Making a Signature Wedding Quilt


I wasn’t at the AQS Paducah show this year and there’s a very good reason. My only daughter, unaware that the 2011 show was one week later than usual because of Easter, scheduled her wedding for May 1st in South Carolina. As much as I love meeting all the contest winners and catching up with friends new and old every year in Paducah, I could not shirk my long awaited mother-of-the-bride duties and pleasures that week.

From all reports, it appears the AQS staff, teachers, vendors, AQ contributing editors, and attendees pulled together under dire circumstances and did a remarkable job of coping with the unexpected flood warnings and weather conditions. Special thanks go to my contributing editors Iris Frank, Kathie Kerler, and Marjie Russell; amidst all the chaotic conditions, they managed to interview the major prize winners and wrote the text you’ll read in the Paducah show section of the July 2011 issue of American Quilter.

But back to the wedding! Of course there is a wedding quilt in the works. After showing my daughter (Leslie) and her fiancé (Jonathan) a dozen or so books from which to choose a quilt pattern, they found three designs they liked. All were from the same book, City Quilts: 12 Dramatic Projects Inspired by Urban Views by Cherri House (C&T Publishing). The couple currently lives in Denver, and Jonathan originally hails from New York City, so the contemporary quilts in this book were right up their alley.

Of their favorites, the design most suitable for a signature quilt was City Lights, featuring brick-shaped blocks set in vertical rows. I redrew the design in Electric Quilt (EQ7), working with the couple to come up with a color plan that felt right for both the wedding theme and their home décor. My rendering, which is slightly modified from Cherri House’s original, is shown above with permission from C&T (it is a copyrighted pattern).

Before the wedding, I cut out brick-shaped blocks and taped the edges with masking tape so guests wouldn’t write within the seam allowance. Many of the wedding guests had never seen or even heard of signing fabric blocks for a quilt, but our wonderful wedding planner made sure there was a table and chairs both at the outside reception and later indoors at the wedding dinner for this purpose. I asked my quilter friend, Pat Thompson, to handle this task, and she did it beautifully.

It will probably be the couple’s first anniversary before they receive my completed gift, but like all wedding quilts, I hope that this one serves as a permanent reminder of a special day filled with love, respect, commitment, and the importance of friends and family.

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Congratulations! And, a wonderful quilt full of memories is such a special gift. I have 3 daughters who are married and always wished I had done something special like that. I love the picture of the 4 of you. You look beautiful and, of course, so does your daughter.
Linda Luggen

Susan McMurry

This is beautiful! I'm working on my own wedding quilt, and wondering how to help people understand what they are supposed to do with all those little white squares of fabric. Other than having a table set up with a knowledgable attendant, did you have any kind of explanation or samples for them? Congratulations on your daughter's wedding, it looks lovely!


I am excited to see my wedding quilt brick there! Even as a non-quilter, I understood the instructions. The wedding was beyond lovely. The quilt will be a permanent symbol of an unforgettable occasion, and those of us who participated in it. Quite a good idea. I predict it will catch on.


The signature quilt is lovely. My standard wedding gift has become a signature quilt. I vary the style and always ask the bride and groom to select the colors. One thankful groom said in the thank you note: "it is a wonderful, living memory book of all the family and friends who attend one of the most important events in my life" – I loved that comment. Congrats to all of you!


I am going to quilt the squares made at my son’s wedding. Do I have to treat the squares that have been signed with permanent marker with anything? Will the ink wash out? Will just the heat from the iron “seal” the ink in place even after washing?

Hi Cecilia, It depends on the permanent marker. You may want to test a sample first to guarantee you get the results you want. Congratulations! Betsey