jeans ball

Denim Play, Literally

I’ve been really itching to finish something–anything, so when I saw Leanne at Devoted Quilter’s blog post a few weeks ago with her blue jean English paper pieced (EPP) ball project, I knew I had to give it a try. With Finn just learning how to throw, plus two other kids who love to throw stuff around, and a large stack of jeans worn beyond the point of no return, paired with my desire to reuse and recycle as much as possible, this project was perfect.

jeans ballIt took me a bit longer to finish that I anticipated, as is typical, but today I finally finished this blue jeans ball! As Leanne suggested, I used the EPP templates provided by Abby at While She Naps. I glue basted most of the hexagons of old jeans to help make it a quick project, and I began stitching away!

jeans ballAt first I used 50wt Aurifil thread, but soon switched to 12wt. It was the perfect thickness to make the ball feel substantial and secure. I know this ball will be thrown and pummeled and beat on with the love only kids can exude with a well-loved toy, so I wanted to be sure it lasted the test of time.

kid magnet as a thimbleOne thing I learned during stitching this ball is that I need a thimble! I have old metal ones, but am so awkward in using them, I opted to just use coasters or, in some cases, wooden kid magnets to help ease the needle through the thick denim. This has been my down time and kid-napping-in-the-car project for the past two weeks, created through a series of #sewtake20s.

jeans ball
Ready for stuffing!

With the help of Finn and Max this morning, I stuffed the ball with 100% local wool I bought at Clementine Fabrics, a quasi-local but gorgeous fabric shop.

jeans ball stuffing helperMax helped a bit but soon was distracted with the task of cooking up some sheep soup for us to share with his own big ball of wool.

jeans ballFinn began roaming the rest of the playroom so that I could ladder-stitch the opening closed.

jeans ballIt’s a bit rougher than it could be, but I’m not well versed in 3D sewing. All three kids and a neighborhood friend have already had a blast playing with it within ten minutes of completion, so that’s what matters. Plus, I’ve begun the task of using old jeans for repurposed projects. Yay!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday!

11 thoughts on “Denim Play, Literally”

  1. Hi Kitty, I never used a thimble until I discovered the Clover protect and grip thimble (available from Amazon in 3 sizes). It’s comfortable, stays on and has a metal tip to help push the needle through tough spots. I use it all the time now when I’m hand sewing. I love your denim ball! Laura

    Sent from my iPad



  2. I love your denim version! I just made four I-Spy type balls using the same templates, one for a niece and one for each of my three kids (5, 2, and 1). I added one small ribbon loop as a “tag” to each as well.


  3. I remember seeing this not long ago, it’s such a fun idea! I made an EPP hexie ball a while back, but I love how big and durable this one seems. I may have to make a couple for the kiddos in the family to play with soon!


  4. That came out so lovely Kitty. I sewed a fabric block for my cousin’s daughter a while back and it was…errr…rough around the edges since it was a first foray into 3D sewing but the kids loved it. She would pick it up and throw it all of the the place with no fear of bopped heads or waking the other one up from a nap. Love that with all the different patches of denim you get that beautiful patchwork effect on this ball.


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