Special Occasion Quilts

The story I have to tell today is one to which I’m sure many of you can relate. (Please tell me I’m not alone in this.) You’ve been rushing and rushing to get a quilt done for a special occasion and run out of time. You “give” the quilt anyway, but say you need to finish it. Somehow, once the cat is out of the bag there isn’t quite the urgency to keep hurrying to completion.

This, unfortunately, has happened to me too often. Years ago, I made a quilt for my husband’s parents to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. I had the top done and only part of the quilting when their anniversary arrived. I showed it to them and they were very excited.

Anniversay Quilt2

Anniversay QuiltWell, it just seemed to take forever to finish the quilting. Every phone call, my mother-in-law would ask if I had finished the quilt yet and I would answer that doing all the quilting by hand just took a long time. Finally, on their 41st anniversary when we called to give them our best, my mother-in-law sounded very frail. She asked if I had finished the quilt. I told her no, but it was coming along.  She sighed and said, “Well, I hope we both get to enjoy it together.” That guilt trip got me going again and I had it finished within a couple of months. They enjoyed it together for many years.

I tell this story because I am now in the process of finishing yet another special occasion quilt. My son and daughter-in-law were married in September of 2005. For a “guest book” I made a quilt top and at the reception all of the guests signed the quilt with a permanent marker. My intention was to do the hand quilting and present them with the finished quilt on their 1st anniversary.

Wedding Quilt

Well, life got in the way, I got involved writing my book, “The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns,” and did no sewing for the five years I devoted to the book. Then other “stuff” happened and I never finished it.

Now nine years later, they have just moved to a new house and my husband and I are flying to California tomorrow to visit them. About three months ago, knowing we would see them, I vowed to finish the quilt and give it to them for their new home.

Wedding Quilt QuiltingI took the last stitches this morning, cut the strips for the binding and have the material for a sleeve in case they want to hang it. I’ll start the binding tonight while I watch the “Nats” (my beloved Washington Nationals) play baseball and finish it on the plane. Watch Facebook for a photo of them with the quilt.

Wedding Quilt4

As quilters, we show we care by making quilts for others. We mark births, graduations, weddings and other special occasions with our quilts and don’t mind (much) that some of the recipients will never know the amount of time which goes into its creation. Making a quilt with signatures is a nice way to capture the sentiments of people who participated in a special event. Some quilters add photographs with photo transfer or fabrics from clothing. There is so much we can do to make our gift of a quilt extra special.

Editor’s note: If you have made a quilt for a special occasion using Jinny’s fabrics or patterns, we would love to see a picture and hear the story behind it. Please send them to studio@jinnybeyer.com

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6 comments

  1. Izzy

    You are not alone. Our son got married 2007 and I have finished 4 quilts for our grandchildren but have not even stared on theirs yet . Im thinking 10 yr anniversary now. Im struggling to finish one for my mom which she requested . When it is a gift it is not the same as the requested one by mom is it…

  2. TinaJ

    This is such a timely post, I was just thinking yesterday, I wonder what Jinny Beyer makes and if you only make things for the shop and new kits for those of us who follow you closely! I am so glad to see that you make really cool things for your family and hopefully for yourself!

    Thanks!

  3. Wendy

    My daughter married in 2001 and I *still* have not finished her quilt. It is a goal to do so by the end of this year. Luckily she still likes the design. :-)

  4. Laura

    Could you please tell me what block pattern you used for the center? It’s so beautiful.

    • All of the quilts in this blog post are from Jinny’s personal collection and unfortunately we do not have patterns for purchase on these designs.

  5. Sarah Kirtland

    I kept coming back to this story. I finally shared it on my facebook page. Some quilts are just very hard to finish for me. I try to remember, every time I start a quilt, that I need to finish one first.

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