The only thing that I did with this blanket is the same thing that our mother did with the ones we grew up with--cut off the legs, split open the seams and try to square (or rectangle) them up as much as possible. Then I sewed them all together and serged the edges with a final serge around the entire outer edge. No backing or anything else. After I don't know how many years, some of the serging is starting to fray around the outer edge, but it has had TONS of use.
Later, after a number of my friends wanted one for themselves and I helped them, I decided to add my embroidered initial in one of the corners. Let me just be a sewing snob for one second--although I guarantee I would be able to tell my sewing handiwork apart from others, the initial was added as an easy way to tell each family's from another. I think that I did an initial on my friend Cindy's blanket once she finished hers. And I also think I did an initial on Ashlee's blanket when she and our brother got married. She'd have to confirm that one.
This kind of blanket is so easy. With mine being stored in the back of my van I use it constantly. Just as a note--you need about 9 pairs of adult jeans to make a good size denim blanket that you can use for picnics, beach, watching the fireworks displays, etc.
The second style I did was for L.'s room. I did more along the lines of the Martha Stewart style that Emily posted about. I actually undid one of the two other blankets I had made (one for the van and one for inside the house--that was great for picnics in the living room) so that I would have enough to make hers. I cut various strips of denim and sewed them together. You can see the various sizes and colors of denim that I used for hers. She is a horse nut and so this went perfectly for what she wanted to do with her room.
I topstitched randomly on the seams (every 3 0r 4 seams) using a denim double needle and denim topstitching thread. It really does make the look of the quilt.Since her room is downstairs and it remains pretty cool there all the time, I just backed it with a really nice piece of fleece. She loves it and says that she stays nice and toasty.
One of the best thing about denim quilts is that you really don't worry too much about any wear and tear, and you don't worry about staining (that just adds a little character to the blanket anyway). Our mother's old denim quilt had manure--yes, you read that right--manure stains on the quilt from a couple of pairs of our dad's old Wranglers. Nobody seemed to care.