The Wedding Quilt

30 June 2009

Trip Around the World Wedding Quilt in blues and greens, with grey border.

I've told you well before this that I'm no great sewer. Oh, I get by, but it's not what I would call a natural talent of mine. And let me tell you I'm not being coy writing that, just truthful. There are some things I am good at, sewing is not one of them, I wish I was better at it. So it should go to show you that patch working, once you know the rules and short cuts, is quite easy. If you haven't tried it yet, and would like to make things like quilts, bags and cushion covers, find a mentor or a good book and dive right in. It is a wonderful way to recycle old fabrics and make fabulous gifts. It's so satisfying when you see the finished article that was once a jumble of assorted fabrics. The most difficult part is working out your combination of fabrics and piecing your pattern together.

I started it in late March, and got stuck after I had cut all the fabric and decided on a pattern. When I put it together, I didn't like my colour combination. So I waited until Tricia came up and she helped me look at it in different ways. She also told me I didn't have to cut all my squares, I could have done it in strips. I will do that next time.

This is the most difficult part - choosing fabrics and matching colours and patterns.

Working with an experienced quilter made the whole process much easier. It was still time consuming and repetitive, but when we got to the end, with all the hand stitching, I really loved sitting with the quilt over my knees, stitching the edges. My DIL Cathy teaches patchwork and sewing so we took advantage of her offer to come over and use her huge table for pinning the layers together. She then kindly offered to do the quilting on her quilting machine - you can see this best on the grey border - it's the squiggly lines, called stippling.

The backing is a pure cotton sheet that I bought when I first left home in the 1960s. It's white with a tiny flower pattern and is still in good condition. On the advice of Tricia and Cathy, I made a linen hand stitched label that I attached to the back of the quilt. It states: Trip Around the World Wedding Quilt, their names, date, and where it was made by Rhonda, Tricia and Cathy. Sarndra was overwhelmed when we gave it to them and she cried. It was a very special moment.

And for those of you who wanted to see a close up photo of the cake, here it is.


  1. Dear Rhonda,

    what a lovely, LOVELY quilt, and what a wonderful wedding you all have enjoyed together. I think that that is how weddings really should be - all about family togetherness and the sweet exchange of the vows in the presence of those people you love most.
    I always wanted to get married in a garden, but noone in our familys has a garden that is large enough. We also aimed at a low key wedding, we wanted it to be both frugal and wonderful. I did my own flowers, made my dress and baked our cake (which was very similar to yours), but although our friends all loved it, the family was very unimpressed - they thought it poor and in bad taste. They wanted a big, showy wedding.
    I am so glad that Shane and Sarndra's wedding was surrounded with such love and goodwill - no money can make up for a loving family and friends!


  2. What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful wedding. I really enjoyed your posts on it. Congratulations!!!!!

  3. What a special gift and it's beautiful! The cake you are one talented lady!

  4. What a lovely quilt. I would have cried too.


  5. What a job the quilt must have been, it turned out beautiful. And the cake is so lovely with the flowers on it. We have no more weddings in the near future but I will certainly direct anyone I know who is getting married to this and other blogs to learn about home made weddings. How much more satisfaction there is in doing it yourself. Thank you for sharing this wonderful day with us.

  6. The quilt is so lovely. I can only imagine how happy and touched they must have been. Congratulations to everyone!

  7. What a dear gift that is for your children! Something so very personal that they will have for a lifetime!
    I love it!!!

  8. Hi Rhonda and Hanno,

    Congratulations on the wedding of your son and daughter in law. The quilt is beautiful and I'm sure the new couple will cherish it for many years.
    Now..I have a question or two. My son is also getting married in Aug and we will have a backyard bbq. I live on the WET coast of Canada so tents and heaters are a must. How many people attended the reception and how big was your tent or tents?

    Thanks, Margaret

  9. Everything about this wedding is special, and the cake with those orchids is one of the loveliest wedding cakes that I've seen.

    (The 2 little children in the wedding are gorgeous!)

