Sunday, June 16, 2019

Simply Serene Wedding Quilt

There is nothing more joyful than making a quilt for a loved one — or two special loved ones in the case of newlyweds. My sweet nephew, Frank, and his beautiful bride, Megan, were married recently in Minnesota in a wonderful riverside ceremony.

I spotted this amazing quilt pattern last October by Diana Beaubien of Pleasant Valley Creations and had to have it — isn’t Simply Serene gorgeous and fun? Went fabric shopping on New Year’s Day at a great nearby shop, Modern Quilting  The couple’s colors are teal, gray and black, which I knew would be stunning for this pattern. 

I started out intending to make the queen size but modified the pattern to a square with a single border. This was my first diagonal layout and it was pretty exciting watching it come together. The blocks covered the area rug in our living room.

I’m a very slow and somewhat random quilter — started cutting on April 2nd and finished binding June 2nd, one week before the wedding. At 86” square, this is the largest quilt I’ve made and it was challenging quilting it. There was quilt hanging over my shoulder, the table to my left and the ironing board behind my machine. I decided on all straight line quilting with my walking foot. And you’ll notice a mistake in the lower right corner of the next picture which, thankfully, I caught before quilting. Had two blocks turned the wrong direction but I was able to unpick and resew them without taking the entire thing apart.

Another “funny” thing happened as I was preparing the quilt sandwich for pin basting. All the layers were ironed and steamed, flat and wrinkle free. I had taped the backing down to the foyer floor, which is my favorite area for this. The cotton batting was carefully adjusted over the backing and the quilt top was centered and smoothed over the batting. On a large quilt, this takes me a while, crawling carefully around and over it all until I’m satisfied that it can’t get any more perfect. This includes knees creaking and back popping, some sweating and cussing. Finally nailed it, got up and went to the kitchen ... and the doorbell rang. Our two darling Yorkies, Louie and Miles (or Milesyoulittlebastard as he is affectionately known in our neighborhood) did their jobs and headed to the front door, barking to alert me to a delivery, running in circles and completely spoiling that beautiful quilt sandwich. *sigh* Had to start over the next day but got it all pin basted and ready for quilting.

The embroidered label had to include a reference to their love of hunting. It goes nicely with the engagement ornament I had made for them. And that is what he said to her before proposing during a hunting trip!

After finishing up the quilting, there was quite a bit of lint visible on the black fabrics so our granddaughter, 2-year-old Abby, helped by going over it with the lint roller. I always wash quilts before gifting them for two reasons. First, I do not prewash quilting fabrics. I love that they shrink up a little and get all soft and crinkly after washing. Second, I always use Color Catchers in cold water to make sure that I get any dyes before they absorb into the light colors on the quilt. I used three of them this time and they were very dark gray from all the black fabric. The quilt came out perfect with no bleeding onto the white and light fabrics.

Hopefully, this quilt will keep them feeling warm and cozy throughout those chilly Minnesota winters. Aunt Janie loves you two!