As the weather gets nicer, more and more invitations start pouring in for events that we are sure to attend. The next time you get an invitation for a graduation party, a family reunion, a class reunion, a wedding, a birthday party or an anniversary celebration ..... think quilts!!!

Whenever we celebrate a special occasion, we like to memorialize the events. Most of us take a lot of pictures, some of us even make very special scrapbooks ( I always intend to! ). We might even don a t-shirt printed especially for our special day. I love quilts. I think quilts. I make quilts. Do you see a trend?

I love signature and/or photo quilts. OK, I admit, I love all quilts! I want to focus on signature, photo or combination quilts now. These quilts are very versatile. You can frame them, hang them on a wall, throw them over the back of your couch, display them on your favorite quilt rack or hide them in a closet then display them at the next event. Whatever you choose, they are a wonderful documentation of events and fabulous conversation pieces. You can even use them to warm up on a cold winter night --- try doing that with your fancy scrapbook :)

To get started, you need to make some decisions:
Will you make a signature quilt? To make a signature quilt you will want to choose a light solid or nearly solid fabric for the signature blocks. You will need permanent, non-bleeding fabric markers for people to write with. Each guest will write on a fabric piece leaving their words of wisdom, thoughts on life, a simple sketch or just their signature. Remind them to stay more than 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric for the seam allowance. HINT --- place the fabric on a piece of oatmeal paper to keep it from sliding around while you write!

Will you make a photo quilt? To make a photo quilt, you go to the event and take lots of photos!!! If you take the photos with a digital camera you can easily print them from your computer directly on to fabric using your inkjet printer. My favorite product is Printed Treasures, a paper backed fabric made for this purpose. If you do not have a digital camera, you can scan your photos into the computer and then print them out.

Will you make a combination quilt? There are so many combinations to choose from. Here are some ideas...Put a wedding photo of the newlyweds in the center of the quilt and place signature blocks from all of the wedding guests in the quilt surrounding the photo. Take a photo of people at a reunion and ask them to sign the photo after you have printed it on fabric. Take photos at the event, ask the guests to also make a signature block and place them together in the quilt. Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.

Will you use a traditional quilt pattern or create one of your own? While choosing your pattern remember that you want the photos and the signature blocks to get most of the attention.

Don't forget to identify the occasion. Make a hand written or embroidered square or label identifying the occasion and the date.

These quilts are a lot of fun to make and will be treasured for many years to come.

I would love for you to post pictures of your creations!

Happy Quilting!
Laurel

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