    I'm so moved to see a Trip Around The World made for the bride and groom. A beautiful gift, not only in the quality of the quilt but in the effort and love to create it. As a quilter, I smile....I see no imperfections. I see a beautiful quilt for a lovely couple walking now towards their future.


  10. Beautiful quilt. You have inspired me to get back to work on a handstitched only quilt that I started years ago.

  11. Hello everyone!

    Margaret, we had about 50, with a few children and babies. The marquee was 9 x 6 metres (54 sq metres). The hire company said the rule of thumb is to allow 1 square metre per person. The marquee could be enclosed on all sides and we hired a gas heater similar to those used in outdoor restaurants. We had to turn it right down because it was too hot. I'm sure something like that would be perfect in your climate.

    Oh, get yourself 6 bales of hay too. We had two inches of rain the night before the wedding and the lawn was wet and spongy. Most of the girls wore high heels which made a lot of mud. We put down carpets of hay and it hid the wet grass beautifully.

    Congratulations to your son and his soon-to-be-bride. I hope all goes to plan and you enjoy the wedding as much as we did with ours.

  12. Previous comments say it all; I can only emphatically agree. Every couple should be so fortunate as to have such a wedding!

  13. The quilt is absolutely beautiful!
    I make quilts, so I know exactly what you put into it, and including a sheet for the backing that you purchased years ago, it has so much more of you in it. I cried when you said Sarndra cried, because I know just that quilt means to her. What a touching gift!
    The cake? Oh y, the looks of it make me want to dive in and eat a slice of it. It is also absolutely beautiful.

  14. The beautiful, beautiful quilt is a real labour of love. Something for the bride and groom to treasure always. What an heirloom to pass on through the generations.
    Although I´m keen on craftwork and tackle most things, so far I haven´t been brave enough to tackle quilting. As usual you inspire me so maybe once our summer ends and the long nights set in, just maybe I can tackle a mini-quilt project.
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful wedding with us.
    Ramona K
    Uppsala, Sweden

  15. Beautiful....
    Cake and quilt!
    The floral cake topper is sooo uniquely different.
    Love it!

  16. What a beautiful quilt!

  17. The quilt is beautiful Rhonda! Good on you for trying something you don't normally do! I am pleased you had your sister and dil to help with it, there is so much more to patchwork and quilting than most people realise; besides it's more fun with other people involved and encouraging you along the way!
    An heirloom quilt for sure! (did you put a label on the back???)
    The cake looks divine, so did the bridal couple! What a fabulous day.
    You, Hanno, Shane and Sarndra must be so pleased now with the wedding over with and going so well. The best way to do a wedding!
    How did the meal turn out?
    I have been thinking positive thoughts for you and all involved wtih the wedding over the past few weeks but haven't commented as I figured you would have enough comments to read in your busy time leading up to the wedding.

    On a more simple life note, we are going to visit my husbands aunt soon and she will deomonstrate spinning to us - the children and I are interested. She also dyes all her own wool naturally. Should be very exciting and informative!
    Bec xxx

  18. That is beautiful! It will always be special to them. :)

  19. What a beautiful gift for them - and such a pretty quilt. I love the colours you used.
    Rachel L

  20. After looking at the wedding pictures, can I say...

    lovely fresh flowers - tick
    perfect venue - tick
    cute little attendants - tick
    beautifully decorated marquee - tick
    elegant, happy,glowing bride - tick
    handsome, happy groom - tick
    delicious homestyle menu - tick
    an artistic wedding cake (made with love) - tick
    happy parents - tick
    happy friends and family - tick
    glorious weather - tick

    I bet it felt like a $40,000 wedding to everyone there. Well done.

