November 19, 2018

Another Quilt Post! (It’s Long!)

I know, you’re sick of me posting about my quilt collection, but this time, I decided to do something about it. In this post from July, I had some images of quilted coats. I started mulling the idea of making a coat from one of the quilts with condition issues, like stains or wear. image

I thought about it some more. The coat needed to be very simple. It needed to be simple because I’ve never made a coat, or even anything with sleeves before. I’d also never really made anything using a printed pattern. The coat needed to be a loosely-fitted, boxy design because of the quilt’s bulk. And I pretty much knew that there was no way in this world that I could construct and attach a collar. I finally found and  bought a pattern for the potential coat. image

There was actually a belt with the pattern, but I thought that would move the coat into more of a bathrobe territory.

I pondered some more. How could I make this work? I didn’t really want to have to have to sew hems around the whole coat, because again, the bulk. All of a sudden, the solution came to me. Why not use the borders of the quilt for the edges of the coat! I could use the corners for the two front panels, and then the other borders for the arms and the back.

Once I figured that out, things pretty much fell into place. I had gotten a quilt a little while ago at a different auction from my usual one, and they had a full photo of it online. I screen-grabbed it and put it in Photoshop. As you can see, there’s a pattern of sorts. I wanted to figure out how to take advantage of the larger red squares, because there were only two of them. image

Then I scanned in the pattern pieces and started moving them around until I found the layout which would take advantage of the borders and the red blocks. This was an early iteration of the lay-out.quilted coat

I wanted to try and match the fronts, but alternating the brown and red, and the sleeves with the white at the top. It took some playing to get this done, with the quilt laying out on my bed, Figue trying to be part of it all and me pinning the tissue paper pattern to the quilt. I actually marked the patterns out on the right side of the quilt (in a Sharpie marker, no less!), because I wanted to be certain of where the pieces were going to be. Even after I printed out this lay-out, I changed it again.image

The hardest part was actually putting scissors to fabric, but once I did, I just kept cutting. I have a dress-maker’s dummy, so I started pinning the coat on that and could finally see it taking shape… literally. image

As I mentioned, I’ve never made a garment with sleeves, so I had NO idea of how this would work. As you can see by the middle image, I initially put the sleeves in backwards, and then realized i needed to turn the sleeves inside-out. I also put seam-binding around the neck-line, since it was the only place where the raw edges showed. Once I figured all of that out, it was smooth sailing sewing. All in all, it took about five hours to make the coat, not including the contemplating and pondering.

I  like how the pattern mostly matches up, and how you can see the amazing stitch-work on the plain panel on the back of the jacket. I think that the bright graphic pattern on this quilt steers it away from the bathrobe territory. I did adjust the sleeves a little, but they were still too long, so I’ve just folded them back.

Front 1backFront 2

To say that I am THRILLED about how the coat (or quoat, as a friend termed it) turned out would be an understatement. I started this morning picking up coffee and having a woman stop me to tell me how much she loved my coat. I had to tell her I had made it all by my self!

So, that brings up my next quandry. I thought I would have sold a lot of the quilts at my Pop-Up Shop in September, but I only sold one! I was pretty surprised by that. I am now thinking of making some of these quilt coats for sale. I won’t cut up the perfect quilts, but some of the ones that are 90% perfect, since I now know how much fabric I need. I would make them in S, M, L and XL, not by actual sizes. I am thinking that you could pick which quilt you wanted, and what size you need, and the coat would be made to order. Thoughts?

November 16, 2018

Instagram: The Days are Whizzing By!

I talked about the Pop-Up shop a few weeks ago, and it was a huge success. I really had a great time doing it, and hope to do another one next year. I’ve been busy doing a lecture, teaching a class and a few other things. But I did want to keep you posted on things that are happening here.

One of the old country churches north of the city, decorates their stone wall with pumpkins that the children have carved. image

This is an old city church that I had a chance to visit unexpectedly.image

I am so lucky to have great friends who are painters. image

This is my friend’s kitchen! It can be yours if you buy his house.image

Sometimes, your fortune cookies are spot-on!image

Figue was a bee for Halloween!image

I have a ton of quilts, so decided to try and make a coat out of one of them. This is the mock-up one.image

There’s nothing like a drive in the country to clear your head!image

That’s all for now!