Now before I get all crazy with the names and family connections lets start with this: my oldest sister Dutchy was married when I was just 3 years old and had her first daughter two weeks before I turned 4. She was a very young bride, just 19! That means my sister's kids are my age! So while all the "great"s in this story makes everyone sound really old we're really not ;o)
|Maybe this will help, from left to right|
Dutchy, sleeping Charlotte, Lindsay, and Sharon
I wanted to make a special quilt for Charlotte in honor of her baptism. So I asked Charlotte’s grandmother (Sharon) if I could use her wedding dress to make the quilt. Some of the lace from the wedding dress had been used on Lindsay’s wedding veil so it had already been cut up a bit. I took the remainder of the dress apart and spent some time mulling over the possibilities.
First I had to change my design wall background to black by hanging up a black sheet to get some good contrast. A quick shopping spree at the local fabric shop turned up some fun fabrics: a sheer grey with some pretty flowers, another sheer piece in beige with a little bit of sparkle, two shades of pink satin, some beige satin, a shiny silver blouse from by crazy quilt scrap bucket, and some soft Minkie as a potential backing. I pinned them all up on the design wall along with the pieces of the dress and some satin ribbon to get inspired.
My typical mode of quilting is to put all the possibilities up on the wall and see what feels right. This can sometimes take several weeks! Well, I didn’t have that much time so I had to make some quick decisions. The beige and pink satins were the winners. The sheers were too busy and not the right colors to go with the white dress.
The beige satin actually made the dress
fabric appear much whiter than it really is.
After all, the wedding dress was going on 30 years old and had been
stored in a box in the closet. When I
got it I took a chance and threw it in the washing machine. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose, it
had already been cut into right? Well,
it came out very nice. Some of the dirt
around the bottom didn’t come out but for the most part it washed beautifully!
Then I cut lace squares (6 ½”) the same size as the finished snowball blocks. I basted the lace onto the white and pink snowballs to get the overlay effect that was in the bodice of the wedding gown. To minimize the pink and keep the focus on the white and lace I overlaid the lace on the pink.
Working with all the “fancy” fabrics was a challenge. They were slippery and frayed easily so I did a lot of basting. It was fast and easy to do and just made everything sit still while I worked. I also used a dry iron on a cooler setting to make sure I didn’t burn anything!
I alternated the white/lace blocks with the beige blocks to give it a little interest. I debated over using just the white but it was very blah even with the pink and lace. The beige just added a little bit of depth. It’s hard to see in the pictures because the fabrics are shiny but I think you get the idea. There are better pictures at the end. (And speaking of pictures I'm sorry these aren't better but I'm still using my phone to take them!)
First I handed stitched in two rows of basting on the lace to be able to ruffle it. Then I hand based and pinned the lace to the border before sewing it into place with the machine. This was pretty tricky, and slippery, look at all the pins!
Here’s how the corners turned out. I wish I had thought about the fact that the lace would be rounded so I could have made the borders rounded as well. Still, the whole point was to have a quilt that would be a memento of the occasion and I know I accomplished that.
Now you won’t believe this but I didn’t take any pictures of the whole finished quilt! I do have these two shots showing the lace border and you can kind of see what the whole thing looks like.
To finish it off I used the envelop method. I didn’t include batting as I didn’t want to quilt it. So technically it’s not really a quilt it’s a blanket but I’m calling it a quilt! The backing is a cream colored plush with raised dots – I wanted it to be soft enough to use! After turning it inside out I stitched around the border on the outer edge and along the inner edge under the lace. This created a square that was just enough to keep the two pieces together without doing a heavy quilting pattern.
The size is 36” square. Small enough to use on a tiny baby like Charlotte then pack away til the next baptism. And best of all Charlotte and her mom loved it!
Once all the deciding was done, putting the whole thing together only took about two days – well, two very LONG days but it all worked out in the end and now it's my Friday Finish to add to Crazy Mom Quilts.
Now to clean up the lace and satin explosion that has taken over my sewing room. :o)