Wrapped in a Quilt Dress

dress made of a quilt, very gorgeous

Keep reading past the photos — this dress has a STORY.

I cannot believe this dress. The very GRANDMA GLORY of this dress. Not only is is the most beautiful quilt ever, but it’s lined and has these precise sleeve details (pic below) and has a zipper halfway down the front so it’s easier to get in and out of than it may look. It’s not lightweight, so maybe not for a super hot summer day unless you get to be indoors, but it’s not exactly doubleknit polyester, either. All the quilt patches and the lining seem to be cotton.

Yep, this hand made dress is a glory indeed. Here’s the measurements:

Pit2Pit: 17.5
Length: 42
Waist: 14 or so
Neck band: 15.5
Sleeve hem: 5.5
Awesomeness: 19,000

$40 plus shipping. Email me to call dibs! I hate letting this one go, but it’s not my siiiiiiiiiiize. I don’t want to check, but it might not even be the size of my leg. Sadness! Hopefully you will feel happiness, though!

Closeup of the top because why not? Also you can see how the neck matches the sleeves.

And now…for the story.

Chelsea sobbed one last time, hiccuped, and dried her eyes with her sodden handkerchief. The farm crisis had hit her little town in Iowa hard, and one by one she had lost a series of temporary jobs that had been soul-sucking but generated enough income to pay her rent and college loans, and sometimes even eat. The State was running out of money and her weekly checks were about to be discontinued.

There was a job opening at the local folk art museum, docent plus Girl Friday, and she would be the perfect fit with her degrees in art history and textiles. The town fathers were hoping to make it a tourist attraction, but Chelsea knew it could also be a place to encourage young artists of all kinds to express themselves.

She just had to get the job, had to. For her sake and for the museum’s.

But her clothes. Living on rice and beans hadn’t done much for her already roundish figure and she had nothing to wear for the job interview scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. She looked again in her wallet, hoping that the good fairy had left enough to buy even a yard of fabric for a decent skirt. Moths did not fly out of the wallet, but it was dusty inside.

Her gaze fell on her grandmother’s quilt, a bright patchwork affair Gran had made just for her when her father died. To keep her warm, Gran said, to ensure sweet dreams. As she stared at the fabric, in memory she could see Gran piecing the quilt and telling her the story behind all those bits of fabric. That one was part of her mother’s wedding dress. That one there, part of Gran’s. That was a dress Chelsea had worn as a baby, bright pink.

Oh, Gran, what can I do? Gran, help me!

There was enough fabric there for a nice sheath dress, like Jackie Kennedy used to wear. Chelsea sank to her knees beside the bed. Taking scissors to that quilt would be like stabbing herself in the chest. It was all she had of Gran. It was all she had, period.

Lips and fingers numb, tears soaking her cheeks and dropping down onto her blouse, she found the paper pattern for a dress she knew would fit, pinning it in place carefully to match fabric at the seams. She took a deep breath and she cut.

–By Marilyn

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