Summer Wedding

/ Tuesday 19 June 2012 /
Summer Wedding
In my last post I explained that my radio silence over the last month or so has been mainly due to the fact that I've been working like a dog on a special quilt for a couple who are getting married this weekend.
Summer Wedding
This couple met at university, and in fact, they met in my lab, where they volunteered for a couple of years and did their Honours thesis research.  I have been lucky to come to know some very special young men and women in my role as a professor, and it's a wonderful blessing for me to see these two take this step together.  As I wrote in the card I included with the quilt, I feel a bit like the mother of both the bride and the groom, if that is possible in a way that isn't too weird!
Summer Wedding
I chose the colours for the quilt from the wedding invitation: blues and yellows, and I threw in some gray and black for a bit of added sophistication.
Summer Wedding
The background is Essex linen/cotton blend in ivory.  The pattern is a traditional one called Ocean Waves and it's made from 8" blocks, and it finishes about 64" x 70".
Summer Wedding
I made a little label for the back, with their names and my name and the date of the the wedding. The binding was scrappy, made from some of the 2 1/2" strips that I had leftover from using those Marti Michell templates.
Summer Wedding

Because the bride-to-be told me straight up that she can't resist surprise busting and she already knew that I was making her a quilt of some description, I had to maintain some element of surprise by limiting any progress shots and keeping the quilt off the blog.  But Purolator's online tracking showed me that the quilt has been delivered to her family home, the bride just phoned me to say how much she loved it so I think it's safe to share it now. 
Summer Wedding

I cannot tell a lie - this quilt really put me through the wringer. It called for 888 HST units.  I started out using Marti Michell's templates because I didn't want to make the HST units and then trim to size, but that meant cutting 2 1/2" strips and then using that template to cut each triangle. And if you layer too many strips, you start to lose precision.  Cut, cut, cut for hours on end.  And the template had those blunted corners so that you could match everything up, so those little tiny cuts had to be made, too.  It practically killed me.
500 triangle units cut with the BigShot Pro in 20 minutes
Summer Wedding
Summer Wedding
I am well acquainted with the phenomenon of falling out of love with a quilt during the process of construction.  It happens with just about every quilt I make. Somewhere in the middle of it, I start wondering what I had been thinking, and inevitably I begin to feel dissatisfaction with the colour scheme or block choice creeping in. I am experienced enough to know, however, that this misery vanishes like a puff of smoke once the finished quilt comes out of the washer/dryer.  Surprisingly, though, I never wanted to break up with this quilt, and by the time it was finished I was nearly heartbroken that I had to send it off to a new home.
Summer Wedding
Summer Wedding
Summer Wedding
In fact, this quilt was single-handedly responsible for me busting the bank and buying a Sizzix Big Shot Pro.  I had made about half the units I needed and could see carpal tunnel syndrome on the horizon.  After I ordered the BSP online, I had serious buyer's remorse until about ten seconds after I unpacked it.  I cut the rest of the triangles I needed in 20 minutes.  Woo hoo! I also ordered the Accuquilt Winding Ways die, since Accuquilt dies are compatible with Sizzix products (but not the reverse) and I'd always wanted to make that block.  Here's a photo of my test blocks - can't wait to make a proper project using that die!
Trying out the Winding Ways using the accuquilt die


{ elle } on: 19 June 2012 at 21:01 said...

It is indeed a heart breaker. What a gorgeous quilt! A Sizzic Big Shot Pro, huh! I tried to win one once. I still want one. It is good to keep carpal tunnel at bay!

{ Jan } on: 19 June 2012 at 21:05 said...

Wow, worth all the effort, this is gorgeous quilt. They will cherish it, forever.

{ Leanne } on: 19 June 2012 at 21:19 said...

This is a stunning quilt!

{ Mary on Lake Pulaski } on: 19 June 2012 at 21:58 said...

That quilt is absolutely amazing and the bride and groom will love it forever! What a spectacular design and fabric. Great work!

{ Claire Jain } on: 19 June 2012 at 22:11 said...

What a beautiful quilt! I love it :-)

{ Little Island Quilting } on: 20 June 2012 at 01:59 said...

Wow wow wow, amazing!

{ audrey } on: 20 June 2012 at 02:37 said...

this quilt is so very beautiful. i love it! what a wonderful gift!

{ Thelma } on: 20 June 2012 at 06:16 said...

Lesly, whoop, whoop! What a lovely quilt and amazing wedding gift. I love your color scheme, that little touch of black really adds to the overall look. Every quilter must make at least one Ocean Waves quilt, yours is magnificent! I have no idea what a BSP is, but it sounds like a Go Cutter. I love mine, such a time saver and the accuracy, makes life easier that's for sure.

Great Job!

{ Rene' } on: 21 June 2012 at 22:30 said...

Lesly, this quilt is spectacular!!! I can see why you would not want to part with such a beautiful quilt but am sure the bride and groom are thrilled with this special gift. I love the Ocean Waves quilt and want to make one myself. Thanks for sharing your process. I have used the Marti Michell templates before and they are great for matching up points, etc., but are a pain during the cutting phase. Good to know that you were happy using the dies.

{ two hippos } on: 22 June 2012 at 13:15 said...

What a beautiful quilt! And I do love an academic love story :)

{ Wendi } on: 24 June 2012 at 16:46 said...

What a beauty! I love the Ocean Waves pattern and the sprinkling of gray and black.

{ Lindsey } on: 25 June 2012 at 14:26 said...

This quilt is stunning. I love the colors, I love the HST's, and I love that you made it for your students. How wonderful of you.

{ Claudia } on: 27 June 2012 at 18:18 said...

I hear you on the HST's. I've used the paper templates and wasn't impressed. But the quilt is beyond lovely and I imagine the lucky couple will treasure it always.

{ felicity } on: 5 July 2012 at 02:39 said...

This quilt is - quite simply - a masterpiece. Brava! So glad the bride and groom appreciated it. (You've got me intrigued about the Sizzix thing. Detester of HSTs that I am, I may have to look into it!)

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