11/28/12

Holiday quilts

Yesterday’s post was about a holiday quilt that didn’t come out very “holiday-ish”.  Today’s post is about one that did. 

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This quilt always puts me in a holiday mood, with all of it’s themed blocks and bits and pieces that pull it together.  My mentor bought the quilt kit and made it, and Rob and I fell in love with it.  So, in 2009, I borrowed the patterns and photographed her quilt and I reproduced it.  Right down to the quilting. 

We raided her stash and my stash (which didn’t have many neutrals at the time) and I created this. 

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Every block had a lot of FUN in it.  Picking out fabrics, learning how to machine applique and how to do a blanket stitch around every piece of applique. 

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This was the first Santa block.  Definitely a great one, but  not the fave.

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Love the stuffed bunny. 

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Another Santa and a snowman.  This was the first applique I’d ever done that extended beyond the background fabric and into the adjoining divider blocks. 

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These have the most embellishment, with wooden buttons as the axles in the wagon wheels and small gold bells on the christmas tree.  The original kit came with small red bells, but I couldn’t find those and went with the gold instead.  It made little difference.  It’s still a fun, decorated tree.  And, it was fun to piece the tree before I cut it out for applique.

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A crazy angel and a house.  The blue dots on the angels wings were supposed to be holes cut in the wing, exposing the background.  But, I couldn’t get that bit of reverse applique to work for me, so I appliqued the blue on top of the wings instead.  That worked much better and you can hardly tell the difference.

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The nutcracker was supposed to have pieced teeth in narrow strips of black and white.  I made that mouth and made that mouth and threw them all out and substituted just a piece of fabric in.  You wouldn’t know if I hadn’t told you. 

My favorite blocks are the last two.  The headless snowman always makes me smile and the sleeping Santa gives me a laugh.  I was definitely tired after I whipped this out in just a couple of months. 

The first year, we hung it as a flimsy, just enjoying the applique.  The second year, I quilted it and now it hangs as a completed piece.  I made this in 2009 and 2010.  

The quilting is very simple, mostly some wind in the sky colored backgrounds and a LOT of ditch work around all the pieced sections and around each piece of applique.  Around the outer border, there is a string of christmas tree lights quilted in, complete with the male and female plug ends.  And, there is not one piece of holiday themed fabric in the quilt.  I really like doing that.  A quilt doesn’t actually need a holiday fabric to have a holiday feel.

There is not one thing original to me in this quilt.  For me, it was important to reproduce a few quilts, just to help me get the hang of it.  And, without worrying about the details, I was able to focus on the skills.  At the same time that I was making this, I was making some really ugly quilting mistakes.  But, the ones that I reproduced really taught me a lot that I can use now to make better color and quilting choices.  And, it proves that not every quilt has to be overquilted.

Sydney’s team won their game last night…by a lot.  The game went quick and I was home early.  We worked this one out that I would go to the game, which was just 15 minutes from my office and Rob would come home and take care of the dogs.  He works an hour in the opposite direction.  Later, there’s a game that is close to where he works and it would take me two hours to get there in traffic, so he’ll attend that one alone.  That way, we can have some support at both those games, without it even feeling inconvenient.  Life is like that.  Sometimes.

Be well and have a great Wednesday.  Day after tomorrow is the second Easy Street clue.  I can hardly wait!  I love a mystery.  Especially a Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Especially now, during what is for most people a very stressful time.  This is a truly great distraction that is just for me and about me and lets me focus on me. 

Yeah, I’m self-centered.  What of it?

Lane

10 comments:

Laura said...

I love your Christmas quilt!!!

Andra Gayle said...

Lovely! I particularly like the Nutcracker!

Eat Sleep Quilt said...

I like your Christmas quilt, I'm a fan of anything with a scrappy look. I'm making a full-size quilt for my bed that has all kinds of blocks that I like; I'll connect them together with fill-ins.

Kath said...

That quilt was a labour of love, no doubt about it. I was interested that you mentioned ditchwork.
I bought a ditch foot, which helps, but it's so hard pushing and squeezing the quilt, under back and forth, in order to keep changing stitching direction. Any tips Lane?

Cynthia Landrie said...

Beautiful quilt! I think it is extra special that you got fabric from someone else too. The quilt will always have a lot of memories associated with it.
Congrat to Sydney!

Mary said...

Love the headless snowman, just makes me smile looking at it. Not a christmas celebrant so don't feel the drive to make a themed quilt, but maybe a snowman one.

Anonymous said...

Love this quilt! Do you know the name of the pattern? I'd love to buy it myself.
-Suzanne

Linda said...

Your Christmas quilt is just beautiful!! It makes a great Christmas tradition.
Congratulations to Sydney on her game!

Cheryl Fogg said...

I have read your blog from the start and remember your posts about making this quilt, especially the nutcracker's teeth issues. I absolutley love this quilt and your fabric choices. Do you remember the name of the quilt kit? Or where I might find the pattern?

Elizabeth said...

I love this Christmas quilt! So cute! It makes me want to make one.

Yesterday I found out that the Christmas party for our bowling league is next Wednesday and we're supposed to bring a gift. So I started thinking of what I could whip up quickly and as I'd looked at the photos of your quilt before I went bowling, a small table topper in this style came to mind -- fabrics in reds and greens (I don't really have holiday fabrics ;) to make a checkerboard border around a center block of machine appliqued holly. I love it when inspiration strikes. Now the only challenge is fitting it in.

Sew many amazing projects . . . sew little time.

xo -E