It finally happened!
It’s only been on my ‘to-make’ list for, oh, 6 years now – ha!
Has this happened to you? Where you have an urge to make something but instead of making it, you think about it and think about the design some more before diving in?
Allow this me-made quilt journey to inspire you to get off the ‘pondering fence’ and finally dive into the world of wearable quilt art!
This is a journey about a modern quilter who had her eye on quilted coats, and had even gone out and bought a pattern, but it still took a stellar collaboration to actually make it happen!
HOW THE ETCHED DIAMOND QUILT X HOVEA COAT CAME TO BE
I’ve been wanting to make myself a quilted coat ever since I started quilting back in 2015. So, to say I was excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Megan of Megan Nielsen Patterns is an understatement 😉 What’s so funny is that I had just ordered a bunch of linen in anticipation of diving into a quilt coat project. The timing couldn’t have been more kismet!
ETCHED DIAMOND QUILT X HOVEA COAT PATTERN EXTENSION
It was such a fun piecing journey that I couldn’t resist pulling the pattern together so you too could make your very own bespoke quilt coat.
The math has been done for you, so all you have to do is follow the piecing instructions for the backing and the pocket in the Etched Diamond x Hovea Coat Pattern Extension.
Then grab Megan’s Hovea Coat pattern for the coat piecing instructions.
The Etched Diamond pattern features:
- Instructions for piecing the back panel and pocket panels for the Hovea coat.
- Step-by-step graphics for visual cues at each step of the piecing journey.
- Pressing directions to help your seams lay flat and points nest and line up.
- Colouring page to plan your own design.
- Block labels to keep your quilt pieces and blocks organized.
- Four colourways to give you fabric and colour inspiration.
- Links to tutorials for added help and guidance.
- Fabric cutting diagrams to maximize your fabric usage.
- Track your progress! The quilt journey can be a long process and remembering where you left off can be a challenge! You can now track your progress at each step of the quilt journey, so you know exactly what still needs to be done! And it’s entirely interactive. If you’re viewing the pattern on your iPad, tablet, or smartphone, you can tick the box digitally and save your file to pick back up where you left off! If you print your pattern, you can tick your boxes with a pen 😊
If you’ve never pieced half-square triangle quilt blocks before, you’ll be an 8-at-a-time HST queen at them by the end of making the Etched Diamond quilt.
Plus, there’s just enough trim-down room so that your points will be nice and sharp without too much waste. So handy!
FABRIC SELECTION & MATERIALS NEEDED
Before I’d even seen the pattern, I knew the base would be linen. That was a no-brainer. The challenging bit was deciding whether I wanted to add colour or just feature linen. If you know me, then you know I love bold bright colours; they’re hard to resist! So, while I waivered a little, it didn’t take long before I committed to adding in these fun pinky burgundies. I also threw in a couple of stripes to add dimension, texture and a graphic hit. You know I’m a sucker for stripes!
Here’s everything I featured in my Hovea coat and used to bring her to life:
- Etched Diamond Quilt x Hovea Coat Pattern Extension
- Hovea Coat pattern or the Hovea Curve Coat pattern
- Medium Pink
- *Gray and white linen stripe
- Black and white stripe
- *Gray Essex Linen
- Liberty print (the Liberty print I bought is already sold out. Moral of the story, if you find a Liberty print you like, snag it while you can 😉)
- *100% cotton batting
- Pieced and quilted in *40wt Aurifil Thread
- *Big stitch hand binding with pearl cotton thread
- *Needle for bid stitch hand quilting my binding
- *Tailor sheers
- *Rotary cutter
- *Sewing machine
- *Clips (these were particularly handy for securing my coat pattern pieces together and for attaching my binding.)
Now that you know all the materials and notions you’ll need to tackle your own quilt coat, let’s talk preparation.
FABRIC PRE-WASHING DILEMMA
I know you’re familiar with the age-old quilty question of whether the pre-wash your fabric or not. I fall into the latter category, preferring to forgo pre-washing my fabric before diving into a quilty project.
But since this was a quilty + me-made project, I thought it best to err on the side of caution and pre-wash. I had visions of me happily donning my cozy quilt coat only to have my arms get stuck mid-sleeve.
Pre-washing meant that I also had to deicide whether I was going to starch or not. Since starch really isn’t in my quilty repertoire, I opted to forgo starch in favour of a little extra TLC with some *Flatter spray.
With my fabrics nicely washed and pressed, I then decided to take my fabric preparation one step further by finding the grain.
This sounds more complex than it is. All it entails is snipping about an 1/8 of an inch in from the raw edge and then tearing the rest of the way. This will automatically find the grain for you. I don’t normally do this, but I wanted my base elements to be as straight and in prime shape before starting to cut into her. As I always mention in quilting, taking care at each step of the stitching journey results in a compounding effect. Ill-pressed fabric will mean your blocks won’t line up, making it difficult for you to keep things straight and orderly. So, I took my time at each stage to set myself up for success 😊
With my fabric on grain, I dove into cutting up my blocks for piecing my quilt motif.
