Teen Spirit


  • Three or four pairs of old denim jeans, unpicked and pressed: do not use jeans with Lycra (often called stretch jeans), as they don't fray 'right'
  • One small pocket removed from the jeans: do not unpick the top edge of the pocket

Finished Size

18in (46cm) square

Skill Level


Where to buy

You can use your own old jeans or buy some from charity shops


Cut the following:

  • Fourteen 7in squares
  • Thirty six 3in squares
  • Eight large hearts using template
  • Two small hearts using template
  • Four 6 x 19in strips for the cushion back

Note: all seams are stitched twice, the fabrics are placed WS together and a 1⁄2in seam allowance is used throughout.

Heart Blocks

  1. Take two 7in squares WS together, pin and stitch round outer edges using a 1⁄2in seam allowance. Make five.
  2. On the RS of one small and four large hearts mark a line approx 1⁄8in from the edge and mark further quilting lines at 3⁄8in intervals across the heart. Figure 1.
  3. Centre a large unmarked heart RS up on a prepared square, place the marked heart on top. Stitch on the marked lines through all layers. Make four.
  4. Centre pocket: cut to shape cutting the sides and bottom of the pocket only, do not cut the top of the pocket. Fold the side and bottom edges of the pocket to the WS, press and tack. Centre a small, unmarked heart RS up on the RS of the pocket; lay a marked heart on top and stitch as before. Centre the pocket on the remaining prepared square and stitch close to the pocket edges along sides and bottom, stitch again 1⁄4in away.
  5. Chenille the hearts by cutting the heart fabric only between each pair of stitched lines. You will need small sharp scissors for this and be careful not to cut through the bottom two layers of fabric. Figure 2.

TIP! Mark the first line only and use a quilting guide when sewing

Figure 1: Marking the stitching lines
Figure 1: Marking the stitching lines

TIP! Use either a slash rotary cutter or slide a bias bar between the heart and the square and cut with scissors

Nine Patch Block

  1. Make four nine patch blocks, remembering to use 1⁄2in seam allowances. Stitch small squares WS together into rows; then join the rows. Press the seams open.
  2. Take one of the remaining 7in squares WS up and place a nine patch block on top, pin all round, stitch 1⁄2in from the edge on all sides. Stitch in the ditch using a very narrow zigzag stitch that just catches the fabric on each side of the seam. Make four.
  3. Lay the blocks out as shown in Figure 3 and, placing WS together, stitch using a 1⁄2in seam. Sew the seams twice and then press seams open.
Figure 2: Preparing to cut the chenille
Figure 2: Preparing to cut the chenille


  1. Make a cushion back using your favourite method. Julie used 19in strips of denim joined WS together with 1⁄2in seams, which were clipped at the final stage for a raggy back. A zip was inserted between two of the strips so that the cover can be removed for laundering. Pin the cushion front and back WS together and stitch 1⁄2in from edges, stitch again.
  2. Now comes the fun part. Clip all the seam allowances at right angles to the seams and at approx 1⁄4in intervals, taking care not to cut the stitching.
  3. Give the cushion a really good shake outside to get rid of some of the loose fibres. Wash, give another really good shake and tumble dry.

Safety Notes

Keep an eye on the dryer as fluff soon builds up: set the dryer for 10-15 min at a time and keep checking and cleaning the filter.

Stitching the seams twice is a safety net; should you inadvertently clip through the stitching hopefully you will not have cut through both rows. If you do have a major slip with the scissors go back to the machine immediately and stitch over the cut stitching to secure.

Figure 3: Layout diagram
Figure 3: Layout diagram

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 15 Number 2 - February 2005