20 October 2022


What do you do with the old beloved but so worn-out handmade quilt when you replace it with a new handmade quilt (that surely also will be super worn out at some point)?

Well, you make a cozy winter jacket, of course!

Dancing Lizards was our main bedspread for at least 15 years. I'd started it as a twin-size quilt before Lizard and I got hitched, but emergency back surgery delayed the project, and he needed a larger quilt by the time he carried me across the threshold. I was so thrilled with the finished project, I entered it into the Denver National Quilt Festival, my first attempt ever at displaying my quilting, and actually got accepted. I remember being a bit hurt by the judge's comments at the time, but I learned a lot from that experience and have grown so much as a quilter since then.

By the time I finished Lizard Toes, the lizard toes on Dancing Lizards were quite tired and sore from all those years of dancing.

I didn't notice until I began cutting the quilt into coat pattern pieces how worn all four bindings were. So I used them as coat edges to complement with the well-frayed appliquéd lizards.

Cutting up the quilt into smaller pieces afforded me the opportunity to fix a few mistakes from the past with the domestic sewing machine, as well as perform long-overdue surgery on some ailing lizards. Except for the zigzag stitching around the lizards, all quilting originally was done by hand.

Cutting up a once-treasured quilt is pretty darned scary at first. I had to keep telling myself, "You're not going to hurt it! It's already pretty far gone!"

I had to cut the hood separately and piece it to the coat front because the quilt, although huge, was not long enough or wide enough to accomodate the very long hooded pattern. (The pattern includes a hoodless version, but how could I go without?!?) I also had to go with a shorter version of the pattern because the quilt wasn't big enough for the full-length coat I envisioned making. Darn it!

I still had a small amount of the backing material in my stash, and I used it to bind the front edges of the jacket. I was amazed by how much the backing had faded after all these years and probably a hundred trips through the washer.

I thought I could finish this project in one night, but I think I must have been sleepy when I put together the second-to-last seam. Oh, it would have been done in just one more hour!!!

Still not sure how I did it, but I had the lower right arm connected to the left side of the jacket. It took me three days to frog the zigzagging I used along both sides of seam edges to make the jacket reversible. Gosh, I knew I should have done French seams and finished by hand instead of using machine zigzag to harmonize with the lizards. Handwork would have taken much longer to finish the jacket, but ripping out the errant seam wouldn't have taken anywhere near as long! And perhaps I would have noticed the mistake sooner...

Post-surgery prognosis now calls for a very warm and snuggly winter!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. The jacket us absolutely fabulous! I love that you made it our of a treasured quilt.

  2. Brilliant!!! I love this jacket and the love behind it!!!!!


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