Mom and Dad were married on August 2, 1952, on a very hot day, in an un-air-conditioned church in St. Charles, MO. Legend has it that Mom’s veil caught fire from a candle during the photography or reception (I don’t remember; I wasn’t there!)
For their 50th wedding anniversary, in 2002, I made them a photo-transfer memory quilt.
I used ideas from the book The Collectibles Quilt by Wendy Etzel, 1995, RCW. The book got me started with the idea of a photo transfer bookcase quilt, and I took off from there. (Wendy still has copies of her book available; you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org . The exact pattern for this quilt is not in the book.)
This was the second real quilt I ever made. The first was My Texas Star, half a year earlier. I think this was also the second time I tried free-motion quilting!
I managed to get photos of 5 generations of family, and made enough photo transfers to create 52 “framed” photos on the bookshelves, including my parent’s wedding picture and their wedding invitation.
The titles of some of the “books” are the names of my grandparents, my parents, my sister and me, and our children. Other “books” are titled with significant events or interests in our lives.
I added a machine-embroidered a Peace rose (I don’t have a close-up of that) which was my maternal grandmother’s favorite flower, and created a basket made from woven strips of fabric, with a piece of crocheted work spilling out of it. This was made by my father’s aunt, who was born deaf, but crocheted exquisitely.
(I didn’t cut up a good piece of crochet work; this was damaged, and I used the un-damaged part in the quilt.)
When they saw the quilt, Mom and Dad were both speechless and teary-eyed, and my father said, “This is my whole life!”
The quilt was hung next to some real bookcases, and causes visitors to do a double-take! It has been the backdrop for many family photos.
Yes, that’s a papier-mâché-and-feather bird head, but that’s another story…
The quilt was displayed at Dad’s memorial service. I think it’s just about the best gift I ever gave!