Crazy Patchwork Jacket


Project Overview

Joyce Drexler was inspired by this Sulky Vest which was created by Gail Abeloe; Gail used her Back Porch Press Pattern.

Joyce's Santa Jacket. Fabrics used were from Debbie Mumm's Santa Christmas Collection for South Seas Imports; Jacket Pattern by Back Porch Press.

Try Joyce's fast and easy and neat crazy patchwork method below, then experiment with Gail's method in her Back Porch Crazy Patch Jacket Pattern. All types of Crazy Patchwork look great stitched in Sulky Decorative Threads.

About the Artist

Joyce Drexler
Instructor, Artist, Quilter, Author, Designer and
Executive Vice President of Sulky of America, Inc.

Joyce is widely recognized as a leader in the field of "Machine Arts and Crafts". Her books have sold well over 600,000 copies. Joyce has been published in numerous magazines and she appears regularly on PBS TV Programs. Joyce also illustrated her own designs to create embroidery cards for Cactus Punch and Great Notions.

In 1999, Joyce received the prestigious "Schmetz Golden Needle Award" in acknowledgement of her significant contributions toward enhancing the future of the sewing industry.


  • Zig-Zag Sewing Machine with Decorative Stitch capability
  • Size 90/14 Topstitch or Embroidery Machine Needles
  • An assortment of Sulky Rayon Thread
  • Sulky Tear-Easy™ Stabilizer
  • Fabric: 1/4 to 1/2 yd. each of 9 to 12 coordinating prints and 1-1/2 yds. of focal design fabric. (Joyce used mostly fabrics designed by Debbie Mumm for South Seas Imports)
  • For Lining & Foundation Yardage see your favorite jacket or vest pattern. (Joyce used Back Porch Press Crazy Patchwork Jacket Pattern)
  • Iron and Pressing Pad
  • Scissors
  • All-purpose Sewing Thread
  • Paper
  • Ruler, Mat & Rotary Cutter
  • Fine-line Permanent Marker
  • Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pen
  • General Sewing Supplies
Use 1/4" seam allowance for patchwork. Follow pattern's recommended seam allowance for garment construction.
  1. Measure vest or jacket pattern pieces to see how many 5-1/2" squares you will need to cover them; for your foundation fabric cut that amount of 6-1/2"squares from either batting, diaper fleece or muslin. If using muslin for your foundation instead of batting or fleece, cut twice that amount of 6-1/2"squares of Sulky Tear-Easy™ Stabilizer. Set all aside.
  2. Make your own focal point written message squares on muslin or a fabric of your choice. Determine the size message that will fit on your finished square (about 3-1/2" leaving 1/2" for seam allowancees). Use a permanent ink marker to write out your own message on paper.
  3. Turn over the paper and trace over the reverse side of the message with a Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pen.
  4. Place the paper, transfer ink side down, onto a muslin square. To protect your iron and ironing surface, place one blank piece of paper under the muslin and another over the paper message. Use a dry iron on a cotton setting to transfer the message as many times as desired following Sulky Transfer Pen package directions. To assure permanency, trace over the transferred ink with a fine-line, permanent marker.
  5. Begin making the Crazy Patchwork by placing two 6-1/2" squares of Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer behind each 6-1/2" square of muslin. Place a focal message print or a fabric print in the center of each square.
  6. Cut the 9 to 12 coordinating fabrics into 2" strips. Thread the top and bobbin with matching regular sewing thread. Select two different strips and straight stitch them onto the left and right sides of each focal piece using a 1/4" presser foot and 1/4" seam allowance. Use the speed sewing method and sew your sets continuously. Press seams toward strips. Trim the top and bottom flush with the focal piece.
  7. Choose your favorite types and colors of Sulky Thread and decorative stitch patterns on your sewing machine to sew over the seam lines or on the strips themselves, in an undulating manner. The entire Santa Jacket was stitched with Sulky gold "Sliver" Metallic and a feather stitch, while the Country Jacket was stitched with many different coordinating colors of Sulky 30 wt. Rayon in a variety of stitch designs.
  8. Now sew strips to the top and bottom of the focal block using the speed sewing method as in Step 6. Press and trim flush.

    Tip: For a more pieced look or if you only have short strips, piece them together to make longer strips. With Tear-Easy Stabilizer underneath, decorative stitch over each seam and remove stabilizer before sewing pieced strips onto the focal block.

  9. Repeat Step 7 and decorate these two strips. By sewing and decorating strips on two sides of the focal block in succession, you speed up the sewing process and bury the ends of all the decorative stitching. Other Crazy Stitch methods ask you to do all the strip piecing first and then go back and decorate, causing you to have to always tie off stitch patterns. You will find Joyce's Method easier, and neater looking when completed.
  10. If you chose a small size focal piece, the base foundation should be totally covered now. If it is large, you may need to go around again. You can now add one or two corner pieces over strips to give blocks a more Crazy Patchwork look. Stitch strips on; then decorate with Sulky.
  11. Using your rotary cutter, quilter's ruler and mat, trim all covered 6-1/2" blocks down to 6". Remove the Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer one layer at a time so as not to tear out any delicate stitches. Sew these blocks together forming the fabric from which you will cut your pattern pieces from your favorite jacket or vest pattern. By continuously referring to the sizes of the pattern pieces, you can minimize the number of blocks needed.
  12. You may elect to create a piece on the diagonal for more interest, or make diagonal rows of one certain focal print. Play with the different pieces. Once fabric pieces are created and stitched together, press all the seams, and decorative stitch over them.
  13. Cut the jacket or vest pieces from this Crazy Patchwork fabric that you have created. Construct and line the jacket or vest according to pattern instructions. Add a label to the lining, if desired. Decorate patchwork with ceramic buttons, etc. Add beading for detail.
Enjoy all the compliments!