“Cheat Sheet” for CUTTING the Denim Circle Rag Bag!


photo 1

If you happen to have my Denim Circle Rag Bag pattern you might be interested in the brand new cutting directions.  I created a detailed breakdown (diagrams) of how to cut all of the pieces you will need from the denim jeans.

It’s just not the same to cut up jeans as it is to cut up traditional yardage!  So…I wanted to further clarify this process.

If you’d like a copy, just click on this link:

Denim Circle Rag Quilt Cutting CHEAT SHEET!


As always Thank You all for visiting!

Heather :)

Love a Collage…

Up until today, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make one of those cool photo collages I see on other people’s blogs all the time!  You know, the one’s where they have a bunch of pictures beautifully arranged in a table with a banner over the top that says, “15 ways to decorate a pumpkin!”  Or something like that…

I accidently stumbled onto a site today that will do this!  It’s called PicMonkey, am I the last person to find out about it?  This site let’s you make a variety of photo collages in lots of different shapes and sizes!  It doesn’t do the pretty banners though…still looking for those.

Here’s an example using quilts I have for sale in my Etsy Shop!  I LOVE the way PicMonkey does this for you!  So professional!


Novelty Quilt Collage 10_18_12


New Pattern Available on Accuquilt!


Woo-Hoo!  My latest pattern is now available on Accuquilt’s website for purchase and download!

I am so excited to see it there! 

Want to see it??  Go here…The Chicken Patch!


LOVE the Canning Jar Quilt!


This is a beautiful quilt by NanaChar.  I found it in a post at the QuiltingBoard and I just LOVE it!  You can find the quilt HERE.

I think this is the best Canning Jar quilt I’ve ever seen.  I’m definitely inspired to make one now that I’ve seen NanaChar’s!!

BTW, LOVE the adorable little dog in the center of the quilt!



And these fabrics would look SOOOOO good in it!



There’s just something so appealing about fruit and vegetable fabrics!  I think it’s the bright colors and of course, the FOOD!

Heather :)

Inventive Denim Website is HERE!


Hi all,

While we’re waiting to get that banner (above) fixed, check out my NEW website, Inventive Denim!!!  It’s finally here!!!

This is my new Logo:



I’m really happy with it and I’m equally thrilled with my new website!

I’ll be blogging over there now (for the most part) so please check it out!


Heather :)

The Chicken Patch- Brand new PATTERN!

Here it is, the brand new pattern under my new label “Inventive Denim”!

The picture seen here is of the pattern cover.  This pattern is FRESH off the presses, I picked it up from the printer this morning! 

If you look closely, you can see that the denim background squares are made up of pockets.  I was really excited to use the pockets in this way.  It’s a fun look! 

The die cut chickens were made using a GO! cutter and the Accuquilt Folk Art Fowl die.  The great thing about this quilt is that if you do NOT own a GO! cutter, you can still make it!  Accuquilt gave permission for me to make full size outlines of the chicken and egg appliques!


Pretty Cool-eh!  I’m very happy that anyone can make it!


Chicken quilt in Office

Here are some photos of the quilt and table runner taken in my backyard in front of the chicken coop!  How appropriate!!

Heather's chx quilt


For more photos, check out the Inventive Denim Facebook page!

Thank you to everyone who visits my site.  I am so appreciative!!

Heather :)

Help! Can't see my banner!

Are there any tech savvy individuals out there who might know what my blog banner is not showing up? Just in case it's an easy fix... ;)


Recycling more than 5000 pairs of jeans!!

10-year-old ‘EcoErek’ recycles jeans, shoes

Written by Kathryn Milstein | | kmilstein@toledofreepress.com

**Note the above, I did NOT write this article but I did reprint it in it’s entirety and left the credits.  Hope that counts… :)

This is just such a fantastic article.  It’s all about a young 10 year old boy who wanted to help out after Hurricane Katrina.  He managed to collect over 5000 pairs of jeans which have been used to create insulation for homes.  That’s a LOT of jeans!!!

What a very inspiring story (and it’s about jeans so you know I had to post about it!) :)

Erek “EcoErek” Hansen has kept 5,838 pairs of jeans out of landfills, helped insulate more than 11 homes rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina and helped set a Guinness World Record.

EcoErek is 10 years old.

He said he started recycling in 2009 due to a contest in the National Geographic Kids magazine, which called for pairs of jeans to recycle with the “Cotton. From Blue to Green” organization. The group shreds donated jeans, which become insulation for homes built by Habitat for Humanity across the United States.

