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A Wedding Quilt

When I found out my dear friends Nicole and Marty were getting married I knew I had to make them a wedding quilt. Their wedding colors were festive and bright: yellows, reds and pinks so I knew what colors I would use, but I didn't know what the design would be. One day I was walking around my parent's Berkeley, California neighborhood and I saw the most beautiful quilt hanging on a wall through someone's window (I was admiring their garden, I swear I wasn't just walking around peeping in windows!) and was inspired to make this quilt.

Materials

wed1

To make a 75-inch by 84-inch quilt:

  • Twenty to Thirty 1/4 yards of quilt weight fabric in a spectrum ranging from bright pink to pale yellow
  • 3 yards of Kona Cotton in Snow

Prepare Fabrics

  • Wash, dry and press all fabrics.
  • Divide the 1/4 yards equally into four sections, so that the colors gradually lead into one another along a spectrum as in the picture above (the pinks gradually transition into the oranges etc):
  • Group A: Bright Pink to Orange
  • Group B: Orange to Bright Yellow
  • Group C: Bright Yellow to Medium Yellow
  • Group D: Medium Yellow to Pale Yellow

Cut Fabrics

wed2

Cut the colorful 1/4 yards and Kona Cotton as explained below. Keep the prints in spectrum order as pictured above:

  • Group A: Cut 25 pieces 12.5-inches X 3.5 inches long. (Note: As you can see above I didn't use an equal amount of each fabric. The ones I really liked I used more of. There are no rules as long as you have 25 pieces).
  • Group B: Cut 25 pieces 12.5-inches X 3.5- inches
  • Group C: Cut 25 pieces 12.5-inches X 3.5- inches
  • Group D: Cut 22 pieces 12.5-inches X 3.5- inches
  • Kona Cotton: Cut 96 pieces 12.5-inches X 3.5-inches

The cutting is the most tedious part of this project, I promise! I recommend cutting the colorful prints one day and then the Kona Cotton on another day in order to keep your sanity!

Prepare For Piecing

Make sure that your cut fabric groups (A, B, C, and D) are organized so that it is clear to you which group is which. It is also important that the colors of each group are all going the same way:

  • Group A should be arranged so the bright pink pieces at the top of the stack and the orange pieces are on the bottom.
  • Group B should have orange on the top and bright yellow on the bottom.
  • Group C should have bright yellow at the top and medium yellow at the bottom
  • Group D should have medium yellow on top moving to pale yellow at the bottom.

Piece Vertical Strips

Follow the piecing guide below to piece the 25 vertical strips. I pieced my quilt by pinning and sewing one vertical strip at a time so that I wouldn't get confused about the color order while sewing, but you can organize your piecing however you feel comfortable. Always take the top piece from the specified color group as you work your way down the vertical strip.

All seams should be sewn with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Download and print this piecing diagram so that you can check off each strip after it's been pieced. Keep the strips in order once you piece them. If you want to be extra organized you could write the strip's number on it's edge with an erasable fabric marker.

A= a piece from Group A

B= a piece from Group B

C= a piece from Group C

D= a piece from Group D

White = Kona Cotton

Cut Vertical Strips

Cut the tops and bottoms of the vertical strips as shown in the diagram above. (For example: strip 2 cut 9-inches from the top and 3-inches from the bottom). Please note that some of the strips are not cut. Download and print the cutting diagram so that you can read the measurements more clearly. Remember to keep the strips oriented so that Group A is at the top and Group D is at the bottom.

After you are done cutting the strips they will all be the same size and you'll be ready to sew the top together!

Sew Top

If you'd like to download and print this diagram, you can do so here.

When piecing long strips like these with a lot of horizontal seams you may find that some of your strips are a bit longer than others.  This is a common situation and nothing to worry about, you can compensate for any difference by pinning. Begin by carefully aligning the corners and edges of your strips.  Place pins at each corner and then another in the center, then place a pin between each pin.  Continue adding pins between pins until your pins are about 2-inches apart.

