Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Progress: a Dressmaker's Quilt


The home dec sewing has begun! And I discovered a way I can make it more interesting: by using remnants of my favorite garment fabrics. I once saw an exhibit of quilts at the Folk Art Museum, and some of my favorites incorporated scraps of fancy dress textiles: silks, velvets, and the like.

This past weekend I made a dress out of this amazing magenta rose-motif brocade (it's for a magazine article, more to come on that in the future!) and I had a little over a yard left. I thought about putting it aside for a blouse, but then I realized how luxurious it would be made into a throw quilt. And so the piecing began!

I added some length to the brocade I had by piecing together some scraps. And then I remembered this vivid pink dupioni I have in my stash, and that became part of the mix as well, just in a corner (I love little quirky details like that in quilts.) The finishing touch? A silk velvet backing, also from the remnant stash.

I sandwiched cotton batting in between the layers and basted them, and now I'm in the process of hand quilting it. I was inspired by these quilts from West Elm, which are made from vintage saris and have prominent hand stitching in a contrasting color.

I loved the idea of a humble running stitch on these luxe fabrics. So I'm using some Coats Button and Craft thread (the same stuff Alabama Chanin uses for handstitching) in ivory.

 I absolutely love how the hand stitching looks on the velvet.
I'm planning to bind the edges in the velvet, I think.

I also found out that my throw looks pretty great with a pink chandelier, so I'm going to start convincing Jeff we absolutely need one. I'll let you know how that goes.

26 comments:

  1. I agree that a pink chandelier is a must to match the quilt! Good luck with the convincing and happy handstitching!

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  2. I've used up many dressmaking scraps in my quilts. And each time you look at the quilt, you'll remember the outfits that came before it. It instantly makes the quilt a cherished piece. Have fun!

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  3. Gorgeous! Coincidentally, I'm actually planning a quilt made of fabrics I've used for dresses and record bags, along with the vintage repro designs I've done through spoonflower!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

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  4. i love this!! great idea! I am working on a pinwheel quilt right now and velvet backing and binding might be teh way to go. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. This is beautiful! It reminds me too of the next set of PJs I'm going to buy, from Punjammies. I have a question though--how do you plan to clean your quilt? For some reason I'm more willing to pony up drycleaning costs for fancy garments, but it feels a bit more prohibitive for home stuff.

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  6. Quilting always looks so much harder to me than sewing clothes, but I love your quilt so far. Very luxurious looking!

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  7. Great idea! I am too embarking on a "modern quilt" this year. After I said I wouldn't quilt again. But, it must be done - I've fallen in love with the colors. .. . .

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  8. Awesome! I save all the reasonably sized scraps from my garment sewing, so one day, when the box is full, there will be a patchwork quilt made from the ghosts of dresses past.

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  9. Button thread for quilting, that's one I have not heard of, pearl cotton, yes, isn't it too thick...just wondering...Btw, do you ever sleep?

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  10. What DOESN'T look great with a pink chandelier? I grew up in a culture in which any scrap of fabric was admissible for quiltmaking -- which led to a whole mess of hideous, lumpy double-knit 1970s tied quilts (you can hardly machine needle that stuff). Your dressmaker's quilt will be a pleasant reminder of your favorite things for many, many years.

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  11. My Aunty makes beautiful quilts from recycled clothing. I love the combinations of textures she uses. They're great for cuddling up with.

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  12. Your quilt looks like it will be gorgeous! I love handsewing, but I'm making clothes now. X

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  13. And, see, that's the whole point of quilting - to use up fabric scraps and ratty old clothes that would otherwise get thrown away. The proliferation of quilting shops where I live (at the expense of dressmaking fabric shops) frustrates me - why buy new fabric to cut up and make into a quilt? To me, it goes against the thrifty ethos of quilting.

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  14. Love, love what Lucy just said. I have always felt that way. Of course, I do understand that some people just want to quilt, without doing garment sewing as well, just like I like to garment sew, without quilting, although that would be a good way to use my scraps.

    Personally, I don't care for the ivory handstitching. If you want contrasting, I would go for a blue or green, the ivory looks like basting stitches.

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  15. Love your rationale for needing a pink chandelier, my kind of reasoning! Gorgeous fabric too. You must be a remarkably fast stitcher, is that just practice? I think I might be a born slow stitcher...

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  16. Hi there

    The colours of the quilt are beautifully vibrant...........and I am sure you can also get your chandelier to go with it.

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  17. I love it! Don't forget to cut your binding on the bias - makes it MUCH easier! Also, there are tutorials on mitered corners if you haven't done them before. They look lovely that way!

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  18. Throw quilt, or cat bedspread? I suspect there may be some discussion in your household on which title wins. And I'm taking bets on how long it takes before a photo shows up online of a cat-circle right in the middle of all that lovely velvet and brocade.

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  19. I would never have thought of using dress remnants.... I always use cotton... Looks lush cant wait to se the finnished project... Velvet eh :) Tacktile indeed!

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  20. Wow that looks amazing and such beautiful fabric! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.com/

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  21. Your quilt is going to be divine! I really love silks and velvets. Those West Elm quilts are fantastic.

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  22. I can't wait to see the final result!

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  23. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your upcoming updates.

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  24. I discovered so many interesting stuff in your blog.Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Seriously gorgeous quilt...love, love, love the silky pink fabric. With the pink chandelier and the black & white screen, you have the makings of a very chic room!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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