One of my favorite aspects of quilting is being able to make something special and relevant for those you love. Our youngest daughter, Anna Marie, always dreamed of being married barefoot on a beach. In February of 2009, that wish came true…
We had a wonderful stay in Fiji, and while we were there, I was impressed with all the beautiful colorful fabrics the natives wore. This inspired me to make a batik wedding quilt for Anna and Derik.
My first step was to gather the batiks I had collected and determine a pattern to use for the quilt.
I based my quilt on a pattern by Blue Underground called Mod Quads. Since it only measured 40″ x 60″, I enlarged the pattern and created my own template for this quilt in my Electric Quilt software.
Each block had at least two fabrics and I wanted to make it appear that the color of one block bled into the adjacent block. In order to insure an accurate color match, I scanned each batik fabric and imported these fabric scans into my Electric Quilt Software. This enaabled me to “paint” that scan into the final template I created for the quilt as you can see in the following picture.
The EQ Template I created became a valuable guide for me as I began to construct the quilt. Since I ended up with over 60 different batiks, it was important to organize my fabric pieces so I could begin to build the blocks, insuring I was pairing up the correct colors and pieces in order to achieve the final look I wanted.
As I began to cut the strips and pieces, I laid them out in pairs…
Next, it was time to stitch each of the blocks. I used a method called chain piecing. In order to chain piece, stitch your first seam together and before you sew to the very end, line up the next pieces you want to stitch. Put these pieces right next to the current block you are stitching and when you finish stitching the first block, continue to sew right into the next block, without trimming the threads and thus, forming a chain.
It was very important to press each seam as I built the blocks. Then it was time to begin to lay out the blocks.
It was exciting to see the design build and finally come together. I used a portable flannel design board to help keep the blocks in place as I laid them out. It took a while to finish the final layout and then I was ready to join the rows of blocks together to complete the first stage of the quilt top.
Once the top was stitched together, I sewed together the back of the quilt.
When I make a large quilt, I usually hire it out to be quilted as it is challenging to manipulate so much fabric on a regular size machine. The machine quilter who has quilted both of our daughters’ wedding quilts is Ingrid Martin of Baywater Quilting (#208-455-7516). When you put so much love and effort into a quilt, you want to insure it is in good hands. Ingrid does amazing work.
It’s important to share with the machine quilter what your vision is for your finished quilt. In my case, I told her I wanted to capture the essence of Anna and Derik’s Fiji wedding. She understood and we agreed upon a free motion quilting pattern where she would combine waves and fire, reminiscent of the waves of the ocean and the celebratory bonfire on the beach the evening of the wedding. As I mentioned, Ingrid had also quilted Alecia and Andy’s wedding quilt and did a beautiful job (I’ll share in a future blog), so I was pleased to have her work on Anna’s as well.
Once Ingrid had completed the quilting, my next step was to finish off the binding on the quilt. I felt that it was important to contain the movement and bright colors of the quilt. One way I thought I could accomplish this was to add some batik piping in a bright color to the edge of the quilt, prior to attaching the binding.
Once the piping was made, then it was time to stitch it onto the quilt.
And then, the final step of adding the outside red binding, first with the machine…
And then by hand…
And, now the best part, giving the quilt to our daughter, Anna Marie, and her wonderful husband, Derik…
And seeing the smile on their faces… made it all worthwhile!