August 17, 2013

Twenty-four years ago this December, a little blond girl in a pink dress walked into my Kindergarten class, a few months into the school year. She and her family had just moved to Calgary from Toronto. I complimented her on her awesome dress, we became best friends, and this past Saturday, she married the nicest boy in the world, in her parents’ beautiful backyard in Vancover.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding is just a shitty Julia Roberts movie, but my best friend’s wedding was glorious. There were paper flowers, a huge glass dispenser full of Pimm’s Cup, a choose-your-own-topping macaroni and cheese station, a live performance of Classical Gas by Mason Williams himself, a Menchie’s frozen yogurt and topping bar, homemade granola favours, and so much more. There was the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen, and a groom’s face who I couldn’t even look at during the ceremony for fear of sobbing like a crazy lady. There was a bit of comic relief when her dad almost bailed while walking her down the aisle, but it broke the ice and everyone laughed.

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I thought about giving Liz and Aaron a rice cooker, the same one we have that we use practically every day, but that just seemed so impersonal. Then I saw this gorgeous four-square quilt on the Purl Bee blog, and knew immediately that this was the quilt for the happy couple. I love everything about this pattern — the beautiful simplicity of it, how modern and asymmetrical and yet still timeless it looks, how quickly it came together.

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This quilt was made with love. I know that sounds unbearably cheesy, but it’s true. While I was working on it, I just kept reliving memories from the past two and a half decades — us at 8, sneaking out to Mac’s convenience stores on our bikes; at 12, writing a batshit-crazy thing called The Story of the Backstreet Jedis and then HANDING IT PERSONALLY TO THE BACKSTREET BOYS; at 15, dying my hair in the middle of the night — we were aiming for red streaks, but left the bleach on too long and the dye on not long enough, resulting in horrible orange chunks that remained in my hair for the next several years; at 18, when we left both left for university and I was convinced our friendship was over; at 20, when we travelled around Europe for six months, making some very stupid decisions and also some very good ones, getting into cars with strangers and changing our minds about where to go on a whim, making hasty exits from hostels where we’d shamed ourselves and eating gelato every single day in Italy; at 22, when my dad died suddenly and she came out to Calgary for the funeral, and I just sort of stared at her, bewildered; at 26, when she walked down a long path into a beautiful garden, just before I married Mark, and immediately after the ceremony she shoved a glass of white wine into my hand, knowing I needed it; at 28, watching her try on wedding dresses and eating our way through Seattle. My whole life is shaped by her, my sense of humour most of all, and I tried to put all of that into this quilt. I hope that shone through.

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