Wednesday, November 30, 2011

H & L's Wedding Quilt

My cousin H got married recently. H and I (and my brother and her sister) pretty much grew up together. She's awesome. One of those people that lights up a room the second she walks in. Knowing that H & L love homemade gifts, and that they met in an environmental education program, I wanted to make them a wedding quilt using all (or mostly) fabric from my stash.

A friend of mine once made a crossword baby quilt, and knowing that H and L both love puzzles, I had to steal the idea. I envisioned a traditional looking crossword puzzle, brightened up with a colorful border or orange and green (their favorite colors). The quilt came out even better than I pictured it in my head!

I read through H & L's wedding website, paying particular attention to the "how we met" stories to pull words for the crossword puzzle. Then plugged them into an online crossword generator to get the layout. I had to tweak the layout a little bit to make it fit into the size I wanted, but for the most part, I let the computer do all the work.

The vast majority of the fabric was pulled from my stash (though I had very little orange, so I had to buy some of that). I thought that having the main field completely black would be a little too much, so I scattered in some white-on-black prints to break it up a bit. I think it was able to keep the feel I was going for, without it being too dark.

Because it was all squares, this quilt was very easy to strip-piece. The puzzle is made up for 2.5" squares, while the border is 5" squares. The letters were appliqued using fusible interfacing. I found a font a liked and printed out an alphabet the right size to trace onto the fusible. I adhered the fusible to the black fabric, cut out the letters, then ironed them on. Finally, I finished them off with a zig-zag stitch along the edges.

When I found this orange fabric with trees on it, I knew it was the perfect backing fabric for this quilt. H & L love nature and the outdoors, so I wanted to incorporate that into the quilt. The green trees brought that element of nature, and the orange allowed me to keep it with the color scheme of the quilt.

I knew that this quilt was an ambitious project, especially with a newborn in the house. So to make it a little less insane, I opted to tie the quilt, instead of stitch it. I found some orange and green embroidery floss in my stash and tied it up. I like the little bits of color the floss adds against the black background.

With a simple, black binding, this is a quilt I can be proud of!

I asked H & L to open the gift at the wedding, because I wanted to see their reaction.

First peek at the quilt

Taking it all in

H & L loved the quilt. And I LOVED making it for them. I hope it will be well loved and well used throughout their marriage. Congratulations H & L!!!