    Cheers - Joolz

  21. Dear Rhonda! How beautiful! I love to quilt and I also have made six wedding cakes for my daughters and nephews. This quilt will be a treasure for Shane and Sarndra for a lifetime and more. We have always had weddings similar to the one for your son and his wife. Not always outside, though one daughter who was at Penn State rented the Civil Engineering Lodge for a weekend and it came with 14 tent structures where guests stayed for free all weekend. One of my sisters-in-law catered her sons entire wedding. It was more than I could undertake! But I always made paprikas csirke (Chicken paprikas) or mushroom paprikas when we needed a vegetarian dish to add to the menu. (MY husband's family is Hungarian.) I loved reading all the details about your family wedding. Thank you for sharing them with the world!

  22. The quilt is beautiful! There is nothing like a labour of love such as a quilt as a gift. I'm sure that they will treasure it. I love to quilt so I know just how much work would have gone into it.
    The wedding looked beautiful. I'm glad the weather was good.
    Congratulations. All your hard work turned into such a beautiful day.

  23. Wow! That quilt is stunning Rhonda, I can imagine Sarndra being overcome. Thanks for your inspiration to all of us.

  24. The quilt is beautiful. Anyone would be lucky to have had such a beautiful wedding. Congrats.

  25. Hi Rhonda,

    What a beautiful quilt, you did a great job, and the cake, oh my, lovely, are the flowers orchirds? you did a great job,

    Congratulation, and thanks for share these photos with us, Congratulations to the newly wed.


  26. The combination of colours is beautiful. I also love the wide border that showcases the stippling. I am always amazed at how effective the simple square can be. Cherrie

  27. WOW Rhonda...I'm an experienced quilter (do my quilting by hand, even...HA!) and the colors and the quilting by your friend are beautiful. I'm glad you had someone you trusted to go over colors, which can be the most time-consuming, distressing but fun, part. Very cool to use a cotton sheet that was yours and vintage for the back. May it have good Karma.

    I wish I had a taste of that cake! I had a wedding that was done by me and my mother and sweets by friends, and it was the best party and fun. All are still talking about it and that was 23 years ago!

    Rest well.
    Christine in Michigan
    Gardnwest AT aol DOT com

  28. wow what a meaningful gift made with love in every stitch. I am so glad I get to share in this wonderful wedding and in your life via this blog and the wonderful pictures.

  29. Lovely quilt, beautiful cake. Thanks for sharing the wedding pictures with us. Everyone looks so happy. It looks like you had a wonderful day for the wedding. I am sure you are enjoying the rest right now though and took a deep breath when it was all over. Good luck and congrats to the newly weds.


  30. Beautiful! I have been looking forward to seeing what you were being so secretive about! :)
    I will try my hand at quilting one day--thanks (again) for the encouragement!
    -Melanie in Canada

  31. Rhonda...beautiful just beautiful all the loving kindness you have shown your new daughter the lives that are gifted with the extended families that are so very thoughtful well they are just charmed.
    Rhonda you are charming and the quilt is a gift with such deep caliber of love that it is to always be treasured of this I am confident.

  32. I have made a few quilts, and picking the colors is my absolutely favorite part of the whole process! I really like the colors you used for the around the world portion of the quilt, the gray is ... unusual. But any way it's very nice.

    I'm impressed that Shane made the cake, how sweet. Like the orchids!

  33. Beautiful quilt and I love the cake!

    If you make another Trip Around World quilt, you will be surprised at how fast the strip method is, but I have done both, and both are enjoyable.

    Thanks for sharing your family togetherness with us all <3

  34. Dear Rhonda

    What a gorgeous quilt. You should be so proud of it.

    I have been following your blog for quite sometime and you have not only ispired me but made me proud of the skills my grandmother taught me but I was almost ashamed to use - knitting, preserving, croceting, gardening and love of home and hearth.

    Your sons wedding looked lovely. Just goes to show how beautiful a wedding created with love can shine far brighter than the most expensive diamond.


  35. Beautiful quilt and cake! Congrats to the blessed couple.

  36. Th quilt is really beautiful....I love the colors they look soft and warm.
    So much love from so many family and friends have helped to make the wedding and the time spent together so very special. Bless you all.
    Wish I had a slice of Shane's cake right now!
    Thank you for sharing all that has gone on during the preparations and for the great photos!

