Hello. My name is Jennifer and I think we should start a new kind of quilting club.
“What do I mean by ‘new’ kind of quilting club?” You say.
Golly, I’m so glad you asked! Let me explain. You see up until recently, I was just a regular Quilt Lady doing your standard Quilt Lady activities. These activities include, but are not limited too:
- Fabric shopping
- Fabric hoarding
- Fabric organizing
- Fabric petting
- Fabric cutting
- Hanging with quilty friends
- Instagramming… Pause for a sec. Do you ever stop and wonder just how many miles you’ve scrolled with your thumb?…Hmmm…there’s some food for thought, eh?
Anywho, if you’re a fellow Quilt Lady, or Quilt Sir for that matter, you just probably just nodded your head 9x. Maybe you even just ticked through a mental checklist that sounded something like this. “Umhm. Umhm. Yup. Check,” etc… I’m sure there are more things we could add to the list, but y’all know what I’m talking about. We are Quilt People. Kindred spirits. Fellowes. Comrades. We “get” each other.
Seems to me that what we need is something to provide solidarity as we head out to our meet ups. We need something that makes us instantly recognizable as a group, whilst still retaining our individuality.
“But how?” You say. “How can we accomplish such an elusive task?”
Again, so glad you asked because that brings me to number 10 of this very well-rounded list of activities that we quilters often enjoy. You see, what would set this club apart from all the others is new activity I’ve been enjoying lately:
- 10. Quilt wearing
Yes. You read that correctly. When this club has meetings, we wouldn’t just show the quilts we’ve made, we would also WEAR the quilts we’ve made. You could wear it in any fashion or configuration you like. You can bind a hole in the center and wear it like a poncho if you so choose. It will be like a quilty biker gang type-thing…but with no violence, and a Red Hat Society kind of flair. We’d be steppin’ out in all our glorious, quilted frivolity. It’d be be marvelous. It’s going to catch on, mark my words. You heard it here first.
A few weeks ago when Christopher, of The Tattooed Quilter fame asked if I wanted to be involved in the blog tour for Art Gallery‘s new line The Denim Studio, I played it totally cool. By cool I mean I “squeed(!)” but only on the inside. I silent squeed. I hashtag squeed. I didn’t want to let my fangirl out all crazy and embarrassing like. Can you imagine? #mortified. I let that happen once at a Garth Brooks concert and he actually stopped what he was doing to ask me if I was ok while he was onstage. True story. I have witnesses.
What Christopher didn’t know when he asked if I wanted to join the tour is that I had already emailed Art Gallery a few weeks prior
begging asking if I could get my hands on some of their new denim because I had this great idea that I just had to try. I had drooled over pics from Quilt Market along with everyone else. I’m sure my fellow Quilt People out there can commiserate that seeing Market stuff on social media can be equally as agonizing as it is exciting. It’s like the worst kind of look-but-don’t-touch window shopping. Ugh. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. At least not for awhile, that is.
Naturally, I agreed to be part of the tour. Arm sufficiently twisted, I settled on the Cascade Duffle Coat pattern from Grainline Studio and set to work on sourcing all the details I needed to make the coat in my mind come to life. Not only had a coat long been on my sewing “to-do” list, but I had been coveting quilted coat of my own making for a month of Sundays.
I had three fundamental goals for this project. One was to demonstrate how these gorgeous fabrics could be used for garments and quilts alike. From the moment I first laid eyes on them what excited me the most was their universal appeal to sewists of all kinds. Second, I wanted a functional garment that I would actually wear. Ask other garment makers and they will attest that sometimes you just don’t like the clothes you make and it’s a bummer. I hate it when this happens. I was determined it would not happen with this project. Lastly, I wanted a finished piece that I felt made an unequivocal statement about who I am, my style, and what I do. I can honestly say I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do. Check, Check, and Check.
In the end I made some significant changes to the pattern. Some were minor, like the length, the addition of the fur trim, the twist locks (which I got here), and the pockets. Others gave me a run for my money and seriously tested my drafting and construction skills, like the neckline and zipper mods. Truth be told, I almost didn’t do them. It probably added a whole day to the project because I ended up have to make a sample just to be sure my calcs were correct. You can see a short video of that sample on my Instagram feed. In the end I’m so glad I made the changes. I feel like it makes the garment more wearable and I learned a ton in the process. All good things.
Construction of the quilted fabric was as follows. I used The Denim Studio by AGF’s Smooth Denims for the outer, including the pieced star on the back. I need to take a moment to give a shout out to my fellow quilt wearer from whom I got the idea for the star on the back. Her name is Mia, and you can see her quilty-gang jacket here. I pre-shrunk the 100% wool batting by hand washing in hot water followed by a tumble dry to prevent any unwanted batting shrinkage at a later date. For the backing I used Pellon fusible Shape-Flex throughout the whole garment. I did this for two reasons. One, I needed some kind of backing in order to quilt it, and two, doing so allowed me to eliminate cutting all the interfaced pattern pieces since in effect, now the whole coat was interfaced. I quilted the pattern pieces individually then cut them out. Before joining the shell with the lining I hand washed and tumble dried the shell to soften it and give it that lived-in look. For the lining I used an AGF knit from April Rhodes’s Wanderer line called Painted Pony Roan. I am particularly fond of the bias detail where the lining and the coat facings meet because lets face it, awesome is always in the details. Always. A quilted wool coat with a knit lining? Could it be any cozier? I think not. Case in point:
This project was an epic make for me and I am incredibly proud of it. It turned out exactly how I pictured it in my mind right down to the texture of the quilting. I could not be happier with the result. I feel like this more than any other garment I have made is a true expression of my identity. After all, isn’t that what this whole sewing thing is all about? Crafting things we love that help us put forward our best and truest version of ourselves? I’m proud of my community and I’m proud of who I am. There’s a good chance if you see me and its colder than 70 degrees, I’ll be wearing this coat…and probably doing this (see below). Because I’m a supreme dork…a fact I’m also proud of. Hey, it’s my freak flag and I’ll fly it if I want to. Start wearing your quilts and join me. The Quilt-Wearer Club accepts any and all applicants who are willing and eager to wear their quilts. Get onboard with this…you won’t regret it.
If you’ve been following along with The Denim Studio Blog tour there’s still one stop left after this. Woohoo! If your just joining in and you missed the first leg, don’t fret. I’ve got all the details below to help you get caught up. Now go forth my quilty comrades. Go forth and sew all the things, quilt all the things, but most importantly, wear all the quilts.
Other stops on The Denim Studio by AGF Blog Tour:
Monday 14th – Christopher, The Tattooed Quilter
Tuesday 15th – Nicholas, Quilts from the Attic
Wednesday 16th – Sari, Sariditty Handmade
Thursday 17th – ME!, That’s today and YOU ARE HERE
Friday 18th – Nicole, Modernhandcraft
For other great ideas on how to use these amazing fabrics check out #TheDenimStudiobyAGF on Instagram!
And finally…Yay! More pictures!