Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas crafting

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here. We got as far as pulling out our pre-lit wreath and garland and putting them up, but I haven't put the ornaments on either one, yet. Our Christmas tree is made of ceramic, and the river has been turbulent enough that we decided to leave the tree in its protective bubble wrap until we get to New Orleans.

I have done a bit of holiday quilting, though. I made this little piece with leftover HSTs from a quilt I made for my Mom two years ago, and last week I finally quilted it and stitched it up into a pillow. I did dot-to-dot quilting in the white, mostly triangular spaces.

I was just going to use a simple piece of seasonal fabric on the back, but instead I put together another quilted square. The center kitty is from a panel, and it coordinates with some of the fabric I used in Jeri's Cats of Hope quilt. Simple straight lines in the borders, and a quick outline of the center cat. I'm calling this technique "fussy quilting." Like fussy cutting, but with FMQ!

It also coordinates with the leaping cat fabric used in the border of this quilt. This is one of my early quilts, when I knew almost nothing about how quilting fabric is usually part of a larger line. 

Now I know that if I find something I like, I should try to find out the name of the line because I'll probably enjoy the other matching pieces.

The odd quilting design on that navy cat border was actually sewn from the back, where I fussy quilted some these sweet tuxedo cats wearing Santa hats. This kitty looks like our best cat ever, our girl George. We lost her just two months before Christmas in 2014, and I sewed this quilt while grieving. Concentrating on stitching around every little detail of those hats and scarves and tails was actually therapeutic. 

The pattern for George's Christmas Quilt is interesting. The charm squares are sewn into a 6 x 12 grid, then sliced with a couple of diagonal cuts and sewn back together. The end result is a square with the charms on point. Add a couple of borders and you're done. It's tricky to get the charms distributed properly, so I have a few that ended up in the wrong place, but I still love this quilt. And with the low temperatures we've been having, it's been perfect to have on my lap in the pilot house. 

This quilt, called Christmas Vomit for its loud and exuberant scrappiness, was mostly finished last Christmas. I had done simple straight line quilting along each of the straight seams, and it made pretty star shapes on the back. Unfortunately, that left too much unquilted space in the big hexagons, so the fabric was a bit poofy and saggy. But after the holidays, I wasn't motivated to work on poinsettia fabrics anymore.

This year I went back and fussy quilted at least one motif in each hexagon, which really helped bond all the layers properly. The chickadee and pine cones are outlined in this block.

Here you can see on the back how I chose one pear to outline. You can also see the original straight line quilting. So now I'm calling this one completely finished, too, and it's been my lap quilt in the salon. Angel has even been lying on top of it on my lap, which is unheard of for her!


  1. Oh what a title for such a wonderful quilt - Christmas Vomit!! A message for those folks who possibly over eat when it's the festive season. I was moved with the story behind George's Christmas Quilt, I too have done exactly the same thing, and I agree that it is very therapeutic.

  2. Y'all are headed to New Orleans!!!! I live across the lake from New Orleans in Mandeville (about 40 minutes from N.O.). Hope you enjoy your time here. Do you know where you will be dropping anchor? Sure wish I could meet you. I follow your blog by email. Your projects are all beautiful!! Hope you have a blessed Merry Christmas!!
    Linda "Cookie" Lawrence

  3. I think your quilt is lovely - but I did have a big laugh at the name you have given it!!! haha

  4. I just love Christmas Vomit. what a beautiful quilt. its amazing what you get done on your boat in restricted space.

  5. You crack me up! All of your projects are lovely. I especially like that the pillow is 'reversible'! Stay safe in those turbulent waters! XO

  6. Turbulent waters and Christmas vomit-OMG Good for you for finishing older projects, just think you created more room for fabric when you send your mom her pillow!

  7. I love your festive pillow, great use of leftover HST's and great you made it reversible too. Christmas Vomit???? A wild name for a lovely quilt, it made me giggle. Merry Christmas, and a Peaceful New Year.

  8. I am in love with your pillows, in fact all of these projects are gorgeous. I'm so sorry about George; we lost our black cat, Morticia, in 2014 also. She was 22 years old. I got a huge laugh out of the name Christmas Vomit, but it's a long story I won't go into. Also, thanks for the reminder that there are sometimes coordinating fabrics to go with a particular print we like. And last but not least, I am SOOOOO envious of the fact that you live on a boat. Oh. My. Gosh!!!

  9. Now only if I had a boat, hanging those large queen size quilts would be so much easier. And the pictures would turn out so much better. About Christmas Vomit - you can blame that on the boat too. After all it is seasickness!

  10. It certainly is starting to look a lot like christmas. This is a lovely collection. It's great to have got so much finished :)

  11. Oh no Louise, don't tempt Providence! I'm hoping I got all my Christmas vomit over and done with last weekend.
    Great selection of quilts! Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv


Please feel free to leave a comment and I'll reply as soon as I can.