Memories to Heirlooms
Memories to Heirlooms
A former student contacted me to see if I could make two patches for her. She planned to work with a friend to make a t-shirt quilt from Pappy's clothing and wanted to include a sentimental piece from the handkerchief he always carried. Luckily she also had some birthday cards that he had sent each of his granddaughters with his signature. I coppied his writting and hand embroidered this onto his hankerchiefs to form a patch for each girl.
I love being part of such a special gift, no matter how large or small a part I play. Feel free to contact me. I would be happy to work with you on a project that honors a life well lived and comforts those left behind.
The wedding dress' skirt had four lace-lined triangular inserts made of netting that supported a diamond design of pearls. The largest panel formed the back of the shawl, flanked by the two medium inserts to form the sides and front. We were both pleased with the result and loved how it spoke to the original dress.
A String of Peals
She needed a string of pearls to complete the ensemble. Pearl beads were removed from the dress, strung and tied with silk cord to make the perfect length necklace. She placed the Story Starter Booklet inside and wrapped them for her husband to open while she got dressed the night of the celebration.
Reworking the gown gave it new life, but the shawl and the pearls are pieces that can be worn on many occasions and passed down. It is the longevity of these pieces that tell the story of this loving couple, making them instant heirlooms.
Have a cherished dress you want to have transformed into an heirloom(s)? Contact us so we can get started.
One of the women in my bridge group asked me about my business. As I spoke, her eyes lit up and she started to tell me about the amazing treasures her husband had saved.
The next week I went to her home and got to see it all in person. He must have known she was “the one” because he saved: his invitation and envelope from the dance in 1962 where they met, the dress she wore, a love note he wrote to her, and box of his formal accessories. He also had saved her "going away" dress and her grandmother's mantilla and pill box hat that she wore at their wedding. We brainstormed ideas of what to do to honor these items; not a bear, not a quilt or a pillow. We settled on a shadow box of the first dance with a scale version of the dress and "braces" to keep the piece small. When I explained I did not frame she said, "you'll figure something out."
I contacted Tracee from Tracee's Framery to see if she might do it even though she closed her business years ago. She did fabulous work and I trust her implicitly so when she recommended Jenny at State of the Art Framing & Gallery I stopped by to see what she could do. Jenny was delightful, gave me options to take to my client and an accurate quote of what the framing would cost.
I did a computer layout to visualize the idea of miniaturizing the pieces. Something was off so my sister, Lee, and I worked out a different option.
We make a good team because Lee looks at things in a different way and together we came up with a layout that we both loved and that thrilled my client. Lee choose the older looking suspenders and discovered our favorite feature on them, a lipstick smudge. I positioned the dress and we both worked out the position of the bow tie and box of cuff links and studs.
The collaboration continued when my client choose the perfect frame and Jenny found a mat that matched the sash perfectly. Jenny was so accommodating with the special touches we wanted, including sewing the leather box down, and attaching the yellow satin pocket to the back of the piece to hold the Story Starter.
The finished piece is stunning and I can’t think of higher praise than my client writing that her husband would have loved it.
Of course my client did not want the extra fabric back - she was not the saver. Since I could not bear to throw it away, I made 4 Christmas ornaments, one for her and each of their children. On the back I embroidered, ". . . and they danced!"
It is truly an honor to be entrusted with such priceless keepsakes, and it is a real joy to collaborate not only with the client but with another artist to arrange them in a way that it will tell this love story for years to come.
Need help telling your love story? Contact me and we can see if we can tell it together.
Jean is the owner and designer for Remember When Studio.