One of the fun things about working and volunteering at Our Social Fabric is that I get to unwrap interesting (and some very precious) donations. Every day, there is something new to discover and get excited about.
Earlier this year, we received a large donation of quilting cottons and many pieced quilt blocks. Some were assembled into quilt tops, ready for quilting and others were loose squares waiting to be assembled. One of the current re-use trends today is quilt block jackets or coats made from old quilts.
So, I thought I would take up the challenge and see if I could assemble some of the squares into a jacket. Since my squares were pieced together and not already quilted, I needed to stitch the pieces onto pre-quilted fabric.
Fortunately I had a piece of piece of machine quilted fabric which I used as the base.
So, the process I used was to cut out the pattern pieces from the machine quilted fabric. Since the outside edge of the jacket is covered in bias tape, I cut away the seam allowance along the neck edge, centre front but left the hem edge long. I left the seam allowances intact for the sleeve, shoulder seam and side seams.
Once I had all the pattern pieces cut out (2 fronts, 1 back and two sleeve pieces), I placed the blocks on the pre-quilted pattern pieces and moved them around so that the quilt block pattern was in the right spot.
Since the quilt blocks were too small for the pattern piece, I added coordinating quilting cotton strips and pieces where needed. In the photo of the back of the jacket, you can see where I joined 3 blocks with strips and centered the pattern in the middle of the back panel.
The sleeves were fairly straight forward as the quilt blocks were almost the width of the pattern piece and only needed a few strips to make the sleeves wide enough (especially in the shoulder area).
For the little pockets on the front panels, I cut one of the quilt blocks in half and had them facing each other which added some interest and broke up the repetition of the pattern.
To create some depth to the front panels, I added strips of blue cotton behind the pockets.
Once all the quilt blocks were sized to the pattern pieces, I pinned them down and machine quilted around the pattern and strips so that the block was secured to the backing. I also serged the edges for a clean finish. Assembling the jacket was pretty straight forward but I did notice that, when insetting the sleeve, it was a bit challenging to fit the sleeve into the armhole - I figured this was because the sleeve was more rigid due to the quilted layers. So, I had to do some clipping around the armhole to fit in the sleeve.
Once the jacket was assembled, I covered the edges with a neutral bias tape and hand stitched the inner edge of the binding to the inside of the jacket. I prefer the look of hand stitching inside as that is how traditional quilts would have been finished (rather than a machine "stitch-in-the-ditch" method)
Our Social Fabric