Friday, October 25, 2013

Photo Gallery Throw

My cousin got married this past Sunday.

Thanks to BusyBean's inspiration, this quilt was my aunt's request for me to make as a wedding gift for my cousin from his parents. Excited to work on something kinda modern, I found the writeup of the original designer, from the blue chair, that indicated she took inspiration from a photo gallery mosaic. She has a blog post with other's quilts using this idea, too. She also gave me permission to use her concept. My sizing needed to be different though based on my aunt's request...a couch throw ...I like to call it a cuddle quilt! So, I thought about 72" x 72".

First I needed to figure out the fabric to use. Joe and Janae got engaged in Paris.

When I found this focus fabric, I thought it would be perfect and used that as my palette to pull mostly geometric prints and a few that have special meaning based on their interests, work, or personalities. Specifically --old cameras (turned out it was an important part to the theme in their wedding), data --Joe worked with lots of data on a large health study while he was in school, chalk writings--Janae has a degree in Art Therapy, landscape elements often seen in Paris (rocks and grey bricks), time pieces (a his and hers based on how I fussy cut the same fabric), French news headlines, US news headlines that talk about love and being YOU, several fabric just kept with the 'round' object theme. Always fun for me to create extra meaning and symbolism within the fabric selection. This was close to the end of the narrowing down of fabrics....there would be a bit more narrowing in the process.

I thought maybe I could put images of the fabrics into Picaso and make a collage, but then it wouldn't be so random on the edges. My aunt really liked that aspect, so I roughly created the shapes in EQ7 as a 'custom' layout, but struggled with sizing it to the lap size she requested. When I read that it was typical photo sizes, that gave me some thoughts on smaller dimensions and locked in the sizes. Then I created an Excel spreadsheet with enough cells to represent half inch increments. Darkening the shapes, I could then easily identify the sashing sizes needed between each one. If I didn't like a spacing, I could move the entire shape easily in Excel.

I printed the layout from Excel and drew ending lines for each section of sashing that would make sense to piece so that I minimized my partial seams. There were still quite a few, but it ended up going together quite easily once I had this plan. I could also easily cut the sashing pieces exactly because of the Excel layout. On the computer screen I could easily highlight the sashing section and know how many cells were the 'finished' size, and then just add the half inch in each direction for seam allowances.

Here it is before quilting.

I had found the panto "April in Paris" at and thought it would be very appropriate for this quilt.

And here it is all bound up.

The happy couple on their wedding day! The yellow leaves made a beautiful backdrop to the yellow accent used in the wedding colors.

The big reveal.

Here is a full shot of the quilt, hanging off our deck.


Thank you for stopping by on Amy's Creative Side -- Blogger Quilt Festival. Your nomination is greatly appreciated. Before clicking to nominate, copy the URL you are at and use that to paste into the nominate linky. Thanks!!


  1. Lucky couple to get engaged in Paris and have a Paris themed Quilt by YOU!

  2. visiting from Quilt Fest, beautiful story, so romantic, Paris, love, proposal, marriage. I love the quilt, it's layout, (and fabric) I was hoping there was pattern.

  3. Thank you for sharing your design process on this one! Beautiful job of not only design but really matching to the couple and what's important to them.

    PS - I love that you audition fabrics on the stairs. :-)

  4. Very interesting process. Thanks for sharing it. The quilt is lovely and they look very pleased :)

  5. What a great interpretation of this! I love the pops of red with the other prints. I'm so glad it worked for you!

  6. Your quilt is beautiful! I love how you went with something important to the couple!

  7. Beautiful! I didn't realize the focus fabric was so large until I saw it on the quilt. Super special quilt. I will email you tomorrow - I'm not trying to ignore you! :)

  8. Oh! You found perfect fabrics for their quilt! It's wonderful. :)

  9. What a perfect gift! Love the quilt and love the fabrics :) Thanks for sharing!

  10. Beautiful quilt. I love the fabrics and your design process.