Sewing quilted jackets was the topic of conversation this weekend when we had a booth at the Baltimore Heritage Quilters’ Guild 2017 Quilt Expo. This was the first time in Fit for Art’s history that the biennial show was held on a weekend we were home and could support our local quilting friends.
The Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) was developed with quilters in mind offering simple construction, good fit and excellent garment sewing instructions. The second product we developed was the tips books. The booklet for quilters has a wide range of information about planning for the design, collecting materials, and choosing the finishing for the inside of the jacket. We have just posted a video from my filming session in New Mexico for Creative Living with Sheryl Bordon. It shows the wide variety of quilted jackets you can make with the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern and The Quilters Tips booklet. Feel free to watch it each time you begin to make a new quilted jacket for a quick review.
Let me introduce you to our friend Linda who was coordinating the charity quilting area at last weekend’s show. She had 3 wonderful small wall hangings in the exhibit. Because she is an “old” friend, I know these were exercises in learning to sew and quilt with the BSR on her new Bernina.
It was easy to see her progression from the simplest design that mimicked the fabric applique to the confetti quilting technique landscape she made based on a photograph.
These small projects will lead to bigger and more complex quilts and hangings as Linda’s skills keep improving. And I know that she will be happier with the results of future projects because she did these small samples as practice pieces.
Whenever we approach a new direction in our sewing or quilting it is wise to start with a simple sample and move toward a more complex expression. If you are ready to start making a quilted jacket but have not done much garment sewing start with a mock up, or an unlined wearable mock- up of the jacket pattern.
You want to test the fit and learn the ins and outs of the construction of the TRJ before you spend time quilting a complex jacket. You might even want to make a lined jacket so you can feel confident you are happy with the fit and ready to quilt each section, assemble it, and finish the insides.
Consider using our step by step instructions for the Cherrywood Vines and Leaves Jacket or the Flower Garden Reversible Jacket as your guide, or use your favorite quilting or piecing techniques to make a unique jacket of your own design.
Because I am a novice quilter, I always make small samples of my quilting and piecing techniques to test my batting, thread, machine tension, and design ideas before I cut and sew a new quilted jacket. Take your time and enjoy the process. Before you know it you will be celebrating your successful Tabula Rasa Jacket journey. Just don’t forget to send us some photos of your wonderful jackets along the way!
Happy Sewing, RAE