Quilted Table Runner is Unique Wedding Gift to a Chinese Couple

Customized Quilted Table Runner

The panels include pictures special to the bride and groom.
The panels include pictures special to the bride and groom. | Source


I made a gift for a couple living in China. A friend will carry it in his luggage when he travels there for the nuptials.

I wanted to give them something meaningful, but also have it be small, lightweight, and easy to transport. I decided to make a table runner for them.

The quilt in progress.
The quilt in progress. | Source

Chinese People are Diverse

China is so huge. If you watched the summer Olympics in 2008 hosted by China, the opening ceremonies educated the world about the ethnic groups contained in its vast nation. It officially recognizes 52 cultures. An interesting twist in my desire to honor and respect this couple comes from, the fact that the bride and groom are from the same province but from different ethnic groups.

The bride is Naxi (pronounced GNAW- she.) The groom is Bai (pronounced BY.) And, I am east coast American. What a mix! to my advantage, the bride speaks, reads, and writes English, so when I send the gift, I will also send a letter explaining the American folk quilt elements, and also describing what I tried to do to honor them as individuals and as a couple.

My Letter to the Couple


Dear Wenqiong and Li Yuanqi,

I am very honored that you invited me to your wedding. Although I cannot be there, much love and good wishes come to you from me.

I have made something for your home. It is called a Table Runner. In America, this fancy cloth is sometimes laid in the center of the dining table to make it look pretty. I made this especially for you to show the good things about Yunnan Province in the way that common American people have made quilts.

A quilt is made from many pieces of different cloth put together to make pictures or pleasing shapes. Many times the pieces are triangles or squares. You can see these shapes in the borders going around the three pictures.

I liked choosing special colors for the Table Runner. I know that red is a very auspicious color and a sign of good things for the Chinese, the Naxi, and the Bai people. That is why there is red around the outside and in the border pieces. Then, the Bai people like white, so I have some white. Because Yunnan Province is a land of natural ecological treasures, I wanted to include green for the trees and plants.

In America, many times a cloth with both red and green is connected to our Christian holiday of Christmas. So, the plants and pictures in the red and green picture cloth are coincidentally Christmas ones. I think that is a good thing for the Table Runner – to remind you that you have American friends who care for you.

I hope you can tell that the picture with a bird is a red-crowned crane – Li Yuanqi’s favorite bird. It is very noble and flying freely.

The picture on the other side is a tree. It is the kind which can live in the mountains and stays green all year. That is for the beauty of nature which you both enjoy in your homeland.

In the middle is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the lake. I know it is sacred for Lily. Maybe it is also sacred to Li Yuanqi. It looks like a protecting spirit which will guard you and watch over you in your new life as a married couple.

If you like the Table Runner for decorating your table, please know that it should be easy to wash. I choose fabrics which do not need fancy care.

I look forward to hearing stories about the wedding.

Much regard and love,

Maren

Each Quilt Panel Explained

The red-crowned crane is a revered bird for the Bai people and the groom especially likes it.
The red-crowned crane is a revered bird for the Bai people and the groom especially likes it. | Source
The bride grew up in an unspoiled section of southwestern China.  She now owns a company which takes Chinese and international visitors to the wonders of her province.  The tree stands for all the natural beauty of their homeland.
The bride grew up in an unspoiled section of southwestern China. She now owns a company which takes Chinese and international visitors to the wonders of her province. The tree stands for all the natural beauty of their homeland. | Source
This is a simplified depiction of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and lake in front of it.  This is near the couple's home.
This is a simplified depiction of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and lake in front of it. This is near the couple's home. | Source

Another View of the Table Runner

This wedding gift honors the couple and reminds them of their American friends.
This wedding gift honors the couple and reminds them of their American friends. | Source

Photos and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.

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Comments 5 comments

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from Maryland

Delightful, thoughtful and really cool. Oh, how I wish I were patient enough to sew! Vote up & awesome.


gingerka profile image

gingerka 4 years ago from Colorado

Nice job!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

@The Dirt Farmer - thanks for your kind words. I did put a lot of thought into it.

@gingerka - thank you. I am glad that folk quilting can tolerate a few lines that do not meet. It adds to the folksiness, I think.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thanks for sharing this story with us! Giving unique homemade gifts is always great for weddings.


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

RandomCreative, thanks. Unique gifts certainly come from the heart.

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