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From wedding dress to quilt!

Sooze | Posted in General Discussion on

Readers, I am going to make a quilt out of my daughters wedding dress. Has anyone attempted this? Do you have any suggestions? I have only made one other quilt, it was a signature quilt for her shower. I followed a book that I have. I have concerns about the type of materials I’ll be working with. Thanks for any input!

Edited 2/16/2008 2:28 pm ET by Sooze


  1. ladybug43 | | #1

    Have you looked into crazy quilting? There are some really beautiful things made in this manner. White on white stitching with silk embroidery.... luscious!
    Here's a website with just such discussion:
    Another: http://www.quiltersreview.com/article.asp?article=/tip/expert/020325_a.asp

    I've seen many beautiful things made with wedding gown fabric as the mainstay of the piece. Judith Baker Montano is one really good artist; Helen Gibb is excellent for ribbon embroidery.

    You can make a show piece as small as a 6 inch heart, or a much larger wall hanging, doing stitches either by hand or with a fancy sewing machine. I'm just touching the hem of the garment here, hoping to lure you into the beautiful world of modern crazy quilting.

    1. Sooze | | #2

      Thank-you for the site info. I ckecked it out! Very interesting. My daughter liked a pattern called Yellow brick road. In the pictures it seems fairly easy. I will show her these sites so she gets the idea about crazy quilting.

      1. ladybug43 | | #3

        Sooze I went a little "crazy" if you'll pardon the pun. I enjoy crazy quilting so much that I like to get others involved. Frankly, a quilt like your daughter envisions would be the ideal way to go. Although crazy quilting is far easier in one way (it's more free-form), ultimately it can take a lot longer to do, especially in the larger quilts. "Sane" quilting with the pattern your daughter wants, would be, for a new quilter, easier in the sense that you have fewer decisions to make, and you could still do a crazy quilt block with the left-over fabric, which is how crazy quilting started -- 19th century ladies didn't want to waste the pieces left over from the satin, silk and velvet gowns.In piecing "normal" blocks, you just have to consider the fabric your wedding dress is made from, it's "washable" characteristics, and pay attention to the straight of grain.Then... if you like hand-stitching... you might consider one little piece of crazy quilting, which can use bits of lace, beads, and even snippets of the bridesmaid's dresses, if you have any. I finally remembered the best site for just viewing blocks... go to http://www.fairykate.eboard.com and click on the "conference" tab. This woman gathers CQ blocks every year, stitches them together, and auctions them off to raise money for breast cancer research. There's some great examples of white-on-white crazy quilting there.My apologies for this long message. You hit my hot button! <smile>
        - Yvonne

        1. MaryinColorado | | #4

          Wow!  Thank You so much for sharing this incredible website!  The CQ artist's work is just so inspirational and beautifully done.  Mary

          1. ladybug43 | | #5

            You're welcome, MaryOne of the best CQ teachers in the world lives in LaVeta, Colorado, and has a teaching studio there. Her name is Judith Baker Montano. Check out her website. She's a true artist in this medium.http://www.judithbakermontano.com/

            You'll love this!

          2. MaryinColorado | | #6

            Thanks, I've seen alot of her work and books, I didn't realise she had a website.  It would be fun to visit her studio.  I'll look into it when the weather warms up a bit more.  It's 50 here today, yay! 

            She is the "Empress of Crazy Quilting"!  I could never do all that beautiful handwork due to arthritis.  My mother did until these past few years, now in her 80's.  If I had the heart to cut up some of her pieces, it would be beautiful crazy quilted.  I do machine embellishing and embroidery and such. 

            I have done clothing all my life and just got interested in quilting this past year.  I love the process more than the product aspect.  So I am always "playing" with fibers.  I started doing practice stitchouts on prettier fabric so it will work well for crazy quilting. 

            Now I've really got the "CQ bug", oh boy here I go again, off on another stitching adventure.  Thanks for all the inspiration, it's just what I needed to chase away the winter doldrums!  Mary

    1. Sooze | | #8

      Thank you so much for all the info everyone has given me. I have gottten lots of ideas and can't wait to get started!

      1. rodezzy | | #9

        You are so very welcome, and remember to put pics in the photo gallery when finish, we would all like to see the results.  Happy quilting!!!  I know it will be awesome, beautiful, just like the bride was.

