New Orleans House Project

Friday, December 23, 2011

Inspired by Christmas

I received one of the best Christmas gifts ever in 1988 - my youngest son was born December 14th of that year.  I knew I wanted a Christmas-themed baby quilt to welcome my little one home, but I couldn't find a single ready-made baby quilt with a Christmas theme.  I decided I would have to learn to make quilts, so my December baby would have a Christmas quilt.  I signed up for my first quilting class at the local quilt shop and I have been in love with quilts and quilt-making ever since.
This is the Christmas quilt I eventually made for my son.  I began the quilt in 1988, and I sadly confess I did not finish it until December, 1992.  Poor boy was 4 years old by then!
If I remember correctly, I used coloring book drawings to create the teddy bear appliques.  I used a fabric fusible to anchor the fabrics and machine satin-stitched the raw edges.  The facial features were hand-embroidered.  I outline quilted around the bears and stitched in the ditch around the blocks.  The finished quilt measures approximately 40" x 40".  Not sure what possessed me to put a ruffle on a little boy's quilt!

A few years later, I decided my oldest son needed a Christmas quilt, too.  I remember picking out some of the Christmas fabrics for his quilt at Mae's Fabrics, a discount fabric chain where I loved to hunt for bargains.  I've become something of a fabric snob since then, but at that time I had yet to be burned by poorly-made fabric!
This was my first log cabin quilt - log cabins are still one of my favorite patterns.
Do any of these fabrics look familiar to you?  I don't have an exact date for this quilt, but the fabrics are definitely late 1980s to early 1990s.  I wanted the quilt to have an ageless appeal, so I didn't use any novelty fabrics.  The quilt was long-arm quilted and measures 54" x 76".  
This feathered star wall-hanging was a gift for my mom, circa 1997.  The feathered star was inspired by a Radiant Star pattern in Marsha McCloskey's Christmas Quilts (That Patchwork Place 1985 - apparently reprinted by Dover Books).  I remember hand-piecing the star while my kids were at swimming lessons in the summer and hand-quilting the quilt during soccer practice in the fall!
More recently, I gifted my Dear Husband with this old-fashioned Santa wall-hanging.  My DH was also born in December, and his love of Christmas led to an ever-growing collection of Santa Claus figures.  We've run out of display space for more Santas, but we haven't covered all the walls yet!  The pattern was a kit from a local quilt shop:  Bright Hopes Quilting.
Old-world Santa
Snowflake and swirl machine quilting by Annie Kusilek.

  Wishing you joy and that special serenity of spirit that occurs during this most inspiring time of the year!

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