EcoErek and his mother, Amy Hansen, hosted a denim drive in their driveway, where they collected about 1,000 pairs of jeans. Combined with a local alternative energy company’s donation of 600 jeans, he shipped 1,684 pairs of jeans to National Geographic.

As the largest donor to the project, EcoErek received a ticket to the Guinness World Records Ceremony in Washington, D.C. At the ceremony, National Geographic Kids magazine was listed as the “Largest Collection of Clothing to Recycle” for 33,088 pairs of jeans.

Amy said after the drive, her son wanted to continue collecting for the organization.

“I think it’s fantastic that your son or daughter can come to you with an idea, something they’re passionate about,” she said. “We always told him he could make a difference.”

Amy reached the organization and made a drive schedule with her son. With five denim drives in three months and several dropbox locations, EcoErek collected 4,154 pairs of jeans — and his nickname — in 2010.


The jeans, which weighed about 9,100 pounds, created enough insulation for eight homes.

“I think that as we get more people who hear about the program, we get more of a response,” Amy said.

This year, EcoErek included shoes in his drive to donate to USAgain, a for-profit organization that collects used clothes and resells them.

Amy said USAgain will pay EcoErek 2 cents per pair of shoes collected. He said he was not sure what charity to donate the money to.

EcoErek set a goal of 5,000 pairs of jeans collected this year. There was no goal for the shoes. With his drives completed — the last was June 11 — he sits on 2,262 pairs of jeans and 1,585 pairs of shoes. Dropboxes in Perrysburg and Oregon will collect jeans and shoes until August.

“The drive has just had a phenomenal response,” Amy said. “I’m not worried about reaching the goal. We were at this place last year with this number of jeans collected, too.”

With more than 2,000 pairs of jeans, EcoErek could provide enough insulation for four homes.

“I’m glad we got four houses worth,” he said. “And we still have the rest of the summer.”

For the rest of the season, EcoErek and Amy will collect items from dropboxes and fetch donations from anyone unable to get to a box who contacts them. The two will visit garage sales at the end of June to drop off cards and offer a place for unwanted jeans.

In August, Amy and EcoErek, who is “kinda known as the jean guy now,” Amy said, will gather the jeans and shoes for a final total before shipping them to the respective organizations.

Until totaling time, the jeans and shoes will be stored in warehouse space provided by First Solar.

The local company has collaborated with EcoErek since 2009. EcoErek and Amy gather the collection goods and haul them to storage. They also put the jeans and shoes into the 4-foot-square shipping containers. First Solar provides the shipping for the jeans.

“We’re taken up about as much space storing the shoes as we have the jeans,” Amy said.

The shoes are about the same volume as the jeans once they’re collected in the bags Amy and EcoErek use to store them until August.

Next year, EcoErek said he will continue the jean collection as long as he is passionate about recycling.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s really fun, and I love keeping the jeans out of the landfill and saving the planet.”

Another Show! And so many changes!


September 20-22nd is the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival in Pleasanton, CA and I’ll be there!


I’ve been working nonstop on getting new recycled denim patterns ready as well as kits and samples!  Yikes!  It’s been crazy around here!


Also, the banner at my Pleasanton booth will be brand new.  It will say, “Inventive Denim” instead of “A Passionate Quilter”!  And…here’s what my new logo will look like!  I’m SO excited about my new name and look.  What do you think?



So, if you happen to be in the area and will be at the show, PLEASE shop by and say “Hi”!  I would love to see you!  If not, my new patterns will be up on the NEW Inventive Denim website very soon!  I’ll let you all know as soon as that happens.

Pictures are also coming of the new patterns, die cuts, booth set up, website, etc!  Oh my gosh!  So much is going on!!!

New Pattern…

Here is a sneak peek at my new chicken pattern.  The wall hanging and table runner have been quilted and bound and the pattern is going to the printer this week. 

Notice all the recycled denim jeans… :)



IMG_5023 2

I’m off to proof patterns!  Have a good one!

Make your own Denim Dog Leash!

Below is a picture tutorial for making a dog leash out of recycled denim jeans!  Pretty cool and also very easy.

(To go directly to the tutorial, roll mouse over picture and click “see all steps”, then click on “Denim Dog Leash” at top left corner!)

Loving the “Mozaic” Quilt!


