Eph + Eph, or How to Make A Chuppah

>> Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sometimes you show up to graduate school and find out that another cohort-mate went to your alma mater, albeit 6 years after you did. Then you bond over purple cows, and become friends and office-mates. You meet his partner (who also attended your alma mater), who eventually moves to town, and you hang out some more. Eventually they get engaged and you offer to make their chuppah (wedding canopy) and, finally, about 4 months before the wedding, it's time to make it. So, how to make your friends a chuppah, in 10 easy steps.

1. Have friends who also have thoughts about design. A&Y looked through my blog and some flickr groups and we met to discuss what they liked and found compelling -- something modern, something with purples and blues, and something containing both regularity and surprise. I suggested a modern, random half-square triangle design, and they agreed -- provided they could choose the colors.

2. Ideally your friends have an eye for color too. We took a field trip to Pink Castle Fabrics, back when it was still in Brenda and Jason's basement. There they learned that fabric is mesmerizing and captivating and makes decision-making difficult. They found out that there are a lot of shades of blue and gray and yellow and white (and many fewer of purple). But they persevered and selected a fabulous stack o' fabric which consisted of: white, lake, marine {more aqua-blue than slate-blue in real life}, regal {more purple-y than it looks on the screen or in pictures}, charcoal, and yellow. I confess I was a little unsure of the lake blue at first, wondering if it was too pale, but it worked well.

3. Start cutting (6" strips, cut into 6" squares). I started cutting at a crafty meet-up, where Rae dubbed the bundle of solids, "vestment-like."  Makes a lot of sense for a wedding canopy!

4. Sew: I divvied up the squares into factorial-like piles and started sewing. Somewhere along the way, my arithmetic went awry and as I finished -- or so I thought -- trimming the squares (down to 5 5/8"), I realized I needed about 18 more squares. At which point I grabbed some fabric, cut some squares, and sewed them together, without much thought as to the precise number of squares per color.

5. Iron for awhile. Consider vacuuming the "design floor." Get all determined and sweep and vacuum said floor. Start laying out squares. Move around as seems wise, or possibly because you step on some squares and mess up the order.

6. Maintain some semblance of order. As you may be able to see, I made myself little tags (right bottom) to keep the rows in order. For what may have been the first time ever, I did not mess up the order and need to unpick and resew. That might never ever happen again. But I think it's a strong endorsement of tagging rows in some fashion (mine are bits of fabrics with numbers written on them -- very high tech!).

7. Press seams for some time. Catch up on the season finales of NCIS, NCIS-LA, Castle, and whatever other shows you like.

8. Baste. I used a white flannel sheet as batting and a white cotton sheet as backing. I basted it over my ironing board, which I find is the best way to keep everything aligned, tight (I iron the layers as I pin baste, thereby smoothing out any wrinkles).

9. Quilt. I opted for what I like to think of as a lattice-like curved grid (a technical term to be sure). On the top I used white thread, and on the back I used white, purple, and yellow (purple and yellow being ze college colors and all).

10. Bind (in Kona Regal) and admire your handiwork. Also revel in finishing 2 weeks before the wedding and one week before your friends need the chuppah.

Enjoy watching two lovely people get married. Celebrate with them, think lovely thoughts about the ceremony (sunburn notwithstanding), take lots of pictures, play with fun filters, and wonder why capturing the gorgeous deep purple is so so hard.


Quilting Corner June 11, 2013 at 1:15 AM  

You did a wonderful job. Where was the wedding?

Kat June 11, 2013 at 8:04 AM  

Beautiful! Way to go! I didn't know about this tradition, but it really is lovely.

Sandi June 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM  

I love the idea of a couple being married under such a beautiful, personal, handmade item. Great work!

Esch House Quilts June 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM  

Beautiful work, Ronit! The chuppah just glows in that top picture - love it!

Karissa June 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM  

Aww! This is all kinds of lovely and sweet! :)

~Michelle~ June 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM  

So awesome - and the pictures are fantastic too :)

Rossie June 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM  

Fantastic looking thing, that!

Frances Meredith June 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM  

What a wonderfully special project

Mrs. D June 15, 2013 at 2:27 AM  

A quilted chuppah, who'd have thought??!! Well, you, obviously, but you must be one of the few. I love, love, love this.

Sara June 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM  

That's a fantastic chuppah! Very creative.

liz June 15, 2013 at 11:48 PM  

I love everything about your post! May your friends be very happy!

Unknown June 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM  

What lovely colours. I hope it was a hit with the wedding couple.

Robin July 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM  

As the mother of the "other" groom, I want you to know that one of my favorite moments of the day was standing under the chuppah and looking up. Now, some people might say it was because I was in the shade but truly it was seeing those bright, beautiful colors come to life as the sun shone down. It was magical! Ronit,thank you so much for all your artistry, craftsmanship and care.

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