Recycle your old blue jeans into an easy, pieced throw.

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Materials

Designer: Leah Anderson
Photographs: Greg Scheidemann

9 pairs of jeans (blocks)
2/3 yard hot pink batik (binding)
3-3/4 yards backing fabric
66x76-inch batting
Yarn: bulky-weight fuchsia, worsted-weight hot pink and silver metallic

Finished quilt: 60-1/2x70-1/2 inches

Finished blocks: 10 inches square; 10x20-inch rectangle

Unless otherwise specified, quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

All jeans are not created equal; therefore, jeans in different sizes will yield different amounts of denim. Although the number of jeans you use will depend on their sizes, the nine pairs called for in the materials list should yield enough denim and color variations to make an eye-catching throw. To add the most contrast to the quilt top, be sure to include a variety of washes in the finished blocks.

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Cut Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the following order.

Use cutting and assembly instructions that follow, or work with denim scraps cut from your jeans to create 42 blocks that are each 10-1/2 inches square.

To get her denim scraps, designer Leah Anderson cut most pairs of jeans slightly to the left of the inside seam all the way up on one leg and slightly to the left of the outside seam all the way up on the other. To get more texture and some fun detail in her blocks, Leah left the jeans seam attached when measuring some of the denim pieces.

From jeans, cut:
2 -- 6-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangles
2 -- 5-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangles
2 -- 4-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangles
18 -- 10-1/2-inch squares
2 -- 8-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
3 -- 7-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
5 -- 6-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
5 -- 5-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
9 -- 4-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
5 -- 3-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
6 -- 2-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles
4 -- 5-1/2x6-1/2-inch rectangles
2 -- 5-1/2-inch squares
4 -- 4-1/2x5-1/2-inch rectangles

From hot pink batik, cut:
7 -- 2-1/2x42-inch binding strips

Editor's Tip

To sew through denim, use a size 100/16 jeans/denim needle in your machine and adjust the stitch length to 3.0 mm.

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Assemble the Blocks

1. Sew together a 6-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangle and a 4-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block A (Diagram 1). Press seam in one direction. Block A should be 10-1/2x20-1/2 inches including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second Block A.

2. Join two 5-1/2x20-1/2-inch rectangles to make Block B (Diagram 2). Press seam in one direction. Block B should be 10-1/2x20-1/2 inches including seam allowances.

3. Sew together an 8-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle and a 2-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block C (Diagram 3). Press seam in one direction. Block C should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second Block C.

4. Join a 7-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle and a 3-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block D (Diagram 4). Press seam in one direction. Block D should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make three total of Block D.

5. Sew together a 6-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle and a 4-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block E (Diagram 5). Press seam in one direction. Block E should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four total of Block E.

6. Join two 5-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles to make Block F (Diagram 6). Press seam in one direction. Block F should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second Block F.

7. Referring to Diagram 7, sew together two 4-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles and a 2-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block G. Press seams in one direction. Block G should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second Block G.

8. Referring to Diagram 8, join a 6-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle and two 2-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles to make Block H. Press seams in one direction. Block H should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances.

9. Referring to Diagram 9, sew together a 4-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle and two 3-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangles to make Block I. Press seams in one direction. Block I should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances.

10. Sew together two 5-1/2-inch squares; press seam in one direction. Add a 5-1/2x10-1/2-inch rectangle to make Block J (Diagram 10). Press seam in one direction. Block J should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances.

11. Referring to Diagram 11, sew together two 5-1/2x6-1/2-inch rectangles and two 4-1/2x5-1/2-inch rectangles in pairs. Press seams in opposite directions. Join pairs to make Block K; press seam in one direction. Block K should be 10-1/2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second Block K.

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Assemble Quilt Top

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out the eighteen 10-1/2-inch squares and the blocks in five horizontal rows.

2. Sew together pieces in sections in the top and bottom rows. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row. Join rows to make the quilt top. Press seams in one direction.

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Finish the Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Leah hand-quilted wavy lines across the quilt top using a running stitch and a backstitch with three colors and two weights of yarn for variety and texture.

3. To make a running stitch, pull needle up at A (see diagram) and insert it back into fabric at B, about 3/4" from A. Continue in same manner, leaving about a stitch width between each stitch.

4. To backstitch, pull needle up at A (see diagram). Insert it back into fabric at B (about 3/4 inch from A), and bring it up at C. Push needle down again at D, and bring it up at E. Continue in same manner.

5. Bind with hot pink batik binding strips.

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