Denim Week Continues...Stonewashed Genes

Denim, patchwork, recycle, resourceful
My own version of resourcefulness: pillows from reused denim

My mother has an aversion to discarding jeans.  It's an actual condition.  It doesn't matter if the waist is the size of a grapefruit or A.C. Slater would have liked them, she just can't throw them out.  From the early 70s to the early 80s she piled up heaps and heaps of old jeans, and when our family made a big move in 1983 from Franklin, NE, to Albuquerque, NM, she handed over a decade's worth of denim to my Grandma.

Mom knew that in the hands of Grandma this denim would not go to waste. When my mom was little, Grandma would take adult-size clothing, rip out the seams and cut out clothes for tiny people.*  At restaurants she was the queen of the "doggy bag."  At one point along her life's journey, she stopped asking servers for take-home bags and just began carrying ziplocks in her purse.  Her critics called her cheap, but I call that resourceful.  

So you can image what a woman like this could do with a serious stockpile of denim.  First there were the quilts, every Christmas for four consecutive years a large brown trash bag sat under the tree, we knew by the gift wrap that it was one of Grandma's denim patchwork quilts.  At some point Grandma began making patchwork pillows in which the denim formed a picture.  The boys' pillows had the silhouette of a boy, and likewise, the girls' had an image of a girl.  Grandma gave each of her grandchildren a gender-specific pillow, except for my cousin Sarah, hers was a dog.**
Denim, patchwork, recycle, resourceful
What up, pillow, you denim masterpiece?!  Looks like I must be a girl, Grandma told me so!
I was obsessed with this pillow, slept on it every night for years, which was long enough to give the acid wash-areas a slight-yellow tinge.

I inherited some of this resourcefulness from my grandma and some of the hoarding from my mom.  If I know something has potential to be something great, I can't throw it out...especially denim.  You probably didn't know something like this could be hereditary, but apparently I have stonewashed genes.  So, Mom, hand over all the denim from the 90s and the 2000s, and let's get busy!

My beloved li'l girl pillow inspired me to do some patchwork designs of my own. My LOVE pillow and my Heart pillow*** are shown in the top photo. These pillows are currently available as perks on my indiegogo campaign.  Only 12 days left before the campaign ends.  I hit the road on November 4th, so time is of the essence!  I'd LOVE (pillow) your support!

*Some people refer to them as children.  My mother was one of these tiny people roaming the earth in miniaturized adult clothing.
**I'm not insinuating that Grandma was confused about Sarah's species.  Sarah loves dogs.  She even had her dog as the maid of honor at her wedding.  (You think I'm making this up...)
***I have to come up with cleverer names for these...  


  1. that aztec!!! it's one of the ones i wanted for couches! michael levine??