My brother and his wife Morgan got married on July 2nd of this year. They conceived a child approximately 7 to 10 days later, but that is beside the point (of this post)! As a quilter, I see milestones such as weddings (and pregnancy announcements/births) as opportunities… for myself! I can be pretty self-centered – in a giving way? – about life events. Quilts, quilts, quilts! In related news, I’m a nerd-bomber.
I remember as a new quilter over six years ago, getting a free “Jacob’s Ladder” quilt pattern, and saving it, thinking it’d be a perfect quilt for when Jacob got married. He would have been 19 at the time. I was planning ahead!
I didn’t forget about the Jacob’s Ladder pattern, I just didn’t think it was special enough for the wedding quilt. I found a pattern that I did like in an issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine called China Girl, which is a more modern take on the very traditional Double Wedding Ring quilt (here’s an example). I followed the basic block directions but I changed the size and layout as far as the border is concerned. I should have kept better notes, but this quilt finished in the 80ish” square size. Which, seeing the quilt spread out on my kitchen floor (above), makes me excited because that means in the future I’ll have room to baste an even bigger quilt on my new kitchen floor! I had to go to my in-laws’ house to baste this quilt because I didn’t have 80 square inches of floor space at the old house. And hopefully someday I won’t have to worry about that nasty floor-basting business because I’ll have a long-arm quilting machine. Ahhhh, someday.
Morgie’s sister was very helpful in suggesting colors she thought Morgan would like and that really helped; I started planning the quilt and buying fabric in March. I started cutting the fabric just before a quilting/crafting retreat. I spent the entire retreat sewing tiny pieces together and by the end of the weekend retreat, my quilting friends still had no idea what the final quilt would look like, that’s how little progress it appeared that I had made. But even tiny pieces when sewn together make bigger and bigger pieces until finally blocks were constructed and the quilt top was done.
Then, as I mentioned, I basted the quilt and began the quilting process in the basement of my in-laws’ house. I would drag all of the kids there and hope that they would play nicely while I could get some quilting done. It took a lot of those trips to complete the job, but it paid off… the quilt was done before the wedding. In true “me” style, I was clipping threads and snapping a few quick pictures on the way out the door to the rehearsal dinner.
Here are some close-up pictures I took just recently when I borrowed the quilt to take it to another quilting retreat… this time for show & tell. =)
(back of the quilt)