I was inspired by the Etched Diamond quilt pattern to feature some elements that I had designed back in 2018. This was the opportunity to explore those designs in a quilt coat format. I was excited to be finally diving in! I had a general idea of the scale that I was going for but having never made the Hovea coat (or any coat for that matter) I was a little unsure how things were going to come together proportionally speaking.
As such, I customized the dimensions for the pocket on the fly. After piecing the quilt coat back, I knew that I needed to shrink the original pocket measurements I’d designed. I’m so happy I listened to my gut and shrank her down.
What I forgot to account for was direction. I had planned on having the quilt motif on both pockets, but I forgot to mirror the layout so that things fell into place. Plan B was going asymmetrical and featuring a solid pocket instead! Sometimes you have to roll with problems that arise during the piecing journey. It was a good thing I didn’t try recreating another patchwork piece, as I was really tight on fabric and needed every last bit of my colourful solids to line my coat!
Note – I have never been more happy to have a good pair of *tailor sheers as I was while working on my quilted coat.
INTERIOR COAT LINING
My original plan was to line the coat in the Essex linen, but I quickly realized I didn’t have enough of the gray linen on hand. Instead of running out to get more, I decided to make it work with what I had left on hand. This meant piecing my leftover pink and burgundy fabrics together to get panels large enough to cut the lining out. Even with that strategy I had just enough to eke out my lining pieces. Phew!
I always planned on featuring the Liberty print as the lining in the sleeves. Good thing that was the plan as I was able to juuuust make them fit within the 1 yard I’d picked up. Full disclosure – part of the seam allowance actually fell on the selvage. I didn’t sweat it too much as I figured it would get concealed within the seam allowance, which it did! I’m so happy this worked out as I really wanted to be able to flip my sleeves back to reveal the pretty pink floral print 😊
My goal with my quilting was to keep the coat as soft and cozy as possible. I opted for 1” straight line quilting featuring a dark gray 40wt Aurifil Thread that matched my Essex linen perfectly. So perfectly in fact that I often had to double-check that I was actually stitching – ha!
I actually pieced and quilted the entire coat (except for the hand binding) using the 40wt thread. I knew I wanted the quilting to be added texture, especially for the hand feel, but didn’t want it to be the focus. A 40wt thread is a great choice for this effect.
When I first started quilting, I was quite intimidated and daunted by binding. And current Shannon is so thankful to past Shannon for setting out to learn how to properly hand stitch. You might remember that I avoided anything to do with hand stitching. It just seemed fiddly, and my results were less than stellar.
But I persisted in upping my hand stitching game because I loved the look of a seamless bound quilt. As I got into hand stitching, I realized just how enjoyable slow stitching can be and found myself delving into the world of big-stitch hand quilting. Combining the two was a no brainer 😉
What I hadn’t combined before was bias striped binding with big stitch hand binding – oh, my – the glorious texture and detail this creates is simply stunning!
But the problem was I was confident making and working with straight grain binding but hadn’t tackled bias binding with as much frequency.
This project had me doing a deep dive on this quilting technique. I shared a peek at this with you on Instagram and you wanted in on how to make your own bias binding. I’m happy to report I’ve done just that for you!
You can read all about making your own bias binding in Part 4 of the Quilt Binding Tutorial series.
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 1 – Binding Basics
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 2 – Blind Stitch Binding
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 3 – Big Stitching Binding
- Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 4 – Bias Binding
As with quilts, binding is the perfect finishing touch. It elevates your coat from handmade unfinished to a bespoke tailored coat with a seamless finish.
I encourage you to spend time at this stage to add in these little details that add to your coat’s personality!
I’m sharing more about my first journey into me-made clothing over on Megan’s website where I’m laying out the Top 10 Tips I learned while making my first quilt coat.
FINAL IMPRESSIONS AFTER TACKLING MY FIRST ME-MADE PROJECT
In retrospect, I’m actually thankful I waited before diving into my first quilt coat journey. My piecing skills are not only way better than they were when I first started quilting (obvi, this is true of any craft you put time into), but I have a better understanding of how fabric behaves. Piecing all those curves in the Cloud Surfing and Lunar Eclipse quilts also prepared me for handling stitching curves in garments – I’m looking at you arm holes!
Waiting also meant that I felt more confident designing my own patchwork motif for the back and coat pocket. Plus, I don’t know how many times I thanked myself for learning how to hand-stitch my binding down. I lost count of the number of times I said to myself “gosh, I’m so happy I upped my hand binding game” because the seamless finish on all my interior seams is just beautiful! A reminder that time invested in your craft is always well spent 😊
I mention this to encourage you to explore diving into the world of me-made clothing. Give it some thought, think it through, and then unleash your creative genius on whipping up your own snuggle-worthy quilt coat featuring the Hovea Coat Pattern + Etched Diamond Quilt x Hovea Pattern Extension!
If you would like some guidance as you work on your jacket take the Quilted Coat Course which walks you through the piecing adventure step-by-step!
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