Quilted Kimono Coat with Aurifil spotlight

The Island Batik April Challenge Parameters:

  • Project Type: Any
  • Size: Any
  • Island Batik Collections used: Gray and white solids, King’s Castle, Riverwalk 10-inch squares and Sorbet strips.
  • Technique: Crazy quilt with embroidery/decorative stitching using the thread from our assigned Aurifil 2022 Color Builder set
  • Fabrics provided by Island Batik, batting by Hobbs, thread by Aurifil, needles by Schmetz 

I LOVE crazy quilts! My first quilts were crazy quilts–all of my friends wanted one. Handmade items were the rage in the 1970s! Back in the day, my original Crazy Quilts were randomly pieced as was usually done traditionally. Use up all the scraps then add lace, embroidery and ribbons. I love nothing more than grabbing a box of scraps and sewing together the pieces in no particular pattern. Why do I love this so much? It may be the element of surprise as often I randomly find a perfect size or color to fit right in.

As usual research on Pinterest led to a wealth of information. Current techniques show a more controlled process to crazy quilting by creating blocks as this example from Pintangle rather than random piecing. The project I selected for the Island Batik Challenge was a quilted kimono coat. And maybe a purse to match. The pattern selected I had used before and though vintage, it was tried and true–New Look 6522–(currently out of print:)

Here are some of the great sources I reviewed in my Pinterest research:

  1. https://suzyquilts.com/how-to-sew-a-quilted-coat-tips-and-tools/
  2. https://www.scribblygumquiltco.com/blogs/quilt-coat-how-to/how-to-make-a-quilt-coat-a-little-bedazzling?epik=dj0yJnU9UnJfVU5fenFiLTlHY0ItZmRvWEdGUGlKNjNKTkw3SmQmcD0wJm49NTlYRkNWV0RiT0E4N0pnbTllSzFpdyZ0PUFBQUFBR1FJRjhN
  3. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CLlecSxHxPg/
  4. https://www.seamwork.com/articles/how-to-quilt-fabric-for-garments
  5. https://weallsew.com/tips-and-tricks-for-sewing-a-reversible-quilted-jacket/
  6. And from our own Island Batik Ambassador, Create with Claudia: https://www.createwithclaudia.com/2019/04/half-square-triangle-tutorial/?unapproved=11128&moderation-hash=69a19ca7df559ea5f08f0f5e137abe49#comment-11128

There were many challenges once the quilted coat project was determined.

  1. The three-piece set of the Spider Lily Auriful thread collection were two variegated spools of black and white tones with one spool of solid white. I had already used the Spider Lily collection in the March 2023 Island Sunflowers project and loved it as a blender in the fabric collage!! If the goal was to highlight the lovely thread, a brightly colored project would overpower the thread. Gray and white would be necessary elements.
  2. What fabric line to use? Island Batik white and gray solids plus Island Batik Riverwalk 10-inch squares and Sorbet strips with a bit of King’s Castle mixed in.
  3. How do I create a crazy quilt coat with subdued tones and not overdo the enhancements. I love to embellish but I admit sometimes I can go overboard- I have a huge collection of buttons, lace, ribbons and beads so over-embellishing is easy:)
  4. The time consideration–embellishing takes time especially if adding embroidery, beads and buttons so I had to consider a design that would be beautiful yet time saving.
  5. What fabric would I use for the lining of the quilted coat, how would I finish the seams and what about closures since I wanted to make the coat reversible.

I wanted to incorporate embroidery designs completed on my Bernina B 500 which I had not used in over 18 months. I scouted the Bernina 500 installed designs in the manual and came up with 10 designs I would audition before selecting and using designs that would highlight the 3 Aurifil spools in the Spider Lily collection. The most important element of the Bernina embroidery success was the Schmetz embroidery needles I used. Unfortunately, I was only able to complete three of the Bernina designs as the machine was overdue for a service call.

My Brother Dreamweaver was used for construction of the coat, quilting and embroidery options. I created blocks, intentionally veering away from the traditional. This was an opportunity for using up embellishments I had on hand in my stash which included appliques, buttons, ribbon, crystal and metal applications. There was a special set of sewing graphic iron-ons I had received years earlier at my local Joann’s fabric store found tucked away in one of my numerous storage drawers. Some may judge that I did go overboard with the myriad of motifs in this project–sewing machines and whales, butterflies and buttons, ribbon and embroidery; but I found it all fun!! This coat will be worn at quilt and craft shows, at my poetry readings and why not on Easter Sunday!

I gathered my myriad of pieced “blocks” (most already embroidered and/or embellished) and auditioned their placement on the coat lining pattern pieces which I had cut out of the Island Batik Slate. Those that did not fit were set aside and eventually pieced into a purse. Once each pattern piece was designed, I cut out Hobbs batting to fit each piece and simply quilted which went fairly quickly. After quilting, the coat was assembled then the lining.

During the hunt for embellishments, I came across a set of wooden purse handles and I used my own design for the purse assembled with the leftovers. My grandmother had used similar wooden handles for her own carry all which she would refresh with new fabric every year. I felt a homage to her memory was fitting as she was the one who taught me to sew and encouraged my attempts at creativity. The Butterfly panel on the front is a pocket and there are 2 pockets on the inside.

I will make another quilted kimono coat; they are so comfortable and always bring compliments. Oh and I made a little basket with the scraps.

Please check the other Island Batik Ambassador blogs if you are interested in Crazy Quilt techniques, Island Batik fabrics, Hobbs batting, Aurifil thread, Schmetz needles, or Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design.

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Renee Atkinson ~ Pink Tulip Quilting
Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Susan Deshensky ~ Lady Blue Quilts
Brittany Fisher ~ Bobbin with Brittany

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts
Victoria Johnson ~ Forever Quilting for You
Randi Jones ~ Randi’s Roost

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ Quiltery – For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine

Anorina Morris ~ sameliasmum.com
Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
Sarah Pitcher ~ Pitcher’s Boutique
Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia
Lana Russel ~ Lana Quilts

Elita Sharpe ~ Busy Needle
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt


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