Sunday, 13 January 2013

Quilty Wedding Gifts

Paul and I got married on the 4th of January. Things have been nicely crazy since then, with a couple of days staying in Dublin and a few more visiting family in London! Not a whit of sewing has been done. Since Paul went back this morning, I'm distracting myself by getting caught up here. Sewing, and everything else I've put on the back-burner, gets looked at tomorrow! I feel overly due for a start of the New Year tidy and organise.

I decided way back (before we even got engaged properly) that I would make something quilty to give as gifts to my mother, Paul's mother, and his Nana. I came across this Fat Quarter Gang tutorial by John of Quilt Dad. Perfect! A bed runner (or as I took to calling it, a Foot Warmer...)! I never would have come up with that on it's own, or the idea of doing a gradient.

I struggled with finding a colour or colours to use. I wanted to make them all identical, to save time in the making and also prevent any rows about who got the prettiest! But I couldn't come up with a colour scheme that would satisfy all in their wide variety of tastes. So I started obsessively browsing online fabric shops (it helped that I was procrastinating like crazy over a report I had to write for my last job). Fabricworm came through for me this time with a bundle of Cameo by Amy Butler, in Warm.

Already sorted into a gradient! Woop!

I wanted to keep the whole thing a secret. Easier said than done, as I'm currently living with my parents. But I had ten days booked to visit Paul in DC and was really looking forward to getting back to my American sewing machine!

Rotary cutting on Election Night.
Finished panels for two of the three quilts.
I didn't finish. I did get all of the sashing done. But I didn't get to basting or quilting or binding, at all. So the tops came home with me, and I just had to accept that my mother was going to be in on the surprise! It was just as well in the end. The quilt tops were so long they barely stretched out in our flat in the States. At home we had to move the furniture out of half of the living room to lay out the backing and batting and tops!

Spray Basting!

I have to say that I'm not sure that I followed the instructions exactly. I knew my parents have a queen-size bed, and wanted to make sure there would be good drape on either side. My foot-warmers turned out at ~28" wide and ~90" long, I think. I bound them in white, and began by whipstitching them on. But in the end I ran out of time and the ability to sit down for long (hurt my back in early December) and so I just zig-zag stitched the binding on to save time and make them a little more sturdy. I would really really hate these, in particular, to fray or come loose.

I had an urge to quilt these in straight lines along the seams with a darker thread. So I bought this glorious looking spool in my local quilting shop,

Grades from dark to light blue throughout!

It was a mistake. But I learned. That thread is rayon. You absolutely should not try to quilt an all cotton quilt with anything other than cotton, really. And rayon breaks. It breaks all the time and really easily! I had gone too far with the first quilt to stop when the breaking started. But the cursing! Oh, the cursing! This is why my grandfather left the house when my mother sewed. I got there, finally. And swiftly switched to white cotton thread for the other two. It quilted like a dream. A dream, I tell you!

Finally, I added individual labels to the quilts, with the recipient's name and the date of our wedding.

I bought a fancy pale blue sheet to use as backing for them all. It feels really nice, everything washed well, but I wouldn't use it again. It frayed a LOT when I cut it. I really need to invest in pinking shears or a pinking blade.

The quilts went down really well at the wedding. And I loved being able to give something made with real feeling and love. I hope they get used often!

I'll show you Paul's wedding quilt soon!!!


  1. Your foot warmers are gorgeous, but most importantly - Congratulations. You look beautiful and you both look absolutely ecstatic. Exactly how a bride and groom should look.
    I wish you many years of joy, hopefully spent in the same home.
    E xx

  2. Congratulations! You both look so happy--and adorable! I'm with Erin--many many years of joy and happiness!

    Also, I'm excited to see Paul's quilt. I bet it's lovely!

  3. Hi, I discovered your blog recently through the Small Blog Meet - I love the creativity and look of your lovely blog and so I am nominating it for a Liebster Award - you can find out more here - wishing you a lovely weekend :)

  4. Just found you on Threadbias site! Great blog, really enjoyable to read. The photo of you and Paul is just so adorable! Hope you blow it up and put it somewhere prominent in your "shared' house. Hope you get the Liebster Award too!


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