Old Quilt, New Jacket

I came upon 2 very used, very old, very beat-up quilts about 10 years ago. Paid $15 for both! They were destined for the trash heap (according to the owner) and I swept them up just for the sheer urge to at least give them a proper burial. One became a dog blanket (trust me - it was torn, etc beyond repair). The other I put up in the closet and used it to cover my grandkids when they stayed overnight.

Pink vintage quilt from the 1960s: 62" x 77" (approx.)

The pink solids and prints are poly-cotton. The white is cotton and that's where the disintegration occurred. Sun damage. Sitting quietly up in my hall closet, wanting to grow old with grace. This quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted. The binding was attached by machine.

Then I got this request from my oldest daughter: "Can you make me a vintage quilted jacket?" She sent links to "repurposed" quilts into jackets - $575!! I told her "no" right off the bat. I said it was anathema (forbidden) for a quilter to desecrate a quilt like that. And, then I thought: how much more desecrated could a quilt get than the one I rescued shown here? I pulled it out of my closet and began thinking.

Quilt with pattern pieces auditioning placement

I found a pattern online, bought it, printed it on 17 pieces of paper (and then laboriously taped them together). WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO? I don't sew garments anymore! I'M A QUILTER!

I did take the advice of the pattern designer and made a quick draft jacket using an old sheet. Good thing I did, because my daughter wanted one size larger (she's tall and thin, but likes to wear layers).

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to place the pattern pieces around the rotted parts. I bought white cotton to supplement the disintegrated parts and to make binding, etc. And then I cut out the front and back and here she is!

Jacket before finishing (before pocket)

Here it is from the back (with me modeling it). I'm 5'3". Audrey is 5'10".

Jacket in process

I actually cut bias binding (I almost never use bias binding). This is because there are curves on the bottom edges! I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to cut that pocket so it works with that front jacket section.

Jacket front modeled by a very happy Audrey

You can see the placement of that pocket here. Unfortunately, the fabrics are faded, but it works!

Now, Audrey's daughter Eva wants one just like her mom's. But, I don't have much left - maybe enough for a vest and a lot of patching with the leftover white fabric. I'll keep you posted.

Just remember: While we may consider it sacrosanct to "desecrate" a vintage heirloom like this, I gave it new life and it will be used with joy and pride rather than be destined for a dog bed! What do you think?


  1. Fabulous job, Debby! I haven't tried one of these jackets yet, but yours is an inspiration. It is a wonderful way to save an almost disintegrated quilt!

  2. Oh, no, I think it's great. I made a teddy bear out of one not quite that bad, but almost. The jacket is wonderful, and will serve your daughter better than a ragged quilt in a closet serves anyone. Good decision!


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com