Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making A Quilted Coat Part I

Welcome to Part I of How To Make A Quilted Coat 
My name is Natalie and I am the buyer at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. I also help out with managing our social media and website.

I love to quilt and I especially love to make quilted garments! I don't use any patterns for my quilted coats, I just make it up as I go along, so I thought I would share my process with you all in hopes of inspiring you to try something new. Try 'quilting outside of the block,' as we like to say...

Step 1: Choosing fabrics
As you quilters may have experienced, it can be overwhelming to choose fabrics for a quilt. There are SO MANY amazing options for color, theme, composition, pattern and so on. I tend to start with a fabric or group of fabrics that I love and choose coordinating fabrics accordingly. 

With this project, I decided to go with a black and white color theme. I love the graphic nature of these textiles, especially when they are all thrown in together. I know all of these patterns may seem like too much when put next to each other, but I enjoy the contrast in textures and the way these prints and patterns all play off of each other. While many of the fabrics I use are from Stonemountain, I also recycle clothing and use antique, vintage or dead stock fabric when I can find it. With this particular project, 8 of the 10 fabrics I've chosen from are from Stonemountain.

For the first panel (pictured above), I started playing around and trying out different combinations of the fabrics. Each piece is a 4" square, so it doesn't take long to piece together a panel large enough to cut out the coat pattern pieces. The dimensions of this panel ended up to be 39.5" by 29.5".

Step 2: Experimenting When I finished the piecing for this panel (right), I decided that I wanted to add another element to it. I'm sure many of you are thinking that it looks crazy enough with just the black and white fabrics, but I've never been one to shy away from adding more prints, colors, textures, etc. To me, more is more!

I've always wanted to experiment with applique over my piecing, so I chose this 70's inspired floral print. It's a large scale print of flowers in bright orange, yellow, green, pink and white. AMAZING! I love vintage dresses in this style, but they're almost always made from polyester and I'm so happy I found it on a cotton. The photo above on the right is a test shot of what the applique might end up looking like. I chose organic shapes that contrast with the harsh, geometry of the piecing. I will most likely be hand sewing these applique on. Hand sewing is not something that I do often, but I think it's important to practice these skills. If I get too impatient, I can always go back to the machine!

Step 3: Mixing It Up Starting on the panel for the back of the coat, I decided to change things up. When I made my first quilted coat I used the same piecing for the whole garment. The back and front were the same, but on this next coat I want things to be different. So, I started playing around with the fabrics and found a way to incorporate the floral fabric into the mix. 

Above left is an image of the pieces on my floor as I was experimenting and moving things around. I like working with 4" squares because it gives me parameters for working. As I talked about before, there are endless possibilities when it comes to quilting, so it helps me to make rules for myself and I decide if I want to stay within them. The photo above on the right is for scale. I know, it's hard to imagine what this would look like in person, so I thought I'd throw that one in.
This is my process of piecing together a panel. Nothing I make is planned, so this is just an idea of what it's like to be in the studio with me. Of course, there are many variations in between these photos, but this is generally how I build a quilt top or panel. The finished panel (below) ended up being 46" by 33".

Time to start quilting!


  1. I love this! It inspires me to pick up my unfinished quilt! Awesome, Natalie!

  2. I love this too! I would love to incorporate more quilting into my garments! Let's funk it up!
    Beautiful work Natalie!