        Rodezzy, Fiber Artist

        Edited 2/27/2008 10:46 am ET by rodezzy

        1. Sooze | | #10

          Hi again! I have started to cut out the pieces to make a quilt out of a wedding dress. someone suggested I fuse interfacing, she said that if I had it quilted they would ask. I am not really going to quilt it but fasten layers together with the buttons off the dress. the pattern is the yellow brick road. Does anyone have suggestions as I am quite new at this. Thanks


          P.S. I am embroidering on a few of the blocks also.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #12

            What a wonderful heirloom this will be!  That's a great idea to use the buttons from the dress instead of quilting the layers.  Mary

          2. rodezzy | | #14

            Sounds really beautiful, but I'm confused about the yellow brick wall.  I pulled up a pattern from the web, and it was two rectangles and a square, right?  But, at any rate, I'm sure it will be exquisite.  Please share pictures when done.  I would also like to know how it was put together to be buttoned.  Sounds very unique, and you say you are new at this, sounds like a pro to me...giggle.

            Fusing interfacing would be good if you have some unstable fabrics in it, like a block of veil lace or a small piece of lace.  You wouldn't want the batting to show or come thru.  If you are using batting.  If you are fusing to lace, you will need a sheet of teflon to iron to or else it will mess up your iron and/or ironing board as the glue will leak through the lace holes.  You can always just sew the lace down to a block of satin or a piece of satin the size of the piece you are using.  And a very light weight interfacing.  As light weight as they sell.

            Rodezzy, Fiber Artist

            Edited 3/18/2008 11:49 am ET by rodezzy

          3. Sooze | | #18

            It is called yellow brick road, and there are a 3 different blocks. The buttons are stitched on through the layers of fabric, not going to be buttoned I don't have a clue how to get them to button!! Thanks fo the advice!

  2. Ocrafty1 | | #11

    I haven't done a quilt from a wedding gown, but I did take leftover fabrics from all of the formal gowns I made for my daughters and their friends, added some from wedding gowns I've made and made an 'Crazy Quilt' Christmas Stocking for my first granddaughter. I didn't actually quilt it, but it looked like it. I had lots of dark and light satins, velvets, and taffetas; so I made it 'reversable'...One side was light colored, the other, dark. I used laces, trims, and ribbons from the gowns, some that I had used when my girls were little, as well a piece I purchased for around the top of the stocking. My daughter treasures it more than I can say. She knows where each piece came from and enjoys showing her daughter photos of the dresses they wore...so many memories! My other daughter has demanded equal treatment....although she wasn't blessed with a daughter...3 sons, instead...LOL. I guess I'll have to make another.....

    I traced a stocking pattern, then auditioned pieces by placing them in different spots, til I liked the way it looked. I fuse tacked, then sewed the fabric in place. The trim was added next, by hand, finally, the lining, hanger, and lace around the top. I only took Poleroid pix, and they weren't very good.  I'll try scanning them tomorrow...if they come out OK, I'll post one.

    Good Luck! It will be a wonderful momento and cherished gift.


    1. MaryinColorado | | #13

      Christmas Stockings are so fun to make!  Yours sounds just beautiful.  Crazy qulting is so fun, it's a great way to use up those practice technique remnants too.

  3. Ocrafty1 | | #15

    Here's a photo of the stocking I told you about...just the darker side...the light one didn't show up.


    1. rodezzy | | #16

      Oh, how beautiful.  I love, love, love it.  It's so sassy.  I bought materials to do some stockings like that and never completed them.  You are inspiration indeed.  I love the beading.

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #17

        Thanks Rodezzy! I like trying new things with my sewing, and have lots of leftover fabric...never throw it out. I fibbed when I said that I fused the fabric on this....after thinking about doing another one, I remembered that I used the 'flip & sew' method onto thin interfacing. It was really easy to do. I recommend it to anyone.  Another thing I did for a bride was to use leftover fabric to make one panel of 'Grandmother's Fan.' I put it on a pretty backing fabric, then put that into a frame. She loved it.  My mind works pretty wierd sometimes...but every now and then, I come up with a good one...LOL


        1. rodezzy | | #24

          Yes, that sounds great.  I have a co-worker who is going to have me make something from her grandmothers stash.  I haven't seen it yet.

          Oh, and you just have a very creative mind, everyone on this site has a creative mind, and that allows us to think "outside the pattern".

