Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Christmas Quilt for Valentine's Day

A few years ago, Grandma O and I visited a local quilt shop.  A beautiful sample quilt caught her eye.  I admired it, too.  She made inquiries, and went back to the shop later to buy the lovely Christmas-themed fabric and the pattern.  She was already ill at that time, and I wondered if she would be able to make the quilt.
I have to admit this project was one of the things I hoped to find in her sewing room when she'd left it behind.  And I did, neatly bagged up.  The block pattern is basically a disappearing nine-patch.  Grandma O had sewn the nine-patch blocks together, and cut more squares for the border.  A year after I brought the fabric home (about a year ago, in fact--I guess I do quilts in January and February), I sliced the blocks up, rearranged them, and made new blocks.
I added sashing and borders.  I found some wide material for the back, and sandwiched it all up.  I used the walking foot to quilt along the sashing, then tried free-motion quilting inside the blocks.
That was hard.  Even when sewing on the big dining room table, the weight of this queen-sized quilt was difficult to work with.  I tried to keep the quilting simple, but I didn't make my big loops very smooth.  I should have practiced more before diving into a big project, but I was excited to quilt this blanket.  After I quilted the blocks, though, I was tired.  I contemplated trying a holly leaf pattern on the border, but I had to think about it first.  I also had some cloth for the binding, but wasn't sure if I really liked it.  And then some other projects came up that were more urgent, important, or interesting.  I set the Christmas quilt aside, with the vague notion that I ought to finish it before the next Christmas.
That certainly didn't happen.  Last Saturday I pulled it out again.  I decided that straight lines in the ditches of the borders would be fine.  And that the fabric I already had would make a good binding.  And even though, to my dismay, I found that I'd missed quilting two of the blocks, I sat down and finished it all that day. 
Now it's ready to keep us warm next December.  Though it does look nice with my chicken-scratch heart pillowcases, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried using those disposable gloves food preparers use to quilt? It makes it ten times easier.