Wedding Quilt Chuppah

Quilty Ladies wedding quilt

The biggest gift we were given for our wedding was the gift of a handmade quilt that we used as a chuppah from my mom and her Quilty Ladies – from L to R  – Nancy, Judy, Ann, Mom, Miyoko, and Susie. An untold number of stitches done with love over an untold number of hours combined to create a stunning heirloom gift that we are so very honored to have.

handmade quilt chuppah

What is a chuppah, some of you might be asking? In our ceremony we explained: “In the Jewish tradition, marriages take place under a chuppah. A chuppah represents a home. Just as the chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one’s guests – that’s all of you, our family, friends, and loved ones. This symbolic home lacks furnishings to remind us that a home is the family, not the belongings, within it.”

wedding quilt chuppah

“For our chuppah, we had a quilt made for us using linens from all branches of our family trees. They were sewn together, symbolizing the unification of many into the one fabric of our lives together. The quilt was made by friends and family signifying the warmth and support of family and friends in building a life together. It is also an object of beauty and comfort, symbolizing the beauty and comfort that we bring into each other’s lives. ”

heirloom linens in quilt heart

With help from my mom and Adam’s mom, I collected linens from all four of the branches of our family tree. My mom pieced them into a heart to sew to the back of the finished quilt. I had initially wanted them pieced into the blocks on the front of the quilt, but the Quilty Ladies were concerned that the older linens wouldn’t be strong enough (and they are the experts).

heart applique on wedding quilt

Ann, (namesake of my Queen Ann’s Lace Gloves) designed the quilt and coordinated the efforts of the Susie, Judy, and Miyoko in stitching the applique for the quilt. Ann stitched the center block adapted from a wreath in Deborah Kemball’s Beautiful Botanicals.

A applique wedding quilt

The letters are from Janice Vain’s Applique and Embroidery Fundamentals.

quilting and applique flowers

The borders were inspired by Sharon Pederson’s Rose of Sharon book.

needle turn applique flowers

Look at this stitching. Isn’t it phenomenal? I mean you can’t even see the stitches on the needle turn applique!

border quilt freehand

My mom did all of the quilting in the quilt. She did it all freehand on her longarm and borrowed floral motifs from the applique as well as her own feathers, leaves, and swirls.

heart freehand machine embroidery

wedding quilt label

Nancy doesn’t applique, so she put her phenomenal embroidery skills to work making the quilt label. That “Island Bouquet” text at the top of the label that looks so perfect? That’s embroidered! As is the bouquet and the little flowers around the edge. Labeling quilts is such an important way to honor their creators and ensure that their history is passed along with them, so having such a beautiful label feels quite apt.

Comments 17

  1. Oh man, this is just amazing! I am not into quilts at all, but what a crafts(wo)manship! I can’t believe your mom did the quilting freehand. This will be one handed down for generations, for sure!

  2. Erin, this quilt is a masterpiece! WOW. I’m really overwhelmed at the level of detail and all the love they put into this very special gift. No joke, I almost cried while reading this post! Hopefully it will be passed down for many generations to come. Enjoy it in happiness and good health. :)

  3. Oh so lovely! All of that handiwork must have taken ages. For my wedding I used a tablecloth that my great grandmother made with beautiful cross-stitched flowers all around the edge. I didn’t get to keep it though -the tablecloth went back to my aunt!

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      The tablecloth that you used sounds lovely, and how wonderful that your great grandmother made it! One of the reasons we asked for the quilt is that we wouldn’t have to give it back to anyone else after we used it!

  4. OMG that quilt is beautiful. Your mother does incredible longarm quilting. I have a longarm machine and I can tell you, that is no easy feat. Beautiful all the way around. Lucky you! :-)

  5. This quilt is absolutely stunning! The colors, the handwork, the linens from all four branches of your family tree–WOW! THANKS so much for sharing! (I’m sure the pictures don’t do it justice) The machine quilting just makes this quilt look exquisite! What precious memories for your wedding and for future generations! (was glad you showed the quilt label!) Thank you for sharing the meaning of Chuppah & Abraham. I have studied the Old Testament for years and I am reminded that Abraham entertained GOD — This is a good reminder for all of us to leave our homes open for hospitality! Sometimes we get sooooo busy, that we don’t have time for each other! Shalom!

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  6. Wow! What an incredibly beautiful & thoughtful gift! You can tell from the detail how much those wonderful women love you – you’re totally lucky to have them in your life.

  7. Erin,
    How was the quilt attached to the chuppah frame? It looks as if there is fabric attached underneath, with the quilt just arranged on top.

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      We laid a white sheet on top of the chuppah frame so that there was no chance of the metal damaging our quilt. Then we laid the quilt on top. The sheet may have been attached somehow (I don’t remember), but the quilt wasn’t.

  8. So beautiful, my friend is a quilter and I would love for her to make one for my daughters wedding. What was used to attach to the chip paper?

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