This post is three years in the making! No joke. I've been wondering how it would come out since I started blogging - I had just gotten engaged at the time! Ever since about 2011, I've only showed little bits and pieces of this quilt's progress. Seriously, I can't even explain how happy I am to share it all today! It's a big milestone for me as a quilter and a blogger. This is a long post with lots of pictures - fair warning ;).
Mike and I have been together 7 years as of this November. As many of you know, we got married last October, and we are finally living together! It really is the best feeling in the world to have such a person in my life who believes in me like I never could believe, who pours me Mountain Dew when I'm down, who will watch any episode of Doctor Who with me (even if he wants to watch a different one), who knows how to read my face before I even know what I'm feeling, and who loves me through it all. We support each other even when the going is tough job-wise, and we know it will all turn out okay in the end, as long as we are together. I truly believe that, and I know he does, too.
This quilt is the story of our relationship - through the silly times, the sad ones, and the beautiful ones. Dresdens were one of the very first quilty patterns I became obsessed with. In addition, I didn't intend for the quilt to randomly alternate between low and high saturation, in the dresden plates and borders, but boy, do I love the look it creates now that it's all done!!
You can read all about my dresden-making here, here, here, and here - when they were all finished. These are just some of the posts. Please don't smirk too much at my humble bloggy beginnings ;).
The dresdens took a loooong time; I did one a month or so with the help and encouragement of bloggy friends (some of you are still out there - thanks for sticking with me so long!). I also had to stop and start constantly because I was visiting home from college only every so often. Thus, the wedding quilt lingered in a pile, because there were other things to make (as usual), and I knew I would be able to finish it before/after the wedding/at least when it was closer (we were engaged for two years beforehand).
The middle block is my favorite, and include many of my all-time favorite fabrics for each color. I embroidered the middle within the last year.
The front of this quilt means the most to me, as a quilter. It included scraps of many fabrics I no longer have, or have very little left of. The dresdens are more traditional fabrics overall, but the coordinating borders around them, the middle block, and the coordinating binding that lines up against each block all feature some of my current favorite fabrics. It is such a joy to look it over and see how far I've come with fabric selection, piecing, and quilting. You might remember that at our guild retreat in July, I finished ALL of the quilting and was super ecstatic about it!
Here are the block closeups, and I've included the FMQ design I chose for each individual block (it was very difficult to get the quilting to show up - I tried in all different kinds of light!). There is one "silly" fabric in each plate just for Mike :) (see if you can find them all!). You'll also notice that I left the colored borders unquilted - in person, they pop out from the quilt, and it is too cool! (quilt nerd - out).
1 of 2 blue dresdens - the color I had/have the most of. Free-motion quilted with clouds to mimic the sky. Mike's favorite color.
Purple - my favorite color and some of my favorite fabrics ever, ever, ever. FMQed in rainbows - definitely my favorite FMQ design :)
Red - many traditional fabrics (P.S. did you catch the traveling gnome?). FMQed with swirls and pearls (they kind of look like seashells :) ).
Orange - quilted with square flowers, as inspired by Angela Walters.
Yellow - FMQed in pebbles. I very nearly took this block out and remade it, because at the time, some of the only yellows I had were Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, which, as you can see, contain a healthy amount of bright teal. I decided to leave it because it doesn't make a difference in the overall quilt, and I want to embrace my early quilt-making.
Green - FMQed in a woodgrain design (trees... get it?)
Pink - FMQed with chrysanthemums, thanks to Rachel at Stitched in Color. I love how this one turned out, even though I'm not a huge fan of pink! You'll also notice several repeats in this block, like others, because I did not yet have a "stash" (which of course is fine!). The middle fabric here is a special one handed down from my mother.
The second blue block - FMQed in an all-over random square pattern.
A close up of the quilting - you can see the FMQ designs I used for the white sashings (loops and the wavy lines). They were easy and necessary fillers.
Pinterest inspired the backing, though I've only seen quilt fronts in this fashion. I set up a table at the wedding for our guests to write messages and their names (and little did I know, drawings) - our guestbook! I backed each 6" square with freezer paper (I was doing that two nights before the wedding, lol) to make them easier to write on. I used special fabric markers - when I find them and the brand I used, I will post it here. Note to self: draw out or tape up the seam allowances next time!
Either way, I absolutely love how it came out. I chose the purple, blue, yellow, and green solids to contrast the bright front of the quilt. I love how calming it is... much like the beach, come to think of it. The white strips were meant to break up the color a bit.
Also, I didn't want it to be centered, and I placed random squares in the negative space to add something more than just the signatures. I love to look at the back of this quilt just as much as the front - it is just so special to me. Quilters - don't use a regular guestbook! ;)
I had to wait to take pictures of the quilt until my family went for our annual beach day in honor of my dad's birthday (he hates the beach :) ). Ironically, today, 8/20, is the day 3 years ago when Mike proposed to me on the same beach... I guess it's meant to be that I'm posting this today (I really didn't realize that until now!).
2010 - see the ring? :D
The normal photography shenanigans commenced.
By the way, if you haven't met her before - this is my sister Ris, and she helps me with all of my quilty photoshoots! She's a ham, isn't she?
If you've read this far, thank you! Thanks for letting me tell the (lengthy) story of my quilt. And thanks for all of the support through making this quilt, and through every quilt. :)
Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Better Off Thread, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts.
PHEW. Now... what am I going to sew tomorrow? Guess I need another long term project...