Monday, September 1, 2014

an epic quilt: made for Joshua and Rachel

It was a little over three years ago that the epic Hoosier Hootinanny took place.  Rachel and Joshua were married and all of our lives were forever changed.  What a fantastic day it was!  It was such a great day, by no means perfect, there were thunderstorms and humidity like I've never seen north of the Mason-Dixon line.  There was last minute drama.  But it all worked together to make something so beautiful and sweet.  The love that Josh and Rachel share with one another and those around them really came out in the love that was poured on them for their weekend.  [You may not believe me, but it's really true.]  Given all this, it really took me a while to try to build a piece of work to try to reflect that sentiment.  It took two and a half years to be precise.  In February, I gave Josh and Rachel their completed wedding quilt.  It took me a year to bring all the pieces into focus and even get started.  It would be another year and a half, intermitted, until completion.  It started, where the root of the their months of wedding planning began, with a barn.

 After much searching the quest they chose this barn to the host of their reception.   The love and hard work of many people made this old place stunning.

 It was a moment between the first photo and this photo that I wanted to stitch into the quilt.   I took this photo when there were only three guests left, myself, Aunt Patti, and Mercy McNab.  The barn had this warm glow and seemed so alive from the celebration it had held.

 The next element I added was fabric representing the dresses we wore.   Rachel gave the bridesmaids a color scheme and a length requirement and we were told to choose whatever we wanted to wear.  The result was so unique.

My initial sketch for the piece.

 I pieced the barn together first.  Then framed it with the silks reminding me of the dresses as well as the blues and linens of the men's suits.

 The purple linen surrounding that was left from the construction of my own bridesmaid dress.  I had dyed it specifically for that dress.  Next came more linen.  The last framing fabric was an original jar print that I had hand screen printed.  It coffee stained it to make it a bit darker than the stark white.

 The sides were a "string quilt" design in which I used fabrics that reminded me of the fabrics of the day.  White silk in Rachel's dress, linen in Joshua's suit, purple on the ladies and gents, blue on Joshua and the fathers, and little vintage pattern for fun.  

After creating the pieced sides I stopped using the design because I did not enjoy the structure.  Though I do enjoy adding the tradition structure to my quilts here and there, after a while I have a difficult time sticking with it.  You may also remember that I used the "string quilt" structure for Walter's quilt.  His quilt was created at the same time I was experimenting with this structure.  I actually made quite a few baby quilts in the time it took me to make this wedding quilt.  One just so happened to be for the couple themselves.

 The top, all pieced together.

 For the back I chose a solid piece of linen and stitched an outline of Iceland to it.  Josh and Rachel spent their honeymoon adventuring around the island.

 It was stuffed with two layers of batting.  I thought they would appreciate the weight and significance that extra layer brought to the piece.

 After many months of finding the time to hand stitch on it, it was complete.

Though I gave it to Joshua and Rachel last February, it wasn't until early in the summer that were were able to photograph it.  We biked to our neighborhood park and borrowed the adjacent school steps for the shoot.

What a sweet family!


Helen Reusser said...

it's beautiful!!!

Lizzie said...

Just beautiful. I loved seeing your creative process!

RARRAT said...

We do speculate the extra weight & significance that the double layer of batting brings! It's keeping me cozy right now, inside & out! :) #worththewait ;)

RARRAT said...

Dang it, appreciate, not speculate!