Little Hexies Scrap Quilt

aka the paper-piecing nightmare neverending quilt …..

It all started a while ago, when I fell in love with a pack of vintage fabric hexagons over at Pomme de Jour   (one of my favourite vintage places on the internet). I thought they’d be just lovely against old denim in a scrap quilt ….. and I was right.

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

What I hadn’t factored in was just how long this was going to take to produce a quilt of any reasonable size! I had rather grandiose dreams of piecing a twin bed quilt in this …. but …. being so busy with orders for other people can sometimes be a double-edged sword – it is WONDERFUL in all ways, but it does leave me very little time to work on quilts (and other projects) for myself. (However, having spent the wilderness years wondering if the whole thing was an enormous waste of my time, you’ll never catch me complaining!!)

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

Anyhoo – back to the quilt. If I’d stopped to realistically think how long it was going to take me, I probably would never have started. For this reason, I’m refusing to consider my tendency to dive into projects head-first a character flaw ….. even if it did take months for me to grow the quilt to this ….

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

So that by the time I got to roughly a metre square, I decided that enough was enough already, and it’d be a lap quilt, OK?

Hexagon Scrap Quilt(in this house, cats and quilts are generally to be found in the same place)

And then, because by this point I’d obviously entered the twilight zone of quilting insanity, I decided it wanted hand-quilting. With embroidery perle.

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

well duh. Of course, there’s that horrible moment when you realise that it may well take the rest of your life to finish this project ….. so it was in and out of the ufo pile for AGES. At least a year. I’d do a bit, lose the will to carry on, toss it aside. Come back again a couple of months later, repeat the whole process.

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

Until, slowly but surely, I noticed I was nearly finished. Oh, how that spurs the motivation!! A flurry of frenzied evenings ensued – I went on a total mission to finish it up. I can’t tell you about the callouses (callii?? how do you spell that?) on my thumb and first two fingers …… but it is done. And it is such a happy little quilt ….. I’m so pleased I did it, and didn’t let common sense put me off.

Hexagon Scrap Quilt

A wedding dress makes such a fabulous keepsake quilt

and I do love that I get to make so many of them :-)

This particular transformation into a wedding dress keepsake quilt all started with a request to make one like one shown on someone else’s website.

I really don’t do copying, and especially with wedding dresses, where I think the design for each one has to be unique, to properly reflect the character of the dress, and preserve as much detail as possible. I truly don’t think there is a generic one-size-fits-all pattern that can be applied to every dress, so each one is a new design, and a new adventure for me.

It all starts with the dress …. this was a gorgeous flowing Maggie Sottero dress, with a lace overlay and a fabulous beaded bodice …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

The first step is always to take everything apart …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

And then it can all get put back together …. I’m using a scaled-up log cabin version here, making the most of the lace and beading ….. the tricky part in the design and figuring process is always figuring how much to deconstruct – in this case, it made sense to leave the interfacing in place beneath the satin and lace overlays, to help hold the weight and structure of the ruched and beaded central panel ….

wedding dress keepsake quilt

Removing the lace sections from the satin in the main part of the quilt means that I can arrange the beaded sections to best show them off – even though it does then mean that I have to spent a bit (*that may be underestimated!) of time resewing the beads ….. few things are worse than the rattle of falling beads when you move a quilt.

wedding dress keepsake quilt

The most lovely, delicate, silvery beading detail on the lace ….. it pretty much begged me to echo it in the quilting ….

wedding dress keepsake quilt

I’m using coats ‘seta reale’ thread for this …. it has such a lovely sheen on it, so it’s well worth the extra aggravation in my opinion :-)

wedding dress keepsake quilt

No messing about with this – I use 505 basting spray, add a long basting stitch and secure critical points with safety pins. I do NOT want this slippery fabric moving around on me whilst I’m quilting, and these wedding dress quilts are heavy.

wedding dress keepsake quilt

A simple binding on this one ….. just 1/2 inch of satin, very plain, very effective.

wedding dress keepsake quilt

And done ….. I love the way it seems to just shimmer, and the variations in it from the different directions of the grain of the satin. So pretty ….. and very special. And away it goes home :-)