Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dresden Rainbow: My Finished Wedding Quilt

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

 2013

 2010

 2013

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. :)



PHEW. Now... what am I going to sew tomorrow? Guess I need another long term project...


55 comments:

  1. It is very pretty! Happy for you, I can feel your excitement :)

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  2. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a gorgeous quilt and worth all the more because it means so much to you. I hope it has many years of love ahead of it :)

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  3. Brilliant quilt! Love the back too! Congratulations!

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  4. This is a super awesome quilt with such a great story behind it! Love the back - I am totally doing that if I ever get married (or the next friend that gets married is getting a wedding siggy quilt!).

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  5. That is a stunning quilt. I love the colors and the blocks and how you made it in one hugh quilt. Great job.

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  6. Beautiful quilt! Especially love the pink section :-)

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  7. Long term quilt projects have great stories associated with them as they require that little bit extra out of you and it makes it all worth it.

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  8. Well done Jess. Your quilt is beautiful.

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  9. Love! You did great! Such a journey and a great story.

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  10. Congratulations fabulous quilt and quilting.

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  11. I really loveeeeeee the way you put that together. the striped border on each square just makes that quilt dance before your eyes! great job!

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  12. Wow is it GORgeous! LOVE the back, I wish I had been a quilter when we got married (and had pinterest, damnit!). What a wonderful treasure for you guys to have through your marriage!

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  13. That's a beautiful quilt. The colors look great. Congrats on your engagement anniversary.

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  14. Gorgeous! I've been looking forward to seeing the quilting on the blocks! The block siggys from the guests is such a great idea :) You guys look like you had a great time with your photoshoot too!

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  15. Jess it is just gorgeous! And the story behind it is wonderful. I love that you have so many pieces of fabric that have a special meaning and the back was just pure genius!
    Congrats!
    xo jan@sewandsowfarm

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  16. Oh, your wedding quilt is just delicious! Love all that riot of color. What a treasure! Congratulations on wonderful finish!

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  17. Beautiful finish and what a great story! Visiting from Sew Cute Tuesday.

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  18. Yeah! It came out beautiful! You have such a great sense of color! I have so enjoyed following your quilting journeys, I cant believe it has been 3 years!

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  19. Your wedding quilt is Beautiful!. You two are a cute couple. Congratulations!

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  20. Oh yay! Many congratulations :-) Really beautiful quilt full of lots of special memories :-)

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  21. The quilt is absolutely magnificent!

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  22. Wow, that is an AMAZING quilt story! I wish I'd started quilting earlier in life (didn't start until last year & I'm 43) - this post has been such an inspiration to me and makes me want to start a REALLY big project. Now to figure out what that will be! Thanks for sharing, visiting from Needle & Thread Thursday. Diana @ RedDeliciousLife.blogspot.com

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  23. I stopped over through needle and thread Thursday and I just have to say your quilt is absolutely stunning! I love the story behind it and the quilt itself is magnificent. Thank you for sharing.

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  24. What a great quilt! I am sure you will treasure it for years to come.

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  25. Jess, this quilt is absolutely stunning! And the story that goes with it makes it even more beautiful. I know this is something you will cherish for years and years.

    I'm so glad you shared this at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  26. Thank you, Jess, for sharing the story and for showing us each and every block. What a lovely accomplishment--a family treasure, for sure.

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  27. Wow! This is one beautiful quilt! Congratulations on getting it finished.

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  28. What a beautiful quilt. I love the scrappy colours - so bright and fun.

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  29. Such a sweet post, and what a beautiful quilt! I love that it tells such a story. :) Congrats on your epic finish!

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  30. It's beautiful - love all the colors - congrats!!!

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  31. Like!
    :-)
    LOL, it just perfect girl! It is an heirloom for sure!!!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

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  32. Jess this is amazing and I am only seeing it on my iPhone! I can't wait to go home and see all the quilting blown up on my computer...this is amazing!!! I love *mine all mine quilts*!!! You totally earned this one. Thank you for sharing!

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  33. Jess this is stunning!! I've been meaning to comment ever since I saw it pop up in my flickr feed earlier this week ---Congratulations on such a hugely important and beautiful finish, friend!

    P.S. Love the photography shenanigans ;)

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  34. LOVE THIS QUILT! I love all of the bits of fabrics' meanings, the gorgeous colors in Dresdens, boxing, and sashing. And if that was not enough === the BACK! So happy for you and this quilt will remind you to celebrate each day.

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  35. Congratulations and what an absoultely gorgeous quilt

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  36. Beautiful! And congratulations!

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  37. I love it! I love the guest book concept. I love the way you have taken a traditional block and placed it in a modern setting by the use of colour and layout. I love the owls, the dog, the guitar and all the other fun fabrics. And I love how it has such meaning for you!

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  38. Found your link over at 'Better Off Thread' ... I love love love this quilt! Not only for it's qualities as a quilt (it's wonderful!) but for your stories and the journey of making it. I love the idea of the signature squares on the back also - if only I'd been a quilter a couple of years ago when my kids go married. :-)

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  39. Really enjoyed seeing your quilt, Jessica.... and especially all the close ups with the descriptions of the fabrics and quilting. Then, I have to say, the story of the quilt and your relationship was also very moving. Love the scrappy binding, too! Hope you don't mind if I share this, with a link back, on my facebook page at http://facebook.com/sewfreshquilts.

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  40. Gorgeous quilt with lots of memories built in it! I really enjoyed reading the story behind your quilt! Your quilt just sparkles with colors. It just draws you in!

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  41. WONDERFUL!! It has been so cool to see this quilt being born. I have watches every block come to life and it has been a treat to watch your quilting talent grow. This is a fabulous quilt. Congratulations!!

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  42. This is absolutely beautiful Jess - love your quilting, and the story behind it.

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  43. A truly BEAUTIFUL quilt, Jessica and I loved reading about how it evolved!!!

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    Replies
    1. I've featured your quilt today, Jessica....
      http://www.threadingmyway.com/2013/08/threading-your-way-features_31.html

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  44. Jess this is so so so beautiful! Fabulous story and such a great idea to have the wedding guest book be on your quilt! The Dresdens are so pretty and the quilting is wonderful - I love the rainbows!!!

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  45. I love it!! It's so colorful....! Congratulations!!!

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  46. Just found your quilt and blog via Pinterest today and I had to tell you how beautiful your quilt is and congratulations and a happy one year coming up quickly.

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  47. OK, *this* is super cool!! Love the colors, and the fabrics are wonderful. Beautiful wedding quilt.

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  48. Such a fantastic and colourful quilt rich with sentiment. Love it!

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  49. It is so gorgeous. I love all the thought and love you put into it.

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  50. What an amazing quilt and super sweet story. And I like your yellows. lol

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  51. Dresden plates possibilities have been a favourite of mine, ( I say this as I don't like them in feedsack type fabric) and this takes the cake. Outstanding! I really love it and on the lines of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery could you tell me please what size the dresden blades are? I love that it can be made little by little, your sashing is really clever, I am not experienced enough to know what makes this quilt so special but for me it is spectacular. What is it? A combination - the saturated colour, the sashing, the rainbow? Wonderful, all of it! Of course I Pinned it immediately.

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  52. Lovely quilt and I can tell it means so much to you. I found my way here from your piece on Sew Mama Sew about this quilt. N

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