At 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.
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!
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.
I cut out the shapes and numbered them.
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!
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…
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.
I brushed the back of each shape generously with glue and arranged them carefully on my square.
I glued the bride and groom on as well, and let the whole thing sit for 3-4 hours to dry.
I sewed the crochet heart to the center.
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!
I 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.