My own version of Maureen Cracknell's Herringbone quilt - tutorial here
Early on in their engagement, I asked the happy couple if they would have need for a special quilt; if so, I wanted to make it as their wedding gift. As fellow quilters will know, this is one of those priceless gifts that really, truly means something at the start of a marriage. Luckily for me, they were excited by the prospect, and Julie and I began to plan out the quilt!
Work in progress as I sewed with guild friends back in July
Julie chose black and white with a touch of blue for the front. I added in cream (unusual for me) because it really pulled the whole thing together. I had a BLAST gathering fabric for this project, based on them both (Julie is a writer, nurse, lover of Paris, and Brian loves music, so I incorporated all those things). I included Sudoku fabric, not knowing that my best friend loves Sudoku. :) Luckily, most of my unique fabric finds were easily bought from Sew Me A Song. Becca curates the most amazing fabrics!
The QAYG Herringbone tutorial is thorough and well-written, but this is by no means a fast quilt. Sewing the strips onto batting took A.G.E.S. I guess if you consider the quilting I didn't do on top (though I added in some straight lines for looks), I may have saved time overall. I only worked on this project when I was sewing with friends or watching a movie so I was significantly distracted from the boredom. :D Just being honest! Choosing which strips to go next was intriguing, though.
Photo credit: Clay Toporski
The backing was especially exciting to plan and create. Just like my wedding quilt, I offered Julie and Brian the option of sewing up their wedding guestbook. We based the colors on their autumn wedding attire/flowers. :)
I cut out about 175 squares in Kona Papaya, Cheddar, and Taupe, pressed them onto freezer paper for writing stability, taped the edges, and monitored the guestbook table periodically throughout the wedding. The messages and pictures were SO fun to read through as I pieced the back together!!
Here's a work in progress shot of putting the backing together. Oversized modern maple blocks and the colors represent the October wedding, and the crosses are based on their church's backsplash (see what happens when you invite quilters to weddings?). Some squares were sewn together at random in between to create interest.
Since the top was done in a quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) style, it was already quilted! I sewed several straight lines with my walking foot down the whole quilt to hold it all together and prevent constant shifting. This is the only quilting that shows up on the back. It worked perfectly for such a massive quilt (queen size with a huge overhang)!
It was really difficult to get pictures of this quilt single-handedly. I swear my arms gained distinctive muscles in those three minutes. Luckily, this week, I had the pleasure of presenting the quilt in all its glory, and the newlyweds were thrilled! It made my heart happy to see so much happy. :)
I hope I get to make special wedding quilts like this for the rest of my life. It truly was a pleasure to make and to be a bridesmaid in Julie's wedding.
Just for fun, here's us at my wedding in 2012, where she was a maid of honor. How lucky am I?
Unexpected outtake picture that I had to include here:
"Mike, did you get the right shot yet?"
You can read more about this quilt here (fabric pulls) and here (when I presented the top at her shower).