I was hanging the Christmas stockings the other day and took a good look at them as I hung them by the chimney with care. I had carefully cross stitched my kids stockings by hand, and crocheted my husband’s stocking with a yarn that allows expandability to fit all those goodies inside and the stockings looked like they could have been on a Christmas card.
Then I hung my own Christmas stocking. As a long time quilter and stitcher, it’s embarrassing to admit that my own stocking was probably purchased from Walmart more than 30 years ago and has long been in need of an upgrade. But who has time to make something for yourself in the midst of all the busy-ness of the Christmas season? But then , how could I put up with this ugly stocking for another year? Here is the old one:
So, out with the old and in with the new. Here’s the replacement I came up with.
This quilter/mom now has a stocking that is worthy to be hung by the chimney with care and hopes that Santa notices the new stocking and fills it with nice goodies for me!
Husband’s comment: The green stocking is an engineering marvel. It expands to proportions that only an elf (or cosmic physicist) could produce. I once got an Acura TL in there along with the usual goodies. Everyone should have one of these, especially if you’ve been really good this year like me!
Here’s some photos of the growth of the Moncarapacho quilt that I’ve been hand piecing. First, a photo of what I last posted:
Here’s what it looks like after adding two more rounds:
It’s a slow process, but I really enjoy hand stitching and choosing the colors to use for each star. It currently measures 40″ diameter. How large will it be? I don’t know, yet, we’ll see after the next round!
I found some really cute antique postcards that were printed on fabric at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. The company that makes them is called American Quilt Blocks, aka iVintageImages. They have hundreds of historic images from postcards, photographs, prints and artwork that can be purchased and printed on fabric which was a high quality sateen cotton. These Thanksgiving themed blocks were originally printed as postcards and dated 1909. The artist is Ellen Clapsaddle (1865-1934). She was an American illustrator who studied art at Cooper Institute in NYC and is recognized as the most prolific postcard and greeting card artist of her time. The blocks were purchased as part of a kit from Liberty Homestead.
I’d like you to meet Armadillo Jo. She is a nine-banded armadillo from Texas that is an original design of a very unique critter that roams my neighborhood. She was created as a collage quilt, by cutting lots of floral fabrics into interesting shapes and using Elmer’s school glue sticks and some tacky glue to secure all the fabric pieces before stitching. Keep an eye out for one of these critters in your neighborhood!
A few years ago I purchased some pretty blue and white batik fabrics at the Houston Quilt Festival. I was sorting through my fabric collection when I spotted them and decided it was time to cut them up and have some fun with them. As you can see in the photos, the fabrics have lots of geometric shapes that could be cut up and rearranged into different designs. I’ve always admired those Ukrainian egg designs (pysanky), that were hand crafted using paints and wax resists and thought I could come up with some of my own designs for eggs using the fabric shapes. As you can see in the photos, once I started playing with the shapes, it was hard to stop laying eggs! I now have 25 different eggs that can be pieced into a quilt. The next step will be figuring out how to set the eggs into blocks and piece them into a quilt top- that will be a future post.
Free form piecing is a quick, easy and fun technique of quilt making that has become very popular in the modern quilt movement. Many talented quilters have written books about their methods, including Rayna Gilllman, Jean Wells and Maria Shell. They each have their own techniques and styles, which are interesting to study and compare. I recently started doing some free form piecing using hand dyed fabrics which were purchased at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. The fabrics were so pretty that at first it was hard to cut into them, but once I got started, the process was both addictive and rewarding. With no seams to match, and no rules to follow, it’s been a lot of fun as well as an education on color placement ( seeing which colors work well together). Here are some photos of the work I’ve completed so far. Don’t be afraid to use those pretty fabrics you’ve been saving, try this and see what happens!