Project Quilting 8.5: Pocket Square Dance

Pocket Square Prototype
I was channeling Tim Gunn with this week's Project Quilting challenge theme:  Well-Dressed Man.  Interestingly enough, Project Quilting founder/organizer extraordinaire, Kim Lapecek, was inspired by the Project Runway challenges and set out to create a series of fun and intense challenges for quilters!

I drew inspiration by Tim Gunn encouraging the Project Runway designers to "use the accessories wall thoughtfully" as they get ready for the runway.  And while I suspected others might incorporate the tie and/or bow tie into their entries, I chose to celebrate the pocket square and its many folded variations!

In addition to my usual Pinterest research, I also did some reconnaissance at a local thrift store.  I first checked to see if they had any pocket squares available for purchase...alas none!  So I wandered over to the men's suits where I researched the different colors, prints and took measurements of the breast pockets!  Once I returned home I raided my stash for suit-like fabrics (stripes, plaids and solids) in navy, grey/charcoal, tan, taupe and even brown!!  I cut out 9" squares and laid out a 4x4 grid with matching pocket flap.  Please note that I am not a seamstress, so I was left to "make it work" and set out to create mock pockets.
Men's Wear Background Squares
With my background squares laid out, it was time to accessorize!!  Since I couldn't find any pocket squares at the thrift store, I opted to create my own using fabrics from my stash.  After a few different fabric pulls, I opted to go with a bright and cheery set of springtime green and bright teals prints.  I attempted to do a rolled hems for a finished edge, but failed miserably.  So, I simply avoided any pocket square folds that had the pocket square edges exposed:  problem solved!  Each square is 10" x 10" and in some cases the designs involved 2 pocket squares.
Accessorizing Fun!
Once my pocket squares were folded and glue basted, it was time to assemble my squares.  I created mock pockets by cutting a small slit into each background square to slide in my folded pocket square.  Elmer's glue to the rescue to help with basting my blocks before stitching on the pocket flap.  All the fabric squares involved multiple folds, sometimes with two fabric squares which oftentimes created quite a bit of bulk.  Luckily my Juki machine had no issue sewing through these thick layers but to help reduce bulk, excess pocket square fabric was trimmed away before top stitching my pocket.
Mock Pocket Assembly
Once all the mock pockets were complete, the quilt top assembly was very quick and easy.  I then pondered how best to quilt the quilt top.  I stalled by completing all the stitching in the ditch with a medium value grey thread.  But given the heaviness of the pocket squares, I knew that more quilting would be required.  And so I doodled some different designs and really liked this simple diamond shape stitched at the block intersections.  I used Superior Threads Fantastico in Lime (#5113) to add a little pop of color to these free-motion quilted diamonds.
Well Dressed Man Wears Diamonds
Once again I did not heed my own advice of working small with these one week challenges!  Each of my blocks is life-sized, and I opted to make 16 of them!
Pocket Square Dance, Finishes 34" x 34"
I love participating in these quilting challenges as I always learn something new!  I had so much fun learning all about pocket squares and the many ways to fold and style them!!

Here are the two main sources of Pocket Square Tutorials that I used, while taking a few creative liberties here and there!:
And here are some close up shots of my pocket squares...
Top Left Clockwise:  Mel's Original (based on an early sketch), The Mountain Path, Winged Puff Fold, and Scallop
Top Left Clockwise:  Layer Cake, The Mount Fiji, Tee Pee and Overcoat
Top Left Clockwise:  Monarch, Four Stairs, Double Pocket Square and American Beauty
Top Left Clockwise:  The One Point, 3 Stairs Fold, Double Winged puff and Ice Cream
Online voting will begin Sunday afternoon (PST) and go through Friday.  Be sure to check out all the creative interpretations of "Well-Dressed Man" challenge theme and vote for your favorites!!  Hint hint:  Mine is #71.

And as Heidi Klum would say:  "Auf Wiedersehen!!":  Good Bye and Until We See Each Other Again for the final challenge of Project Quilting Season 8!!!


  1. Who knew there were so many ways to fold a pocket square. Your technique of creating the pocket was right on

    1. Thanks! One of the tutorial links list 50 different pocket square folds!! Oh the possibilities!

  2. Wow, those pocket squares are awesome. What a great quilt. Thanks for sharing your creative process! I really want to try something like this.

    1. Thanks Carla...and just think: there are over 50 pocket square design tutorials online!! They are a lot of fun, especially when you combine different colors and prints!!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Paige...these challenges always push me to explore new ideas, techniques and now men's fashion!!

  4. phenomenal! I adore this and it's so creative!

    1. Thank you you can see, I had a lot of fun learning pocket square folding techniques. And given all the fabric used, it is a pretty heavy quilt!!


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