Denim and CQ
Share the Stage!

Mary Dyer © 2005

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Why denim, you ask, as it isn't commonly thought of when thinking of Crazy Quilting—even if there are no rules! My mother and I are button collectors, and we buy jeans at every yard sale, rummage sale and Salvation Army store where we can find a bargain. My mother is especially avid for the “riveted buttons” that are used to fasten jeans. Many of these jeans have nice details such as embroidery or pockets, etc that I just hate to throw away once we have cut off the rivets. I had some especially nice pieces and this, and a desire to clean out some of my stash led me to find a way to use them. Since I like to make purses, what better way to use the scraps. Most of the patterns I had were for “fancier” purses, so I elected to troll the World Wide Web for ideas.

I found one on Clothild's web site. She has a page of free patterns, and the denim bag there seemed perfect for the denim scraps I had available.

There is a bit of a difference, as you can see, in the execution of the design. My first bag was made because of the great machine embroidery of carnations I got on a Bob Mackie denim jacket, purchased for the buttons. Too small for anyone in my family, and it was late in the day, it didn't look like anyone else was buying it to wear, or at least that's what I told my conscience when I bought it to cut the buttons off!

Here are the unembellished blocks I started with. Note the great machine embroidery. The additional fabrics are all recycled fabrics from items purchased for the buttons. I used the jacket front to make pockets for one side of the bag.

front  back 

When compared to the Clothild bag mine is much simpler and uses a fabric strap, my whole point was not to purchase anything else to make the bag, only use those items which I had on hand. I did a simple running stitch on the eyelet fabric, as it was pretty busy already, and used a lazy daisy stitch on the other seam on side one of the bag. I alternated it to look like a zigzag.

On the opposite side, I used some fabric with heart sew thru buttons printed on it, since I collect buttons, it “grabbed me” as I looked thru the stash. I used a buttonhole stitch to appliqué the fabric to the bag in the shape of a heart. I added a fold over closure to the bag, and mother-of-pearl buttons on the closure and on the pockets on one side of the bag.

I added a zippered pocket to the lining of the bag I used the same button fabric for the lining as I used for the heart appliqué. My triumph on this bag was that I did not buy a single thing to complete it! While it was in progress, my niece came to visit and really raved about it, so the strap is extra long, as she likes them, it will be her birthday present.

Here is the lining. I cut mine the same size as the block, and when sewing together, make the seams slightly larger » 1/8 to 1/4 inch, depending on how much the embellishment of the original block has shrunk the blocks. I decide how far down from the upper edge I want the zipper to be, and how large I want the pocket. I cut a piece of fabric the width of the lining and the length of the pocket. I then cut a piece of lining the same size and adding from my stash some bias tape to coordinate or emphasize the fabric.   lining 

I stitched the lining to the pocket, right sides together, press the seam open, and them press it flat. Then I stitched the zipper to the pocket and lining at the seam. I stitched it close to the edge, then adjusted the needle position to the opposite side and stitched it again.

I basted the side seams, stitching each side from the top to the bottom. I then stitched the bottom of the pocket to the lining, then to cover the raw edge I placed the bias tape with the lower edge of the tape just slightly over the lower edge of the pocket, and sewed along both edges of the bias tape. Then I do fancy machine stitching down the middle of the bias tape to add some decoration.

Then pinning the other edge of the zipper to the lining it is stitched to the lining. A second strip of bias tape is added along the zipper, covering the edge of the zipper, and the tape is stitched down. Any decorative stitching desired can be added now.

I usually add a fob to the zipper pull, at the time of the picture I had not yet done this. You can also use a length of ribbon, or crocheted floss also works well, folded in half with the ends pulled through the loop then pulled tight can substitute for the fob. A small crochet hook can be used for this purpose. Add a button or bead or charm if desired.

This bag was given to my sister-in-law as soon as it was finished.

Here are a few of the bags I have made using this pattern as a starting point.

Carnation bag front  Butterfly bag front  Piglet bag front 
Carnation bag back  Butterfly bag back  Piglet bag back 
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