Frayed Edges and Quilts


About a month ago I started a project. I began making a circle style jean quilt. I found boxes of blue jeans in my laundry room and thought that perhaps I should do something with them rather than just let those boxes take up space.

Pinterest was a great place to start looking for patterns for the quilts I wanted to make. (And no….I don’t get any kickbacks from Pinterest!  I just really like Pinterest.)  I had in mind I wanted to make my grandchildren smaller quilts that would be sturdy enough to use for picnics or tea parties. Blue jeans and old flannel shirts seemed to fit in with that idea.

The flannel shirts that I used came from my husband and my dad-in-law. I also had some flannel leftovers from baby blankets made years ago. The blue jeans were worn out ones that came from family members. I really liked the idea that these would be quilts with history.

I spent days cutting circles out of the jeans and squares out of the flannel. (I know for a fact my husband thought I was a bit nuts to go through all the effort…..I know this because he told me so LOL) I thought it was a great way to keep busy while the weather was to miserable to be outside!

The quilt is 15 circles x 15 circles and ended up being about 4 ft 8 inches square….a very nice size for picnics or tea parties!

Right now; it is hanging over a chair….mainly so that I can admire it and marvel that I got one done. I also have stacks of more jean circles and more flannel squares.  Two more grandkids; so two more quilts!  (I am not even asking my husband his opinion of that!)

Making that quilt was fun. It gave me time to reflect on family and life and all the stuff that goes with family and life. I love the variety of the colors…the plaid flannel pieces and flowered ones….the shades of denim that tie all those colors and patterns together.

That quilt and all it’s variety is a wonderful reminder that every family member is different and yet tied together by a strong bond. The colors blend and mesh when put together, in a way I would not have thought possible. Families blend and mesh in much the same way….everyone unique with their own personalities and yet alike in so many ways.

I liked this pattern because the circle edges remain raw.  They will be allowed to fray and soften the look of the quilt. Another reminder that life and families are not always tidy and neat.

Sometimes things unravel and have lots of loose ends that seem to go nowhere. Sometimes the edges of life and family appear downright messy and that is okay as long as they are still strongly tied together. There is a beauty to the fraying….a testament to life lived fully.

I think frayed edges are just fine. They soften the rough spots…..they add interest.  I will take the fraying that comes…in life and in quilts.

Life is a Crazy-Quilt of Suffering and Joy.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Families are like Quilts…
Lives pieced together-
Stitched with smiles
and tears, colored
with memories
and bound by


34 thoughts on “Frayed Edges and Quilts

  1. susieshy45 says:

    The quilt is beautiful- did you hand quilt it or machine quilt it ? You should make a pattern out of it and post it. It is a great example of ” recycle and reuse” with memories and cloth.
    I am wondering if one day the frayed edges will start losing thread and the circles will become smaller ?
    I like the analogy of the quilts and families. I would never have thought of that. I am going to think of that during this day. Sometimes I need time to think over the deep thoughts you put out to us, Faye. Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      It is all done with machine. I found the pattern on Pinterest by searching circle jean quilts. I actually do have photos of some of the process. Maybe I should do a post on that to explain how I did it. I love to recycle and reuse. I have a tough time throwing things away if they can be reused and repurposed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • susieshy45 says:

        You are like my mother and grandmother before me. I don’t do it much because I live in “plenty” but they did live in times where they knew the value of money. I would love to reuse and recycle too and hope to do it sooner than later. I am glad you are my friend and I can get inspired with your work.
        I look forward to the post about how exactly you quilted.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    Nice Faye. It is great to sit and use your hands to create and it definitely gives you time to reflect on life. Husbands are never too understanding about things that take women time and energy to make, but bring us joy. Ha I don’t know any men who ever made a quilt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    It is a labor of love. You are so smart to do it on a smaller scale. I made bed covers for two of my boys years ago out of old jeans and they turned out very heavy.
    Thank you for beautiful words about family.
    We had a storm (f1) come through the area .My place was on the north side and nothing hurt but up rooted large trees every where south of us.. No one hurt thank goodness but several homes damaged. Spring in the South can be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. says:

    Faye this is beautiful. My grandma used to make quilts, all done by hand, out of old clothes and remnants of fabric. The fact that she made them was really what made them special. Colors didn’t always match and patterns didn’t necessarily go together, but the finished product was beautiful. You have captured those very thoughts in your words. Our families are a lot like quilts – frayed, colorful, dull sometimes, brilliant at other times, some don’t fit the mold, some stand out like sore thumbs -but when put together they become a thing of beauty. Thanks for these lovely words and a look into another part of your busy life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      You are so right about those quilts turning out beautiful even with fabric that does not match. I looked at those flannel shirts and kind of wondered but it turned out fine. I also wondered about the pieces of jeans that had paint splotches on them from painting the barn and sheds around here….I included them as I felt it was part of the history in that quilt.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ruthsoaper says:

    I think my husband is finally coming to terms with the fact that I am nuts as I don’t hear him say it as much anymore. Your quilt is beautiful and I love the family connection that your grandchildren will have with the quilts being made from jeans and shirts that were worn by relatives. My sister has been making and selling memory bears. They are teddy bears that are made out of shirts that have special meaning. People will send her the shirts – perhaps of a loved one who passed away or maybe to commemorate a special event and she will make them into teddy bears. They have become very popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Al says:

    Terrific talent, Faye. Takes me back as well to my great grandmother and her quilts. She lived to be 99. Maybe there’s something to that.

    P.S. What time is the picnic? I’ll let the ants know.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne Mehrling says:

    I love your quilt and the thoughts it brought. I had no idea one could leave edges exposed. Neat, or not so neat, but special!

    I used my maternity clothes to make a little quilted pad to go on the cradle. I should tell my children about it. My dad had the cradle made from pecan wood from his farm. Currently the cradle lives in grandson David’s room, turned upside down to make a seat.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. says:

    beautiful and I am quite impressed ! What a beautiful heirloom-I heard someone (I think James Dobson) say that if quilting bees were held again, it would put therapists out of business! I would think there is some truth to that-I bet you had a delightful time as you worked on it-even by yourself! love Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ame says:! i LOVE this! i love how you beautifully weave life and love and family and God together.

    and i LOVE frayed denim! i’ve done that a lot in various things over the years. this last month i made denim covers for water pitchers for my daughters – i made them from old jeans, and i made them seam side out so they’d fit snug, and then i frayed the edges 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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