I’ve been seeing jackets made from old quilts all over my fashion radar for the last year or so. (The NY Times even did a story about them in November, so you know it’s officially A Thing.) I have a queen size quilt I made 12-ish years ago sitting in the linen closet but there’s no way I would ever cut that  apart, since it took so much work. I wasn’t about to cut up a vintage quilt for that same reason, so why not go to exactly the same amount of work and make a quilt coat from scratch?
I’ve been working on this since early December, when I pulled out scraps and looked at quilting block patterns and decided on half-square triangles with a black background as the least involved (ha! read on):

To get some scraps, I cut up a couple old makes that didn’t fit but I’d saved for the fabric (Toby and pink mousie helped).

Then I cut all the prints into 5 inch squares:

Then I sewed the print squares to solid black squares (bought pre-cut, thank god, although it felt a little weird to buy brand-new fabric that was already in pieces) and cut those up to get the half square triangles:

And then I had to press them all and square up all the edges and sew two squares together to get a half block, press gain, then join 2 half blocks into a full block.

And THEN I could finally see how many blocks I needed to sew together to get a pattern piece, then sew THOSE together, press, and then….cut them all up to get my jacket parts.


Reader, making a quilt with small pieces takes FOREVER. Three months into this, I’m only now ready to machine quilt the jacket parts and then finally sew them all up. (Granted, I also made three big coat projects at the same time I had this going, but still. Making the actual fabric really adds a step.)

I’ve never truly pieced before–the two quilts I’ve made just used big pieces, not really blocks–and wow is it boring. I do enjoy seeing all the prints as I work but I don’t think I’ll be making anything like these anytime soon.