16 July 2009

a wedding quilt: the beginnings

Hi Everyone! Sorry, I didn't mean to leave you all hanging like that for a whole week. I had big plans of popping in here on Wednesday last week to at least let you know that I was going to be away. But then, I just had one of those days where I was trying to do far too much in far too little time (leading to me literally starting to make a wedding card five minutes before we were walking out the door to the aiport. I am completely serious).

So yeah, we were at a wedding. One of my best friends' weddings, in fact. It was lovely. It was fun, crazy, stressful, beautiful, and about a million other things, all wrapped up into a four day trip. I have about a million photos to share, and they are slowly being uploaded into this flickr set, but in the meantime I want to tell you about the wedding present. Because this blog is in fact supposed to have at least some craft content, and it has been quite a while since I've shared any of that with you. There has been a good deal of behind-the-scenes craftiness going on, including one big project that I can't share just yet. But this one, I can share. It's still very much in progress, but you don't mind, do you?

Since Liz is one of my best friends, I knew I wanted to make her and Tony something really really special for their wedding present. For some reason, it seemed obvious that the something really special would be a quilt. Isn't that just what you make people for their wedding? I don't know, but I knew that's what I wanted to do. I wasn't quite sure what pattern I would use, not being a very experienced quilter. After a little bit of thought, I decided to go with a more simple quilt top pattern, but to hand-quilt it. Most people thought I was insane for suggesting that, I think because it was April and they thought I was planning on finishing it by the July 12 wedding (I wasn't planning on finishing it by the wedding, and I obviously didn't). Around the time I was making plans for this, I came across this pattern on the Purl Bee, aptly named "The Wedding Quilt." It was perfect.

In addition to getting married this summer, and preparing to start law school in the fall, Liz and Tony just moved across the country from San Francisco to Tony's home state of Maine. I feel kind of lucky that I didn't have to worry about matching the colors of the quilt to their bedroom, since they didn't even have a bedroom when I chose the colors. Now they'll just have to design their bedroom around the quilt! I chose a chocolate brown Kona Cotton for the base color with a gradient of blue to yellow to green for the zig-zag color pattern. Once I decided on the color scheme, I realized that I really didn't have as much of a variety of fabric in my stash as I thought I did. I mean, don't get me wrong, I have a pretty big stash, but I guess it's lacking in some key color areas. I guess I'll have to keep that in mind for future fabric purchases. I'm not yet sure what I'll choose for the back, maybe a medium blue? And I think I'll do some kind of blue or green (or combination of the two) for the binding. I really like this color combination and I think it's perfect for them.

The pattern is very easy to make- it's basically just a series of rectangles that you sew into strips, and sew the strips together. So far I've finished making all of the strips and have sewn 1/3 of them together. I'm hoping to have the quilt top finished in the next week or so. Even though the wedding was last weekend, I'm not feeling uber rushed to get this done (I have a year, right?). But I don't want it to drag on too long, especially since I'm feeling really energized about this project right now, I figure I should capitalize on that energy before I lose steam.

So my goal is to have it finished by the time it's cold enough to need a quilt. That's totally do-able, right? I know that hand-quilting takes a long time, but I think I can do it in a couple of months. Although this may require re-starting our Netflix subscription, which we had temporarily put on hold, after not watching a single movie for over three months. Also, I just told Liz that I'd have it done by the time they needed it, and she was so excited about that, she said they wouldn't buy another comforter. I guess I kind of have to stick to my word then, huh?


  1. Wow. Just wow. I know I will love that quilt. I can marry again so you can make me one, right?
    This lovely lady (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dottycam/3614997437/), who really introduced me into the art of quilting a while ago, once told me that a handquilted quilt could take her a month (at least that's what I rememeber, but I can be mistaken), and she is an experienced quilter. So, I guess that two months would be enough.
    Do yo plan on using a "bastidor" (the wooden thing that holds the sandwich while you quilt it -not the husband that feeds you the sandwich because your hands are occupied)?

  2. a wedding quilt... that is an amazing gift!!!
    happy crafting :)

  3. it's going to be gorgeous julia! can't wait to see how you go handstitching.

  4. Oh, it's going to be beautiful! When I saw "a wedding quilt" in my blog-reader, I thought you had an announcement I had missed! Anyway, this is one of the most wonderful gifts a person can give, I think. I look forward to hearing how it comes along. My goal is to make three blankets for Christmas this year, but it will involve little sewing--the panels are pre-printed "I Spy" bits, so I'll just hand quilt the rest.

    Are you going to hand quilt also, or send it to the service used on Purl Bee? I have a quilt I started something like seven or eight years ago, and I should just finish it off, but I'm not sure...

    I'm also thinking I need sewing lessons. Do you know of anywhere in the Twin Cities that gives lessons? I've had my machine for a while; perhaps I ought to do some trial and error and suck it up--accept that not everything I make will be useable. :)


    PS: Also: yes, Middlebury! You should tell me of some things to do there, though I won't have a car.... and the BreadLoaf schedule looks crazy-packed, which is a good thing!

  5. LOL you know it's been a cold rainy summer in Maine, right? :) What an amazing gift. I was really hoping for one when we got married, but the only handmade I got was a really pretty lingerie bag from my sister before the wedding. Can't wait to see the finished product!