It’s Christmas Time….almost!!!

This past week my small quilting group got together to exchange gifts.  I had known about this for over 2 months, but just couldn’t wrap my head around what I wanted to do.

Then, I remembered a blog post by Emma in Australia where she had machine quilted ornaments, resulting in this gorgeous quilt…..

 

I had been very taken with it and decided to play with something similar for my gift.   I started out by free-handing some ornaments and practicing my quilting….

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As it ended up, I wasn’t that happy with the resulting product so decided to make a few changes.

I got online and found drawings of lots of interesting ornaments.  I cut a few out and started playing with an arrangement.   I quickly found that I wasn’t happy with vertical arrangement so started playing with a horizontal one…..

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I fused a thin interfacing to the fabric, traced the designs on it and started looking for appropriate threads…..

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I did the first round of thread painting, only to find that there was a lot of puffiness to the piece……

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SO….here is another opportunity for creativity…..I decided to Trapunto the ornaments to give them some more dimension (and to relieve the puffiness).  I used two layers of a high-loft batting…..

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…..and then basted it with a wool batting and started quilting.   When I got ready to quilt the background, I had planned to do an overall pattern but was afraid that it would be too flat so opted for straight lines instead.

Here is the final product…..

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…..with a few close-ups…..

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And, excitingly, my friend Deb was the winner!!

In return, I received this wonderful Christmas pillow from Brenda……

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Thanks Ladies for a FUN evening!!!

A Stocking for Amber

Eighteen months ago our son Brian married Amber, a wonderful young woman!!!  It dawned on me this year that I had not made her a Christmas stocking so I set out to rectify that.

The first step was to come up with a design to use.  Our family stockings were made when we were living in Australia and reflected that time of our life…..

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I knew that I wanted something that would fit  Amber  but also wanted to keep the same design of the previous stockings.

Since Brian and Amber are recent cat owners, I started looking for a Christmas kitten pattern that would work.   The first that I came across was this needlepoint design…..

DSC01540I covered it with a transparency and traced the general outline…..

DSC01543  I realized that he needed to face the other direction to best fit on the stocking so I simply turned the paper over, being sure to mark which was the front.

I then placed the transparency on the light box, placed a Teflon pressing sheet on top of the transparency and began to build the design.  It was very easy to see where the pieces were to be placed….

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After I ironed the design onto the Teflon sheet, I peeled the entire picture off in one piece and placed it onto the stocking…..DSC01546 

The final step was to outline all of the pieces, quilting at the same time…..

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The final embellishment was to add a bell for the kitten to be pawing at. 

I am looking forward to filling this new stocking with goodies on Christmas morning!!!!

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Beaded Decorations……

 

My friend, Marilyn, who now lives in Brisbane, Australia started making beaded ornaments several years ago, and she has sent us a wonderful array of decorations.  Here are a couple for you to enjoy…….

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I met Marilyn while we were living in Canberra, Australia and we spent many hours together working on various projects at our church.  At the time I was leading a craft group at the church and her husband credits me…..or should I say accuses me……of being the start of Marilyn’s many craft efforts.

Who is “J”???

Just before our second child was born, I decided to make some ornaments that had all of our initials on them.  I had done the “F” for Frances, “M” for Michael (hubby), and the “B” for Brian (son).  I was working on the “J” while we were visiting with some friends and she asked how I could do the last initial before I knew if baby number 2 was a boy or girl.  My answer was easy…..James if it was a boy and Jenny if a girl

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By the way…..it was a girl!!!

More Christmas Decorations

 

Early in 1981, we moved to Canberra, Australia so my husband could do a PhD at the Australian National University.  When I thought about the 20+ hours that we would be in transit, I knew that I needed something to work on, so I bought a packet of 6 embroidered ornaments to take with me.  I distinctly remember working on one of them during the trip and then finished them in the first few months that we lived there.

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When I first made these and hung them on the door knobs, the frames would break apart and fall into three parts on the floor.  After several years of this, I finally got out the glue gun and secured the frames.  Now we enjoy them every year.

Christmas Decorations…..Texas Style

I have spent most of this week in Abilene, Texas, attending the funeral for my Mother’s Husband and trying to help her get settled down again.    One of the perks to this trip was that I was reminded about the wonderful way in which Texan’s decorate for Christmas. 

These photos are not the greatest ones…..it is hard to photograph at night and some were take  on my cell phone……but here are a few to brighten your days…….

I love these “mushroom” trees…….Photo_120809_002 (2)

And these wrapped tree trunks…….

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And this one went all the way……

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And here is what happens when you start playing around with the camera…….

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These displays make my little trees out front look kind of puny, but I still get a thrill when 5:00 pm rolls around and they click on!!

Quilted Stockings

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I made these stockings in 1987, just after our daughter Jenny was born.  We were living in Australia at the time, but were returning to the US before Christmas.    I hand appliqued each of them and had to work quickly to make sure that they were finished before the crate was packed and shipped back to Texas.  It was such fun to find them the following year when decorating time came.

The only problem with these is that they dont hold much loot!!!  Note to self…..make Christmas Stockings REALLY BIG!!!!