          Edited 3/19/2008 11:37 am ET by rodezzy

    2. Sooze | | #19

      Hi, I couln't get the pictur to open, I'll keep trying I really like to see the stocking!

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #21

        If you can't get it to open, let me know and I'll send it to you as an email attachment.


        1. Sooze | | #25

          I got it to open and it is beautiful. What a great idea!

          1. Ocrafty1 | | #26

            Thanks! It was fun to do, but a little time consuming...it was worth it.


    3. MaryinColorado | | #20

      What a beautiful stocking, I'm sure it will be treasured for generations.  This is the one you made from the prom dresses isn't it?  I love the tims you chose, they really enhance those lovely fabrics.  Mary

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #22

        Yes, that's what I used. The trims, except for the one around the top, were all from formals and weddings. I purchased the lace for the top. I wanted something that looked elegant and old fashioned. Everything else I used was from garments I'd made. I never throw any bits of trim away. I have some pieces of lace that are as small as a dime. Ya never know when you'll need them for something like this...or a doll dress...or a baby item...or a .....LOL  My hubby says I have more 'junk' than I'll ever use....then I throw up at him the stuff he has in his barn....screws, bolts, bits of wood, ....he quiets down pretty quick.  He's been a union carpenter for 20 yrs and doesn't throw anything out either. Only difference is he has more space to hide his junk. 

        Our barn is 3 stories, and we don't have 'critters' anymore. It is really cool; I traced the records when we moved in 20 yrs ago, and the main part was built before the Civil War.  We've restored it...he had to have a 'workshop' to be able to do the remodeling on the house.  I've been waiting for 20 yrs.  LOL  We DO have the foundation set for our addition this Summer. I will finally get my laundry room moved from the basement to inside the house. We have to go outside to enter the basement of our old farm house. I can't wait. Its a bear doing laundry when its cold, raining or snowing.


        1. rodezzy | | #23

          Wow, that is so interesting that you have a barn.  I used to watch This Old House and HGTV, and all the other home and house shows.  Homes Across America, etc.  I've watch people take homes and restore them, and make homes in old libraries, firehouses, post offices, its amazing to me, and I wish I could do it here in Chicago.  I've seen lots of renovation here and othe big cities of old store fronts and buildings.  I would love to have a partner to do that with.  I couldn't do it alone.  Oh well...

          I thought you were going to make button holes with your sewing machine.  Is this going to be a wall hanging?

        2. MaryinColorado | | #27

          It will be such a blessing to have the laundry room in the house.  I'm so happy for you that this remodelling is really taking shape now.  You must be so excitied!  Hooray!!!  

          My mother remodeled an old Victorian, it was so charming.  When I was a child, we lived in a home where they had added an indoor stairway to the basement.  My mother thought it was so handy to also have the door to hang laundry outside.  You had to go outside and lift the heavy wooden double doors from the ground and flip them open.  But then, she also thought her brand new ringer washer was convenient!  How times have changed. 

          I'll be saving my grand daughter's formal dresses to make Christmas stockings too.  She loves the idea, thanks to you!  Mary


          1. Ocrafty1 | | #28

            Glad you like the stocking idea...and your granddaughter, too. Are/have you made her dresses?  If so, just save the scraps so you don't have to cut up the gowns. That way she can save her gowns for her daughter to play dress-up...or to wear if they're back in style...LOL


          2. MaryinColorado | | #29

            Thanks for the suggestions!  I haven't made her any gowns yet as she is 14 and starts high school next year.  That's why I am so happy to get your ideas ahead of time.  She was a junior bridesmaid in my son's wedding and has already outgrown that long formal, we saved it for future projects. 

            She is taking on some complex patterns so maybe we'll practice some prom type dresses that could double as sundresses or dresses for church.  We'd make those out of less expensive fabrics of course, but it would be good practice for her.   If she is motivated, maybe she will make her own gowns with just a bit of help from me. 


          3. Ocrafty1 | | #30

            Sounds like a plan to me! I was at JoAnn today looking at patterns for the granddaughters...age 3 & 6...but also looked at some for slightly older girls, too. They have some darling patterns that could double as sun/church dresses for your granddaughter. How wonderful that she lives close enough to you for you to be able to help her sew. Mine live nearly 90 mi. away. We'd have to spend over a week together for sewing projects...and by that time they'll be wanting to spend time with their friends...not out in the boonies with Grammy.

