Friday, June 21, 2019

Wedding Dress Quilt

Yes, I know I said I was going to talk about what I'm doing with my vintage scraps and I will.  But something came up!  I recently visited a college roommate of mine.  You just never know what you're going to be getting into when you're around Lorraine.

Lorraine is one of the most practical minded people I know.  She is in a major cleaning-out-stuff mode and as we were working on that, she said "What am I going to do with my wedding dress?"  She's kept it all these years (30) but hates the idea of it being stuffed away in a cedar chest for another 30 years.  She doesn't really have any one to give it to and it is not exactly the latest fashion in wedding dresses even if she did.   Kind of half jokingly, I said "You could make a quilt."  She said, "You can DO that???"  And thus the foray into the unknown was born.  She fell in love with the idea and not only am I using her dress to make a quilt, but her mother's dress and veil as well.

Here is the dress (1990).  This is a picture of a picture so not the greatest quality.  Lorraine was slender, but her mother was even tinier!  After doing some searches on Pinterest and Google, we had ourselves a start of a plan.   I am now back home and the dresses are on their way to me as I write.

And here is her mother's dress (1955) . . .

Here is a closeup of the veil lace.

OK, pause while waiting for the post office to do it's thing.  
Cue Jeopardy music, can you hear it in your mind? 
The dresses have now arrived!!
My daughter volunteered to be a model and had a fun time trying them on.  
Here is the 1955 dress without the jacket . . .

And with the lace jacket.

We were laughing about what Dad would say if he walked in on this.  

As you can see, the satins and laces may be slightly different shades, which is perfect.  Lorraine is envisioning a simple quilt with different shades of satin in it. We may have to purchase some additional fabric to supplement.  One possible idea is to do a much larger block in the middle featuring this bodice lace.

I think this is part of the sleeves.  I can't remember at the moment.

She doesn't like a lot of fru fru so it is going to be fairly simple, like this pattern below.  A kind of simplified log cabin in between some plain large squares.  We'll put some of the lace and beading on her dress on selected squares and pieces. I'm going to have to do some math to figure out how many blocks we can make and what size.  The outer border will have a contrasting background color as you'll see further on down.

In addition to this simple layout, she likes the idea of setting the blocks on point. Thanks to Kate for seeing this in a book? magazine? she was reading and sending it to me.  Lorraine can study these two pictures and decide which way she likes best. 

Another idea Lorraine wants to incorporate is the border  lace with a contrasting fabric behind as shown here.  This was found at Mary Manson Quilts.  I will be doing some quilting, but not nearly as elaborate as what Mary has done here.  Lorraine likes some quilting, but wants to keep the overall look fairly simple.   That is another decision to make.  The quilting!  I am going to be doing some practice pieces to show Lorraine to see what she likes. 

We will be using the lace found on the bottom of Lorraine's dress and around the edge of her train for this technique.    Here is what her lace looks like.  Leaves with beads and sequins.   I really like the color that Mary chose to go behind the linen in the piece shown here.  Lorraine will need to give me some input on that.

Will it be satin?  Silk? Tan? Taupe?  Beige? Cream?  Also, should we cut the stitches that attach the lace to the satin or just do a straight cut around the bottom of the dress with the leafy lace still attached to the satin?  Some of this might require some hand sewing.   Decisions!  Decisions! 

Any and all thoughts on this project are welcome!  I would love to hear ideas I have not thought about too.  You guys have always been such a help to me when I'm making decisions.  Has anybody out there made a quilt out of a wedding dress before?  I would love to see pictures if you have them.  And if you have, what tips do you have that might be helpful?

Linking to:
Needle & Thread Thursday
Free Motion Mavericks
Busy Hands Quilts
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
From Bolt to Beauty