Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jacket Progress

Quilted jacket progress continues to be slow.  Reading Leah's post this week about why projects become UFO's, I see a lot that applies to this project.  When I picked this pattern, it was supposed to be an easy and straightforward jacket for a beginner. It has completely spiraled out of control to something that is beyond my skill and comfort level.

Even now that I've picked it up again, I continue to make excuses to not work on it. I just know it will be hard and frustrating once I sit down.  I am bolstered by two facts:

1) This jacket won't be entered into any shows, and any non-quilter will think it looks amazing and not see the massive amount of flaws in it (I am breaking like every rule in the book with the sloppy sewing on this thing)
2) I am almost done with the back panel, then I will only need to do the sleeves before it reverts back to following the regular jacket pattern. So the hard part is almost over.

Since my last post I hadn't done anything on the jacket until today. The first step today was to sew on these little strips that I am putting between each panel to make the seam mismatch less obvious (yes that is my secret plan to hide all of my horrible mistakes). Unfortunately, it is a curved seam.  So when I tried to sew it on normally today I got a big ripple.
 So basically I had to do curved piecing, which I have never done before and don't know how to do.  It involved about a million pins. I laid the strip flat and then folded under the seam allowance to meet the seam line. So in some spots it was 1/4", others probably 1" or greater.

In the end it worked (after like an hour-long process). Here's the strip sewn on flat. Phew!

Next was the center back panel.  A bit tricky because it's wider than normal, so the back and forth triangles won't fly. Instead I decided to to diamonds with triangles around them. The diamonds are the central fabric that's supposed to tie the jacket together; it's also used in the strips.  Here I'm laying out pieces to see if the colors work.

Then I drew out the stitching lines on the muslin for my faux "paper piecing" method. The problem here is figuring out the stitching order. Which was beyond my brain so instead of stitching each piece to the muslin bit by bit like normal, I made strips.

Here are all the strips lined up and ready to be sewn together/to the muslin piece.

Well, it will come as no surprise that this didn't go correctly. Sewing the strips to the muslin led to plenty of seam mis-matches and imperfect diamonds. Which is fine but the strip is supposed to follow the diamond edges and the second-to-bottom diamond ended up way tinier than it was supposed to be.
Above is that back panel all stitched together. You can see the diamonds looking wobbly and that second-to-bottom one looking abnormally small.  So either my vertical strip swoops inward there to meet the diamond, or it just follows the course and the diamond points and exposed for that guy.  I gave up for the night after this point.  I need some R&R after all that! Plus I have the horrible habit of hunching over my machine (desk is not the right height) so my back always hurts quite a lot by this point.

To break the tedium I played around with my new gorillapod, basically a portable little tripod that lets you take self-portraits anywhere. So here are some "action" shots I took with it. :)


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  2. Your jacket is going to be stunning.


  3. I can't wait to see how your jacket turns out. I love all your colors it has in it!! Come join me at

  4. Oh my goodness, that looks incredibly complicated! It will be awesome when you finish!

  5. you promised me the jacket for my birthday but you didnt commit to which one! so take a break and pick it up again when the project becomes fun. Love Mom