Wool-Tweed Patchwork Throw
Traditionally, patchwork quilts are made from fabric remnants that are too small to be used in other sewing projects. But for this variation, three men's wool tweed sport coats are cut up to provide the fabric squares needed to make this cozy patchwork throw. To prepare the tweed for cutting, simply take apart each jacket at the seams; remove the lining and facing, if possible; and iron the pieces flat.
- Piece of cardboard
- Adhesive-backed sandpaper
- Tailor's chalk
- Wool tweed fabric
- Straight pins
- Cotton broadcloth or old cotton sheet
- Solid wool flannel
- Large yarn needle
Cut out a 5-inch square of cardboard to use as your template. On one side of the template, affix small pieces of adhesive-backed sandpaper to the corners; this will prevent the template from moving while you trace its shape onto the fabric's surface.
Using tailor's chalk and the template, trace as many squares as possible onto each section of coat. Make sure your squares line up with the grain of the fabric, and are as close together as possible. (Each jacket should yield 40 to 60 squares of fabric; for a 40-by-58-inch throw, you'll need 117 squares.) Cut out the squares.
Following a pattern of your choice (the throw shown is 9-by-13 squares), sew together the squares in rows: Begin by pinning two squares together along one edge, right sides facing, and stitching them together on the machine using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. When a row is complete, press open all the seams with an iron. Repeat the process until all the rows are complete.
Pin top two rows together at the long edges, right sides facing. Be sure that the vertical seams between squares are aligned from row to row. Stitch the rows together, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press seam allowance open. Repeat until all the rows have been sewn together and your quilt is the desired dimension.
Cut a piece of cotton broadcloth (for the lining), and a piece of solid wool flannel (for the backing) to the same dimensions as your throw. Sandwich the three pieces together: Place the cotton broadcloth on your work surface; then place the patchwork piece on top, right side up; top with the solid flannel piece, wrong side up. Pin around the perimeter, through all three layers, leaving a 10-inch opening on one side.
Stitch around the quilt's edges, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance; make sure not to sew up the 10-inch opening. Remove pins, and clip corners. Place your hand through the opening (between the patchwork piece and the flannel backing), and turn the quilt right side out. Press along the edges to flatten seams, and hand-stitch the opening closed. Press.
If desired, add yarn tassels: Thread a large needle with a length of yarn, and make a stitch at various points where the squares meet. Tie the pieces of yarn into knots on the right side of the fabric.