Gray and Denim Patchwork Quilt

Greetings from the end of May. Does May wipe out anyone else? I feel like I’ve been sprinting to the end of something, which, I guess in a way I have.

Why is the end of the school year so crazy busy? On top of that add in a child graduating from High School this week (*sniff*) and all of the work of getting ready for and attending Quilt Market and I am officially pooped. (Don’t get me started on adding in yard work too…)

Denim Patchwork Quilt featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Denim Patchwork Quilt

I’ve been squeezing in a little sewing before everyone is home from school for the summer. I’ve got a baby quilt in the works that I’ll share next week.  This week I finished this blue, gray and denim patchwork quilt.

Denim Patchwork Quilt featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

I found and bought this cool navy, blue, and gray plaid flannel last fall at Joann Fabrics. It just called out to me. I really love their flannel plaids in their Plaiditude collection.

I first discovered them when I made this red and black patchwork quilt a few years ago. They’re just super soft and thick flannels. Plus, I’m always a sucker for plaid.

I never get sick of simple patchwork. It always works. For this quilt I mixed in other gray flannels, denims, woven gingham, cotton prints, and a little bit of gray corduroy that I had on hand. 

For this quilt I cut 8″ x  8″ squares (it’s the most efficient use of a 1/4 yard of fabric that’s 42″ wide). I laid out this denim patchwork quilt 9 squares across x 11 squares down. It finished at 67.5″ x 82.5″.

Denim Patchwork Quilt featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

I’ve mixed different types of fabric before and haven’t had any trouble with the results of using different weights of fabric. In fact, I kind of like the way the different textures makes the simple squares more interesting. (Like in this gray neutrals quilt too.) I stuck with a simple palette of blue, navy, gray and white, but again, the different shades and prints give the denim patchwork quilt some depth.

(I did prewash any denims to make sure they were colorfast before I cut them up to add to the quilt.)

Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting quilted this one for me lickety split. We just went with a giant stipple to give the quilt some texture and hold it together, but not add a lot of weight to an already sturdy, heavy quilt.

Denim Patchwork Quilt featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

This quilt is for some dear friends who are going through a difficult time. Starts with C and ends with Ancer. 🙁

It’s one of those situations where I feel utterly helpless in doing anything that would make a difference in this rotten situation. So patchwork squares and a heavy, warm, weighty quilt are my best effort to hand over something tangible to in some way represent the love we have for them. Stupid cancer.

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  • Reply
    Carla Toppass
    May 28, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Stupid cancer for sure!!! It’s very sweet though that you let them know you want to help in some way – they will cherish that gesture. I love the plaids, flannel and patchwork combo. I haven’t tried anything like this yet. What size is the overall quilt and what size are the blocks?

    • Reply
      May 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you, Carla. <3 And great questions! I cut 8" x 8" squares. This quilt is laid out 9 squares x 11 squares making it 67.5" x 82.5". (I will add this info to the post.)

  • Reply
    May 28, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Awesome of you to be making them a quilt. Consider taking a meal as well? The kindest thing that helps is doing anything that is work for the family right now. And often the patient has little interest in food because it doesn’t taste good. My Dad loved good ice cream to the very end of being able to eat anything. It’s great nutrition.

    • Reply
      May 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you for the wonderful suggestions, Elle. It sounds like you speak from a lot of personal experience. xo

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    May 28, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    The quilt looks lovely with all those colours and different textures. What a special gift to feel the love and hugs being sent.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Great quilt and great idea to brighten someone’s day. I just recently made two identical twin quilts for two boys sharing a room. They were my first time using different weights and texture fabrics. I also was pleased with the outcome. Let’s do some more!

  • Reply
    Beth Talmage
    May 29, 2019 at 2:23 am

    May I ask a question that I don’t intend as snooty, but is more a worry about the longevity of the quilt? I’ve heard negative things about the fabric sold at JoAnn’s, with regard to how well it wears over time. Yet I feel sure that any fabric you are using in your quilt is something you feel good about including. You mention the Plaiditude fabric group from JoAnn’s. Are there others you’ve used and know to be reliable? Would you consider them “quilt shop quality”? I know many rural people don’t have quilt shops nearby but have JoAnn’s and might prefer to buy fabric there, where they can feel it for themselves and compare colors, etc., rather than shop online and cross their fingers their backing fabric will match their top when it arrives.

    • Reply
      May 29, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Such a great question, Beth! I’m glad you asked.

      Typically, the big box store quilting cottons that are priced much cheaper than the quilting cottons at independant quilt shops, are definitely inferior fabrics. (The old adage “you get what you pay for” is true.) They’re fine for something that you don’t need to last, but their quality will not wash, wear, or last as long as the higher quality fabrics from independent shops.

      That said, some of the big box stores (Joann included) carry a higher quality range of fabrics – including quilting cottons – which they sometimes call Designer Cottons, or something like that. You can tell which ones they are by the feel and the price (usually around $12.99). I’ve also found some good fabrics in the garment fabric selection including different weights of denim and these Plaiditude woven plaids. These plaids are a really nice, heavy weight. I love them for backings and large patchwork quilts. (I wouldn’t use them for pieced blocks because the weight of the fabric is so thick and they could start to unravel if cut too small.)

      I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Mardell Grayhek
    May 29, 2019 at 3:17 am

    What a delightful quilt and I am sure it will bring comfort. Cancer is not to be taken lightly and it is wonderful that you are supportive. That type of support is remembered long after the cancer is gone. I remember kindness shown to me 15 1/2 years ago like it was yesterday.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2019 at 4:43 am

    I love your quilt! The blue and gray in your quilt is so pretty! I made a fall throw with a green, rust and brown flannel from Joann’s. It also had some denim from there as well. I’ve only had one problem with their plaids. This particular fabric had two different plaids on each side. It raveled like crazy! I ended up not using it. I’m sorry about your friend.

  • Reply
    Janet Taber
    May 29, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Your friends will undoubtedly be blessed by your meaningful giftd.

  • Reply
    Robby H.
    May 29, 2019 at 7:50 am

    These are the times when true friends are cemented as “family” for being there and doing whatever they can. This beautiful quilt will be a reminder of your love and care for them after their family is no longer intact.

    As for May? I think the end of the school year is the warm weather equivalent of the Christmas madness, much to do in a mad dash and then it’s over and behind us so quickly. Congratulations on your graduate!

  • Reply
    Joanna Mills
    May 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Stupid cancer is right! ?

  • Reply
    Jane Wilson
    December 2, 2019 at 9:16 am

    How many fat quarters did you use

    • Reply
      December 3, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      I used regular quarter yard cuts because you can get 5 squares 8″ x 8″ from a 1/4 yard (you’d only get 4 squares from a FQ). I used about 20 1/4 yards for this quilt.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    What size was your backing piece? Did you use a single piece of fabric or have to piece 2 sections together to make it large enough? Just finished a similarly sized quilt front and trying to figure best way to back it.

    • Reply
      December 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      I can’t remember the exact size of the quilt or the backing piece – I don’t have the quilt any longer to measure – but yes, I pieced two pieces of yardage together along the selvage edge to make one large back.

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