Friday, April 26, 2013

The second anniversary is for cotton...

Quilts have long been used to mark life's celebrations - whether they be births, weddings, anniversaries or birthdays.  The form those quilts take can run the complete design spectrum, from traditional to modern, with everything in between.  Sometimes, as a quilter you have the freedom to select the quilt that you want to make  -  and sometimes you are working with someone who has some very definite ideas as to what he wants.  Many of us have been approached at one time or another to do something with  a wedding gown.  That's how I met a customer recently, who I have always referred to as   "Wedding Gown Guy".

This is the final product - I incorporated not only the actual gown, but also photos of the couple, their adorable son, and I personalized it further by incorporating their initials and names into the quilt - with their anniversary date matching up with Family. 

Rick contacted me through my website to ask me to help create an anniversary gift for his wife - they were coming up on their 2 year milestone, and since the two year traditional gift involved cotton, he wanted me to surprise her by using her wedding gown to make her a quilt.  He was quite definite about the surprise part - and I was equally as definite about it was going to take more than 10 days to make this I had until the actual anniversary.   We had a few phone consultations, and I finally agreed to take the project on when he promised to make it right with his bride.   I gave him a nice certificate and a sample board to present to her on the actual date, and I set out to take a look at the gown to determine what would meet the requirements.  That's the picture of the skirt above, high lighting the applique I actually used. 

I'll stop here and tell you that every single one of my girlfriends who heard about this thought I was crazy - and probably would kill their husbands if they tried this.  No problem - I assured them. He had a very specific clause in the contract which covered me - and I timed it so that no actual cutting took place until I knew she had the certificate and knew what I was going to do.  I worked on it, but I worked around the actual scissors part. 

In the end, I used the lace appliques from the skirt to frame a traditional medallion portrait of the bride, and backed those appliques with traditional quilter's cotton.  The picture above shows me positioning the squares under the applique to make sure that the pieces were centered. 

The gown itself remained in tact - and although this couple had no interest in recycling it for another wedding, it actually can be salvaged - all that would need to happen is to have another piece of lace reattached to the skirt of the gown.  I didn't deconstruct any of the actual dress. 

Hmmm...I wonder where my wedding gown is? I can go and play with that (70's) design). 

Customizing Celebration quilts is an expanding part of my business; for more information about how to incorporate your design ideas into a special piece, please email me at