She also had a collection of blankets that belonged to her daughter. There was a fuzzy, pink blanket, two cotton and satin blankets and two chenille blankets. We discussed concepts and the goal was to attempt to use the blankets for the backing. I couldn’t get them to fit together in any way that I liked. And we both wanted a soft backing for her daughter to snuggle under.
It took a while for me and my neighbor to evolve our ideas. I reached out to my wonderful Twitter friends and @kineticquilts gave me the suggestion of creating ruched squares. I liked this idea because the ruching gives the idea of a gathered dress. There is a ruched baby blanket tutorial here that is lovely. But since the fabrics of the dresses I had were delicate, I didn’t think a long strip would work. I also toyed with making a ruffle out of the hems and placing that around the perimeter, but we also thought that would be too fragile. So I proceeded with creating individual squares – some ruched, some appliqued, and some plain.
|Trying to figure out what I was going to do!!!
I read an article on perfectionism yesterday and how it can lead to procrastination. I understand that feeling. Especially when there is an open-ended design. I want to meet my customer’s needs. I want to construct a quality product. Sometimes you even have to step away from a project to bring fresh perspective. There was plenty of all that in this project! Sometimes you just have to start cutting!
I decided that it would be fun to have a dress quilted onto one of the pretty and delicate blankets as a central focal point. My neighbor asked to see the three pink dresses and picked the one that was most special to her.
I then used the pink blanket, the white chenille blanket, the bathrobe and the white blanket as the base for most of the squares. I essentially used a quilt as you go method. It was a fun process! I started mainly with the bodices of the dresses, which often filled the entire square. After that, I pieced pieces of the dresses, sleeves and hems. Sometimes I ruched the fabric and/or created strips. I even tried out some of the decorative stitches on my Janome.
I think many of the blocks convey the identity of the dresses. Here, I left the bishop collar intact.
Several slips were in beautiful condition, so I was able to use them for quite a few blocks.
And this adorable bathrobe! I think I had a similar one! It became the base of many blocks and I also used some of the blocks plain, as fillers blocks, since they had a quilted design on them.
|One of the handmade dresses.
I used the embroidered section of the chenille along the bottom.
This blanket is big! It is about 5′ x 6′. It is not intended as a bedspread, but it is big enough for one!
I just had to let the sleeves pop out!
|The bath robe.
|Strips – in a “quilt-as-you-go” method
|One of the ruched strips.
This embroidered edging was so pretty, I used a big strip along the bottom.
The modern part of the blanket? Well, the blankets! In addition to the little girls’ blankets, the backing fabric is a chenille-like pink fleece.
|The slip bodice.
|I had to cut the blanket apart and re-applique the name and date because there was a spelling mistake.
|Sometimes the stains add a bit of character.
I hung the blanket up on my front window and I thought it looked like a quilt X Ray!
The end result? Lots of memories preserved in a cozy blanket for a little girl!
Note – this is a special variation of my Baby Clothes Blanket. If you would ever like a blanket constructed in a similar manner to this one, we can discuss options and pricing.
You can find a listing on my Etsy page here.