Quilted Coat completed project is actually two projects in one. This is not only the quilted coat itself, the first one I have made and completed. In addition it is part of an ecourse on making quilted coats. If you love quilting and enjoy making clothes, or even if you have never made anything before, take a look at my existing Making Quilted Jackets and shortly you’ll be able to buy Making Quilted Coats.
THE FINISHED PROJECT
Now I can reveal the quilted coat completed project. Maybe I could claim it is three projects in one because this coat is not only quilted, it is fully reversible. That was a first for me, making a reversible garment. With my easy to follow pictorial instructions, this is a breeze to make. I am so happy with the finished coat.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
I seem to have more projects than hands. A team of little mice is needed to come in and do the sewing whilst I am asleep. The other quilted coat I have already stitched the quilt top for is awaiting some new thread. So that is in the pipeline. Two dresses are almost completed – they are both simply dressmaking and sewing, not quilting.
A few days ago I got a piece of my Cathedral Windows Quilting out, when I showed it on Instagram, everyone fell in love with it. It would make a panel for a quilted coat. It needs some thought as I would not be cutting into it.
Today, I cut the front and back of another coat. It was originally a curtain in my last home and has lived in a drawer, unused for seven years. It was therefore use it or lose it time. I plan to hand stitch this one and make some handmade embellishments.
Tune in next Monday and see how far I have progressed.
Quilting fabrics seem to confuse many, especially newcomers to the craft. Here I explain the difference in cottons and why it is generally best to stick to quilting cottons for quilting.
Cotton is a fibre that is processed into different types of fabrics. Some are more suitable to quilting than others and are known as quilting cotton fabric. This is generally to do with weave and weight. Quilting cotton is a medium weight fabric that tends to hold its shape without undue stretch. This makes it perfect for quilting, usually without the use of starch. It is stable and less likely to fray.
Even within the category of quilting cottons you will find slight differences in weight. Generally speaking quilting fabrics have a thread count of at least 60 – 65 per inch. I love Moda fabrics and many of their fabrics are of a slightly lighter weight, but very easy to use as quilting fabrics, for which they are intended.
Cotton Lawn is another lightweight fabric that is also useful for quilting. Think Liberty Tana Lawn.
Just remember that not all cottons are equal and not all cottons are suitable for quilting. Cotton fabrics vary greatly in quality and price.
Poplin is more suited to dressmaking. In general you need to avoid high thread count such as Egyptian cotton and most cotton sheeting. Tight weaves make quilting more difficult, especially hand quilting. Quilting cottons generally shrink less than some other cottons. Fabrics are also less likely to bleed, so it is worth seeking out quilter’s cottons and paying a little bit extra for them.
Avoid sateen finish. Sadly most of the digital printers now enabling home designers to print their own fabric seem not to supply quilting cottons. I would also avoid polycottons. Quilting takes a lot of time, buy the best fabric you can afford.
On the home printer you can buy cotton sheets to print from your computer. I have a number of designs that I print in this way and feature in my quilts.
There are a number of other fabrics which are suitable as quilting fabrics. You might wish to try a linen and cotton blend or a silk and cotton blend. My favourite alternative fabric is to buy quilting calico and hand dye it.
Pure wool is another alternative that is mostly used in folk type quilts and applique.
If you can afford it, silk is a wonderful quilting fabric.
It is worth making a special mention for backing fabrics. Not least because there is a common misconception amongst quilters that the back of the quilt does not matter. However, this is the part of the quilt often against your skin, so just because it is not seen, does not mean that it does not matter. I pay equal attention to front and back. I am very fond of double sided quilts.
Generally speaking if your quilt top is pure cotton, then your backing should also be pure cotton and preferably of the same make and manufacture to ensure the same behaviour with regards to washing and shrinkage. Some manufacturers make extra width so that backing can be cut as a whole piece if desired. You can join pieces when needed.
If you mix fabrics, make sure they behave the same and shrink at the same rate. This also applies to any embellishments such as ribbons that are on the quilt. Mixing fabrics is often better when applied to art quilts as opposed to bed quilts.
You can see the quilt patterns, kits and designs on the website
Quilting reversible coats is a bit more challenging but you get two coats in one. Using a non traditional lining, you can create coats that give you two different looks.
