my pre teen years and at college - and I think this quilt is just perfect for those teenage years in between!

And if you fancy buying the original, it's for sale through any of my online shops. 

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