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Quilted Jackets for the Fall

Stash fabric with painted birds.
Thinking of fall.

The quilted Tabula Rasa Jackets in my closet are real favorites when the weather is cool and crisp.  Deep in the “dog days” of a Baltimore summer, I am wishing for fall weather and thinking about designing clothes to freshen up my fall wardrobe.  When this urge to sew for fall emerges each August, I head to my stash for inspiration.  I also look at the upcoming show schedule.  One of this year’s highlights is our first booth at the Houston Quilt Festival.  So, I have begun to focus my energies on quilted jackets.

photo bird hummingbird 2
Another hummingbird
photo bird hummingbird 1
A lovely hummingbird

Lurking in the stash is a spectacular piece of painted linen. Carrie and I purchased it 3 years ago at the Haberman’s booth at the American Sewing Expo .  We also bought a collection of hand dyed cotton pieces from Marcia Derse.  They complement the birds perfectly.  In fact, these fabrics have become “mythic” – too wonderful to cut and sew.



A bird with some of the Marcie Dearse Fabric.
A bird with some of the Marcia Derse Fabric.

The linen has proven to be quite a design challenge as the birds are large and painted close together.  Each time we unfold the fabric, we gaze in awe, fold it back up and put it away.  It is now spread out on the bed in my guest room so we can study it and decide which birds we want to include in our jackets.  We will each choose our birds and then collect the other fabrics to be used in each jacket.

A different pair of birds with more Dearse Fabric
A different pair of birds with more Derse Fabric

Each day I visit the birds and move around the hand dyed cottons and some Cherrywood solids that were also in the stash.


A bird with Cherrywood fabric.
A bird with Cherrywood fabric.

During the next week, I will look for buttons that complement the fabrics too.  Sometimes something as small as a button will inform the design decisions.



A sewing friend has recommended a visit to the small Crazy Quilt exhibit which is currently at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  The museum is close to home, so I hope to visit and perhaps find some inspiration there as well. I also plan to visit my Pinterest page on quilting to revisit designs that have caught my attention online. We will keep you updated on our bird jacket progress at Facebook and in our blog posts.

photo birds with more fabric
The view this morning when I visited the birds.

Have you ever quilted a Tabula Rasa Jacket?  It is the perfect pattern for a quilted jacket and our Quilting Tips Booklet will walk you through the process of designing, sewing and finishing a quilted jacket.  We also offer a class on Quilted Jacket Techniques where students make small quilted samples using different fabrics, battings and linings, test seam finishes and learn to craft smooth quilted darts.  One of these classes is scheduled for Sunday, August 23 at The Mannings, a handweaving center in East Berlin, PA.  There are still a few spaces left, so plan to join us.  It might be just the encouragement you need to begin quilting jackets for your fall wardrobe.

Love these birds with the big blue tails.
Love these birds with the big blue tails.

Are there quilted jackets in your wardrobe?  Share some photos with us for our Facebook page to inspire our community to get ready for fall.  Visit the Photo Gallery to be inspired by our quilted jackets.

A different big tailed bird.
A different big tailed bird.

Mark your calendar and plan to visit our booth at the Houston Quilt Festival, October 28 to November 1.  And one last thing, let us know which birds you like the best!

Happy Sewing,  RAE

1 thought on “Quilted Jackets for the Fall

  1. The bird fabric is unbelievable! I can’t wait to see how you create your masterpiece!

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