Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Project (with a capital P) - Amy Butler 'Lotus' Double wedding ring quilt

On the 27th of November this year my brother is getting married. Plans have been underway for a little while but with him, his fiancee and all of both families living in Western Australia and me being over here on the east coast I have not been as involved in the planning and preparations as my sister (who is a bridesmaid) and my Mum (who is making the wedding dress).
I did, however, play a small cameo role here. The dress the bride will be wearing has a sheer overlay and the bride has her heart set on this being a white organza with large (about 10c-20c piece size) on it, also in white. Trust me, a nationwide search has been carried out. It has been spotted on finished garments and one, I found a roll of fabric in Cabramatta that was just right.... except it was yellow. If you have seen or know where some of this fabric could be found please let me know. Officially the search for the fabric has ended but i know I haven't really stopped checking and I don't think the bride or anyone else has either. It's not too late till the dress is done!
The coveted fabric...in yellow :(
But I digress. The wedding is a family affair, and both my brother and his bride to be have added or a looking to add a number of personal touches to the wedding. One of these little touches is the way they are doing their guestbook, which will allow guests to take a photo of themselves holding a chalkboard with a message for the bride and groom. These will then bu uploaded during the reception to a digital photo frame for guests to see, and for them to display in their home after the wedding.

During our last trip I was trying to think of something special I could do for their wedding, while not being intrusive and my mind had moved several times to a quilt but I wasn't really sure. Telling me about the guestbook idea and showing me some inspiration pictures came at just the right time.

Is that a quilt I see there in the background? A double wedding ring? Just the pattern I was thinking about. I did think about it quite a lot more before I took the plunge and called them to ask them what they thought. After all, we are talking double wedding ring and, although I don't often get scared off by things that are supposed to be hard, this is a gift for a special occasion and I didn't want to over commit myself.

But called I did. And they said yes, they would like one please. And they also said yes, we like your fabric ideas (Amy Butler and Heather Bailey). Which was a relief to me because one of my first ideas was to go with the wedding colour scheme (yellow, light pink and navy blue, try and blend those colours!)

So now I'm making a Double Wedding Ring quilt. My partner, while being supportive of my sewing and crafting, doesn't really grasp why I would offer to do something like this but to me, it is the essence of why I craft. Making things for other people. Particularly people I care about.

I have the fabric, I went with Amy Butler's Lotus range and even found some of the hard to find yellow spots at Fred the Needle in Penrith. The rest came from Quiltsmith in Annandale and The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria. And yes, there are a lot of the other spots too.
I have spent some time researching the pattern and method I will use, I auditioned a paper piecing method from freespirit and McCalls but, as much as I can see the wisdom behind paper piecing something like this, it just isn't me. I have a problem with the waste generated by cutting the fabric large to ensure it covers the arc and the all the paper getting tangled as I chain piece the sections of the arcs. Plus I never seem to achieve the accuracy with this method others rave about.

Then, on a LQS tour (I must post some of them sometime soon) I found this template set at Material Obsession from Matilda's Own. There was a hiccup when the lovely people at my Toyota car service centre lost one of the pieces the afternoon I bought the set but I'm trying to move on (helped by the actually lovely people at Matilda's Own, who sent me a replacement piece).
The advantage over paper piecing that I see this set gives me is the potential to cut and piece with the small arc section templates as I normally would, and then check it for correct size with the template piece in the set that is included for a quilt that doesn't have pieced arcs. There is also a hand little reference book for planning layouts and calculating fabric required in the set. And a paper template for squaring off the edges which I will be using.

The last decision I have to make is the dimensions. I can't do a full size quilt. I just don't have the time. I was thinking a large lap size (and will probably go with that) but then I wonder if that isn't big enough. I think I'll start by making the arcs and see how I go.

So now, amid moving plans, packing, house hunting, unpacking and staring a new job I'm going to sew and quilt this baby. I think it will be just the distraction I require some days.

The first step is to go home tonight and cut into this stack of fabric that will one day be a lovely quilt.

1 comment:

The Gracie Jane Project said...

You are a good sister. I love my brother but I'm not sure I love him Amy Butler fabric use! I would be stashing that for myself.