Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Creative Wedding Idea! Invite Guests to Decorate Squares for a Quilt

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Mixed Media Quilt Square for the Bride by Squirrel PicnicAt the end of February, I received a letter from my aunt whose daughter, the middle child of three, would be married in late June of this year. The mother-of-the-bride had a great idea that she needed the help of the entire wedding guest list to pull off. She was sending to each of us a 6 1/2″ square of fabric with the instruction to decorate it in any fashion we chose. We could embroider it, paint it, scrawl a simple message on it with a fabric pen, just to name a few ideas. The resulting square was to be sent back to her by mid-April so that the squares could all be sewn together to make a quilt — a wonderful keepsake for the bride and groom.

Taking a pleasant Monday off from work, I hit the craft store and purchased cotton batik fabric in two different shades and a white cotton fabric too. I was thankful I was able to find everything else in my own stash.

So armed with a pile of craft supplies and a notion of a design cooking in my imagination, I got to work.

Here’s the square of fabric that my aunt provided for us to decorate.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 1

My head started spinning with ideas. I had just finished reading a great article by Suzann Thompson (author of Cute Crochet World) in the March issue of Interweave Crochet in which she discusses how to connect simple, flat motifs into a collage of crochet. It’s like taking Irish crochet to a whole other level. I had really big aspirations to use this technique for my cousin’s quilt square. But I only got as far as one heart crocheted out of thread before I realized that this was much too ambitious. It could take me a year, and I only had a month!

Mixed Media Quilt Square 3

So instead, I concentrated on a simpler design that I would cut out of fabric and sew or glue to the quilt square. I wanted to keep the crochet heart I had made and the silhouette of the bride and groom.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 4

I cut out the shapes and numbered them.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 9

I pinned the shapes to the fabric I chose for this project. I’ve been on a batik kick for over five years now. I’m pretty sure that it’s permanent, along with my love of plaid. Hey, now there’s an interesting combination, batik and plaid. Oh boy!

Mixed Media Quilt Square 2

I had my heart set on sewing these shapes together in a mini-quilt fashion, but as usual with sewing, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I decided it would be easier to omit every other heart and use the background to create negative shapes instead. I arranged the shapes on the background and pondered whether I might sew or fuse the shapes to the background…

Mixed Media Quilt Square 6

I decided to glue the fabric heart shapes instead. I used a muslin swatch to test out a few different fabric glues before deciding on Aleene’s Fabric Fusion.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 8

I brushed the back of each shape generously with glue and arranged them carefully on my square.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 7

I glued the bride and groom on as well, and let the whole thing sit for 3-4 hours to dry.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 10

I sewed the crochet heart to the center.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 11And I embroidered a rose between the couple’s hands.

Mixed Media Quilt Square 12

I couldn’t figure out if I was done yet. I wondered if I should embroider the individual hearts or add beading or something to really bring it all together. In the end, I decided to put the project away for the week and come back the following weekend with fresh eyes.

Sure enough, I just had to add some doodle embroidery to the hearts. You know how much I love my doodle embroidery. I am having so much fun adding it to everything!

Mixed Media Quilt Square for the Bride by Squirrel PicnicI had so much fun making this square for my cousin and new cousin-in-law. And it was moving to see the completed quilt at the reception. You could tell that everyone who participated had a lot of fun with it too. People used embroidery, cross-stitch, crochet, lace, photos printed on fabric, a baseball!, and more. Truly creative! I enjoyed hearing all the stories and memories behind each of the squares. There was so much love put into each one. It made for a wonderful gift for the bride and groom. Enjoy this slideshow of the quilt.

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11 thoughts on “Creative Wedding Idea! Invite Guests to Decorate Squares for a Quilt

  1. Wow! What a wonderful idea! And so many cute squares. You dit a great job and the others too. It looks like a realy huge creative and handiworking familie. I hope the bride and groom love their quilt. All the best to the couple.

  2. This is astonishing,Jennifer! Your aunt had a beautiful idea! I’m speechless and moved to tears!

  3. Wonderful idea! And your square is a fabulous contribution 😊

  4. beautiful idea and end result! I love the way your embroidery really completed your most stunning square! ❤

  5. Left me speachless ! What can I say but gorgeous! Love it. Piece of art that is.