Enjoy the warmth and calming effects of a jean quilt
Most of us either hand down jeans to younger siblings, donate or throw away jeans that have started going to pieces or don’t fit anymore. Now you have a reason to collect them.
Why single out jean quilts from others. First of all it takes old, worn jeans to make it happen, not new fabric and not t-shirts. They are not very soft. They are usually much warmer. Jean quilts will always be heavier because of the denim material. Quilters often use fleece on the back and eliminate the batting. Jean quilts are typically characterized as heavy, warm and very comforting.
Preserving Memories with Jean Quilts
I’m kicking off this conversation by saying that I used pieces from more than 30 family jeans. If the jeans have unusual features that identify them, be sure to include one of those identifying parts. I used rhinestone butterflies, mended holes, designer stitching, pockets, funky pant leg hems, etc. Maybe the color or fading is a unique look in and of itself. All those things are great reminders of the specific pair of jeans.
Similar to t-shirts, jean quilts are an excellent opportunity to preserve family memories. Especially when you’ve got pre-teens and teens. Boy, do kids grow out of their clothes in a snap. The quilts make such great gifts for the family or Mom and Dad.
Wrapping yourself up in a quilt can feel like a giant hug. If it’s soft, warm, and cozy, you’re in business. Or are you? Have you ever thought about how the weight of your quilt affects its comfort? A heavy quilt can actually be so much more comforting than a regular weight quilt.
Here’s the theory. If you’re stressed, your heart beats quickly. Lowering your heart rate gives you feelings of calmness. A lower heart rate leads to the sense of calmness that is provided by the quilt.
The general theory of pressure therapy stands with jean quilts which happen to be heavier than the typical quilt due to the denim fabric. Pressure therapy is a calm-inducing amount of pressure on your entire body, similar to the feeling of being hugged.
With weighted blankets, there is a recommended amount of weight to use. Younger children should be supervised or not use a weighted blanket at all. If you are not familiar with weighted blankets, take a look at this article.
Speaking for myself, I looooove heavy blankets. They feel so good over me. And that is just instinctively; my body loves it.
I made my jean quilt from family jeans and included 100% cotton batting (on the heavy side) and a Minky back. The Minky fabric is also slightly heavier than the quilter’s cotton, and is super warm. Can’t beat it. Hell to sew with, but an outstanding end result. I use this quilt in the middle of winter, and it keeps me sleeping all night.
I do not want to mislead you into thinking a jean quilt replaces a weighted blanket, especially if you need it for medical reasons. That is not the case. But it does have a calming effect. Here are some comparisons to give you an idea of weight and how a jean quilt may compare to a purpose-built weighted blanket.
My quilt is 72” x 60”, larger than a throw, smaller than a full-size bedspread. It weighs 6.8 lbs. A similar-sized quilt made totally of quilter’s cotton fabric, and wool batting weighs 3.4 lbs. A weighted blanket for someone my size would be around 14 lbs. So the jean quilt lives somewhere in the middle of a typical quilt and a purpose built weighted blanket.
My message in comparing and sharing in this post is that there is some effect that a person feels, albeit minor. This post is about the cozy, “I’m in a spa smelling lavender, listening to Frank Sinatra, getting massaged and falling asleep” feeling. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration.
If you need the weighted blanket for medical reasons, please research weighted blankets and talk to your doctor. I can tell you that I experience a small bit of the benefits, enough to feel good.
Let’s shift to the warmth. The denim fabric is a significant factor in the warmth of the quilt. It will be warm no matter what other choices you make with the batting and backing.
As I mentioned above, I used a thick loft, 100% cotton batting with a Minky backing. Two words…super warm on the side of hot.
The batting and backing are toggles to pull if you want warmer or cooler. You can make the batting polyester, so it’s cooler or eliminates it altogether. Cotton will be warmer. The backing can be cotton fabric on the cooler side and move into flannel for warmer, fleece, or Minky for super warm. On a side note, the softness follows the same pattern; soft for cotton, softer for flannel, and softest for fleece and Minky. Many combos are available, depending on your needs, preferences, and how the quilt will be used.
What do you think? Does all that make you want a jean quilt? If you are ready, stop in here. If it doesn’t, at least you have the knowledge. And if it does, start collecting jeans, jean dresses, skirts, and jackets.
Do you already have a jean quilt? Share pictures in the comments. I’d love to see and hear about your experiences.