Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday decor

I finished this funky table runner last week and finally got it washed now that we're in a marina with plenty of water for the washing machine. It needed to shrink just a smidge to fit fully within the fiddles (edges) of our dining table. 

Here's the back, a fun ornament fabric fattened up with a bright tonal green poinsettia blender. I actually pieced this runner two years ago and used it to test an alternative batting idea. I used a piece of white fleece in the sandwich and then did quite a bit of FMQ before I discovered that the back had shifted significantly. It was a Festive Holiday Medley of Giant Puckers on the back, and I had a Festive Holiday Medley of Cursing when I realized how much ripping I'd need to do. Lesson learned: fleece is waaaaaay too slippery to use as batting. I chucked the whole thing in a corner until I rediscovered this summer. At that point, I was more in a rippy mood (do you ever get that way? when stitch ripping actually is kinda fun?) I ripped and ironed and re-basted and tucked away again until I was ready for some walking foot quilting and here we are today. It's not my best work, but it's great as a table runner/cloth because it hides a multitude of dinner splotches and spills.

A few more photos of our holiday boat decor:

Aft port corner of the saloon with "Trim the Tall Tree" paper pieced wall hanging made by me in 2014, and ceramic tree made by Sean's grandmother many many years ago. The breakable tree can only be out if we're in a marina where the boat doesn't move much.

Pillow cover made with this perfectly nautical little panel of a Christmas tree in a red row boat. Stitched up last year.

Artificial garland with multi color lights, hanging from the ceiling hand rail that runs down the middle of the saloon. It's well secured and out of the way, so it stays up in all sorts of sea conditions. It is amazingly lifelike, right down to shedding needles every time you look at it cross-eyed.

The garland is decorated with unbreakable small shiny balls and birds, like this green sequinned hummingbird. I like how they seem to flutter through the branches above my head.

This peacock is made with real feathers, and peers down from his garlandy perch. See his tail?

This is my last post before Christmas (and it was actually written last week.) We have guests aboard all this week and I've had to dismantle my quilting studio in order to turn it back into the guest stateroom. This sad photo is my Juki, all bundled up and ready to head off to the spa for routine maintenance. That way it will be out from underfoot and then clean and shiny for sewing in the new year.

Immediately after our guests leave, we will be driving to my brother's house in Houston where my entire family is gathering this year. It's the first, and possibly only, time we'll all be together, so it's worth the long drive with the cat in a rental car. The big family party will include my Mom, Dad, Stepmom, brother, sister in law, all of my adult neices, nephews, their partners and my one and only grand nephew. He just celebrated his first birthday and we'll be meeting him for the very first time.

Whatever holiday you celebrate in the coming weeks--Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, or just a few days off work--may quilts, peace and laughter find you here in the shortest days of the year. Thank you for joining me on my quilting odyssey; your presence and kind comments make me happy!


  1. Merry Christmas from Maine! Although I do not sew at all, I love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful quilt projects. It is inspiring but so far I remain just an "observer".

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer! I'm glad that you are enjoying the blog. Merry Christmas!

  2. Louise, it has been such fun getting to know you this year and learning all about your unique life on Odyssey! Thanks for sharing your Christmas decorations with us. Love that red tree in a boat. My mother has that exact same ceramic Christmas tree made by my Aunt and Uncle who used to do lots of ceramics. Yes, years ago! Hope your Christmas is the BEST! Looking for more quilting adventures with you in the New Year!

  3. Merry Christmas from snowy MN, hehe. Love your tree wall hanging. What size is it? I think there were 3 or 4 different ones, I have not gotten the pattern yet but I think about it! My mom made one of those ceramic trees and that is what she put up for years in her home. Have a wonderful Holiday Season.

  4. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I was eyeing your ceramic tree, how special that it was made by family. I have a few ceramic pieces made by my grandmother.

  5. Louise, your decorations are lovely ! Everything looks so beautiful -- and cozy ! What a fun life. We're really enjoying reading about your travel adventures.
    Best wishes, and Happy New Year to you and your family, from Marina and Daryl Lynn


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