Oh! Christmas Tree Quilt

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Oh! Christmas Tree Quilt
Quilt #175
Began January 2016 • Finished December 2016

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It’s finally finished.  I started this once I saw the QuiltMania magazine it was featured in.  It is a pattern from Wendy Williams of Flying Fish Kits.  I had a companion in the making of this, in Wendy Welsh from New Zealand.  She was about a month ahead of me in construction and was such a great help, especially in untangling the borders dilemma.  All of the posts about the making of this quilt are referenced in the Quilt-A-Longs tab, up above.christmas-tree_2

I did finish it by my goal of December 1st, but had to find the right locale accessories, like the lumber-jack looking guy above.  (By the way, the most important man in this photo is unseen, holding up the Christmas Tree quilt.  Thanks, dear!)christmas-tree_3adetail

I had written about how I quilted the center: a meander with tiny stars here and there.  I chose to do swirls around my stars, with a spiral in the center, linking them all together, inspired by an idea from  *here.* (Thanks, Lori!)christmas-tree_3detail

I quilted the cream background fabric around the wool felt appliqués, then in around those red triangle points, leaving them unquilted.  I did outline them in a straight stitch, helping them to stand out from the background.

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My husband Dave and I went out for a photo shoot as the sun was dimming, first hitting the tree lot at Teen Challenge (below), a charity near our house.
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And then we went looking for more evergreens for backdrops, a near herculean task in Southern California.  We finally found these pines in the university parking lot.  I told my husband that Marsha, in Vermont, could photograph hers out in the woods amid the snow, but that typical to our climate and locale, we have to pose in an asphalt parking lot.

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The back is a series of panels and fabrics from Cori Dantini from her Merry Stitches line, purchased at Quilt Market this past May and available now.  It’s fun to use them on the back.christmas-tree_front1

This quilt (or parts of it) have gone to Spain, all around my town, and then finally tucked in at home to be finished with the quilting. I took inspiration from all of those who followed along on the Quilt-A-Long and on Instagram, but am indebted to my husband for his love of my quilting and constant support.  Lastly, the design for Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus are found here on the blog. Uusually we say that what’s important about Christmas isn’t found under the tree.

But in this case, it is.

I hope your Christmas season is merry and bright and filled with the love of our Savior.

 

 

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Final Bee Blocks for 2016

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And….that’s a wrap!

The Mid-Century Modern bee began four years ago, and I recently sewed the final blocks in Anna Maria Horner fabrics (as per the Queen Bee’s request).  We were supposed to do the blocks we’d requested for her, but I didn’t think mine would translate, so I obtained permission to do these: some Chuck Nohara blocks, writ large.

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You’ve perhaps seen this logo, nestling down on the side of my blog for a while.  Cindy (who had the idea for this bee) and I developed it one night while sitting side by side at this computer.  I do think we collaborate well.

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And…that’s a wrap for The Spelling Bee, too, although some members are still cranking out their words. This bee ended officially November 30th, and I hope that everyone has their words by the end of the year.  All of mine are above; because of the length of my verse, about half of them were made by my beemates, and I did the rest.

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My original intent for my wordy quilt was to have it be done all creams and pinks and reds for a Valentine quilt, but as soon as I got it up, I realized it needed some color.  On the side I pinned some fabrics to audition for the quilt, and I have some ideas.

You can find a how-to for every letter over on the Quilt Abecedary Blog, which I wrote when I got in my mind to free-form create an alphabet.  Have fun.

I plan to do a year-end wrap-up of the two different bees, so then you’ll see what we’ve all been up to.  I like doing bees as I’m exposed to new ideas and new blocks and a different way of looking at the world.  Who would have known that an enlarged Chuck Nohara block in AMH fabrics could look so fabulous?  Now I do, thanks to my beemate.

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I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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Christmas Tree Block Swap

GoodHeartQuiltersBanner2016This picture-filled post shows when a bunch of the local Good Heart Quilters (my little quilting group) got together to trade Christmas Tree blocks (pattern found on *this* post).  Usually we don’t meet in December, but then Leisa had this idea about these Christmas Tree blocks.  Those who were interested in the swap came together in a Flash Mob Quilt Night; we had a great time, although family trips and sickness prevented some from coming.
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We’re nothing if not helpful.  Some of us had our trees already made, so we all pitched in a sewed, ironed and trimmed the others’ blocks so we all went away with our set.xmastreeswap_3 xmastreeswap_4 xmastreeswap_5

We dealt out all the blocks.  I asked everyone to count their blocks (below), for after an evening of letting loose with children-and-husband-and-life stories, lots of laughing, too many delicious cookies, I couldn’t be depended on to get the numbers right.xmastreeswap_6 xmastreeswap_7

Trying it vertical.  Hmmmm.xmastreeswap_8

This is one of mine, made afterwards, with a bit of my husband’s blue-and-white plaid shirt.xmastreeswap_9

Fun fussy-cutting.xmastreeswap_10

Now I either need to make 4 more blocks, or rethink everything and add a ton more.  We could use another Christmas TV-watching quilt, because of:

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The Crown, streaming off of Netflix, fictionalizing Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.

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Poldark, on PBS (we watched the first season via CDs from Netflix).

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And apparently Endeavor, a crowd-pleaser in our house, will return for a fourth season.

Oh, and then there’s that big event called Christmas, which needs some time…Happy Quilting!

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I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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Not Waving, but Drowning

notwavingdrowning_front2Not Waving, But Drowning
Quilt #173
39″ high by 43″ wide

This quilt began its life in a quilt block I designed, which I call Semaphore.   My friend Cindy saw that and made a version for a fabric manufacturer, who then put it on a world tour (see a photo at the end).  I saw it again at Quilt Market in May 2016, and decided I wanted one myself, only larger.

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I purchased several charm packs of solids, and arrayed them all out by color family and from dark to light, using several color groupings.  There were many duplicate squares, but after I felt I had a good amount, I went to work.  More information about the layout and design ideas as well as how to quilt this can be found in the pattern, for sale on Craftsy.

I titled the block Semaphore, but always in the back of my mind while I was working on this quilt was the poem titled “Not Waving, but Drowning,” by Stevie Smith, about a man who gets in trouble while out in the waves.  He drowns because people think he was waving, but in reality, he was signaling for help.

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I think the half-square triangles look like a series of nautical flags, waving in the wind.  I decided to quilt it also in a wavy pattern, but didn’t want a tightly controlled wave.

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I wanted those waves loose and lanky, wild and woolly, just like those ones that come up and splat you in the face when you are wave-jumping in summer.

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I love the colors in this quilt, and the up and down fluid movement of the quilting. It calls me to remember that our lives, like the ocean, can lift us high, can hit us in the face, can overwhelm (as in Stevie Smith’s poem), yet also can bring a lovely memory of a summer’s day. In a nutshell, it reminds me that life is full of ups and downs, a blend of dark and light.  It’s also a reminder that, in spite of what we post on Instagram and Facebook, we all aren’t having tons of fun and radiantly happy all day long.  But we also don’t want to be drowning when we are in reality signaling for help.  So, take care of your loved ones and friends, and please please…take care of yourself.

And keep quilting.

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Cindy’s quilt at Quilt Market, using the Semaphore block.

 

(NOTE: This post has been updated with different content after original publication.  It was originally about depression.  Thank you all for your comments; I have them saved and will reread them often.)

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I do not know about, nor choose, the content, nor do I receive any money from these ads.
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