Denim De-stash: Week 1

Day 1:

IMG_0283I did a quick sort through my pile, pulling out some pieces that had already been cut down to flat-ish pieces.  I started cutting the squares for a stained glass denim quilt.  Anything that wasn’t folded flat needed to be pressed flat.  I set my timer for an hour, and got started.  At the end of the hour, I had about 1/2 of the pieces for the quilt cut, and about two pairs of jeans have been used.  It is a little hard to tell how much I am using, since much of it is odd sized pieces.  I have a large bowl of scraps too small to use in this quilt, where the smallest square is 2″.  They will be going into the garbage.  Or, If I remember to pick up grapevine balls at the craft shop I will stuff them in there and hang them outside for the birds.

I did decide to do another hour or so, this time without the timer.  I finished cutting all of the denim for the quilt.  The impact to the tote bin full of denim has been distressingly minor. I suspect friends and family will grow weary of denim quilts this year.

Day 2: 

I pulled out some black scraps – the leftovers from cutting the backgrounds for my Katja Marek quilt-a-long.  I cut all of them up, and I have about half of what I need for the denim quilt sashings.  My scrap bowl is overflowing, so it will definitely go in the trash this time.  There will be plenty for the birds on the next round of trimming.  I just wish I didn’t feel so guilty about throwing out the scraps.  And when I say scraps, I mean I can’t cut another 2″ square out of the denim, or a 2″ x 1″ strip out of the black.

Day 3: 

IMG_0291All of my quilt pieces were next to the sewing machine and ready to go.  So, I decided to make a whale for my puppy.  I used a pattern from All My Friends are Flowers, which was inspired by Valaan Valapaita and her original denim whale.  Oscar and I are thrilled with how it came out.  It used up most of two legs of a pair of jeans, and quarter of a tote bin full of batting scraps.  That is a winner in my book.  I will be making at least one more.

IMG_0294I did manage to get started on piecing the stained glass denim.  It goes together very quickly, and the narrow sashing is perfect.  I am loving this one, too.  Today is a happy day.

Day 4: 

IMG_0300Two hours of work on the denim quilt today.  It continues to go smoothly.  The pattern is very forgiving – I’ve reversed a few units and it still fits together squarely.  I’m feeling a Piet Mondrian quilt coming, although that will require purchasing some solids.

I also cut out the pieces for another whale, this time out of light denims.  I’m loving the whales, especially the fact that so much of my batting scrap pile is disappearing.

Day 5: 

IMG_0306Snow day!  No school for the kiddo, no volunteering for me.  What a perfect day for sewing. This one will have to stay in the family.  I can’t imagine many people would appreciate the grease stains and dirty knees from my Dad’s jeans.

After one week, I have a finished whale, about 1/2 of a finished top, and two tote bins still full of denim.  The denim de-stash will be lasting longer than I had thought.


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