Monday, 28 March 2011

Wearable quilts - or my favourite coat

Quilting gallery this coming week is having a competition of wearable quilts.Well this coat is certainly my most wearable - I've been wearing it for over 20 years.

This coat began life in the Island of Flores in Indonesia where it was hand woven as a bedspread. I bought it because i thought that i would use it as a table cloth.... At the time we were living in Nhulunbuy, Arnhem land, Northern territory, Australia. At the time the only way in or out of the town was to fly - or a 3 day, 4 wheel drive trip - which could only be attempted in the dry season.

Well I need a coat to travel south in - and this was in the days before the internet and hence eBay - so I looked around my house for something I could make into a coat. I thought that this would be both practical and smart (traveling with small children one did not want a plain colour that showed every mark or stain).

The technical challenges were that the fabric was loosely woven and when I tried to quilt it - distortion was rapid and marked. I almost gave up  but my patient husband unpicked it with me and I tie quilted the whole length of cloth with embroidery floss  and then strengthen it with machine stitching.

The front and back of the coat is cut in one piece to avoid bulky side seams - I bound the edges as I would a quilt.

Well over 20 years later I am still wearing my coat and it still does not seam to "notice" any thing that is spilled on it - so i think that it is going to be going on another international trip - to England this time to see the grandchildren - and they will be able to drop things on it just like my children did.   this is the link for the contest - i will be interested to see what other people submit - i am sure many will be far more dramatic but will they be more wearable?

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