  37. I am not surprised she wept,its stunning & will become their family heirloom,passed down to children & grandchildren,more precious than words
    GTM x

  38. Simple weddings created with love are the best. No showiness or glitz can compete. A beautiful wedding and a beautiful couple, and a lovely quilt as well. Wonderful!

    Am of the Bread

  39. What a wonderful suprise wedding gift for them both. I'm not suprised that Sarndra was overcome and a bit tearful. It has so much of yourselves in it and the thought of you spending all those hours working on it will mean so much and make it very special.
    The cake looks delish and love the orchid decoration too.

  40. Your quilt is so beautiful. A true treasure. The cake is also lovely.

  41. Rhonda Jean,
    I just wanted to join with the others and say WOW! GREAT JOB! and
    CONGRATS to all! Mom made a lot of wedding cakes when I was a kid, paying great attention to detail, while they all were beautiful, I must tell you that Shane and Sarndra's beats them all in beauty and elegance in my book. Sometimes simplicity just can't be beat. I loved it!!! and the quilt as well. It's great that it became a joint effort, all the more special to the recipients.

    Mammamamma in the USA

  42. Rhonda,
    thank you for sharing the pictures of the wedding , the whole event was so beautiful and full of the most important ingredient LOVE .
    You should be very proud of the quilt , what a beautiful gift and something for the bride and groom to cherish for a very long time .I also make quilts so know exactly how much work is involved and how it takes a lot of time but with every stitch you must have been thinking of the newly weds and that must have been a wonderful feeling .
    The cake was beautiful as well and the simplicity of it was just perfect .
    All the best to your son and your daughter in law , I hope they have many happy years together .

  43. The wedding looked beautiful. Weather, reception area, smiles,and cake.
    Oh, happy day!
    Congratulations to everyone. Now go and rest.

  44. Oh, gosh. That's beautiful. I almost cried. I haven't heard of a Trip Around the World since I was a little girl. My grandmother made one for me when I was about six. Then, I made one of my own (about a meter square) when I was 12.

    I should make a big one!


  45. Great job on both counts! I love the home-y feel of patchwork quilts.

  46. This was so, so beautiful. I actually welled up when you mentioned tears coming to Sarndra's eyes. I can't think of a more meaningful and beautiful gift to receive from a new mother-in-law. (Mine gave us a drill. Yes, it was very big and powerful and my husband was very excited, but, seriously, a drill?) :-)
    Congratulations again on providing such a beautiful day.
    Karen (Scotland)

  47. What a beautiful job you all did, and how many more memories you have to treasure by doing the preparations yourselves. I have much fonder memories of preparing the food for my sister's homemade wedding with my mother and aunt than eating the resturants potato salad (that I make 10x better) at my own.
    These economic times may be the greatest unrecognized blessing as people 'relearn' that you can not buy love and closeness with family. You most definetly can not spend enough to fill the emptiness.
    You have given your children the greatest gift, the example of how to find contentment and happiness within themselves.

  48. Rhonda,
    The wedding quilt is just beautiful! I'm sure that the newlyweds will cherish it forever.
    The cake looked very yummy, too.
    Hugs, Aunt Bea

  49. You all did a marvelous job on that quilt. It is beautiful!

  50. Isn't that just the most lovely quilt! My MIL made us a wedding quilt too. Since my DH is from TX, she made it look like bluebonnets. Each 1" square is made up of two tiny triangles. It's just amazing. What love you all put into making this for your newlyweds. I'm sure they will cherish it for the rest of their lives, as I do mine.

  51. Wow Rhonda! You have outdone yourself. The cake is just beautiful - simple, elegant and made with care for two people you obviously adore. The quilt made me smile. Making a quilt for someone you love is such a wonderful process surpassed only by the satisfaction of seeing it so gratefully received.

  52. Many Congratulations to you and your lovely family! What a wonderful and beautiful wedding, full of love and joy and such a glorious hand crafted quilt made and given with love and care. Truly magical! Thank you for sharing such magic moments.


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