Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding quilt finished at last

Exactly one year and ten months to the day, the wedding quilt is finally finished. The plan was conceived when I was asked by my friend to be the matron of honor at her wedding. I have known both the bride and groom since before they knew each other. The got to know each other well at a Leader Training week called "Wood badge" where I served on Staff. They were both in the "Bear" patrol.

You may have noticed the bear paw blocks around the outer border so now you know the reason. As a side note, every scrap of green in the border has appeared in another quilt beginning with my first. It was fun to be reminded of those as I worked on the blocks piecing and quilting.

Before the wedding I drew leaf shapes on assorted green fabric. These were put in a zip-lock along with a sign marker and that plus a clipboard covered in sandpaper were passed to my husband and Nikko (yes, the dog was invited too) and their duty was to get signatures of all the guests. Those leaves were appliqued on the vine in the inner border.

The Lone Star is a typical motif of Native American celebratory quilts. All three of us are members of the Order of the Arrow, an honor society within the BSA which is based on Indian lore and theme. The groom particularly loves Kokopelli so I gave him a triangle of paper and asked him to draw one to fit the shape. It is quilted into the triangles formed by the stars.


The four square segments are quilted with the BSA logo,










The SAJ (Scout Association of Japan) logo, The groom's family crest of two crossed feathers, and the character for long life.




















The reverse side of the quilt is made up of Japanese tenugui, a dyed cotton towel. These are often made to commemorate events or places and an art form in themselves. They are dyed similar to batik so are reversible and the cotton is soft yet strong.




Among these are many Kabuki theme towels as the bride has done the English earphone guide for Kabuki for many years. There is even one of the Kabuki-za, the building which is now being torn down and rebuilt. Some other towels are auspicious for celebratory occasions like cranes or shochikubai (pine, plum, and bamboo) and there is one from the BSN (Boy Scouts of Nippon which changed to Scout Association of Japan when girls were added to packs and troops.




My plan for this quilt was to have both the front and the back without any definite top or bottom. The size is seven feet four inches square and can be rotated for even wear as I know it will be used and cherished for many years. If you think the colors strange for a wedding quilt, when I asked my friend what colors she liked, she said her husband loves warm fall colors.I hope she does too but it shows what kind of friend she is.













So here is a picture from "The wedding of the bears". Note the bride and groom decoration in front.















And here is the matron of honor, in my comfortable native regalia, standing with my assistant outside my front garden bed at the end of a very happy day.


Note that the bride asked that my bouquet be something "wild" or "natural".




There is a poem that goes:


"It is my joy in life to find, At every turning of the road, The strong arm of a comrade, kind, To help me onward with my load. But since I have no gold to give, and love alone must make amends, the only prayer is, while I live, God make me worthy of my friends."
I pray, too, this quilt will be found worthy of this friendship.
































18 comments:

  1. What an amazingly beautiful gift! I too am sure this will be treasured for many, many years to come. Thanks for the story behind all the different aspects of the quilt - it is so well thought out. Lovely :)

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  2. Lucky bride. What a wonderful symbol of your friendship. Your quilt has been so beautifully thought out and executed. I know it will be treasured and bring the happy couple years of pleasure.

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  3. GLORIOUS, awesome quilt ! Oh, Julie, this quilt is so special and I LOVE all the symbols and the story. Also YOU look absolutely gorgeous and so sweet! The poem is so very touching, as well. I was truly moved to tears... Lucky bride, indeed ! May they be happy and joyful a whole lifetime, with such friends around them...
    THANKS for showing, dear ;>)

    heartfully,
    XOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXO
    NADINE

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  4. What a wonderful backstory for this quilt. Every aspect is full of meaning and love. I particularly like the leaves with wedding guest autographs.

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  5. So beautiful. I'm in awe of your work.

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  6. Oh Julie it's stunning. I love all the different motifs that are so meaningful to the bride and groom and I know they will surely cherish this quilt the rest of their lives. I also loved seeing your picture in your native costume. Did you make it as well? Thank you for sharing this beautiful quilt with us. blessings, marlene

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  7. I gasped when I saw this. This is so beautiful and I love how it has a special meaning for everyone involved. Beautiful work!

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  8. Love how you have woven all the threads of this story together. You and Nikko are lovely all in white :-]

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  9. That is a gorgeous quilt! I love everything about it and the Bear's Paw has always been one of my favorite designs. In fact, it was the first block I had ever done in quilting!!

    You look so lovely in your matron of honor dress. That is just beautiful. Your faithful friend looks as though he's enjoyed the day too:)

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  10. Another gorgeous quilt, and such an interesting story to accompany it. You look very nice in white.

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  11. Wow! That is a masterpiece! All the delicate quilting too! Just beautiful! (And so are you dressed as Matron of Honor.)

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  12. Wow! What a beautiful quilt you've made and what a wonderful story goes with it. Thanks for sharing. I love the poem at the end. Hope things are getting better for you and all those you love in Japan.

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  13. Julie, I'm in awe of this beautiful quilt. All hand pieced and quilted! I, too, enjoyed the story behind each element.

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  14. Wow! My hubby has gone thru Wood badge, and both he and my youngest son are members of the OA. What a gift, what a quilt. I sent a link to my hubby. This is a quilt he can't miss.

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  15. Lovely quilt and your explanations tell the quilt story perfectly. This is a quilt that will be truly cherished by the couple.

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  16. Reading the story of your wedding quilt makes it so much more meaningful. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and the story of this fascinating quilt!

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  17. A wonderful treasure... the quilt, the story, and the friendship.

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  18. That is one amazing quilt! What a treasure for them to receive!

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