Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!

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Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending time up north during the summer is always special. Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a few years ago when I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern Wisconsin.

On this trip, one of the first things I noticed in the guest bedroom at Jason and Sarah’s house was the denim quilt at the foot of the bed. I had a chance to ask Sarah’s mom, Jill, if she had made the quilt – and she had! The front side of the quilt is a jumble of patchwork squares taken from old pairs of blue jeans. The backside is lined with blue fabric to compliment the front.

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Sarah’s family runs a dairy farm (I once visited the farm on Thanksgiving). I have a not-so-secret love of farms and livestock (especially sheep) so of course, I instantly adore anything originating from a farm. Knowing that this quilt was made from the same blue jeans that frolicked with baby calves makes me incredibly happy.

When I think about denim, I generally assume it’s all the same color – but a close look at the variety of shades represented in Jill’s quilt proves that’s not the case. I’m also impressed with how soft many of the denim patches are, when I typically think about denim being a rougher fabric. I assume that’s the result of many years of farm-family love and spins in the wash.

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Of course, I’m not the only one who enjoys the quilt…

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The quilt has been enjoyed by humans and puppies alike!

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My initial thought was that I’ll never have the opportunity to make a quilt like this one because it’s too warm for someone living in Florida. But when Jill pointed out that it makes a great outdoor blanket – well, now I’m reconsidering. But it might take me awhile to stock up on that many pairs of blue jeans without a farm-frolicking family of five to contribute to the fabric pile. 🙂

Well, it’s time for me to pack up and catch a plane back to the sunshine state. Thanks for the inspiration, Jill, and the memories, Wisconsin!

LindsaySignature

 

 

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