Sew all seams with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Sew strips 1-8:

  • Sew strip 1 to the left hand edge of strip 2, keeping both strips are oriented with Group A fabric at the top and Group D fabric at the bottom.
  • sew 1-2 to 3
  • sew 1-2-3 to 4
  • sew 1-2-3-4 to 5
  • continue in this manner through strip 8, set aside.

Sew strips 9- 17 as above, set aside.

Sew strips 18-25 as above, set aside.

Sew the first panel (strips 1-8) to the second panel (strips 9-17). Double check that you're sewing strip 8 to strip 9 and going in the correct order. Then sew the last panel (strips 18-25) to the rest of the quilt being sure to sew strip 17 to strip 18. Now you're top is together and you can see the cool zig zag design!

Quilting and Binding

Knowing myself, and knowing that I only had a year to get this present to Nicole and Marty I decided to leave the quilting the the experts! I sent my finished and pressed quilt top, along with a backing fabric and a binding fabric to our friends at Cranberry Quiltworks or (888) 82-QUILT. They do machine quilting on big long arm machines. Once they received it they called me and we discussed what kind of quilting I wanted. They had really helpful suggestions about everything from where to quilt it to what color thread to use. In the end we decided to simply "stitch in the ditch" along the long edges of the strips using an off white thread (that way it would blend with both the white background and the colorful pieces.) They used a thin 100% cotton batting and they even bound the whole thing with a double-fold binding. They sent it back promptly and even included the unused bias binding and backing fabric. I couldn't be happier with the result!


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59 Responses to A Wedding Quilt


  1. Leenu says:

    Hi, I fell in love with this wedding quilt and I made my own using the instructions here.
    Thank you so much!
    You can see the duvet cover I made here http://ticklishfingers.blogspot.com/2013/05/two-sided-duvet-cover.html
    All the best!

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Leenu-

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love your gray colorway!

    Best-

    Molly

  3. ila says:

    i've always eyed this quilt since the post was published, and i finally made it with some shibori dyed fabric that i made (currently showcased on my blog)! thank you for such an easy to do pattern and tutorial! :)

  4. purl bee says:

    Wow, ila! Your quilt is SO beautiful! I can't believe you dyed all the fabrics and sewed the thing!

    Also, congrats on your adorable new baby. She is gorgeous!

    Molly

  5. Christine Rocque says:

    Hi Molly,

    I have done a few quilts and your BARGELLO WEDDING QUILT has inspired me to make one for my niece who is getting married in January. Im a little confused and seek your guidance. In the piecing diagram do I have to join the whites, the A's, the B's the Cs', and the D's separately thereby making one long strip of 25 each or do I have to join the A1,then white, then B1 then white, then c1, then white and then d1 in one long strip, thereby making a column of 7/8 strips.

    I hope you are able to understand what Im looking for.

    Looking forward to hearing from you, as much as I look forward to starting my project.

    Many thanks and may you be inspired in your work.

    Christine

  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Christine-

    You are making 25 individual strips so you are piecing the A B C and Ds to the white pieces.

    Please let me know if you have any more questions and good luck with the quilt!

    Molly

  7. Christine Rocque says:

    Many many thanks Molly. All clear now. Your reply is much appreciated.

    Christine.

  8. jon anna calleton says:

    Could you please send me suggestions or instructions on how to enlarge the pattern shown to king size. Will need yardage as well as diagram to sew/ Think this is a really terrific pattern and would like to make. Looking forward to your assistance.

    Sincerely
    Jon Anna Calleton

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Jon Anna-

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm about this project! While we don't have the time to dedicate to re-writing this pattern in a king size I can give you some tips on how you could size it up on your own:

    To make a 105 X 96" blanket (which should fit a king) you would need to add 10 more vertical rows. Additionally each vertical row would need to be one 12-inch block longer than in the original. I would add a white block to the bottom, below group D. I would also buy several more 1/4 yards of the bright fabrics and a couple more yards of the white.

    Unfortunately we won't be able to provide you with a new diagram but as you can see from the cutting diagram above the cutting is very orderly, so if you just add the extra vertical strips you'll be able to just cut them according the the sequence in the existing cutting diagram.

    Thanks for getting in touch and good luck!

    Molly

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