I Shall Wear Purple --

If I Ever Get My Jacket Finished

Dean Deerfield 2005

   
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My oldest daughter loves purple and when I see her in a new purple outfit I always think, "Someday I am going to make something purple for myself." Several years ago, I started collecting purple fabric for my project. Then a year ago I started my crazy quilt jacket using purple and gold. As usual I got side tracked and haven't finished it, however, I am working on it again and will get it finished this time because I want to enter it in a quilt show in March.

I want to share my technique with you. I cut the jacket pieces from flannel and added a good inch all the way around each pattern piece as I cut the fabric. Crazy Quilting can cause blocks to shrink a little as you sew the seams and add embellishments. You will re-cut the jacket pieces when all of the crazy quilting and seam embellishments are finished, just as you  would  square a quilt block.

2 front panels side by side
Jacket Front Panels 
Sleeves and collar
Sleeves and Collar 

The back is constructed just as you would a quilt, paying attention to balance as you place your fabric onto the backing. I find as the pieces go together, I sometimes want to make changes in the choices I have made because I don't like the way something looks. For this reason, I have developed a system for constructing my crazy pieces that allows me to do that easily. The pictures you see with this article are all glue basted in place and are sewn one time and that is when I do the seam embellishments. The ends of lace can be tucked under easily, and corners are easily adjusted when necessary and I never have to remove stitching because something needs to go under something else.

I fold the side of the fabric that will be the seam line and press it nice and crisp and then glue baste it in place, leaving the edge of the seam un-basted. As I add lace or other embellishments, I can slip it under the edge of the seam with ease. Corners that do not lay totally flat can be easily corrected and re-pressed because nothing is sewn. My blocks go together very quickly and with ease.

I teach this method in my classes and old crazy quilters find it very easy to use. We all like the speed it allows us in getting our blocks together and the nice flat block we have when it is finished.

Back of the jacket

I lay the two front panels out on a table, the way they are in the picture, and work on both of them at the same time. I place the same colors and generally the same shape, in approximately the same place on each piece. I do not try to make them exactly alike. The two front panels look more balanced this way and this is how I choose to work. Certainly, if you just want to sew pieces where ever that is fine. That is what Crazy Quilting is all about. Personally, I want to look balanced to some degree when I walk down the street, and this works for me. The wonderful thing about Crazy Quilting is the freedom to do as we choose. This is how we display our individuality.

The students in my classes often ask me if they can use their machines to do the seams. Certainly, if you have an up-to-the-minute machine that will embroider your seams and you prefer that method, then by all means, use it. I try to choose stitches that will allow me to add beads and many of the stitches can be beaded.

Hopefully by the time the next issue of CQ Magazine comes out I will have my jacket finished and I will be able to share the finished project with you.

Have a Happy New Year.

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