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Upcycle Rag Quilt

It has come to that time of year again, when we all  pull IMG_0539everything out of our wardrobes and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I don’t know about you but I always seem to have piles of denim jeans that I just can not bare to throw out and each year they go back in the wardrobe to hide for another day. But this year I turned a new leaf and turned all my favorites that I could not bare to part with into a quilt. So now I can sit and cuddle into a quilt full of memories and a large hot chocolate…… Oh and I now have room to buy new clothes, which is always a bonus. 

This quilt was made for Queensland climate and is not backed. 

For this quilt i needed 64 squares of denim. Each square was cut to a 6 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches. I found that about 5 pairs of adult full length jeans covered this. Other requirements for this project included

Fabric Scissors

Dark Blue Cotton thread

Janome Denim Needles # 16

5m of 25mm Navy Blue Bias Binding

Fabric Marker


Janome Horizon 15000 with O Foot and  VD AcuFeed Flex Foot,


Open up the inner seam of the jeans, this will help to flatten the fabric out. Trace out the 6 1/2 inch squares. I used a 6 1/2 inch quilt block from June Tailor  and a fabric marker to trace out my blocks. When putting together the quilt I looked at different types of jeans to give different textures and different colour formations.


Cut out the 64 squares required for the lap quilt.

Arrange the squares into the formation that you would like to see on the quilt. Either by colour or texture.


When you are happy with the arrangement, starting at one end of the first row,pin the first two squares together. When pinning these two squares together we need to pin wrong side to wrong side. The reason we are pinning this was is so that the raw edge of the squares will be facing up.


The next step is to thread your sewing machine with a dark blue sewing thread. You will also need to put the denim need into your sewing machine. Make sure you have the quarter inch seam foot (“O” foot) on your machine.


Select the quarter inch seam. For this project I used the Janome Horizon 15000. So with this machine you go into the sewing applications icon and select the patchwork function. This will give you the menu for the different types of quarter inch seams available in the machine.


For this project I selected the quarter inch setting that will reverse at the beginning and end. I have also selected a stitch length of 2.5mm, I chose this length because the fabric I am using is thicker than a standard quilting cotton.

Place the first set of squares under the foot. We need to line the edge of the fabric up with the third marking on the foot. This marking indicates that we will be starting one quarter of an inch from the edge of the fabric.


Stitch out the seam and finish at the end of the fabric one quarter on an inch from the edge. This is indicated by the first marking on the foot.


Once you reach this mark press the reverse button to finish off the stitch.

With the Janome Horizon 15000, you will see that when you have finished the stitch a menu will come up on the screen asking if you would like to repeat the same stitch distance or reset for a new length. Video here


Since our squares are all the same size we can press OK. What this means is that when we go to stitch out next square in the sequence, the length has already been calculated.

Pin the next square in the sequence and stitch into place. Because we chose “same size” when it comes to stitch the seam, the machine will automatically tie off and cut when it has reached the required stitch length. We will repeat this process until you have completed the first row of 8 blocks. Once you have finished the first row, repeat this process until all 8 rows have been completed.


Now that all the rows have been completed, we can go through and attach each row together. To do this we line up the first two rows, wrong side to wrong side, making sure that all seams meet.


Using the quarter inch seam to stitch these rows together. Unlike the rows, this time we need to start from the edge of the fabric, so we will be using the marking in the center of the quarter inch foot.  We will also need to go through and reset out stitch, because we now will be working with a new length.

To finish I rounded the corners by using the 5/7 circular ruler from the sewing revolutions.

Once we have stitched all the row together, we will need to attach the bias binding. To do this we attached the binding to the back of the quilt first.

I love to use the VD AcuFeed Flex foot for this, because it in narrower than the AD AcuFeed Flex Foot.


Make sure the even feed icon is engaged.


Once I have attached the binding on the wrong side of the quilt, I turn it over and pin into place on the right side of the quilt. Stitch into place using a straight stitch.


To get the rag effect on the seams, I then washed the quilt in cold water and put it in the dryer. This will fray out the raw edges. I then check all the seams, in some cases I trimmed back any extra unwanted stitches.