2016 - The Year of Big Quilts!

Last week I declared that while I don't make New Year's resolutions, I did resolve to try and make big quilts this year. That's right...I don't always follow the rules, even when they're my own.

For my first big quilt of 2016, I decided on a Double Wedding ring quilt made with fabric from our recent wedding (fitting, I know). We used homemade cloth napkins for the reception, which have been washed, rewashed, and pressed, as well as fabric from various items like the ring pillow.

I know that it is a luxury that a typical modern quilt is made from lovely fabric, purchased for the purpose of quilting, cut into a bunch of pieces and sewn together as part of a plan. I kind of like that this quilt shares something with the quilts of my ancestors - made from fabric that served another purpose first and led a good, useful life before it became a quilt.


I splurged and purchased the Simpli-EZ Double Wedding Ring Ruler set in an attempt to not lose my mind cutting or tracing the many many many many pieces needed for the quilt. So far, I have managed to cut 607 tiny wedges without completely losing my mind.

One day soon I'll be able to get to the fun part...the sewing. But for now, I need to run and buy some more blades for my rotary cutter.

DIY Bride

Now that the hustle and bustle of planning a DIY wedding is behind me, I'm excited to share photos of my crafts in action.

Let's start with the dress. Yes - it is possible to sew your own wedding dress without large amounts of crying and tequila.

I made several muslins trying to get the fit and style I wanted. Once I had that down in el cheapo fabric, cutting into the expensive stuff wasn't so scary. It's hard to tell from this photo (professional shots to come in a few weeks), but it's made from satin overlaid with sparkly lace. I layered the fabrics when cutting out the pieces of the dress and then basted them together before beginning the sewing. And doesn't my kid brother look snazzy walking me down the aisle?

My other kid brother, who is an engineer, helped me build the ceremony backdrop.

I sewed the flower girl's dress out of my leftover fabric, and I also made the ring bearer's pillow (which is now sitting on my couch).

I handmade the flowers for the bouquets using crepe paper and a instructions from Martha Stewart's Crafting Encyclopedia.

I know this looks like a lot of work, and I'm sure it was - it just didn't feel like it. I kept my flower-making supplies in a box by the couch and would work on flowers any time I was parked in front of the T.V.

Here's a photo of my handsome husband with his handmade boutonniere.

I made flowers for the tables as well, and table tents giving our guests the rundown of the evening. This saved me the trouble of programs for individual guests, and looked pretty good if I do say so myself.


I did a mercury glass-style treatment on mason jars and used battery operated votives. You can also see the vintage teacup candles and hankies. We (and by we, I mean mostly my mother) made simple frayed-edge cloth napkins from various fabrics that went with our scheme.

For our little guests, I made coloring kits. I drew up coloring pages and bought tiny clipboards and crayons. The adult guests were pretty jealous.

The adult guests did get favors as well - decks of playing cards with our wedding logo (if you can call it that).

The decks of cards were basic black and red playing cards. I had labels printed with my artwork and applied them to the boxes - a huge cost savings over having custom printed cards.

Continuing the love of games, here's our 'guest book'.

I'm sharing all of this to encourage brides looking for a dream wedding on a smaller budget to do some or all of the work themselves. Yes - planning, sewing, crafting, and cooking ate up a lot of my free time. But when it was all said and done, it was absolutely worth it. It was an event that completely reflected who we are as a couple and we walked away without any debt - what better way to begin a marriage?


Photos courtesy of Lindsey Habegger of Duo Photojournalism and Kathy Grinstead of Kathy Grinstead Photography