An Anniversary Table Topper


I wanted to make a table topper for my youngest daughter’s 17th wedding anniversary.  Over the past 17 years, I’ve used the picture of the bride and groom many times.  This time, I wanted to use just the picture of the bride and found the perfect block on crafty.com – an Inverted Star.

This block in a 12-inch size gave me the large center portion to insert a picture of my daughter as a bride printed on  June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets.


For the four center blocks I wanted to use a picture of her bouquet and my oldest daughter was able to place the bouquet on a doily and maroon background  to give the flowers the right design elements.  She worked with both pictures to make them perfect for this piece.


I used my daughter’s wedding colors of white and burgundy in this topper and quilted with simple machine stitching.   I had made the dresses for the wedding for the bride, the maid of honor (my oldest daughter) and for me as the mother of the bride. The label includes the remaining small scraps of fabric from each of our dresses.

I was able to buy an Ackfeld 12×14 single scroll stand at a recent quilt show to complete the gift.

My son-in-law could care less about quilts and always receives a check for his gift.  My daughter was very pleased with the table topper when I gave it to her on Sunday, October 14.

A 15th Anniversary Quilt

My youngest daughter and her husband celebrated their 15th anniversary on October 14.  As a gift from me, my daughter requested an animal print quilt to use in their family room.  She loves all things animal-print.

She went to the store with me to pick out as many different prints as possible – many of them fat quarters – plus some wild pink zebra fleece for the backing and some equally wild pink for the borders.

Because I was using so many fat quarters, I made the blocks 8-1/2 inches square with black sashing.  Pink was used for cornerstones, the border and as part of four border corner blocks.

Since the piecing was so easy, the quilt was very quick to put together.  The fleece as backing/batting required only minimal machine quilting.  My daughter asked for a special size so the quilt would fit well on their futon – it measures 54×74 inches.

The label includes a picture of my daughter and one of her favorite animal-print purses.

I like the idea of labels showing what the maker and/or recipient looked like at the time the quilt was made.  It should be fun for her kids to look at many years from now – if it lasts that long!  With two kids, two cats and a dog sharing the quilt in the family room, I may need to make another one for the 16th anniversary.


Johnny and Martha – 1933

Johnny and Martha

They stand in sepia tone, his arm around her waist,

An inscription penciled on the border – “Johnny and Martha, 1933”

The grandchildren laugh and say they look like Bonnie and Clyde,

Reminiscent of depression-era robbers from an old movie.

They’re right – his darkly handsome face glowers at the camera,

She looks stern with her ash blonde hair tucked under a cloche.

They didn’t have the adventures of their look-alikes,

They only struggled to raise their family in hard times

And one day showed old snapshots to their grandchildren.

Honorable mention, 1997 Ohio Poetry Day Contest

Today, March 9, 2010, would have been the 78th wedding anniversary of my parents, Johnny and Martha.

They were married in 1932 in the middle of the Great Depression by a justice of the peace with only their parents in attendance – Mother was 15 and Daddy was 19.  In spite of their young age, they were always loving, strict, conscientious parents to my little sister and me.

Daddy passed away in 1978 and Mother, in 1991.


14th Anniversary Quilt

My youngest daughter was born in 1970 and loves all things from that era – music, art, fabric, home decor.  We were in a quilt shop and she spied this book cover showing a quilt with a 70s look, something I’ve never done in seven years of quilting.

I told her I would make it for her as a 14th wedding anniversary gift.  I bought the book, she picked out all of the fabric, and I set about making the quilt.  The instructions called for fusible web and stitching down the edges with a zigzag stitch.  In my experience, this technique has been OK for wall hangings that don’t get much wear but this quilt was going to be in a family room with two kids, two cats and a very large dog named Frank.

The quilt had to stand up to a lot.

I traced the templates from the book but used them only as a placement guide, making separate templates for the petals.  I used a technique I had learned from Eleanor Burns’ Quilt-in-a-Day TV shows and books, using non-woven interfacing.  The template is placed on the interfacing and a line drawn around it.  Allowing for 1/4″ seams, the interfacing piece is cut out along with a piece of fabric.  Having a fabric piece and an interfacing piece right sides together, the piece is machine sewn on the drawn line. Then a slit is cut in the interfacing and the piece is turned and pressed.  This gives a nice edge to the applique and it can be machine-stitched onto the background fabric.  Admittedly, with 20 separate petals for each of 16 blocks, this added extra time to the project but I think it made a much sturdier quilt.

My daughter wanted the quilt to be longer than the pattern and I added some extra borders for this.

Quilting was very simple stitch-in-the-ditch with outline stitching around the petals.  She couldn’t find a cotton backing that fit the 70s mode, so she chose bright Snoopy fleece which added extra warmth.  I scanned one piece of the background fabric so I could use it as part of the label, printed from the computer onto fabric and hand-stitched onto the back of the quilt.

I knew my son-in-law didn’t share the love of 70s stuff, so I gave him a check instead, but my daughter and her menagerie love the new quilt, especially Frank.