26 Jan 2023 • • by Heather Lou

Inspo for Your Next Quilted Garment

design-inspo-for-your-next-quilted-jacket-5

If you are looking for inspiration to sew your Parchment Jacket (or any quilted garment) look no further! We made just about every variation we could think of for this pattern and every team member made a very "them" version. From patchwork (Ama) to all-black (Veronik) everyone took the pattern and ran with it so the end result is a total mish-mash of styles and techniques - we tried every possible option for Parchment so you don't have to. You're welcome. Just kidding, we couldn't be more thrilled, we all got new coats! Let's take a look at all the various ways you can approach quilting your next jacket!

We're not kidding. So many coats.

Using Double Sided or Thicker Fabrics

If you want to skip the quilting step altogether, you could make a super simple jacket by using a double-sided fabric. Many of the brocades and jacquards at Core Fabrics have a contrasting side which means you can make it reversible, or just have a flash of colour when you open your jacket. You could also use a pre-quilted fabric if you want the look and warmth of quilting without the effort. These ones are stunning.

Heather made the fully reversible coat below using this pre-quilted jacquard. She finished all interior seams with double-fold bias tape and topstitched them in place. Initially, she intended the topstitched seams would go on the inside but she loved the contrast so much she decided this would be the "right" side. The white seams look very graphic and cool, and on the other side it looks very clean and neat if she ever wanted to wear it "wrong" side out. If you're adding closures, be sure to use sew-in snap buttons which look great on either side!

Amy made a super quick and easy jacket by choosing this heavier-weight jacquard. She serged the inside seams and bound the visible edges in a few hours flat!

Making a Quilt Sandwich

If you want to make an actual quilted jacket, you'll have to decide on your quilt sandwich before you use lines of stitching to anchor each layer together. In the instructions for the Parchment jacket, we illustrate how to cut out your pattern pieces and make one of these delicious fabric snacks 😉

Typically for quilts and quilted jackets, you have an outer layer, a middle batting later, and then an inner lining layer. However, if you're using a thicker fabric for your outer layer, you may decide that batting isn't necessary. We recommend a thin, soft batting like this bamboo-cotton one from Core Fabric which is both flexible and warm and the perfect thickness whether you are using quilting cotton on both sides or something more rigid like brocade.

You will need to temporarily attach your quilt sandwich together and there are lots of ways to do this. Spray adhesive, quilt basting pins, safety pins, wonder clips, or thread basting are all good options for keeping your layers together. Just keep in mind you want to be able to quilt unimpeded without having to remove anything while you're sewing, so choose a method that won't get in your way.

We recommend you make a test piece of your particular combo before you quilt everything to ensure you like the end results. Use our free potholder pattern if you want to make a test sampler; this is also a good opportunity to try your quilting technique, check your thread tension, etc.

Now onto the quilting pattern options, you have to seal all your quilt layers together!

Free Motion Quilting

Free motion quilting involves using your machine to "draw" lines of stitches on your project. There are endless pattern options when it comes to free-motion quilting. You are essentially adding another layer of design since you can either follow an existing motif in the fabric or superimpose an entirely different pattern to your jacket. The three examples below are very different interpretations of the same technique: a wavy grid, a leaf motif, and total improv based on the fabric print.

Supplies You'll Need

  • An embroidery or darning foot to give you flexibility as you move your pieces
  • Spray adhesive, quilt basting pins, or safety pins
  • Sticky gloves like rubber or latex or these fancy quilting gloves to help you easily move your fabric around

Free motion quilting patterns from top: Waves, leaves, flowers

Using a darning or embroidery foot and a little muscle you can move your pieces around under the foot in any direction if you disengage your feed dogs. You can refer to your sewing machine manual for how to do this (on older machines it's usually a little button on your table). This will allow the fabric to move in more than one direction and is helpful with bigger pieces or the kind of crazy design when you want lots of squiggles.

Stitch length will be determined by how fast or slow you go so you can reduce your stitch length to 0 and play with your speed until you settle on a stitch length that works for you. The most important step here is to try and move your fabric at a consistent speed. You can either trace your design onto the fabric or just improvise; it really just depends on the effect you're going for. Sticky gloves in latex or rubber will help you to get a grip on the fabric and move your quilt sandwich a little easier.

Free Motion Quilting Demo

Need a visual? Here's a quick video of Monsie quilting her coat by following the floral design of her lining.

Quilting on the Grid

If free motion quilting seems intimidating, or you just like the logic of an even geometric grid or pattern to follow (we see you Left Brainers!) quilting on the grid is the way to go! With this method, you'll simply be repeating straight or diagonal lines, either in rows or in some kind of grid in two different directions.

Supplies You'll Need

  • A quilting ruler is an excellent tool for planning out your grid
  • A walking foot with a stitch guide helps to keep your quilt layers feeding evenly together, in addition to providing a guide for repeating widely spaced lines
  • No walking foot guide? Use painter's tape to mark straight lines without damaging the fabric
  • Spray adhesive, quilt basting pins, or safety pins
  • Sticky gloves like rubber or latex or these fancy quilting gloves help you easily move your fabric around

Grid patterns from top: Diamond following piece quilt pattern, diagonal grid, regular grid

Once you've decided on your pattern, lay out your pattern pieces on the quilt sandwich and plan out your grid. If using two axes (like a grid or a diamond pattern) start in the middle of your piece and sew the vertical and then perpendicular axes first. This will help distribute the volume evenly as well as minimize your margin of error. If you are following an already existing grid like the patchwork and plaid versions above, you can simply follow the lines of your outer fabric, again, starting in the middle and working your way out on both axes.

Quilting on the Grid Demo

To help you visualize, here's our pattern production manager Veronik using painter's tape to quilt her grid pattern.

If you have any other tips let us know in the comments!

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