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  • Writer's pictureKerry Keeble

All Wrapped Up!

Quilts are not just for beds, they are perfect for snuggling up on the sofa with (especially at the moment where the weather has taken a chilly turn), they make great gifts and can even be a chic fashion statement.

When A$AP Rocky arrived at the Met Gala in September 2021 he caused a stir and further highlighted the apparent modern revival of our beloved craft and the new craze of transforming quilts from family heirlooms to luxury products. There's been a lot of discussion about this on social media, with many feeling that cutting up cherished heirlooms a travesty and that if you find such a treasure in a charity shop or at auction they should be turned over to museums, not repurposed for a passing fashion fad - but like them or loath them, the apparent quilt revival is huge!

I'm a bit on the fence with the concept because personally don't think I could cut up such a treasure, but if they are simply going to be landfill (or worse) then giving them a new lease on life and recycling them into a useable product can only be a good thing?

I recently quilted this beautiful vintage quilt top for a customer, the second image shows what she did with it - her business is repurposing and recycling textiles items into garments.

As a quilter I obviously already think quilts are timeless and a must have in every household, I love everything about designing and making them, they are a great form of therapy when your mental health is struggling, a great way to meet creative like minded people and make new friends as well as just generally being a creative outlet at end of a stressful week.

Over the various lockdowns many people have been struggling and turning to new hobbies and crafts as a way to pass the time and find some comfort, many companies such as Hobbycraft and John Lewis have reported as much as a 106% increase in sales of fabric, wadding and quilting related tools, which only highlights this fantastic craft further.

The interest in repurposing and recycling fashion is far reaching, with many companies looking to improve practices and reduce the carbon footprints they may be leaving, one such company is Jigsaw London and I was lucky enough to work with them on their 'Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent' project towards the end of last year.

The brief was simple - make something unique and beautiful out of fabric, count me in! The fabric I was sent was from previous collections, samples and previous garments, it included wool, linen, cotton, lawn and various mixes of them in different prints and solids. I was given free rein on design and knew immediately I wanted to include my love of hexagons somehow, I laid out all the fabric I had been sent and started planning. I created two quilts, one in each colour story - a large lap sized quilt in warm reds and a single bed size in cool blues.

I used Aurifil Dove Grey 2600 in 50wt for the piecing and longarmed both quilts in one of my favourite pantographs - Cream Puff it just creates the most amazing texture and quilt squishiness!

Now you might be wondering what these quilts are doing in a blog post that started out talking about quilt coats - well it was actually the way my quilts were styled in the window of Jigsaw on the King's Road in London that got me thinking about the concept of quilt coats and the divide there is in how people feel about them.

My quilts were styled as quilt coats/wraps/garments without actually being cut and sewn into one which got me thinking that perhaps there can be the best of both worlds - you can make the most gorgeous quilt with the intended purpose of having it adorn your bed AND wear it to your next outdoor event! Perhaps this is the way forward if you're in team preserve all the quilts, they can be repaired and reused without having to undergo any major changes and at the same time saving them from landfill, sounds perfect to me! What do you think?

Happy Quilting

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