Speak, Memory

13 April 2020 to 13 August 2020
Modern double wedding ring variant
Level of completion: 
Completed and given away

The shoemaker's children are, invariably, barefoot - and Noah had lived with a quilter for for years without ever getting a quilt of his own. I thought of it as a belated wedding present, of sorts, so I opted to do a different variation on a double wedding ring quilt. Unusual marriages deserve unusual quilts, after all. 

This thing turned out to be a beast. I went through my entire quilt stash, and tried to find any fabric that had personal meaning to Noah or me, and added it to the pile. Fabrics to represent our trips: China, Cuba, Morocco. Doctor Who fabrics. Comic books and Liberty of London. Old pajamas. Fabrics bought in Australia. A piece of my college curtains. Amsterdam. Leftover pieces from quilt backs. Portland-specific fabrics. Pin-up girls and vintage Star Wars bedsheets. Lastly, after a great deal of hunting, a map fabric of the globe, with enough yardage that we could cut pieces for each continent.

It's equally a wedding gift to Noah, and the story of us.

I splurged on the quilt backing: Liberty of London solids (so tactile) with the simplest of designs; a set of three stars. The back is busy and bright; whenever I want a quieter, subtler presentation, I can turn the quilt over and display the stars.

The three stars for the back of the wedding quilt: two eight-pointed stars surrounding a twelve-pointed star. A gentle callback to my love of geometry.Stars in progress

Simplicity. Three stars.Speak, Memory: reverse

This thing was a beast to put together; I had a lot of trouble getting the vertices to line up the way I wanted, so I hand-finished each of the vertices to ensure they met neatly and evenly. As Noah put it: "You'll have to look at it every day; make sure you'll be happy with it."

While binding the quilt, I caught a photo of the quilting, which also shows off the carefully-matched vertices of the inner pieces of each unit. If you're going to do a pattern like this, make your points match.Closeup, vertices

The quilt resisted naming for a long time, until a casual conversation in the living room reminded me of Noah's long and tangled history with the literary output of Vladimir Nabokov. (Be forewarned: should you ask him about Nabokov over dinner, there is no five-minute version of this story.) It felt appropriate in some way to name it for Nabokov's memoirs, adding another layer to Noah's feelings and opinions about Nabokov. Our memories, our wedding quilt.

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