Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Big Jewish Quilted Wedding Canopy

You get a call asking if you can do an assignment that would normally take nine months. It sounds like a great gig, and you're excited. So when's the deadline? 

Two months. Uh oh.

That's how I felt when an imminent bride contacted me after seeing the sushi chuppah (wedding canopy) on my Judaiquilt website. She wanted something like it, including sushi fabric; a shining gold star in the middle; and fabrics related to herself, her fiance, and their children's many activities and passions. They will have a sunset beach wedding. 

It was a dream commission. But the timing was tight - the call was in early June and the wedding's in mid-August! That sushi chuppah had taken me maybe nine months! 

Yet the more she told me about her fiance and herself and their children, the more I fell in love with her and the possibilities. Their avocations and passion ran the gamut from country music to Chanukah to tequila to skiing.  

So I said "yes." Then I sent her directly to equilter.com (no financial affiliation). It's not that equilter has the best fabrics or prices - they're comparable to other high-quality quilt fabric sites - but equilter organizes the novelty fabrics better, by topic, which is ideal if you're making a quilts representing someone's interests. She gave me a long list of favorite fabrics from the site. 

She also gave me a sense of  favorite colors - teal and pink, cream and gold - and I used those to send her images of fabrics from my LQS or my stash that might work for the central circle. 

With her approval on most fabrics, I constructed the central medallion. I created strip sets, then used a Marilyn Doheney 9 degree wedge-shaped ruler. Here's the view from the back. I often find I like the back as much as the front! 
I set the circle in the middle of the chuppah, against a sunset fabric, and the novelty fabrics in rectangles in the borders around the center. Without further ado, here is the finished quilt. It's about 63" square. 
Below is the center of the circle. The central star is gold lame - it's surrounded by floating seashells. That's on top of musical note fabric, followed by sushi fabric, and followed by a whole constellation of fabrics evocative of  beach, ocean, and sky/stars. There are 14 fabric in all in this circle (and about 55 in the entire quilt.)
Here are some of the novelty fabrics in the borders. Below, cowboy hat fabric with fabric transferred  photos of the bride and groom (I blurred them in this photo for privacy purposes) along with travel fabric,  Chanukah and Rosh Hashana fabric: 
Next, record albums, crackers, Hostess cupcakes, fortune cookies, New York style pretzels: 
Motorboating (with an appliqued photo of the family in kayaks), beach with an appliqued country music star's photo (that's Kenny Chesney, in his blue rocking chair), donuts:
Winter sports, light house,
 Same country music star, guitars:
Salad, s'mores, bagels, donuts, tequila....
(And yes, they asked for shrimp on their chuppah. Who am I to argue?)

Grilled cheese sandwiches, black-and-white cookies, hot peppers, record albums (remember those?) I added the pomegranates as a symbol of fertility and Torah. (To counterbalance the shrimp). 
Pets, football, lacrosse, soccer.
Each corner had fans made from leftover wedges from the central strip set, and in the lower right corner I put a phototransfer of the wedding invitation. 
The back features bigger pieces of the novelty fabrics for people to enjoy. 
I put the label on the lower left corner, on one of the strip sets that made up the central medallion. 
I had a wonderful time, worked night and day, and finished early! It was a joyful collaboration with a delightful client and fun fabrics, and I loved every minute of it! 

(To see more of my chuppot, go here.)


19 comments:

  1. Spectacular tour-de-force, Cathy! Meaningful and colorful and technically perfect. Makes me want to get married all over again! Such a delight! Mazel Tov to you all. May their marriage be blessed forever.

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    1. Jeri, that's high praise, coming from you!
      How about we both get married again to our husbands - a double wedding - and we make each other chuppot? (That would be a good deal for me!)
      Thank you so much!

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  2. The best I've ever seen! Awesome!!

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  3. I love this, Cathy! They sound like a very fun and interesting family to be. So great that you could create such a meaningful part of their special day. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Karen! I wish I could go to their beach wedding!

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  4. This is so cool. You are amazing. I wish I could married just so I could commission one.

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    1. Remarry your beautiful husband and I'm all over making the chuppah!

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  5. This is so cool. I wish I could get married just so I could commission one. What a wonderful keepsake.

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  6. All your chuppot are exquisitely personal. There's no one like you, Cathy!

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  7. The feeling is mutual, Eleanor! Thank you!!!

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  8. That is amazing and it looks like so much fun!

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    1. Thank you, Gisela, it was a ton of fun!!!!

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  9. Cathy...this is a masterpiece..you have successfully created a special cloth for a religious ceremony with images of every-day life included. None of the images detracts whatsoever from the intention of the chuppa. Brava for a most beautifully designed and executed commissioned piece.

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  10. Kam, you are so kind! Thank you for that high praise!

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  11. I don't have great enough words to describe my reaction to this. It is wonderful. I love lovelove it
    Leeanna at not afraid of color

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    1. Now you're making me blush, Leeanna. It mostly required a lot of shopping! But I'm so glad you love it!!!! Thank you!!!!

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  12. Cathy,
    This is simply MARVELOUS!!

    Keep up the good work,
    Linda Laird

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