Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"'Twas the Night Before Christmas..."

...when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief', and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter.
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away!  Dash away!
Dash away all!

Featured in today's post is a customer quilt I had fun designing the quilting for.  I love Christmas, and this quilt just bursts forth with it.  

If you look closely you can find swirling snowflakes and other organic details.  My favorite challenge was incorporating the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" in the border, a part of which has already been cited in my post today.  You can see a bit of it at the bottom of this evergreen block - upside-down.   

Here you can see the "...dash away, dash..." portion of the poem next to the star blocks.

FYI, the stockings at the beginning of this post number sixteen and represent all the members of our family.  They were recreated after June's Black Forest Fire took the originals, and were made from fabrics donated by the ladies in the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild. They and so many others took part in our miracles we are so grateful for this Christmas season.

On this night before Christmas, I hope you can stay snug in your bed a little bit longer and think on the miracles that have formed your blessings this year.
Merry Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Wintry Woolen Wrap

For the holiday season, 
this simple woolen quilt not only warms you from head to toe 
but decks the halls when displayed on the back of a bench or easy chair.

Its colors are perfect for a man.  In fact, the actual block fabrics were repurposed from men's trousers, suit coats and vests found in my husband's closet (I asked first!) and on the racks at Goodwill.  The only yardage purchased was black and red felted wool and plaid flannel backing  - which is perfect as a cozy barrier from itchy wool on chinny-chin-chins.  

After the snowflakes were machine-appliquéd to each woolen  block, the rows were quickly pieced and ready for the long arm quilting process.  I stitched 1/4" away from every seam  and appliqué-stitched around each snowflake.  Solid woolen blocks form a border, of sorts, around the snowflake blocks. Inside each of the 'border blocks' I shadow-quilted a snowflake using my laser light on a pattern I enlarged especially for this process. My son-in-law loved it last year as his Christmas present!