Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This is, without question, my favorite time of year. I love the surprise and the tradition, the closure and the renewal, the anticipation and the unapologetic decoration. The drop in temperature seems to bring in a surge of creative energy. My re-purposed Ghanaian basket contains glorious by-the-yard wool felt, beautiful new bamboo knitting needles and yarn, lots of little birds, and a huge stack of festive 5" quilt squares.

Here is my holiday list:
Three simple Christmas prints caught my eye at my annual pre-Thanksgiving trip to the fabric store. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them until I found this Zig Zag pattern (Crazy Mom Quilts). I can't wait to see how these evolve. I was a little nervous to delve into working with triangles, but this tutorial (A Quilt is Nice) makes things quite easy and results in a stunning pattern.
--MATERIALS: 1 yard holly print fabric, 1 yard red stripe fabric, 1 yard green polka fabric, 3 yards moda white fabric (binding, batting, backing to be determined)
--YIELD: 6 lap quilts, 30" x 45"

I was delighted to find a free pattern for these little birds (Spool Sewing). I have been able to use scraps from my stash and stuffing I'd had from a pillow project, and have thus far spent nothing on the darling creatures. I am making a few of these here and there and hope to have a dozen or more to give as gifts.

I love advent calendars. I would like to celebrate this charming tradition with a gift for my children and my niece and nephew. When I saw this felt advent calendar (Purl Bee) I was immediately inspired to find some wool felt. I am in love with this color palette! I will applique the numbers, either felt or fabric, onto the squares; I have never been good at embroidery.

For Big B and little b, we have decided to redesign their room to include bunk beds, and slowly integrate little b into this space. This rite of passage cannot go without celebration! I am making them each a new quilt. I don't have a pattern nor have I seen a precedent, but I think I have a good design.

Big B's Quilt: Royal blue patchwork with orange pieced capital 'B' applique and binding
little b's Quilt: Pale blue patchwork with yellow pieced lowercase 'b' applique and binding

I have found a font I'd like to mimic for the letters and have purchased the fusible webbing for their applique. I'm going to piece the letters entirely from scraps and go as far as I can with leftover blue strip piecing before going to the fabric store. Backing to be determined.

(A big thank you to T., who in the past week alone has suggested embroidery thread for hanging the little birds, fusible webbing for the advent numbers, led me to the zig zag cutting method, and just a few hours ago, begun teaching me how to knit. For the past five years I have looked to her for inspiration, advice and friendship, and am forever grateful for our crossing of paths.)


nettie said...

oh, your zigzag quilt is going to be lovely.

i hadn't thought to do zigzags for a christmas quilt, but that is a fabulous idea!

Maria Rose said...

Now that is ambition!