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Roaring 20's wedding dress portrait quilt.

For many yeatrs I thought about creating a painting based on this photo of my maternal grandmother in her wedding dress from 1820. However, after debating for several months the best way to approach this painting, I decided instead to tackle my first portrait quilt.

I used a combination of traditional pieced blocks for the background of the quilt, and I used appliqué and free motion embroidery to create the figure and add details. The fabric that I used was from a collection by Riley Blake called Serenity, and is a beautiful combination of neutral florals. I also used low volume solid fabrics that I had in my stash and lace for the veil and the dress.

I started with a simple digital sketch created on my iPad with procreate, and I translated this into a large appliqué pattern that I drew on the back of gift wrapping paper that I had on hand.

I used a disappearing 9 patch block pattern that I set on point for the background of the quilt to create an art deco design. There will be a pattern coming soon based on the background of my quilt.

Next I added the appliqué pieces, incorporating lace in the dress and the veil, and I used Inktense pencils to add some value to the face. People often ask me why I don’t usually include faces in my fashion paintings, and part of the reason is because I don’t enjoy trying to translate the details of the face. The other reason is that my art focuses on the art of the dress, and the idea that anyone could wear that dress.

I added some final details to the dress with free motion embroidery using a neutral thread. Overall I was very pleased with the results of my quilt, and would like to continue to explore my fashion art with textiles.


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