How many wedding dress quilts have you made?
As of the end of 2016, I have made 53 wedding dress quilts and 8 pillows.
How is a wedding dress quilt made?
Lots of design and drawing mock-ups! I usually spend at least 20 hours designing the
quilt on paper. Then I carefully cut the dress apart, removing embellishments if
necessary. The quilt top is cut out and pieced. Then I put the quilt on my quilt frame and
quilt the design. Any remaining embellishments, bow, ruffles, go on last. I also attach a
fabric label on the back of the quilt. The fabrics are often hard to work with, satin is very
slippery, and light weight fabrics can stretch and pucker.
How involved is the client in the design of the dress?
I have a conversation with the client before starting the quilt, to find out what they are
envisioning, special requests (color, quilting design) and to finalize details. I don't begin
the quilt until the client has approved the design. During the quilt-making process, I
verify any design changes, and send pictures.
Do you use anything other than the wedding dress?
Normally I only use the materials from the wedding dress for the top of the quilt. Often
the lining is nice enough to use, if the dress is lace, sheer, or ruffled.
What if there isn't' enough fabric in the dress?
If the client agrees, I can use purchased satin for the "base" of the quilt top, and use their
dress for details and embellishment, etc.
What size are the quilts?
Most quilts are approximately 45" x 60", square quilts are approximately 45" x 45" and
baby quilts are 36" x 36". Again, it depends on client's preference, fabric in the dress, and
the design. Quilts can be square or rectangular.
How do you decide on the size?
The size of the quilt depends on the amount of fabric available in the dress, and the
design of the quilt. I no longer make larger wedding dress quilts, there isn't enough
materials, and the delicacy of the fabric may not hold up in a larger, heavier quilt.
How long does it take to make a wedding dress quilt?
My timeline is usually 4-6 weeks. I usually spend 20+ hours designing the quilt, and 2+
weeks doing the actual quilting.
Do you remove the trim? Beading?
It really depends on the dress. If I can incorporate the trim into the design of the quilt
without removing it, that is my preference. If not, I carefully remove the trim, being
careful not to clip any threads holding sequins or beads in place. If I lose beads during
the quilting I will re-attach them.
Do I need to have the dress cleaned?
The dress should be clean. If the dress is in good shape, or has previously been cleaned, it
does not need to be cleaned before sending it to me. It really depends on the condition of
the dress. Be aware that stains that you can't see can appear later as the fabric ages.
What if the dress is stained or the hem is dirty?
If there is enough fabric, I can cut around stains or the hem.
What about lace?
Lace makes a beautiful quilt. I usually line the lace with fabric from the dress, and often
only put the lace on part of the quilt, but it depends on the design and client requests.
What about ruffles?
If a ruffle is wide enough, it's possible I could "un-gather" it and use it as a border. I can
also sew one or two ruffles on the edge (or outer border) of the quilt. The main portion
of the quilt would still be the dress fabric, and quilted.
What about chiffon or stretchy material?
Sometimes chiffon can be used over another fabric in the quilt for the center, or a border
or accent. Stretchy material can be used if it can be stabilized with a light fusible
Can you make a quilt out of an older dress?
Yes, I have made quilts from dresses that are over 60 years old, when the dress is in good
Do you put names and date on the front of the quilt?
I have an embroidery machine and can embroider names and date onto the front of the
quilt (approximately 4" x 6").
Can you incorporate other colors or bridesmaids' dresses?
Yes, I can often use the fabric from the bridesmaids' dresses, or I can get fabric or thread
in different colors to use in the quilt.
What kind of batting do you use?
For quilts, I use a wool batting, that is soft, quilts well, and resists creasing. For quilts to
be used as wall hangings, I use a cotton/poly batting, which is a little stiffer and hangs
What backing do you use?
I provide a nice cotton batting, usually white.
What kind of label do you put on the quilt?
I print a specially treated fabric label that is hand sewn on the back of the quilt. The label
can have names, date, a picture, invitation, or whatever the client would like.
What do you do with any leftover scraps?
If the client requests, I can return leftovers with the finished quilt. Or, I can use them for
baby gowns that I make as a volunteer seamstress for NICU Helping Hands
Frequently Asked Questions