I had the pleasure of making a wedding guest book quilt for the sweetest people recently! My son’s girlfriend’s name is Taylor (coincidently so is his) and this quilt was for her mother Tracey and boyfriend Peter. This quilt was Taylor’s gift. The wedding was in Estes Park, CO and we were lucky enough to attend – what a beautiful setting for the ceremony.
Tracey sent me several photos of autograph quilts she liked, and with her input, I came up with a quilt pattern. I often use EQ8 on my Mac to design quilts – this makes a good graphic to show clients, and makes the design easy to visualize. This way we are all on the same page and can easily change or add to the design. You can see what I mean in the photo below. EQ8 also automatically calculates fabric yardage requirements, which helps when advising clients how much of each color to buy. Using this information, Taylor was able to pick out and buy the fabrics 2200 miles away, and mail them to me, without fear of running out of a certain dye lot or a particular fabric unavailable in my area. We were collaborating across several states, as Tracey lives in Colorado, Taylor in Montana, and I live in Georgia! So many process pictures and questions and answers were texted or emailed back and forth. But I think we all are thrilled with the results!
I put the borders on the blocks, and ironed freezer paper on the back beforehand. The borders keep people from signing in the seam allowances, so I try to do that when the design allows. And the freezer paper helps keep the fabric stiff enough to write on. I love this elk – so cute and creative! Several family members were unable to attend the wedding, so Tracey mailed them a quilt block to sign, then they in turn mailed them to me to be included in the finished quilt.
I quilted a simple spiral in a neutral cotton thread. I try to keep the quilting low key so that the signatures are legible. I used cotton batting as well. Tracey plans to hang the quilt, so I added a hanging sleeve to the back. The signatures were done with a Sharpie fine point marker, and I pre-washed all the fabrics to remove any chemicals from the manufacturer that might hinder the absorption of the ink. Autograph quilts are washable in cold water, gentle cycle and can be thrown in the dryer on low heat – but I still wouldn’t recommend washing and drying it often, as over time the Sharpie will naturally fade.
I saved the selvage edges from one of the fabrics to tied up the quilt for mailing. I always include a “how to care for your quilt” tag as well, because people often worry about harming their new quilts, so I want to put their minds at rest.
Tracey and Peter’s quilt has arrived in Colorado safely and I hope they can look at it and feel all the love that went into Taylor’s fabric selection, the signatures of their loved ones, and also that went into the making of the quilt!
Thanks for reading. And most of all, congratulations and sincere best wishes to Tracey and Peter!