The other day while “researching” quilt blogs (ha-ha, I like to tell myself I NEED to look at other quilt blogs in order to make sure I am keeping up with the trends!) I came across a quilter who had made quite a few quilt tops using a pattern called “Mozaic”. 

The blog, Shey’s World of Stitchin Magic does not appear to be an active blog.  You’ll notice if you visit the site that the last post was in March.  However, I did want to give Shey full credit for all of the tops you see here.  They are all hers and I just LOVE them.  Who knows, maybe she’ll pick things back up and start blogging again!

After seeing these quilts, I was motivated to do some searches online to find the pattern.  Unfortunately, I came back empty handed.

I finally found some information on her blog about where she originally took the class and was able to track down the shop selling the pattern.

The pattern was written by Marie Anderson of the Material Girl Quilt Shop in Apopka, FL.  They don’t have it listed for sale on their website but I emailed the shop and they arranged to mail me the pattern.  True to their word, I received the pattern in the mail a few days later.  (Yeah!)

It’s not a difficult pattern (my favorite) and it is designed for fat quarters (another favorite)!

Here are examples of the quilt made by Shey.  She’s made quite a few.  VERY inspiring!!

Halloween….(I just LOVE Halloween fabrics so this one really appeals to me)!!

I really like this “St Patrick’s Day” version!! 

This reminds me of stained glass…so nice!

Notice how all of the fabrics used in the center of the quilt are also used in a scrappy border.


A 56” x 56” quilt only requires 9 FQs.  A 56” x 70” requires 12 FQs.  This just looks like such a fun quilt and the results are stunning!!

I can’t wait to find some time to make this! 

Taking Photos of the Rag Bag and the NEW Fangled Snap!


It’s never easy to get the best photos of my creations.  I take a TON of photos but in the end I’m usually pretty happy with the results!

Of course, once I get the photos then I have to wrangle with the colors to get them to look as realistic as possible!


Here are some photos of my latest Rag Bag made from recycled denim jeans.  If you’d like to see more, the pattern can be found here: Denim Circle Rag Bag.


I have to say I REALLY like the outdoor summer shots.  All the beautiful green in the background.  The grass, the trees…

It’s not super easy to see in this shot but I REALLY like these new magnetic snaps!  You SEW them directly onto the bag!!!  How cool is that.  They’re made from a soft plastic and there is a small channel to guide your stitches.  The plastic is very soft and easy on your needle.


Here’s a more detailed shot…see the circular channels? You sew directly in the channels.  It’s very easy and best of all, you can attach the snaps after you’re ALL DONE with the purse.

I don’t know about anyone else but I have DEFINITELY made a purse and realized after it was too late that I forgot to attach the snaps!


Here’s a place to get them online for a really good price!



Die Cut Rag Circles!


Hello all,

I have been very busy over here (but who’s not, right?)  :)

I’m in the process of having my brand new “Inventive Denim” website designed, writing new patterns, planning for some upcoming shows and classes and preparing to release my brand new DIE CUT, PRE-FRINGED denim circles!



Die cut pre-fringed circles you say?  How did that come about?

I wanted to improve my Denim Circle Rag Quilt by coming up with an easier way to make it.  I wanted people who didn’t have the time or desire to cut the circles, the opportunity to make it as well.

I started by having a custom die made with the shape and size you might expect (if you’re familiar with my denim circle pattern).  A 6 1/2” circle with fringe.  Sounded perfect so I placed the order and got busy making quilts.  Uhhhh…small problem. I wasn’t happy with the finished product.

The fringe could be seen peeking through the back of the quilts after washing and drying.  Now it didn’t poke through a TON but enough that I felt with repeated washings and usage, you would eventually end up with little “poofs” of denim fringe poking through the back of the quilts where ever the seams intersected! 

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Please don’t tell me my brand new, custom designed die doesn’t work!

So, after a few days of extra chocolate intake to reboot my brain I started all over.

Why didn’t it work?  What could I do differently?  It took a while but I finally came up with a design that does work.  And works PERFECTLY!  I love it!

I have signed on a few pattern testers and they will be busy helping me with my new table runner pattern using the die cut denim circles.  (Thank you pattern testers- you know who you are)!!!

Just as soon as they’re done you’ll be seeing a new pattern available in conjunction with die cut circles!

Here are a few pictures of a table runner I just made using the die cuts.  L-O-V-I-N-G it!  :)  What do you think?



