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The Patchwork

August 22, 2011

At our wedding, we had a different sort of guestbook.

We put together a table of three vintage typewriters where people could type on tea and coffee-dyed muslin squares for our guestbook. We asked them to tell us something we should remember 25 years from now. Then they were to clothespin them to the clothesline we ran around the canopy.

Two of the typewriters were donated to us through Milwaukee Freecycle, and another was a family heirloom. These typewriters came to us in premium condition –all we had to do was have them cleaned up at a local typewriter repair shop (harder to find these days!) We balked for a bit on the cost of cleaning them: did we really need to pay this extra money? But we decided we really liked the idea, and went ahead with it.

We cut the muslin into ~6″ squares, dyed them in a tea solution (I brewed cheap assam tea from a local Indian grocery) for varying times (to get a different shade of vintagey brown in order to make a quilt more interesting) and then taped them (with this japanese masking tape) to 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper. Attaching the muslin to the paper facilitated winding into the typewriters by giving the typewriter more to “catch”.  Muslin takes typing ink very well, but we’re planning on spraying them with a fixative now too so that we can ensure that they don’t bleed or fade.

And it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the wedding, and the element for which we are most grateful.  The mistakes are even awesome. Reading those muslin squares after we returned home was tear-inducing and laugh provoking. We love every one of them.

The goal is that, afterwards, we would have them made into a quilt. We expect that we will affix the square onto another, larger piece square of fabric in order to not lose any of the space of the muslin square.

This blog, in fact, is named from one of those quilt squares, and we used it as the header. Big Mountainous Love.  It really fit the experience all around.

We’re going to be slowly posting photos of the muslin squares here, and we’ll tag it The Patchwork.

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