Jen and Nick's Wedding Memory/Signature Quilt

Maureen Greeson © 2008

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My niece asked me several months before her wedding in May 2007 to make a signature quilt with each of her wedding guests being asked to sign only their names. I took it a "little" further and sent them a paper with the size of the area they would be allotted on the quilt and asked them to use black ink and write something they would like to say to the bride and/or groom before signing it. I got answers back from about two thirds of the people that I mailed my request to and I guess the others thought it was a silly idea or too much effort for them to bother. All in all, I was pleased with the response. I set about using a light board and tracing the remarks onto the desired fabric using a permanent fabric pen. I'm glad I got the signatures on paper instead of fabric. I would have had to rely on each person having the right pen for fabric. Also, so many mistakes were made and several people sent me more than one (sometimes three or four) redos of what they wanted on the quilt. I also asked the bride and groom to write something to each other so that they would each see it for the first time on the completed quilt. I did all of this in advance of the wedding so that I would be sure to get to everyone. It also made it possible for me to enjoy the celebration myself without asking the guests to sign and wondering who I missed. I started the real work about one week after the wedding.

This quilt is not done in squares but is one continuous crazy quilt, which I first drew on a like size piece of paper along with a copy of each of the signings and the photos that I wanted to include. The finished quilt is 43" x 47". There are several appliqué seams to keep from having to do squares. I took some shortcuts by my use of dyed lace (instead of ribbon embroidery), but almost every seam was embroidered and a lot of wedding memories were worked in. I also used quite a variety of antique lace and motifs.

Jen's little dog, Roscoe, was the ring bearer. He had a little organza bag held on with ribbon around his neck. I used all of the ribbon in the quilt and cut the bag up to make little flowers. I also made flowers out of a bridesmaid dress as well as the blue butterfly on the quilt. Pearls from the wedding dress and the little bag the bride carried were added. I also used beads from that bag. Bias strips from the bridesmaid's dress were also used in some of the seam finishing. I reduced the size of the invitation to the wedding and put this in the area with the bride's family; the invitation to the rehearsal dinner was included with the groom's family.

Although the wedding pictures were done in color, I changed the color to sepia on my computer and reduced the size of the pictures in order to get more of a representation of the day. They had a beautiful outdoor wedding and it was really hard to decide on which photos to use.

I promised the quilt would be finished by their first anniversary and, even though I overshot that by two months, I feel relieved that I actually finished it and hope that they will be pleased. I am mailing it out this week.

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