Merry Christmas from my family to yours! I hope that you have a relaxing holiday and a very festive New Year.
With my to-do list barely shrinking, I decided to go a bit simpler than our Christmas cards have been in the past. I printed one of my favorite photographs from the year, pulled cards, paper and leftover envelopes out of the basement and added some colorful washi tape and I am completely smitten with them. The quilt featured happens to be my first solo quilt, the one that I hand tied.
Do you mail holiday cards? If so, are your’s handmade? Some of the cards that I saw in stores this year almost swayed me away from handmade.
My first Christmas gift has been delivered and I can finally begin to share some of the projects that I have been diligently working on since October!
First up, a Round and Round block made from feed sacks and cream colored cotton. This wall hanging is for my MIL and her husband and most of the feed sacks were from her grandmother. I was happy that I was able to find a pattern that showed them off with a lot of visual interest.
I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to quilt this piece. I quilted with amazing white, Aurifil thread following the diagonals of the blocks, forming a grid, leaving a negative space in the center. The center felt empty, so I stitched a Round and Round block to give it some life.
So far, this has been the most complicated quilting pattern that I have done. I learned so much doing this little 24×24″ quilt! The Thimble Blossoms’ Round and Round pattern by Camille Roskelley is super easy to follow (check out this mind-blowing HST method) and I really love the way that the feed sacks stand out against the cream. A larger quilt is already on my 2014 quilt to-do list!
My nephew, who was ten months old at Christmas, is simultaneously the easiest and hardest person to sew for. He is easy because he is young, loves visually stimulating bright colors and has not developed his personal taste yet & hard because he is too young for most of my ideas. In hindsight, I should have just sent him tissue paper filled box since the paper was the biggest hit of the day!
My nephew is the proud owner of my first ever quilt. I had a lot of assistance from my Mom this summer, but I did the all of the cutting and sewing! I machine pieced the top and machine quilted but I decided to do the binding by hand. I am incredibly happy with how it turned out. The quilt top is bright and bold while the back is a soft flannel with just a line of the bright fabric.
I had just enough fabric to make a slightly larger than normal grab ball. For this one, I made the top solid blue and each triangle of the ball is a different set of fabric from the quilt. It took a lot of planning, note-taking and thought to get it to come together but it was worth the effort.
If you decide to make a grab ball with multiple fabrics, plan your sewing carefully! I assembled the ball first with straight pins and took notes on which fabrics got sewn together complete with fabric swatches. Once the triangles are sewn and stuffed, pin the ball together again so you know exactly which order to sew each piece together. The ball can only be assembled one way to get all of the interior triangles to match.
Last but not least, Dr. Seuss Stacker Rings! My mom and I did this project together. We picked out the fabric and pattern while she was in Pennsylvania this summer and we completed the project over Thanksgiving. She did all of the machine sewing and I did the copious amounts of hand sewing and stuffing. (I love hand sewing and finishing so it was perfect for me!) After completing the rings, my mom and I both agreed that this was a one time only pattern. It was a lot of work but the end result was worth it. We modified the pattern and made the last, largest ring removable and added a padded, wooden base for stability.
What did you sew up for the holidays?