Every time I made the quilted jackets, a little voice inside my head said ‘make it reversible’. Yet the outer and inner fabric plus quilt wadding does not make this an easy task. Still, I am always up for a challenge.
THE JELLY ROLL QUILTED REVERSIBLE COAT
The jelly roll quilt is now complete as far as patchwork goes. The sleeves are now done with two linings and two outers. This quilted coat is the one that started life as a jelly roll that was made into 4 art quilts. I unpicked those to make a coat. I dislike nylon linings found in commercial coats, so I chose another quilting fabric that was pure cotton. The Morris metallic fabrics are a little heavier than the usual quilting fabrics, but I thought they were too good to hide. So this will definitely be the first time I am quilting reversible coats along with the second on my quilting table
THE HEXAGON QUILTED REVERSIBLE COAT
Unlike the jelly roll quilted coat, this one is all hand stitched. Yet I have finished all the hexagons around the same time. over 100 made in around one month. Good going. Now to sew them all together.
Also unlike the first one, this quilted coat has a plain lining in pure cotton. One of the fabrics from the front of the coat.
I have loved making this, although my hands have sometimes complained.
Or batting if you prefer is a matter of choice. Some go for cheap, some for content, others for the environment. There are lots of arguments about it all. My preference is for natural quilt wadding. If you are taking the time to make it, both you and the product deserve the best. All the quilted jackets were made with silk wadding. That seems hard to come by at the moment and it is the most expensive wadding of all. For these two coats I opted for wool, but when it came the wadding has such high loft (1cm) that I thought I would look like Bibendum. More wool and silk are on order. I purchased the Hobbs silk wadding as I could not get the one I used for the quilted jackets.
Tune in next week to see which I choose and how I quilt my two coats.
The ecourse will be available shortly, meanwhile take a look at all the quilting and textiles ecourses I offer here
New Projects Quilting Textiles is a showcase for what I have been doing last week and in the weeks to come. This new work will take time to come to fruition but it is always good to start something new. Of course, it is a continuation of all that has gone before, but heading in a new direction. That’s what makes it so exciting.
I’ll begin with the quilting, because I hinted at this last week. Having launched the Quilted Jackets ecourse, I am continuing the Making Clothes Series with Quilted Coats. I made a start on the first project by making hexagons. I managed to make 21 in one week. At that speed, I shall finish the whole hand stitched and quilted coat in around two to three months. The jury is still out on the exact style and length since I am concentrating on getting the hexagons made. Each one is sewn by hand. I am really enjoying my ‘quiet time’ every evening stitching the patchwork and watching it grow before my eyes. Of course, this type of patchwork is perfect for taking outdoors or on a journey as it is totally portable. I am thrilled with the Voysey fabrics and keep pondering on lining fabric for this coat. All the instructions will be in the ecourse.
Unlike the quilting project, this textile project came out of the blue. It is based on an existing Mark Making ecourse I wrote last year, but this one just concentrates entirely on different ways of Mark Making on the computer. Digital Mark Making explores using the computer for stitched textiles in twelve lessons. This is an underused aspect of digital design. The exercises and samples of work will make you use that software! Apps are useful too. I am really enjoying writing this ecourse.
So you can see that my new Projects Quilting Textiles are keeping me very busy and keeping me on my toes.
New finished quilted jacket is my topic for this week. If you are a regular visitor to the blog, you might be thinking ‘Hold on, I thought she was making a quilted tunic.’ As you can see from past posts and the photo below, I was. Right up to the last minute.
I lost count how many times I tried it on and thought the size was ok. However at the last try on, I realised once washed, it might be difficult to get on and off.
I gave it the over night test before I proceeded to make it into a hand quilted jacket.
My Favourite Wearable
This new finished quilted jacket is my favourite. Even though I had used my very best silk wadding and took care to trim away from seam edges, I must admit the tunic felt a little like getting into a straight jacket. This feels much more comfortable as a quilted jacket.
It was so easy to change it into a jacket, by just cutting up the centre front and adding binding.
