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Saturday, March 24, 2007

How to Make an Australian Wedding Quilt

A teachable moment has presented itself in my desire to make a wedding quilt. Not being a quilter myself (how I am longing for my retirement so I have time to learn) I have asked my quilting in laws to quilt up our wedding squares. On our wedding blog I have posted my plea:

I have decided that I rather fancy a wedding quilt. If you're up for it, I would like a decorated square from each of our wedding guests that will be sewn into a wedding quilt card for our marriage bed.

So, for all you crafty men and women...don't buy us a Hallmark card. Instead, a six and a half inch by six and a half inch cotton square, embroidered, beaded on or indelible penned upon will make a precious, treasured and most personal quilted wedding card from you. Alternatively, a knitted or crocheted square of the same proportions would fit the long as it's made by you.

I know that some of you are inherently craftless so I'll take some squares of cotton and indelible pens to the wedding in the rainforest. Please, upon these squares, write us your message and help us to create a lasting memento of our wedding in the rainforest.

I've started my square and it will take pride of place in the centre of the quilt. Beautiful fillet crochet in fine white silken thread, it will read, "Make the bed yourself." Just joking, I would never say anything like that!

If you want some hints on what I hope to achieve by sewing a combined wedding quilt, re watch "How to make an American quilt" (Winona Ryder, 1995). It's one of my favorite chick flicks and I intend to pull up a whole therapy around life story quilting by the time I die.

While matching my cotton squares to cotton thread, Boy became interested in what quilting is.
"Can I make one too," he asked.
"Of course you can. You can draw, write, crochet or I could teach you some stitches," I lied while I thought that kids and quilting just wouldn't go together.
"Can I do a bit of each on one square?"

Boy's enthusiasm and seriousness was real. I have tried to teach him to crochet on many occasions. He makes long snakes and ties everything in the lounge room together: a trap for us to become ambushed in. He likes sewing because he can terrorise us all by sticking the needle in us. The thought of sitting with Boy while he makes a square for the wedding quilt fills me with dread, BUT, I cannot pass this teachable moment up.

Today (Saturday, a traditional non school day) I will teach Boy Blanket and Daisy Chain stitch. I will show him how to sew one of his long coloured snakes into a circular pattern - a snail perhaps. I will let him choose whether he wishes to draw with indelible pen or fabric paint. I will encourage Boy to produce a square that will have pride of place in our wedding quilt and when I pull our quilt over us, I hope to have his square nearest my heart.

From Aspergers obsessions about guns and World of Warcraft to learning how to make a square for a quilt: teachable moments are everywhere when we adults open our eyes and allow learning to be a 24 hour per day job. I must admit, I had never considered quilting as a home school project. How badly I need educating!

Photo courtesy of SXC Photo Exchange.


Mary Emma Allen said...

Megan, I enjoyed reading about your Wedding Quilt and the interest your son has shown in it. Do keep us posted on how it's progressing...with some pictures, too. This reminds me of the pioneer days in America, when friends and family would contribute quilt blocks for the bride's wedding quilt. Then many of them would gather at a "quilting bee" to put it together. This was one of the social events in those early days in this country.

Megan Bayliss said...

Thanks Mary Emma. I adore the idea of providing quilt blocks and having a working bee party. What a shame the wedding tradition appears to have become lost. There's a new business stream for those people that do quilting professionally. You could have hen quilt afternoons where everybody makes a single block to contribute.
We have been promised many squares and I look forward to recieving them all.
I'll be sure to post pics once we have some.

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