This week fabric collage is at the forefront of my brain. As we put the final touches on our Day of Creativity class Saturday with the Richmond/Charlottesville ASG, previous creative projects come to mind.
Today we will look closely at the Our Lady of Guadalupe quilted Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ). When we explored our website for links to add to the recently enhanced Quilting Tips booklet it became apparent that this coat never received careful consideration on the blog. There are no process photos available, but there is plenty to see in the finished wearable art jacket.
The pre-printed panels featuring this saint of the Catholic Church were gifted to me by our friend Edye. Because I loved the pastel panels as well as the black, red and gold panels, I planned a reversible quilted jacket with a side in each color way. This represented a stretch for me: to piece one side and collage the reverse side. As my head worked through the engineering, it became clear that the saint’s visage needed to appear in the same position on each side. That way the quilting would highlight the lovely visage.
Once the placement was determined as the center back and one side front, the placement was drawn on both sets of the grid pelon pattern pieces so the design magic would take place for each side accurately.
Fabrics were collected to coordinate with each color way. The pastel/collage side, was the “right side” as it included the Hoffman Challenge Fabric and the plan was to enter this TRJ in the challenge. Each front and the back Tru- grid Pellon pattern piece for the collage side was placed on a cookie sheet for easy portability during the design phase. As always, there was an explosion of fabric and cut-out appliques as the design was assembled. The Hoffman challenge fabric provided lovely teal and aqua paisleys, leaves, and gold mandalas which frame the back and front collage design. The pieced background fabrics were the gold-on-gold print that anchors the bottom of the jacket and a pale pink print with gold lettering and small but ornate pastry cakes. Little bits of pink leaves, posies and butterflies from other fabrics enhanced the cut-out statue and surrounding border creating an ethereal image.
Before quilting, the second side had to be designed, pieced and constructed. On this side, the panels were used in their completeness, not cut apart, and sashed with coordinating fabrics that celebrate the lushness of the holiday season. The panels were placed in the identified area on the Tru-grid Pellon patterns and the remainder of the pattern was sashed onto the panels.
Once the pieced sides were complete, they were placed flat with the right side down, then the pre-cut batting was placed on top and finally the designed but not yet stitched pastel collage pieces were aligned on top. As is my habit, I pinned these three layers together with small dressmaker pins so I could easily free motion stitch the fabric sandwiches together.
After some sample making, gold thread was chosen for the quilting. The free motion stitching follows the collage design on the pastel side. Sometimes it looks a bit messy on the sashed side. That was one of the compromises of the project. Gold fabric was used to create the finishes that are seen on both sides. The construction followed the reversible jacket directions in the Quilting Tips Booklet.
Thanks for allowing me to reminisce about this labor of love. It took months of planning and a couple weeks of work to design, assemble, quilt and construct. But it was so worth it. I love wearing it on the lush winter holiday side this time of year and on the pastel side in the spring time. See more close ups of this coat on social media this week.
Begin your own fabric collage journey with small studies and giftable projects like the ones we will make at our creativity event in Charlottesville. We will also explore collage and other fun embellishment techniques in the La Cascade studio August 2 – 9, 2023. (Make a note that registration for our French week will begin on December 10 at noon.)
Want to see more fabric collage? Visit our blog archive and type Fabric Collage in the search bar. Stay tuned next week for gift ideas that are fabulous when embellished with raw edge collage.
Happy Sewing, RAE