I almost messed it up. I found enough of the same fabric to go around the bottom edge and up the fronts. Hurrah I thought. I cut it two inches wide, but then decided it was too wide. Not sure why but I thought half would do and worst of all, I cut two pieces before I realised this was not wide enough. Oh dear.
So I had to rummage through scraps. I’m surprised how many blue scraps I still have. Serendipity struck and I found a piece of my hand dyed cotton velvet, which I thought perfect for the neck. So it all worked out well in the end. I love the result and that’s all that matters. Dare I say that I am now wishing for cool weather so that I can wear it?
Two More To Go
I have another two more jackets on the go and hopefully the ecourse will be finished then. See all the ecourses here
Quilting Options for quilts is all about the choices we make when finishing a quilt; whether that is a bed quilt, wall quilt or clothes. Our options are simple but include multiple choices. The basic choice is
Especially if you have pieced your quilt by hand, you might also opt for hand quilting. You then have two further choices:
Traditional style hand quilting with a rocking motion. You can choose to stick rigidly to competition rules and number of stitches per inch. Alternatively, you can go big stitch.
In this way you can quilt any style finished top from whole quilt to patchwork quilt.
Domestic Machine Quilting
Usually the most popular choice these days because it is quicker.
Quilting options for quilts with machine quilting offer a wide variety of choices for the quilter, which tend to fall into categories delineated by the tools used:
Usual foot with or without a marked top and straight line quilting
Usual foot with or without a marked top and gentle wavy quilting
Walking foot with quilting as above in 1 or 2
Ruler work – this is using specialised rulers to quilt
Free motion quilting using a special foot
Each category above has many possibilities. At the moment I normally still use 1. or 2. unless I am quilting a large bed quilt, in which case I use 3.
It is amazing how much can be achieved with 1-3 but most would agree that if you can master 5, you’ll enhance your quilt no end.
You can see the options I chose for each of my quilting projects on the website
Quilting A Tunic
This weekend I have begun to stitch my hand stitched patchwork tunic. I am using the octagon shape to quilt my top with the quilting lines crossing in the centre. The kites I shall probably just use straight line stitch down the centre of each one.
I could go for an allover pattern, such as circles or wavy lines but I like to quilt sympathetically with the actual quilt top. This is simple straight line quilting, simply working from point to point of the octagon.
Pictorial Quilts ecourse has just been launched. The third in a series of quilting categories. 100 designs, colourways plus 10 layouts are included for you to create fabulous pictorial quilts.
After traditional and modern quilts, most quilts fall into this popular category but many people mistakenly call them art quilts; which for the purposes of exhibiting, is a different category entirely. Nine times out of ten, when you see the word ‘art quilt’ what it usually is, is a pictorial quilt.
These ecourses ensure that you can correctly categorise your quilt but more importantly give you 100 designs as a springboard so that you can see exactly the type of quilts that are called pictorial.
All designs are all original Karen Platt designs in the pictorial quilts ecourse. Solve all your colour problems in an instant. Alternative colourways are given for most designs, so you can never get your colours wrong ever again.
Improve your quilting with all the tips, techniques and know-how. You can find the ecourse on the website
When I was not writing this new ecourse, I did EPP (English Paper Piecing), which is one of the hand quilting methods I enjoy the most. It’s great whilst watching the cricket. I am not sure at this stage whether to make this into a bed throw, a quilted jacket or a quilted tunic. Stay tuned to see how it grows.
Quilting is a joy during lockdown. Not only does it occupy the hands, it occupies the mind too. Quilting is such a joy at any time, but I am grateful for creativity during lockdown. Whether hand or machine sewing, it is a saviour.
It has been a varied week as I have flitted between creations like a magpie. I think I am always looking for a bit of glitter. Something that shines in life. The silver lining of the clouds.
March the month of mad hares and perhaps mad hatters. Looking back on the achievements of this year so far, they are plenty. It has been mainly writing and hand quilting yet this past week, the sewing machine was in a whirr of activity.
Much more is planned and in the pipeline.
As One Project Ends Another Begins
The second quilted jacket was finished. Although a little smaller than I thought, I am pleased. There is always a thrill when a project is completed. Beads might look good in the centre of the Cathedral Windows, but thread would have to be chosen wisely to match.
