As the weather (finally) starts to improve, a lapful of hot wool sounds less and less appealing. This is the time of year when I tend to start exploring other crafts. I could also go outside, but who has time for that?

Something that’s been keeping me occupied is a friend’s request to take charge of the guestbook for her wedding. She wanted something a little bit non-traditional, but that could be understood by older and fustier family members. Basically, fingerprint tress were out.

I started by creating a Pinterest board, to which I added anything that looked vaguely appropriate. I looked around the web and also asked more wedding-oriented friends for ideas. When I sat down with the bride to talk practicalities, the idea she was most drawn to was a wedding quilt, detailed in this post on Offbeat Bride. There are a few ways to go about creating a quilt like this- some people sew a plain quilt in advance, which guests decorate on the day. But this seemed like a high-risk strategy to both of us.

A loose theme of the wedding is ‘afternoon tea’ and another of our friends had been given the herculean task of sewing over 50 metres of bunting. It made sense to try and make use of the leftover fabric in the quilt. Eventually we settled on the idea of a patchwork quilt made of a combination of the leftover floral patterned fabric from the bunting, plain pink squares and plain cream squares that guests can customise on the wedding day. Below are my raw materials. 

I spent one of my bank holidays going at this pile with my mother’s rotary cutter. Each square needs to be 15cm with a 1cm seam allowance. I used a cutting mat and ruler to aid precision. Precision is important because I want all of the patches to line up neatly.

I would recommend a self-healing mat as mine (well, mum’s) had some pretty deep gouges in it by the time I had cut the 130 squares that the fabric allowed.  

The only other thing to do before the wedding is prepare instructions for the guests to create their squares. I spent a bit of time researching and this brand of pen (apparently unavailable online) seemed to have good colour and minimal bleeding on the fabric.  

 
When I consulted the bride on a previous fabric pen option, she suggested using black and turquoise as the only colours. I had had in my mind to have a variety of colours, but actually I think this is a wise choice. I think it would be easy for a quilt like this to look ‘busy’.

I want the instructions to be pretty comprehensive- if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. I tend to find that the larger the group of people you are dealing with, the greater tendency to ignore any direction, especially written. Perfectionism is my cross to bear, and so I have to feel like I’ve done everything in my power to make this quilt as amazing as it can be.

I’ll probably leave it there for now as there are a few aspects of the quilt that I want to be a surprise for the bride and groom, once they return from honeymoon and I officially hand the quilt over.

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