Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Back in the studio….

Thanks to several rainy days in Naples, and some fairly good time management (if I do say so myself), I am heading into November with NO outstanding accounting work to be done. The only things are my usual monthly clients. This is SUCH good new!!!

On last Friday, I ventured into the studio to start working on one of my three outstanding projects (they aren’t called UFO’s until I have been working on them for a year or more)…….

So, in line with what any red-blooded Quilter would do, I started…..

It actually started with my trying to find a place for the two new coats that we had purchased in Italy, which lead to cleaning out the coat closet, which lead to pulling out my old blue jean jacket that I haven’t worn for years!!

As I was about to pitch it into the “Goodwill” bag, I remembered seeing a jacket that had the back panel decorated and I decided that I NEEDED to do it!!

As I looked at the back panel…..

….I kept going back to flowers but wasn’t sure how to do the design. I looked thru my closet for a book that I thought might help and happened upon one of the stencils that I bought at Houston last year…..

This is definitely me!!!

I first drew out an approximate design on paper (minus the stem)…..

I started to just copy this exact design but instead started doing one flower at a time, using one of the Crayola Washable markers….

I am glad that I did this because, in the end, I decided that I didn’t need so many flowers, particularly small ones. It made the design much easier to do.

I started cutting out the first flower but realized that I was going to greatly reduce the stability of the jacket so decided to add Wonder Under and another piece of fabric to the back. BAD idea. Now it was way too stiff!! So, I carefully peeled off the fabric …..

and started cutting again…..

Then I realized that I still needed a layer of wonder under on the back to fuse it to the accent fabric that I was going to use.

I REALLY wished that I had thought it thru better, but it all worked in the end!!

I also learned that it was easier to cut with the fabric flat on my cutting table rather than holding it in my hands…..

Once I had it cut out, it was time to figure out what to put behind the cutouts. I considered adding lots of different fabrics but then this fabric caught my eye…..

After a few minutes of placement practice, I was ready to fuse the jean fabric in place. I did add one more fabric, replacing each of the flower centers…..

The final step before sewing was to add a heavier fabric to the inside of the jacket. This time my eye fell upon a fabric piece that Michael had bought for me MANY years ago on a trip to the Netherlands…..

With that in place, it was time to quilt. I chose a variegated thread and quilted around each opening at least two times. Then I went back in a added another outside quilting line.

I thought about adding more quilting lines, but decided that I liked the simplicity of it.

I am very happy with the finished product….

….and have already worn the jacket once!!!

Now let’s fast forward a few days….. As I was working on my next project, I was looking thru quilting books for some ideas and ended up with the Jenny Lyon book that I bought earlier in the year, and guess what I found……

….picture and instructions for how to make a “Lace Work Jacket”!!! She did it a bit different by doing the sewing first and then cutting out the denim. I am actually happier with my method since it meant that I could better place the accent fabric.

I am looking forward to wearing this next week when I am at the International Quilt Festival in Houston….

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