The four wall landscape quilts made in 2017 have been unpicked and a new quilted coat is planned. Lining fabric will be needed.
The other project on the go is the indigo quilted jacket. The sleeves are coming together now. With the beautiful lining that was chosen, this would make a fantastic reversible quilted jacket.
Apart from quilted clothes, quilting on my oldest UFO is ready to go. Having made errors with stitch in the ditch on my first ever double sized quilt, it has languished for many years but is now all unpicked and now ready for take off.
When not quilting, writing occupies my time with a new gardening book. All will be revealed shortly.
There is always a new ecourse on the go too, usually quilting. More about that next time. Like I said quilting is such a joy. Catch up with the quilting blog every Monday for quilting ideas, ecourses and information on the website
Apparently the Festival of Quilts is hoping to go ahead in July. I shall not be attending this year owing to Covid, I think it is too soon.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2021.
Contemporary Quilting ecourse follows on from last week’s Modern Quilting ecourse launch. It’s another in the 100 designs series. Let me first explain the difference. I talked about modern quilts last week – the negative space and clever quilting and minimalist look. Contemporary quilts tend to use traditional techniques with a twist bringing a modern look to them. For example, that classic log cabin might just have become wonky.
It’s great for traditional quilters who want something more fitting for their home but do not like the look of an actual modern quilt. Of course you can like both, I know I do. It’s also perfect for people who are very clever at piecing because you can use technically challenging piecing, not necessarily working in standard blocks.
You can treat the whole quilt as a blank canvas and not in a traditional way at all.
What Does the Contemporary Quilting eCourse Offer?
100 quilt designs designed by Karen Platt
Alternative Colourways for those who find colour a challenge
10 layouts with more suggestions
Tips, Techniques and Ideas to ensure that you build your skills and have everything you need to understand contemporary quilting. If you want a head start in contemporary quilting, purchase the ecourse now from the website
THEBUMPER START TO THE NEW YEARCONTINUES
It’s the end of week six of 2021 and this ecourse is my fourth new introduction of the year. Like the modern quilting ecourse, it has been in the planning stage for some years. I am so happy to bring it to fruition.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT?
You think I am having a rest? Chance would be a fine thing. I am well into preparation for a new and glorious gardening ebook. Well, three actually, but one at a time, I am sadly only one woman.
Two quilted jackets are nearing completion. Just one more and they all go into a Quilted Jacket Making ecourse. One shawl has been finished this week and another half finished. I have knitted many over the years and think I might do a Shawl Collection pattern ebook.
Then I must find time to finish the Egyptians Textile Inspirations ebook, third in the series; not to mention the Medieval Dress Textiles ebook, both started at the very end of last year.
Lockdown? What lockdown? It’s just time to create. See you next week.
A brand new quilting concept for me, Take a BOW. Quilt BOW block of the week quilt, designed by Karen Platt with quilting pattern, detailed instructions and guidance plus fabrics all posted to you.
We have BOM block of the month so why not quilt BOW block of the week. Most blocks are complete in around an hour, so one of a week leaves you plenty of time to do other things and also means you finish your quilt without it hanging around all year.
I have designed a very special quilt for you. It is available exclusively through me and is based on my hand dyed fabrics but with lots of options. I have kept the cost as low as possible because some BOMs are very over-priced. You’ll have the option to save on postage too by having it shipped in one go.
As soon as it is released, sign up because there will be a cut off point. The timeline at the moment looks like this
1st July 2020 release date for sign up
30 July 2020 cut off date
1st – 21 August 2020 I hand dye the fabrics specially for you. There will be colourway choices. All fabrics and pure cotton.
16 – 30 August 2020 shipping takes place.
1 September 2020 the private fb group opens for purchasers only to join.
4 September 2020 you start making your quilt. If you make one block a week, it should take you 30 weeks plus sashing, binding, backing and actual quilting. But of course you can take longer, or you could even do it in 30 days. The choice is yours.
I have designed this quilt specially with all levels of skill in mind. It is also very adaptable (suggestions in the instructions). The pattern is written with great detail and step by step photos. I have thought of all the little things that patten writers often forget.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
Sign up 1st July 2020. The sign up will be on this page on my website. Watch out for the reminder on facebook and twitter @KTextileart