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Considering quilts

March 12, 2009

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I’ve been rather intrigued by quiltmaking recently. Which is a little odd for me because I never once considered making one before and always thought of them as shabby chic, which is something I don’t really like. However, I’ve come to realize that quilts can be absolutely amazing and beautiful.

I think there were 3 factors that influenced my change in attitude.

First factor: Owning a real, homemade quilt.

0011

The first one I’ve ever owned is our wedding quilt–lovingly and painstakingly made by my aunt. Not only does it have special meaning to me, but it’s the first quilt ever made especially for me and it’s bright, it’s bold, and it’s balanced! The colors pop and they all tie together in a simple, symetrical grid. It’s not shabby chic at all and I love it! It’s been our favorite blanket for movie nights curled up on the couch and it’s been great having some extra warmth on our bed on these cold, winter nights. (Thank you, Aunt Kiki!)

Second factor: the Sewing & Stitchery Expo.

There were so many booths dedicated to quilting and some of the creations that were being displayed were truly stunning! The colors and the patterns were so bright and intricate that all the blocks seems to merge into one glorious tapestry. My favorite ones usually displayed two colors that were so entirely different from each other and yet, when paired together, they were beautifully complimentary! I had no idea that quilts could be so intricate and how someone could think of making them like that… I was very, very impressed.

Third factor: Repurposing.

cottonshirtquilt1

I picked up an issue of CraftStylish the other day when I was out looking for the March issue of Burda World of Fashion (which unfortunately was all sold out). There are a lot of cool ideas on how to recycle stuff, but this quilt really stood out to me. It’s made out of cotton dress shirts. Too easy! I just love the clean and simple design of this and I really want to try making one myself. I think it would be a good beginner’s quilt.

Now since I’ve come to the realization that this is something I could design and sew myself, I am considering making a quilt out of my wedding dress. How beautiful would that be? And it would be such a good use for a garment that I will never wear again and is just taking up space in my closet. My husband won’t let me sell it and I don’t want to keep it for a future daughter to wear (most likely she’ll be like me and want to make her own wedding style statement), so I have to think of something else to do with it.

I’m not especially sentimental about the dress as you can probably tell. I aboslutely love it and it was what I wanted to walk down the aisle in, but it’s not like I need it anymore, you know? Although, since I have to keep it, I want to preserve its beauty! If I did make it into a quilt, I’d be so cautious about putting it to actual use on a bed and I would definitely have to work on letting go of keeping it clean and rip-free.

It should be loved and used and mended lovingly when needed. It should be a wonderful memory to curl up in…

ej-wed-31

What do you think?

~ Erin

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2009 12:04 pm

    Hi Erin,
    I think the quilt idea is okay, but you will probably have to augment the fabric or end up with a tiny quilt once you cut the dress up into squares or whatever shape you decide on. I would suggest you get advice from very experienced quilt creators before you delve into it. You may also want to wait awhile and be sure this is what you want to make from your dress. I want you to look at whatever you create and smile, nod, and say, “Yup, I wouldn’t have done anything differently” rather than “Oh heck, I hate this, but what’s done is done” and then beat yourself up every time you look at whatever you made. Incidentally, not all quilts are made to be used; some are made to display.
    Love ya. (:

  2. trailertreasure permalink*
    March 13, 2009 12:07 pm

    I agree. It is something I’m considering doing, but not for a while. I’d like to do other quilts to get some experience before I dive into this one. And I do want to think about for a while just to be sure :)

  3. March 14, 2009 4:08 pm

    Hey Erin! Heather gave me the link to your blog and I’m loving reading about your projects! I like the idea for your dress quilt! I have the same problem with mine, I don’t want to get rid of it, but I don’t want to just keep it hanging in the closet!

    I actually had a question and thought of you! Have you used regular cotton (non-jersey) sheets for sewing projects? I found a super-cute one the other day at Value Village, but then remembered a set of curtains I tried to make with a new cotton sheet, and it was so tightly woven that my sewing machine really had to work to punch the needle through, and the tension wouldn’t compensate! Any thoughts?

    Stacy :)

    • trailertreasure permalink*
      March 14, 2009 5:09 pm

      Hey Stacy!

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog :)

      A couple things come to mind about the cotton sheets. I made my seat cushions with that type of material and I also had a hard time at first with the tension of the thread. I usually set it at about 4 which was making the bottom thread too tight and bunching up the fabric. So I loosened it to about 6 and worked great! I don’t know what type of machine you have, but I’m sure there is a dial to loosen the thread tension. I’d also check to make sure your needle is not dull or has burrs on it. I read the other day that if you take the needle out and run the edges of it lightly across your nail and if it leaves a mark you need to replace it. I don’t know if that would have anything to do with your issue, but it doesn’t hurt to check anyway :)

      I’d be interested to hear how that works for you!

      • March 18, 2009 1:35 pm

        Thanks Erin! I’ll give it a shot the next time I find a cute cheap sheet! The time before I messed a little with the tension, but I think I only tried tightening it, and I did put in a new needle. I’m thinking about trying to get one of those tough needles like for sewing canvas and denim. :)

  4. Aunt Kiki permalink
    March 18, 2009 12:39 pm

    Erin,
    You don’t know how thrilled I am that my quilt helped inspire you! The colors were so beautiful I NEVER got tired working on it. With each row I just said, “oooooo” all over again. Seeing it on your bed made it more gorgeous. I love your new room. And I LOVE you! Happy sewing.

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