I finally finished a wedding gift I dreamed up for my cousin Kelley and her husband Paul — almost six months after they tied the knot. You have a year to give a gift, right? Also, the ferns in her hair and the pearl-studded pins? So incredibly gorgeous.
Theirs was the amazing Hood River wedding (read about our adventures that week here) and I knew I wanted to create something special for them. Kelley and Paul raise honeybees and love the outdoors, so I decided to make them a quilted table runner meant to look like their initials carved in a birch tree, with some honeycomb-style hexagons pieced and quilted on top.
With a newborn, I haven’t had a ton of hands-free time. Joe gave me the girl-you’re-crazy look when I started this, but I was possessed by the idea. I’m so happy it turned out like I envisioned!
I freehanded most of it, but for the letters inside I printed a font I liked and copied it onto the fabric with disappearing ink that I stitched over. I also traced a heart design and then stitched over that.
The hexagons were all cut after being traced from a quilting template. Sewing hexagons together is kind of tricky!
My heart is full of joy for this dynamic duo!
On wedding eve, the women in our family traveled to an organic flower farm to assemble bouquets, boutineers and fresh-cut table flowers for my cousin’s ceremony and reception.
My cousin Kelley is a total earth goddess and this seemed like the perfect way for us to celebrate and prepare for the Big Day with her.
Armed with some boxed wine, red solo cups, clippers and floral tape, we got to work.
Wendy, the owner, even showed me how to prepare a real boutineers — something I attempted as an amateur for past fundraising events.
Before long, the group had created cheerful Mason jar bouquets ready to grace the tables the following day.
The wedding the next day was at Mt. Hood Organic Farms which is not only the most beautiful venue I’ve ever seen, but the prettiest one I could imagine. Emmett kept my hands full, so I didn’t get nearly as many photos as I would have otherwise taken, but here’s a family shot in the shadow of Mt. Hood. This was the view from our dinner table!
Kelley grew up in Santa Barbara, California, but was always a free spirit whose sense of adventure I admired and emulated. She went to college at Notre Dame and I feel so lucky she lived close by during those years. I’m thrilled her husband is an outdoorsy Midwestern guy from Minneapolis; hopefully there will be a group Boundary Waters trip in the future!
I know you all love my Grandpa stories, and since it was just Veterans Day, I thought it would be sweet to post this.
R.E. Kelley — I’ll need to add my grandma’s photo from their wedding day to this post, too!
My mom found a newspaper clipping from a letter my grandpa wrote into the Santa Barbara newspaper (I think) about 10 years ago and typed it out because she thought it might be fun to share:
Our wedding day, March 2, 1946 was a day never to be forgotten. After receiving a telegram from the Navy ordering me back to the ship in two days instead of 10, I spent most of the evening at the reception trying to determine if these orders were official or my friend’s idea of a prank.
They were official. Alternate honeymoon plans were made. A luxury hotel on Chicago’s lakefront had a suite available (at $11.50 / night) However, what awaited us that evening was not the honeymoon suite, but a smoke-filled conference room with 100 chairs stacked against the wall. Room service was kind enough to deliver a bed and chest.
Wedding plans made hastily in three weeks are fuel for fond memories. At the rehearsal, the priest asked my bride-to-be and me separately who was going to be the best man. I told him one name, she another, when in fact, a third person actually did the honors. We signed our marriage license not realizing it was dated incorrectly.
Regardless of this confusion, the wedding and marriage was a success as five children and 10 grandchildren will attest. My wife passed away 10 months prior to our 50th wedding anniversary, but she will always be with us.