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Much of my spare time in 2011 was spent with the pleasure of making a wedding gift for one of my dearest friends and her now husband. I nearly burst out of my skin trying to keep this thing a secret from the happy couple. In fact, I was so excited I couldn’t help myself from posting a teaser!

Kara loves quilting as much as I do, so it seemed the only fitting gift for my friend. The day after I learned she was engaged I found myself in a sweet, country, antique store with a wide selection of vintage feed-sacks. I had trouble choosing just one! That feed-sack is the only fabric I bought for the project. The rest providentially fell into my lap one way or another over the next 6 months. The stories of these fabrics and how they came to be a part of this project seemed too interesting to lose, so I assembled a swatch book to accompany the quilt. I’m so glad that I did!

Each story is carefully stitched to its corresponding fabric bundle using a blanket stitch. The binding of this book proved to be particularly challenging! I had intended to use a Japanese stab-binding technique, but (in all too often moment of absent-mindedness) I cut the fabric swatches too small. Not wanting to compromise the ideal proportions I had in mind, I had to get inventive! My Embroidery Stitch Bible proved to be positively invaluable, and a variation of the Raised Chain Stitch suited my needs perfectly!

See the horizontal rows of stitching on the spine? That’s the chain stitch pulling all of the bundles together to make one whole book!

The hand embroidery here mimics the pattern on the ‘top’ of the quilt. Masculine and feminine, sweet and strong, Kara and Joshua are wonderful complements for each other. So, the design of the quilt celebrates the dichotomy in their relationship. In one unified work, bright and sweet florals share the stage with manly plaids and dark solids.

Many of our friends contributed to this quilt by sending fabrics (or helping me furiously sew the binding on during the bachelorette party!), but I couldn’t have done it without Janelle. She provided a sounding board for design giving me feedback and encouragement, sent a generous sampling of fabrics, and even hand-embroidered this piece of linen with their initials and date of the happy day. Thank you, Janelle!

I hope you have enjoyed this illustrated survey of quilt-making, I owe so much to my beloved friend Sarah Peters for photographing my work!

Until next time, xoxo.

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2 thoughts on “Quilted Bliss

  1. Beautiful quilt, Erica! And I know firsthand because I was lucky enough to get to see it in person. I loved how you made the quilt his-and-hers by combining the two color themes. I bet your friends absolutely loved it, especially with the book. What great forethought!

    It must be nice to have such artsy friends, but I can imagine it would be intimidating to make such a gift for them. It really did all turn out so well. Great job! I’m excited to see what projects you take on in the future. Maybe you can teach me some stuff.

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