Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wearable Art

There comes a time in the life of a quilter that they run out of beds and walls to make quilts for. Many turn to wearable art to showcase their quilting skills and show off their work to more people. The No Sweat Checkerboard Shirt is one of the wearable art patterns I designed. It was the number one selling wearable art pattern in the country for several years.

Here is another shirt in a different print. This shows how great it looks when worn.

When I was invited to do another garment for the Fairfield Fashion show I used this pattern as a starting point. The main fabric for this garment was a gorgeous olive cotton sateen. I used 16 colors in the stripes that meet to form the checkerboard on both the shirt and the jacket. The jacket is a loose variation of my Glad Rags pattern with sleeves added to it and a different center front detail.
I used a silky lining in the jacket to make it easy to slip on and off. I placed a half layer of Fairfield's Cotton Classic batting between the outside and the lining.
I hand quilted it in a diamond pattern. The batting gives it just enough body, but also lets it drape on the figure. After traveling for over a year and being squished in trunks it came back in perfect condition and wrinkle free. It also does not make you look like a walking sandwich board. I have found this to be the very best choice for batting in a quilted wearable art garment.

Others have done their own creative things with this pattern. Carol extended the length of it to make a dress. Although I usually don't do commissions I made one of these and my Million Dollar skirt for a client. She wanted something special to wear to her daughter's casual wedding in the southwest. She was a head turner wearing it. I heard of someone who made a beach cover up by also extending the length. Someone made it in a knit with serged seams for a very stylish nightie. When you find a pattern you like try to come up with creative ways to use it.

Tonights puzzle is yet another shirt from this pattern. The fabric used for this shirt is one of Jeff Gutcheon's prints. It is such an elegant fabric with just a tasteful touch of metallic. I am sure most of the solids selected for this one are also from his line of solids. I have quite a collection of his fabrics and I am so glad I had the foresight to acquire them.

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