            I spent most of today trying to reorganize my sewing/craft room.  It was a disaster! Too many craft projects thru the holidays and then surgery. What a mess. I bought more see-thru containers to replace old shoe boxes that were falling apart...And since DH STILL hasn't put up the shelves I've asked for for the last 20 yrs., I bought 2 plastic shelving units, with 4 shelves each, and was able to put both on top of a low cabinet that I use for storing my craft/sewing books.  Hooray!!! I can stack the 'shoebox' size totes on the shelves and not have to move 4 or 5 to get to 1. They almost reach the ceiling...I'll deal with using a step stool to reach the stuff I rarely use. I still have a lot to do, but my 'cutting table'; an old kitchen table that was covered with stuff that needed sorted and either thrown out or put away; is now cleaned off and I can actually start cutting something out....after I finish replacing my old cardboard boxes with the new plastic ones...Its amazing how many fabric scraps and legnths we can fit in a box!

            I'm hoping to finish the room tomorrow so I can start sewing for the granddaughters. I bought the cutest 'retro 60's' fabric today...I'm using some old '60's patterns...OK, I bought 1 pattern...but it was for a hat...and they were on sale for only $1.99....Spring fever!  

            Happy sewing!!


          4. MaryinColorado | | #31

            You really accomplished alot!  Keeping the studio organized is an ongoing chore for me.  It is a constant work in progress, because I pull out so much stuff as I play with each creation.  ha ha  Of course, I can't work on just one project at a time either...

            Right now I have a crinkle top that I finally found smooth fabric for the facing, washed and ironed it, then realized I'd lost a pattern piece.  The original pattern was .99, the replacement was $8.13 on sale!  (I don't think I've lost pattern pieces before, so it drove me crazy searching one whole day before I went out and replaced it.  boy was I mad at myself.)

            I have a summer dress all but hemmed, another cut out, fabric prepped for a third. pants to hem, T-shirts stabilized and ready to embroidery, etc.  I'll have to re clear the cutting table by Monday when my grand daughter will hopefully start her project.  Hopefully I will take my time putting things aside and not mix up the pattern pieces! 

            Organization is a relative term for me I guess, but everything does have it's place believe it or not.  I find it hardest to organize paperwork, magazines, etc.  Mary

          5. Ocrafty1 | | #32

            Well, I didn't get it all done today...I love the NCAA Basketball Tournament and watched a little of it when I took breaks 'til this evening. I had to go to the grocery this AM, then make a cheesecake, deviled eggs, and a cheeseball for tomorrow. THEN I got to work on my sewing room...didn't get as much done as I wanted. Found out I'd forgotten something at the store; we live 6 mi from town, so I had to make a 12 mi. trip and the store was busy.  Then, when I started the cheeseball, I realized that I'd forgotten another ingredient.....another 12 mi. trip.  But I stopped at the local dollar store and bought some plastic 'shoeboxes' for storage, and at the groc. I bought some of those containers for sandwiches,etc for storing little things....they were on sale for $1, so it wasn't really an extra trip...killed 2 birds...LOL That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it!  Hopefully, I'll get some time tomorrow to work on the room...between games and cooking.  None of the kids/grandkids are coming tomorrow....just the 23 yr old that still is at home...so it won't be too hectic.  DH has a 4 day wkend, so my daily routine will be messed up Monday, too.  It will get done eventually!  I just wanna sew!

            Happy Easter!! Enjoy!!



          6. MaryinColorado | | #33

            We are going to relax tomorrow.  It's the first time we haven't celebrated Easter with our kids and grandkids so it does seem odd.  Kind of like entering The Twilight Zone, if you are old enough to remember that show.  Or the Outer Limits!  It seems we are evolving into another stage of life and don't quite know what to do sometimes.  Something to ponder...then regroup and go forward hopefully. 

            My son, daughter in law, and her father visited today, we went to lunch and to a mall.  It was really nice to be together.  The grandkids Spring Break is next week so they will be here alot.  Hopefully we will have fun and maybe do some sewing and yardwork.  I didn't realise CBA was on today, I would have had it on as my son loves it. 

            Happy Easter!!!  Happy Spring!!!  Mary

    4. dollmarm | | #34

      Very nice stocking !!  That gives me some new ideas for all those really nice bits and pieces that you do not wanna throw away - just not sure what to do with,  thanks :~) tera

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