Going to be Changing Over…


Very soon I’m going to be dividing myself (a “mitosis” of sort for you science folks out there!). 

I’ll be shifting all of my denim information over to my NEW blog “Inventive Denim”.  It’s still in the creation process so I’ll let you know as soon as it’s up and running!

This blog will remain for all of my non-denim related quilting stuff!

Speaking of my non-denim “STUFF”…I’ve been very busy posting quilt TOPS to my Etsy shop.  I’m a huge novelty fabric fan so I’ve been busy using up my stash and, okay, maybe also buying some new fabrics, to post to my shop.

Here are some of the tops I have posted.  They’re all super long (around 6 feet).  I really like to make quilts for teens and tweens so the tops are larger.  They’re a unique group and hard to shop for!  It can be difficult to find fabrics for them but they’re out there! 

I especially like the “I Heart Snakes” quilt top!  I’m tempted to keep it for myself since I’m such a huge snake lover!!!  Yes, it’s true!  I love snakes!

Etsy 1

Etsy 3

I am really loving my new Star Wars quilt too! 

Etsy 1
Etsy 3

“Surf like a Girl” is another of my favorites!  Not only is the feature fabric awesome but I LOVE the coordinating batiks!

Etsy 1

Etsy 3

I’m off to work on the next project!  Have a good one!!

Heather  :)

Looking for Newsletter Sign up?


Just in case you only receive my email updates I wanted to let you know that you will need to go to my actual blog in order to sign up for my newsletter!  Sorry about that!

The sign up is located on the right hand side of the Blog.  Go here to sign up…http://www.apassionatequilter.blogspot.com.

Thank you and I’m very sorry for any confusion!!


Newsletter and the FREE E-Book! They’re HERE!

Hi all!

I’m so excited because I’m unveiling my BRAND new Newsletter titled, “Inventive Denim” and simultaneously releasing my new E-Book, “My Best Tips for Sewing (& Quilting) with Recycled Jeans”!!

As a matter of fact, they’re tied together in one neat little bundle!

Sign up for my newsletter (see form directly to the top, right of this page) and I’ll send you my FREE E-Book too!

I’ve spent a LOT of time pouring every trick I have found to be effective in working with denim into this E-Book.  I hope you will find it very useful.

And the newsletter, well it’s appropriately called, “Inventive Denim” because it will be all about using denim and recycled jeans to sew and create projects! 

Inventive Denim is not just the name of my new newsletter, it’s also going to be the name of my new Blog Site!  It’s being created right now and so the release is still a bit off, but it’s going to be terribly exciting and I hope you will consider following me over to it!

I will still be here at The Passionate Quilter for now (and maybe longer, I’m debating) so I hope you’ll keep stopping by!


Don’t forget to sign up and get my free E-Book before you leave!!!

Heather :)


New VIDEO for making Denim Circles!



Hello Everyone!

Yesterday I posted a Brand New video on a tip I discovered for cutting denim circles!  If you’re making one of my Denim Circle Rag Quilts or something like it and you need a lot of circles, this tip could be really helpful.  :)

Here’s the video:


If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know!  It’s always so nice to get feedback on whether something is working for people or not. 

In addition, I also UPDATED my video which demonstrates how to use the circle cutter.  I made some changes and I think it’s overall better (not to mention shorter)!

Here’s that video in case you’re interested!!


Almost ready to put out my new Ebook so if you’re interested, please check back.

Thank you everyone for coming here to see what’s going on!

Heather :)

Sewing with Denim, the EBOOK!

[ File # csp6378240, License # 1304608 ]
Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / bruno1998

I’ve spent a lot of time sewing with recycled denim jeans over the past year.  You may have seen my patterns using jeans;

  - the Denim Circle Rag Quilt,

  - the Denim Circle Rag Bag

  - the Pocket Pot Holders

 (if you haven’t seen them, check out my Etsy Shop!)

Just like anything else, with practice came awareness about what works and what doesn’t. 

As I continued to work with denim, I began to wonder if some of you might have the same concerns I originally had about what it takes to sew with such a unique fabric. 

Concerns such as:

-whether your sewing machine will work with the heavier weights and thicknesses associated with denim.

-being up for figuring out something completely new while working all on your own (intimidating!)

-quilting a heavy denim quilt under the arm of your sewing machine (too much bulk and too much weight!)

-how to keep the denim from stretching and getting the seams to line up properly!

