21 September 2011

hawaiian quilt

One of our dearest and oldest friends got married this summer in Hawaii. I wish that I could have made the trip, but I think Hawaii might be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, and I used up my once in a lifetime a few years ago when my parents cashed in all their frequent-flier miles and toted the whole family to Maui for a week. I remember thinking on the dreadfully long flight over there that it couldn't possibly be worth it. And then I stepped out of the airport and said, "oooooh. ahhhhh. yeah, this is totally worth it." It was an amazing trip.

So we didn't get to see Suzanne tie the knot in person, but we certainly wanted to celebrate her big day. And what better way to celebrate than with a bright, cheerful, hawaiian-inspired quilt. Jennie and I collaborated on this project and two twin heads is better than one. I love how it turned out.
 We used Denyse Schmidt's Proverbial Quilt pattern for the letters. Jennie and I each did two rows of words and I sneakily gave her the "HAWAII" row because the W involved about 10 pattern pieces and looked mighty tricky. She nailed it, of course.

We picked out the brightly-colored print fabric used in the border first and took all our color inspiration from that, ending up with a rainbow of jewel tones. After we'd pieced the letters, I remembered that I had started appliqueing a Hawaiian quilt motif years ago when we made our trip to Hawaii. I'd always intended it to be a pillow but I had never finished it. The green color worked perfectly with our quilt so we put it in the center. It was meant to be. I obviously started that applique project 4 years ago because Suzanne was destined to get married in Hawaii. Like tea leaves, the unfinished projects that litter my craft room predict the future.

Jennie did all of the quilting. I think I should have her do all of my quilting from now on. It's awesome. She did a large chevron pattern with machine-quilting around the outside, then hand-quilted the traditional Hawaiian pattern on the motif. I just had to look it up in my little book I bought in Hawaii--it is a breadfruit pattern. I love the mixture of the organic lines of the breadfruit with the geometric lines of the chevron. Killer.

I take full responsibility for the piecing of the back, which, frankly, just looks like a big old mess. I used leftover bits of the fabrics we used for the letters on the front, but just kind of sewed it all together willy-nilly. It definitely could have used a bit more planning, but it is bright and cheerful. And after all, it's just the back.

Suzanne's parents hosted a lovely reception at their house in VA a few weeks after the wedding, so we did get to party with the happy couple. On the car ride to VA, Jennie and I sat in the back seat and sewed the binding on the quilt while her fiance chauffeured us. Oh, haven't I mentioned here yet that Jennie is engaged? YUP. April 2012. We have a bajillion craft projects planned and our Mom is planning to make the cake. We talked her down from trying to cater the whole shindig one-handed. This should be fun.