Monday, February 19, 2018

Bride Dress quilt

I joined a new small group and am up to taking on a challenge that they have been working on for a while.  They all bought used bride dresses for $5 and have to tear apart the dresses and make a quilt from the dress.  The quilt has to be 70% dress, and up to 30% of other materials.  No other restrictions or size requirements.  Here's the dress I was able to buy from one of the other members who had an extra one.  It's all polyester, with some lace and beading.  Unfortunately, I was holding it backwards when my husband took the picture, so you can't see the front of it.  Oh well, trust me in that it has some lace and beading on the front.

Here are some of the ideas I had for this quilt.  If you read my blog on a regular basis, you'll recognize that some of these design ideas are quilts that would fit into my series:  Nests, power lines, trees.  Sometimes that works, and sometimes it just doesn't fit.  This one just couldn't shoe horn itself into this challenge.  

I landed on the one below, and decided it would be about 30" x 36".  In a blog many months ago, I wrote about putting up some thin black strips to mark off the size of the quilt.  It's taken straight from the artist's toolbox... they start with a canvas a certain size!  I've been using this technique ever since I took a seminar from Nancy Crow.   It's such a wonderful way to visualize the work in progress.  I hope you try it sometime too.

The straight lines on my sketch represent pin tucks.  I used two huge panels of the dress to make the tucks.  There are 33 in each panel - just enough to cover the area requiring the tucks.  I made the pieces extra large, then pinned a tracing of the piece onto them.  Since I didn't want the seam to rip apart, I sewed through the paper to hold the tucks in place, then cut out the panels outside of the paper.  Just in case something goes a little haywire, I added an 1" all the way around the piece too.  I hope you measure twice and cut once... and still allow for those haywire things that happen during sewing.

I traced the center piece too and sewed around those edges.  Here are the 3 pieces pinned to my design board.

This challenge, as many come to me, screamed out for some fun and different techniques.  So I played around and  made a lot of different "material" by painting, foiling, catching lace between netting, and catching fibers between dissolving sheets.  These were made to use for the circles that I planned to applique down on the center piece.  Here are some of the pieces that I made:

Gold foil on bride dress fabric

Painting with iridescent and glitter paint on dress fabric

 Here are some of the fibers that were used in the woman-made sandwiched fabric:

Thread, lace, yarn rick rack, Angelina fibers
Sandwiched fabric #1
Sandwiched fabric #2

Sandwiched fabric #3

Lace sandwiched between tulle
(To be continued)

Hope this inspires you to step outside your box and try to some fun things.


  1. I can't wait to see the finished project! I'm sure it will be wonderful.

  2. What a great project. I look forward to the next installment!