Garment Art

Before I get to this week’s topic – I have some exciting news! I finished my most recent contest quilt this past month, and sent the photos and entry papers to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah 24 hours before the deadline. The New Quilts From an Old Favorite challenge block this year was “Flying Geese”. My quilt is entitled “Silly Goose” and it was accepted as a finalist!!! It will be hanging in the museum during quilt week this April – praise the Lord! I can’t share pictures until after the judging, but I learned a lot while creating this project and can’t wait to post about it in the future.

And now – my topic of the week:

I have a jacket I made to wear while presenting my “Gone to the Dark Side” lecture, but I like it so much I wear it often (and Mike is ok to be seen with me wearing it in public  🙂 .

quilted art jacket

quilted art jacket

I may have shared the jacket previously but, if you haven’t seen my lecture, you haven’t heard the story.

I often refer to my fabric stash and UFO’s as items that are marinating until they reach the perfect time to be used and enjoyed. Usually a project hits the UFO bin because I’m not sure what to do next, and it’s not until I learn a new technique that will work in it, or I have a person or contest to finish it for, that that particular project comes to fruition.

Way back in the mid 90’s I found a yard of fabric in a remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics that grabbed me.


I wasn’t sure it was even all cotton, but I didn’t care. I bought it, brought it home, and threw it in the stash (a healthy stash needs to be fed regularly).

A few years later I passed by a clearance shoe rack at a major department store and found a pair of shoes in the exact same fabric (and I did still wear this type of shoe back then)!


Now I’m sure I need to use that fabric in a garment, so I buy the shoes and throw them on a shelf near the stash.

A few years later I’m at a discount store and there it is … a purse in the same fabric!


So I threw it on the shelf, next to the the shoes and pulled out the fabric. After pulling some additional fabrics from my stash, and finding a jacket pattern in the pattern box, I began string pieced units for the jacket fronts. About an hour into it I lost interest and everything was thrown into a brown paper sack and pushed to the back of the shelf.

Additional years passed until I met a trio of garment sewers at a Sewing and Quilting Expo, who referred to quilting as “the dark side” of the sewing world. This led me to create the “Dark Side” lecture. As I’m putting this lecture together I realize it would be great to have a “costume” to wear while presenting it. I dig to the back of the closet, decide I still like the fabric, and discover the shoes still fit. I also have a newer jacket pattern that I really like. It’s called the “As You Wish” jacket by Kate Art Designs. This is not only a well done pattern that is easy to use, but Kate has a video in which she shares the perfect way to fit your jacket on her site.

The marinating is finished, all the necessary components have come together, and the time to create the finished project has arrived.

I marked each pattern piece at the correct size, and cut it out about 1″ larger than needed from  3 fabrics: the outer fabric, the lining and a piece of flannel to act as a thin batting/filler. I layered each piece and began the fun part – creating a design. I played with design techniques from my most recent book: “Where Do I Start With Fiber Art”.


Squares and square-spirals were fused in place and then secured with top-stitching. The solid yellow areas are made from ultrasuede.

The sleeves yelled at me “don’t overdo it”, so I continued the square theme in a “Big-Stitch” with embroidery floss (click here for a post on the Big Stitch).

Once the designing was done, I cut the pattern pieces out at the correct size and sewed the jacket together, binding the outer edge and covering the seams with the focus fabric.

I’m so pleased with the results and especially thrilled that this very old UFO has a new and exciting life ahead of it. I’ve also discovered that I now utilize some quilting techniques to speed up and augment the garment creating process.

Do you have a garment background? Any garment pictures you’d like to share?

8 Opinions

  • Kathleen Swinkowski said:

    Congratulations on being chosen as a finalist. Looking forward to seeing it at the quilt show in Paducah. Best of luck.

  • Jackie Iannarelli said:

    So happy for you Chris on being accepted into the quilt show 🙂

  • Cheryl Parker said:

    Cute! Not the outfit you wore when you came to my guild. I made a quilted jacket (sweatshirt style) many years ago. Poor thing is about worn out.

  • Melvin Stenzel said:

    So happy your quilt will be at the museum, Jane and I are going to Paducah for one last time, hope to see you there. Jacquie

  • Alice Brooks said:

    Congrats on Silly Goose being a finalist! I’m hoping I can make it to Paducah to see it, but not sure.
    Love your jacket and matching pieces 🙂

  • Jodi Grzeczka said:

    Wow, Chris, very cool! You’ve got me thinking – AGAIN! Before I jumped into quilting, I spent many years creating and wearing unique clothes, some wacky, some enviable. Just th I s weekend, on a quilt retreat, I picked up some flannel that HAS to be made into a garment, not a quilt. Now you have me thinking beyond something simple! Thanks for sharing!

  • Elrid Johnson said:

    Congratulations on your piece. Did you get any takers on the Round Robin project about a month ago? It has stuck in my mind!

  • Geraldine Sharp said:

    Looking at some emaills held awhile. An applique makes a great spot remover. Depending on placement, may take some thought re an appropriate design.


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