Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I decorate with quilts (!) all year but especially at Christmas.

A wonderful, lucky find at a Trade Day sale a few years ago.  This is an antique, professionally dated circa 1875.  Because the fabrics are all solids it's hard to get a definitive date.  Besides the lovely feathered hearts and cable quilting, there are 2 small quilted motifs:  one is a "W" and one is a dragonfly.  Oh my!  My husband's last name starts with a "W" and I LOVE dragonflies, often wearing one of many dragonfly pins on my jackets.  This was meant to be mine.  It lays out on a unused guest bed just for the month of December so I can enjoy it and wonder about who made it, what her life was like, and what she would think of my world.  The green was home dyed I imagine--there is one tiny place the green has turned blue.  One of my best treasures!
I made this years ago, the first quilt I had long-arm quilted.  It was featured on the cover of McCall's Quilting, December 1997--one of my first "cover girl" opportunities.  It hangs in the living room for the month of December and sometimes on into January or February or... The house looks ready for Christmas just as soon as this quilt appears. 

Over the years we have put up less decorations, just our most favorites.  Our sons and their women are only here a day or two and we don't entertain others very much so it pleases us to keep things simple.  I used to feel bad about this but now it feels right.  With a new grandchild on the way we are thinking of doing more next year, time will tell.  Here is the mantel with one very special new stocking in the center--for Baby Mac--what our son and daughter-in-law are calling their baby until they find out, next month, who is in there! 

In digging through my quilt stash last week, I came upon this quilt:

It is a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from a few years ago, Roll Roll Cotton Boll.  I named this one Limeade with a Dash of Peppermint.  It is a half-size version of hers.  I thought "this looks like a Christmas quilt" so it is now displayed on the back of our red sofa--very festive! 

Last week I wrapped up the first session of the Simple WhatNots Club at Patches & Stitches, my local quilt shop.  It was a 6 month club that met one Friday night a month for a lecture/demo of small quilts designed by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass Fabrics.  Collection 2 starts in January.  Maximum capacity of the classroom is 30 chairs so that is how many we will have.  At our wrap-up party we had great goodies to share:

And a few people actually brought a quilt to share.  Here is a great one by Anna:

It is called Widdlytinks and she used those fabulous acid green buttons instead of the extra small yo-yos called for in the pattern--great little quilt!

My demos were on all the facets of finishing quilts, trimming borders, simple quilting, how to make and apply both straight grain and bias binding, how to sew the border down by hand or machine, and how to add a sleeve and a label--musts for me on all the quilts I make.  Even if the label is nothing more than my name and the date written on the back in Sharpie.  Most of the time my labels are more involved, but not always.

 Now, waiting for one of those very involved labels is Celtic Solstice Fanfare, our guild Raffle Quilt:

The label will list the name of the quilt, the fact that is the 2015 Fanfare Quilt show and sale Raffle quilt, the name of the pattern designer, Bonnie Hunter, and the names of those who pieced the quilt as well as the long-arm quilter.  I have to get that done very soon as we will be unveiling this quilt later this week at the guild's December meeting, our annual Holiday party.  Guild members donated fat quarters 6 months ago in the requested colors and they all seem to play nicely together.

This past week I caught up with Bonnie's 2014 mystery quilt.  Grand Illusion uses colors from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Her instructions are for a large quilt, so I am just making half the units currently until I see what the finished quilt looks like and decide if I want a big one or not.  Parts 1, 2 and 3:

And, now that I am caught up, here is what my cutting table looks like:

It so rarely looks like this!  I will enjoy it for today, then it's back to finishing a few Christmas gifts I need to have ready by Thursday.

Let's Quilt!




  1. All of your quilts are fabulous! The antique one is especially wonderful!! The quilting is spectacular, thank you for showing it!

  2. Your quilts are beautiful! And what a score on your antique quilt! I would not have left that behind either. I love your little santa mat hanging from your mantle. Is that your own design?

  3. Thanks for sharing your Christmas quilts. I always enjoy looking at quilts!

  4. Yay for being caught up! Pretty RRCB too!

  5. Love, love, love the vintage red and green quilt. I have my RRCB out for Christmas too!

  6. What a great post, your quilts are all lovely. So glad to see so many BH mysteries. I have done 4, 3 are not quilted. But I'm enjoying GI so far. Your antique quilt is stunning, what a treasure.

  7. I love decorating with quilts at Christmas time! The bright green one is a real treasure!

  8. Beautiful quilts all of them. But your antique green quilt is especially gorgeous.

  9. I love love LOVE your 1997 Christmas quilt from the cover of McCall's. I'm in the midst of assembling a Joyful Journey Wedding Wishes quilt you made and so kindly advised me on. It is almost a year in the making and not quite ready but soon....very, very soon. Your December party snacks look scrumptious. I just love your gives me so many wonderful ideas. Thank you for all your humor and knowledge. Merry Christmas to you and yorus!

    1. Thank you, Loretta, you just made my day! The Christmas quilt was wonderful to see on the cover--I did not know they were using it for the cover until it hit the newsstands. And I've taught it several times, it's a easy quilt for a Christmas project. Thank you so for your kind words--I'm very eager to see your Joyful Journey Wedding Wishes!!

  10. I enjoyed scrolling through your Christmas quilts/decorations!! The Widdlytinks quilt is darling! Merry Christmas, Barbara! :)