Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Freemotion Quilted Denim Vase Face-Off (Say That 10 Times Fast)

Let's make two quilted denim vases from old jeans, with a kick! 

Step one: Cut uneven strips, 1-3" wide, from a bunch of denim jeans. Stitch them together, Then cross cut the strips, and lay out the checkered strips. Add wedges cut from denim between the strips. 

Add batting and a denim backing: 
Quilt as desired. I simply went up and down the wedges with somewhat wiggly lines. 

Finish the edges with a corded edging

Overlap the two long edges by about a quarter inch, and hand stitch in place with strong thread. 

Cut a circle of denim, using the vase bottom as your pattern. Cut it about a quarter inch larger than the base. Cut another layer of denim the same size, place the two circles together, do a corded edging, and hand stitch it into the bottom: 
Now, standing up, it looks like this: 
Are you done yet? If  you're into minimalism, yes. Or, embellish it into a face vase: 

Raid your bead box, button box, your children's toy boxes, your neighbor's kitchen drawers,  whatever, and come up with a bunch of things that have faces. I used the word face literally - like a human or animal face - and also less literally, as you will see.

Side 1, top down: A clock button , a polymer clay face (made in a commercial mold), a mardi gras necklace face bead, an improvisationally crocheted skull (start with the mouth and work your way up), a tiny commercial clay face button. 

Side two, top down: A ceramic sun face button, little plastic paper-wrapped doll head thingie (hard to describe), a happy-face metal button, a tiny dice, a glass head bead. 

Next side: Another polymer clay button, a shrink-plastic kitten face, a domino, a clown face cupcake decoration (with the bottom prong snipped off.) 

And finally, top down, a silver coin, another polymer clay face, a plastic ninja with swathed face, a vintage doll head, an  tiny metal alien charm.

So that was my first face vase. below my second one. It starts out like the first one, but with only denim wedges placed alongside each other. Once the wedges are in position - and while the vase is still flat - I did some improvisational free-motion quilting. It's not easy to think of a lot of different faces! A little more planning would have helped! Learn from my mistakes! Side 1: 

Side 2: 

Side 3. That's my late dog in the middle: 

Side 4. A simplified "Scream" is on bottom.
Novelty yarn creates the hairy top edge.
I lined this one with a Day-of-the-Dead colorful sugar skull fabric: 
Why face vases? I just like the rhyme!  

Can you really use them as vases and put flowers in them? Yes, if you slip a glass vase or jar inside. It's easy to find a size and shape you need at a thrift shop. Or start by using a particular glass vase to guide the size decisions that you make, when you begin the project. 

For many more denim creations, including vessels, click on "Denim" in the word cloud, in the right hand column of this blog. 


  1. These are fabulous. I love the stitched faces.

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! I bet you can do even better!

  2. the eyelash yarn at the top is great with denim! Cathy you are always thinking of the next creative thing!
    LeeAnna Paylor
    Not Afraid of Color!

  3. Thanks so much, Lee Anna! You're so good for my morale!!!

  4. Cathy, you are always thinking outside the box and what you make sure makes me smile. Can I ask what you do with all your creations? Maggie Winfield

    1. Thanks, Maggie. Excellent question. They're piling up. Do you have any suggestions? I've thought of selling them on Etsy, but I can't charge enough!