Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Patchwork on the Runway

Hello Quilting Friends,

Of my networks of quilters, I know half of you are all about quilted patchwork clothing and the other half says, not for me. I've been in the latter boat for most of my quilting career, but the last 2 years I've had a slight change of heart. In that time, I have seen a couple of half-circle skirts and a wedding gown made from quilts. I had thought of patchwork clothing in batiks and/or traditional fabrics. Though the skirts and gown were made from vintage quilts with lots of white and faded fabrics. 

This past month, Calvin Klein debuted their 2017 fall collection. And whaddya know, they showcased 3 coats in antique patterned quilts. 

Here's one that is a classic Ocean Wave pattern. It combined with men's suiting for sleeves. It's interesting, right? I would totally wear this and wish I thought of it before.

Here's my Ocean Wave quilt. Here's the dilemma. I could cut this quilt for a half circle skirt, maybe make my version of Calvin's coat, but I just can't do it. See, I can run over to the mall to pick up a coat for $250, where as the quilt below took about $500 of materials, somewhere around 80 hours to make, not to mention my hard effort in matching those points. A coat could last a couple of years through wear and tear, but a quilt can last for generations.

(Pattern is available at my online shop. Head to Etsy for an instant pdf or to my website to order a paper copy.)

And here's a couple more by Calvin Klein. I would like to be a little fly on the wall to overhear his team discussing quilts in fashion.

This one has an antique postage stamp quilt cut for the lining of this quilt. It does give me a Christmas vibe to it, but definitely gives off an antique quilt feel.

And here's a drunkard path quilt. I really like this one, my favorite of the three. For nearly most of my life, I wasn't a pink kindof person. Since having my daughter, I've had a change of heart and I'm making up for lost time. I can foresee a MIB interpretation coming soon.

It is pretty cool to see fashion work with quilts in clothing. I hope it'll grow a greater appreciation from the population at large and in the art world. Meanwhile, I'd like to go through my stack of quilt tops and finished quilts to see if any them are worthy for a clothing experiment.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tutorial - Fabric Easter Basket

Easter Basket Tutorial

Today, let’s make an Easter Basket out of fabric. This is quick and easy, and o so cute. 

Exterior fabric – 1 Fat Quarter
Handle and Interior Fabric – 2/3 yard
Heavyweight fusible interfacing – 2/3 yard
Basic Quilting and Sewing Supplies
Trim – 1 yard (choose lace, rickrack, ribbon, etc.)

Cutting Instructions
Exterior Fabric – Cut one pieces 15” x 15”
Interior Fabric – Cut one pieces 15” x 18”, two pieces 2” x 15”, and one piece 5” x 18”
Interfacing – Cut two pieces 14 1/2” x 17 1/2” and one piece 5” x 18”

Sew with 1/4” seam allowance.

Make Handle
Iron on fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the handle.

Fold the strip of fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press along the fold to make a crease. Each half is 2 1/2”.

Open up the strip. Press each end in to the fold, wrong sides together, to the center crease made in previous step. It should fold 1 1/4”.

Refold the strip with the ends tucked in. The handle’s width is 1 1/4”.
Edgestitch the length of the handle on both sides.


Assemble Basket
Stitch the interior 2” strips to one side of the exterior fabric. Make 2. Press the seam allowance towards the interior fabric.
Iron and center interfacing to the wrong sides of the exterior and interior units. Approximately 1/4” around the perimeter of the units will not have interfacing. This is to reduce the seam bulk.

Top stitch over the seam bulk on both exterior units and then add trim. Here I used a ruffle lace. Top stitch the lace along the seam line to secure it in place.

Optional: Take one interior unit to place your label inside.  Top stitch it into place. I centered my label 7 1/2” along the 15” length of the fabric and 1 1/2” down from the fabric’s raw edge. Pay special attention this side of the fabric is the top of the basket.

Fold the exterior fabric in half with right sides on the inside to make a folded rectangle measuring 15” x 9”. Stitch the 9” ends with a 1/4” seam allowance. This would be a good time to trim away the lace. The folded side is the bottom of the basket.

Fold the interior fabric in half with right sides on the inside to make a folded rectangle.  Stitch the 9” end with a 1/4” seam allowance. The opening is the top of the basket. Make sure your label is facing right sides up.

To make the basket stand on its own, find the center of the basket bottom by making a crease.  Pick a side seam and match it to the bottom crease to form a triangle. Use your finger to pop out the point. Press the seam open. Repeat for all four corners of the exterior and interior units.

Pick a corner and measure 2 1/2” from the point with a ruler. Align the ruler along the seam and draw a line. Repeat for all four corners.

Stitch all four corners on the line drawn to box the basket. Make sure to backstitch the beginning and end of the stitch. Fold the seam allowance (shaped as a triangle) under the basket.

Feel free to trim the handle to your desired length. I kept mine at 18”. I liked the ability hold the basket over my shoulder. Mark the center of both exterior and interior units on both sides.

Place the handle at the center mark of the exterior unit. Edge stitch it to secure it in place. Repeat for the other side of the handle.

Turn the exterior unit right sides out and place it inside of the interior unit, which is wrong sides out.

Pin together the exterior and interior units. Pin the side seams first. Align the center marks and pin. Then fill in the gap with more pins.

Stitch around the top of the basket with a 1/4” seam allowance. Back stitch over the handle and side seams to give those areas extra strength. Leave about a 3” opening between the one of the side seam and handle.

Turn the basket right sides out by inserting your handle through the opening and grabbing the end. Pull it through the opening.

Work the boxed corners and seam along the top perimeter of the basket with your finger. Make sure to fold the boxed corner to the base of the basket.

Pin the opening closed by folding 1/4” seam allowance inside the hole. Continue to pin around the basket to make the seam is completely pushed out.

Edge stitch the top of the basket to close the hole.

Now that you have all the ingredients to make your very own Easter basket, it’s your turn to make it blossom.


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