On the other hand, I was sure some of you wanted to

-be more “eco-friendly” by using recycled fabrics

-find a way to use the stacks of family jeans carefully tucked away for the perfect project!

And, at the very least
, I figured there were some more Experienced individuals out there who might like to know some of the tricks I’ve discovered for making the whole process easier

 SO…I’ve written an Ebook- all about DENIM!

An eBook (electronic book for you to download) in which I share all of my knowledge related to working with denim (recycled or fresh from the bolt!). 

The best part is that it is absolutely FREE to you. 

I want you to feel confident in working with denim whether it be for pot holders, quilts or bags. 

What can you expect to see in this Ebook? 

1. How to make adjustments to your sewing machine that will accommodate the specific characteristics of denim i.e. proper stich length or foot pressure.  

2. The right kind of needles and why they make a difference. 

3. The most common pitfalls associated with denim and how to overcome them!

4. Why having a hammer on hand is VERY useful and what Spray Starch does to denim to make cutting a BREEZE!

5. Specific TIPS that I have personally learned over time to make your sewing SO MUCH easier!

Of course, there’s more…

And, as a special BONUS, I’ll include ideas for where you can go to replenish your supply of jeans.  Everything I know about getting jeans cheap or even FREE!

folded Jeans Clipart PAID 11_14_11 copyfolded Jeans Clipart PAID 11_14_11 copyfolded Jeans Clipart PAID 11_14_11 copy

I’m VERY excited about this book! 

Now, you can’t get it just yet, it’s just a few short days away from being released.   In addition, I’ll be offering sign ups for my brand new Newsletter as well.

I’m looking forward to getting this information out right away- so check back soon!

And THANK YOU for your continued support!

Heather  :)




Western Sew, Quilt and Textile Expo in Reno!


I just participated in my first Quilt Show as a vendor.  At the COMPLETE last minute I decided to see if it would be possible to gain entry into the QSC Expo being held in Reno.

Lucky for me, the person in charge (thanks Vickie!) was able to accommodate me and a few short days later I was setting up my booth at the Grand Sierra Resort!

I was able to offer all three of my denim patterns as well as the Circle Cutter and Rag Snips!  I spent most of the show demonstrating how to use the circle cutter and how to assemble the Denim Circle Rag Quilt!

It was SUCH a blast talking to people about my patterns and showing them how to make them! 

I want to take a moment to THANK everyone who stopped by my booth and talked with me!  I so enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!


Also, if you ordered a circle cutter from me I expect them to be here tomorrow (I hope!).  I will get them off to you ASAP!!!


Here are some pictures of my booth!  (And me, of course!) :)




A VERY successful first show!  Thank you to everyone who supported me and my business!!!!

Heather :)

Quilt for Charity


I really don’t have very much time to work on personal quilting projects because all of my time goes to pattern design and promoting my current patterns.

However, I’m a firm believer that you’ve still got to find time for the things in your life that you do for no other reason than because you enjoy them.

So…I’m taking a few minutes a day to work on things that are just fun (and not work).

I have just started making a quilt for an old hospital from the 1800’s located in Virginia City.  The caretakers are restoring it and I thought it would be nice to donate a quilt for one of the guest beds using Civil War era fabric.

Civil War fabric is NOT my thing so I thought this would be a good way to get out of my box at the same time! 

I wanted to use jelly roll strips and found this fun and easy pattern.


I’m using two jelly rolls by Moda.  They’re called something like “Collection for a Cause”- don’t have one in front of me at the moment.  I wanted to make a twin but I think I’ll be just shy with the two rolls.  It’s probably not worth getting another roll so I’ll just add a border as needed.

You can see one jelly roll still rolled up in the corner.

This quilt is all about making a LOT of strip sets, which is fine by me.  I just want some easy work that doesn’t require a lot of brain power!




Even though I’m not a Civil War fabric type of person…I’m still liking the strip sets!  Yeah!


Denim Wallet


I’ve been so lucky to work with a wonderful lady on Etsy who saw my purse pattern and loved it but doesn’t sew!  She asked me to make her a custom purse and it turned out great.  Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of it!!! Ahhhhh!!!

Well, she followed up with a request for a matching wallet and here’s what I made (remembered to take pictures this time!).

The two green fabrics are the same two I used in her purse.  The pattern was based on a tutorial by That Darn Kat.

I made some changes and added a few things but overall, it was a great tutorial!





A fun project, I’ll definitely be making more!  :)

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