i do believe a homemade quilt is the perfect wedding gift. quilts are so personal, made with love and care, and can last many many years. plus they’re practical – a handmade picnic quilt will be there to help keep a couple warm on camping trips, to be there for them as they have family picnics and create memories. they can even be a reminder of their wedding day!
one of my early sewing projects was a blanket for baby Em, and the first time i covered my little daughter in a simple blanket i made, it nearly brought me to tears. it was a turning point for me, where i fully understood the specialness of handmade things and the love that goes into them. my family wasn’t really full of quilters – i have friends that have beautiful ancient handmade quilts made by their great-grandmothers, but my family seems to prefer to sew garments, embroider, knit, and crochet – still wonderful crafts and i know some quilts were likely made along the way, but they just weren’t part of our family culture like others. as i’ve dabbled in quilting, i’ve learned how much time and effort goes into each one and how much they mean to the maker. quilts are super powerful, you guys.
so i made this picnic quilt for my husband’s cousin Amy and her new husband Ben as their wedding gift and I hope they have many happy memories with it. it’s made with a vintage sheet, a sturdy navy cotton i bought during Anna’s Instagram destash (thanks Anna!), DS for Joann gold, and the chambray from Em’s big bow dress. i tried to give a nod to the colors and tone of their wedding in my choices (here are a few shots from the reception…soooooooo Portlandy!).
the back is a huge piece of dark blue (stretch?) corduroy that i thrifted. you can sort of see my quilting pattern here (i tried to make the star pop, so i followed the outer lines of it 1/4″ away from the seam). the corduroy was really heavy, too, which is perfect for a picnic blanket. sorry about the weirdly lit photos, it was starting to rain and O was going to wake up from his nap at any minute.
i appliqued a little linen heart for the couple onto joel dewberry woodgrain, adding their initials and wedding date.
the design is a modified giant ohio star. i love how many different designs you can make with half square triangles! i first had the idea to make a quilt like this when i saw the ohio supernova quilt by Heather Jones floating around pinterest, and i referenced Jeni’s tutorial as i sketched my plan out on graph paper. it’s constructed of HSTs with vintage sheet squares in the corners. the solid blocks i cut at 9.5″ squares, the HST squares i cut at 10″ each. by that math the quilt ended up about 54″ x 54″, plenty big for a few people to sit on for a picnic, though smaller than the picnic blanket i made for us (and we use often).
there’s no batting. to finish the quilt i put the top and the backing right sides together, pinned the heck out of it, and sewed around the outside leaving an opening for turning. i turned, topstitched around the edge, then did my quilting with a walking foot to make sure the layers didn’t shift. it went pretty fast! i actually jumped back and forth between working on this and the flower girl dress. when the organza got annoying, i shifted over to straight lines and cotton for relief.
i got an enthusiastic text from Amy and Ben the day after the wedding thanking me and saying they loved it, which is great – the thing about quilts is they ARE a lot of work so knowing they’re going to an appreciative home is solid gold.
now i want to make more quilts!