Friday, March 18, 2011

Levi Ambition

Do you remember me talking about the Levi quilt I made in the late 1970s, the one I never completed? This quilt has been wrapped in a plastic bag, then stored inside a plastic container ever since that time. It probably should have been stored in cotton, but that was then, this is now. This quilt is a story of my past ambition, Levi ambition, forestalled till now.

Today I took the quilt top and bottom out, spread them out on our king sized bed and took a photo of them. Yes, it's a king sized reversible quilt; matching my king sized ambitions from back then. This is the first photo of this quilt and the first time I've held this Levi quilt in my hands since the late 1970s. Oh how time and ambitions fly by, so quickly by.

I was inspired to design this reversible Levi quilt back then because Levi's were the most popular staple of American dress. So many pieces of this quilt were worn by me and others back when cotton lasted, really lasted, a lifetime. Of course I had to cut the squares of Levi from worn pieces of material. I wanted that worn look and that soft feeling Levi material gets after it's been washed, worn, and washed many times.

I remember going in many a thrift store for several years looking for just the right size and worn look Levi's. Only the top part of a larger sized Levi pants leg could be used for a square because each square had to be 6.5 inches in order to have the seam allowance for a 6 inch square. Lots of Levi's have been recycled into this quilt.

I've already quilted the center red star and blue star. The thread in the red star is rotted on one side and will have to be re-stitched. I intended to tie the corners of each square together. Some time after I made this Levi quilt top and bottom, I met Gary. We were married and the project went to the back burner.

I googled Levi quilt and apparently others have used Levi for quilts too, but mine is the only one with a star in the center. Using a star in the center of the front and back of the quilt had nothing to do with my married last name; I made the Levi quilt before I even met Gary. He and I have been married for twenty five years, so the quilt is older than that.

Each Levi square is six inches. The quilt top, Levi with red square, measures 102 x 72 inches. The quilt back, red with Levi square, measures slightly smaller. I intended to add more Levi squares around the edge to make the back the same size as the top.

Miraculously I saved a multitude of Levi squares, a few pair of Levi's, and some extra of the red material. Today I'm wondering if I have enough ambition to finish this Levi quilt from the past. Comments are welcome.


  1. I would say this is definitely a project you should finish, it's great! might be nice with some more red accents using red thread for knotting or something. I've always wanted to make one of these, just never enough time is there!

  2. Hi Tracey, thanks, that was my original intention to use red thread to tie each corner. Really there never is enough time, I jump all over the place because there is so much I want to do and still not enough time to do it all. This project is pretty close though, I should really finish it, then I can mark it off my loonnnngggg list. Ha.

  3. OOh gosh! I love finish it!

  4. Linda, This is beautifully written and a great personal story. I Love the king sized quilt to match the king sized ambition. I'm sure you'd find great satisfaction in finishing, but yet, there's a certain charm to not finishing it, too. Another great story in that alone! I am particularly taken with the star design and meeting Gary... the Story of the Star Quilt continues.

  5. Finish it or perhaps find someone else you can trust to do it for you. It is after all a piece of the younger you. It has history, its beautiful in a rugged sort or way and it looks wonderful on your bed. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. I hope that you find time to finish it. Homemade quilts are so special. My mom quilts and she has made me many table runners and wall hangings. I treasure them.

  7. I hope you find the time to finish it it is beautiful!! My Grandmother had one she started 70 years ago and just pulled it out recently to finish it hopefully. When I ask for updates she says at 95 she hopes she lives long enough to complete it! lol
    Can't wait to see it finished!!!!!

  8. Beautiful quilt. Love the story about the gathering of the Levis. I really like the star..hope you go ahead and finish it. I have saved a few pair of my hubbies levis and keep threatening to cover an entire wall in his office with them. Wish I'd saved them all over the 30+ years we've been together. But when I was younger I didn't save stuff like I do now.

  9. What an imaginative and exciting design and project. Best wishes with its completion.

  10. What a beautiful recycle and I was thinking "Starr" till you explained it. Maybe it was prophetic.
    You must finish.

  11. Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, the putting it together is the part I don't like in quilting, I like the piecing.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, only you, I think, would say perhaps not finishing it, one of the things I like about you best, you see things differently. I have so many projects unfinished, I have been trying to cross them off the list and let them go so to speak.

    Hi Michele, thanks, it is a huge thing to do, weilding the weight of that fabric and getting it right.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes, the younger me, I think nowadays there are lots of competent quilters I could get to do it; I may look into the cost of that and then I can get on with other projects.

    Hi Judy, thanks, yes the quilts are so comforting, so lucky you are to have ones made by your mom.

    Hi Annie, thanks, I am so glad you posted about your grandmother, now I don't feel so bad about waiting so long with this one and holding on to it for so long - 70 years oh my.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I can recall now going from thrift store to thrift store looking for jeans, having folks save them and still needing more. I've always been a saver and have been letting a few things go recently, moving around does that.

    Hi Paul, thanks so much.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I really should finish it since it has so much work behind it already, perhaps it means we may move to a more mountsin place where it would go with the decor better, I think that in the back of my mind.

  12. Great story and quilt! It is vintage now, so you should definitely finish it.

  13. I really like the look! Is it really heavy? I never made anything for the bed out of denim, but i know others who have. I'm not sure how they quilted them. I'm not sure even my heavy duty Gammill could handle two layers of denim!

  14. Ok I might get around to this, got the box out again.

    Hi Janice, thanks, the levi part is quite heavy, I originally intended to tie it with some red cotton thread, probably even pushing a needle through would be difficult, one of these days, I am in the process of moving and must sort and pack so no time now but hopefully some day. Ha.


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