Molly pieced this quilt top over the years from old jeans she had worn. She asked me to fix it and quilt it. The 'fixing' part required getting the seams as flat as possible by pressing them open and trimming away all the extra stuff on the inside of the quilt. This included zippers, white pocket linings and additional denim fabric that could be removed from inside the quilt top.
I removed the outside border and trimmed it even before reattaching it with 40 wt. white cotton thread. These seams were pressed toward the outside border.
Superior Threads King Tut (Color 976-Olde Golde), a #40/3-ply extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton was used for the quilting. It looks just like the thread on jeans and this meandering stitch was a good choice for an all-over design. When the quilting was complete, I had used up most of the 2,000 yd. cone of thread.
Nine yards of Sachet Flannels II by Marcus Fabrics was used for the backing fabric. Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 was used for batting and produced a nice, flat feel. There were virtually no folds or puckers on the back. Ya-hoo!!!
Because Molly incorporated many patches with pockets and name brands, the quilt has lots of interesting variations. The denim colors range from light to very dark.
I regularly had to adjust the presser foot pressure gauge on my Bernina 153, turning it to a higher setting when approaching the added height at an impending seam. After going over the seam, the pressure was readjusted to a lower setting; otherwise, the needle skipped stitches.
Random strips of denim were sewn together to form the border framing the quilt. After stitching in the ditch between the quilt and the border, I quilted a wavy curled design around the perimeter (Stencil #119, 2" border with corner).
A lightweight denim was used to bind the quilt. I avoided using a stretch denim so there would be crisp corners and no distortion.
This was definitely the biggest and bulkiest quilt I have tackled on my domestic machine. And yet here's proof it was possible to quilt it. The process was enjoyable too, but the best part was giving it back to Molly, whose determination to get this quilt finished was an inspiration to me.
Copyright 2009, Sharon Baggs