This quilt, entitled "Coming of Age" is a highly personal quilt for me, as it is made from my debutante ball gown. My mother had been keeping it in her home since 1994, and last fall she brought it to me. I don't think she envisioned me cutting it up, but she had to have suspected it would eventually end up as an art project for me. :)
To embellish the quilt I used three materials: tulle, silk flowers, and satin cording. It measures 46" square.
The original dress contained 117 yards of tulle (yes, I measured), edged with white satin cording. My mom had wrapped the dress in a sheet, which kept it fairly clean but didn't keep the white satin from turning ivory. The fact that the satin had turned (and the coating on the pearls was flaking off) helped me come to terms with cutting up this lovely dress.
I settled on a cathedral window style pattern for the blocks. I used the underskirt and sheet to make the main part of the blocks, and in the centers are silk flowers pulled from an arrangement, covered by squares of the tulle to protect them.
I removed many, many yards of the satin cording and braided 3 strands together. I used this braided cording to outline & quilt the blocks, and it is also used for the binding around the edge. I also took small pieces of it to use as the centers of the flowers.
On the original dress were these beautifull tulle roses with sequin beaded centers; I used those as embellishment around the center block, which is actually the bodice of my gown.
If you count the silk flower centers, there are exactly 17 - the age I was when I wore this dress.
When I made the first cut into this dress, I got really sad and had to step away from it for a couple of days. You have to understand how much I loved this dress when I was younger, and part of me at 17 believed I would wear this at my wedding.
My 33 year old self knows that was a silly (but endearing) idea, but that's what coming of age is all about.