I’m only a year late posting last Christmas’ quilt and realizing it is time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas projects. This fabric was another find I couldn’t leave behind. It was a layer cake I bought at the IQS in Gimli, MB. The result was a lap quilt to donate to the church’s annual bazaar.
Alas, it did not sell. I gifted it to a wonderful and faithful member of the congregation. She does not get out to Sunday morning worship any longer. She has type of dementia that she handles fairly well by leaving post-in notes everywhere as a reminder. She would call me Mondays after she had attended church with appreciative words for the sermon. Not long after she would call again, same reason. And then again, and again, until she remembered to throw out the post-in note reminding her to call me to tell me she appreciated my sermon. It was a blessing.
I gave her this quilt at the end of the bazaar, just as she was preparing to leave. During her ride home she mentioned to the driver someone had given her a lovely quilt. The driver answered, “Yes, I know, the minister gave it to you.”
“Did she?! How thoughtful of her. A good preacher and generous too! Too bad I won’t remember to thank her.”
Psalm 119:49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, I am way beyond being a fabric collector. I see something I like and I buy it, without thought of what it might become, or when I might get around to using it.
Here is another case in point. I really, really, liked this fabric. It was the combinations of colours that caught my eye. They spoke Christmas to me. Luckily, I belonged to a small gift exchange in the congregation and I made a table runner and four place mats for the church secretary. She greatly dislikes birds, but assured me these were ‘okay.’
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
2015 arrived and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had not quilted since June, 2014. Six months! No fabric! No cutting mats! No sewing machine!
December 4th we moved into our ‘new’ home. A 1947 character bungalow, big windows, hardwood floors, big back and front yards. The kitchen is updated but the bathroom upstairs NEEDS renovating.
Once everything had been moved in and we had unpacked most of the necessities, I started searching through fabric boxes for something to work on. I really don’t have the room to get at UFO’s at this time, so I started a new project, of course! I have always wanted to do a postage stamp quilt and one of the first boxes I opened was a box of 2″ squares and strips. Decision made!
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.”
A week or so before Christmas, Facebook threw a page I might like on my news feed. It was a quilting page, over five thousand members. Silly me, I liked the page and now see great quilt projects a dozen times daily. There are some beautiful quilt pictures posted that really get the creative juices flowing. Boxing Day a member posted the first step of a Mystery Quilt. I wasn’t really interested until people started posting pictures of their fabric selections, finished blocks and I went snooping around the quilt stash at the church. A confluence of temptations. Needless to say, I have completed the first step and cut the pieces for the second. And, wouldn’t you know it, my sewing machine decided it needs maintenance. Which sucks because the closest technician is an hour away. I just might have to take a road trip tomorrow.
The floral fabric is older. There were two 36″ bolts of it in the church stash. I have no other clues as to its age. The blue batik was something I had bought thinking it would work with another project I had already purchased fabric for. It didn’t. The white is a bit stark, a pale orange or pastle pink probably would have worked better for the light background, but both those colours are not prominent in my stash, I care for neither.
I think I presently have well over a dozen projects at various stages of production. Another one won’t make any difference!
Daniel 2:19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
My sewing machine is handicapped at the moment. The light has burnt out and it is an hour drive to get another one. It has severely limited the amount of quilting I can get done. Frustrating to say the least. I have been planning future projects instead. Almost as frustrating because I can not begin them until the projects I have on the go are completed.
This one I am naming “Dandelions”. I intend to use the fabrics above and sew it into a wall hanging for our spare bedroom. It will go really well with the existing beadspread and drapes. I got the idea when I drove up to the church this Sunday and noticed the grass starting to turn green along the building and the dandelions starting to bloom. Always a cheery and welcome sight, at spring’s first blush. Not so welcome as summer establishes herself. I might change it to four block squares and scatter the colours more. I’ll decide when I get that far and how ambitious I feel at the time.
Going to the fabric stores are too much of a temptation. I see something I adore and cannot resist the temptation to purchase, without any thought as to how I am going to use it. Here are some ideas for two patterns I couldn’t leave behind.
I love the large flowers that are somewhat stylized in their renditions. The challenge then becomes finding a pattern that is conducive to the fabric and doesn’t detract from how fabulous it is. Here is what I am considering. I have to remember not to let my hair fall in front of the flash of the camera to avoid shadows. The grouping on the right will probably be a modified nine block square in some way.
Finally I want to do a Sudoku quilt. I’m thinking rainbow colours.
Last January, a long time, much loved member of our congregation passed away. I officiated the funeral and was handsomely renumerated. Her favourite time of year was Christmas, she always did it up BIG! I told the family that I would like to do something in her memory.
So, here was my vision. Our congregation has a quilting group that managed to pull me into their creative circle. I approached them with the request that ten banners be quilted to decorate the worship space of the church. They agreed and asked that I provide some sort of ‘pattern.’ It was my hope that everyone would use somewhere in the skyscape the same fabric, purchased by me, to give some continuity through all the banners and they were free to use other fabrics I had available or fabric from their own stashes. The lightest colours fabric was to begin at the bottom of their banner and gradually get darker toward the top. The stars were Friendship Stars and could be placed as suited them. My hope was that the pattern was just a guide and that each quilter would use their own creativity and imagination.
Following is the progress on my own banners.
Top for the 48″ x 64″ banner intended for the left side of the sanctuary
Full view of banner in process of being quilted
Smaller 36″ x 48″ banner in process of being quilted
These larger quilts are 48″ by 64″. They hang at the front of the sanctuary, and so are larger so they can be seen, since no one sits in the front pews…
The below eight quilts are 36″ by 48″. Some of the ladies embroidered the words with machines using a free motion foot. Others hand stitched the lines from favourite Advent and Christmas hymns.
Regrettably the lines do not show up well, but do encourage viewers to come take a closer look.