Monday, January 12, 2015

The Surprise Wedding Quilt

 This is my buddy Matt and his lovely bride Elny.  They got married on a beautiful day last September.  In honor this momentous event, I made them a quilt.  Elny LOVES pink…Matt, not so much.  The colors they agreed upon for their special day were a lovely shade of fuchsia and a complementary green shade that I can only describe as chartreuse.   Personally, I agree with Matt and pink is not my personal favorite color in the world, but again, I agree with the sentiment of ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and suggested that he leave her alone about it.  I opted to use the colors of the wedding in the quilt, since I didn’t know Elny all that well, I figured at least that way I knew she would like the colors.  The pattern, however, I chose because I thought the design would speak to Matt’s need for design and order.  He likes things to be precise and this pattern has long, clean lines and a pronounced contrast in color values. 

The original pattern was in a Better Homes and Garden’s  quilting magazine in the June 2014 issue.   I was strumming through it one night and thought, ‘hey, that would be a great option for a wedding quilt’.   Here is a picture of their version.

I started pulling some fabric from my stash.  The green for example is a fabric I bought for Petey’s quilt but it just didn’t work there.  I simply love this fabric though.  It is the shade of green that makes you think of sitting in a lush forest after the rain has stopped.  The floral pattern is highlighted in gold the color of sunlight glinting through wet leaves.   I worked around the green and tried to find a pink that was the right shade and that spoke to me.  Again, pink is not my thing and this stumped me for a while.  I decided to pack up the fabrics I had and take a trip to Asheville Cotton Company and see what we could find. My buddy Michie helped me out and we found the perfect pink to tie all of the other colors together.   Then we found a couple other complementary colors to finish it all.  

Let it be knows that working with templates is not one of my favorite quilting techniques. I am impatient and I find it tedious to make blocks that way.  This pattern had 3 template patterns to make the pointed star blocks.  I managed to do without 2 of them.   Using the remaining one managed to be more annoying than I preferred but I sucked it up and made do for the sake of the greater good.  

Considering the vast amount of pink that is in this quilt, I was fairly happy with the end result.

Quilting this puppy was a lot of fun!  I got to try a number of techniques that I had not done before.  I wanted to do detailed quilting but I didn’t want the thread to overpower the piecing.

Our quilt guild’s annual show falls at the end of September each year and this was my favorite quilt that I had finished.  I opted to enter this quilt in the show and didn’t tell them about their gift or give it to them at the wedding.  I hung a sleeve on it, entered it in the show and invited the newlyweds to come and see what the guild had done. 

Sadly, they were both sick that weekend and didn’t get a chance to see it hanging with all of it’s friends.   I gave the quilt to them about a week later and got some pictures of it in use.

I hope it spends a lifetime with them as a reminder of their wedding and the friends that they got to share it with. 

DJ's Labyrinth Quilt

This is my hubby…isn’t he cute?  

This is my favorite picture of us.

Goofball and our oldest Daughter.
He is the light to my life and I love him more every day. 

I made a quilt for him when we were dating but didn’t really love it…it is now the quilt that lays on the couch (usually under the dog in fact).  Anyway, he deserved a real quilt!  A few years ago, the Stonehenge fabric line came out.  Along with that fabric, there were a number of quilt patterns that were designed to complement this particular fabric.  Every time I saw this pattern in a magazine advertisement, he would say ‘Oh, I like that one!’. 

After about the sixth time of hearing the Ooooo-ing, I got the hint.  A couple of months later, we were at the Asheville Quilt Show.  The is a vendor there every year that carries a great array of fabric that always speaks to me.  Well, this particular year, they happened to have not only the pattern of the quilt he liked, but also all of the fabric to make it with.  He picked out all of the fabric to go in HIS quilt.  I can honestly say that I only suggested changing one of the fabrics so that there would be more contrast and the pattern would show up better.  Mind you, he is married to a quilter but his color theory is somewhat lacking.  That being said, I think he did an amazing job picking the colors, don't you?  Now, I tend to be a bargain shopper and rarely buy most things (including fabric) at full price.  I do think that this is the ONLY quilt that I have every bought all the fabric, not only at once but NOT on sale.   This puppy is not only king size but big enough to drop all the way down the sides of our California King Size bed to the bottom of the rails.  The finished size is 124” square.  It is the largest quilt I have ever put on my Gammill.

When it came time to quilt it, I thought ‘Yippie, I get to do some super fun custom quilting on this one!’  But alas, my man has simple taste, I tried to steer him toward some detailed quilting but he would have none of that.  He says ‘can you do all over feathers?’  Seriously??  This could have been SOOO detailed!  But it is his quilt so he gets what he wants.  He picked a very neural (read taupe) color of thread and an all over loose feather pattern.

I do have to say that is looks pretty good draped over the most COMFY bed ever!  It was a joint effort of love and it makes me so happy that it keeps up both warm and snugly at night.