Thursday, December 17, 2015

In progress...Christmas edition

This cute little 15 inch square came from a pattern I purchase at now closed Seminole Sampler. I thought, cute! And I can do it quickly! 

Have you met me? Do I ever take the simple route? Why make it simple when you think of all the cool possible settings? First of all, this is choc-a-block full of teensy little fused fabric pieces cut from a pattern. 

What was I thinking?! It's really cute but all that fusible adds up, and I am sensitive now to the chemicals release in ironed fusible web. I put this together two , count them, two years ago, and it gave me a headache, and I let it sit in the Christmas projects box to think about what it did. 

This is the year I want to finish it. I plan to build borders that look like a window with a curtain. Can't just border it. Then quilt best I can through many layers of fused fabrics with my titanium needle and sturdy thread. I'll show you when it's done. 

this is a small section of the kaleidoscope I've been working on. The one that caused the chip eating fiasco of '15. The top is done! The center is mostly still square! The borders are even! It's big! 

oh... nearly 50 inches square, just a bit big to fit in my family room display area. I admit this has been another pattern that nearly did me in. This one from the free demo Ricky Tims did on the Quilt Show recently. I would watch a little, run to the studio and make a section, run back to the computer and watch a bit more, etc. It was not fast. It required a lot of thought, and care with bias, and fitting together, ripping out, pinning, etc. I had a hard time choosing borders that complimented the center bringing your eye back to it. 

I think I am going to love it when quilted if I can figure out how to quilt it and not stretch the bias while quilting it. A lot of the fabrics are vintage from my Christmas collection gathered over many years. I was given this fabric...

I think it was from an abandoned project of making a tree skirt as it came with precut sections of muslin that looked like a tree skirt. I have painted those. This was large enough to use for the back with a slim section pieced in. The motifs are enormous and the colors spectacular. 

I have a really hard time using pretty fabrics on the back of wall quilts, do you? I mean, using this makes room in the stash, and it goes perfectly with the top. I had a large enough piece to almost cover the 47.5" top. Still, it won't be seen when it hangs. 

Why is fabric so darn precious to me? 
Do you use pretty fabric on the back? For binding when most of it won't show? 
Are you like me and make seasonal quilts in the season instead of looking ahead? 

I mean, I do not want to make a Christmas project in August. I want to use fall fabrics in Fall, Christmas fabrics in December. Ah well, planning isn't my forte, creativity comes with it's own demands! 


  1. Regular as clockwork, Christmas will be around next year. Same time, same station. So if you feel like doing it now, then do it and remember that you can hang it finished next year - or leave it up to celebrate year-round!

  2. I have no problem using some of my less successful hand dyes on the back of special quilts, but usually stick to muslin on charity quilts. Just in case the colour runs ( it never has for me, but--- Murphy's Law) I think a bland or neutral fabric would be a shame on this piece. And the black poinsettias are so festive!
    Pat F in Winnipeg

  3. Live in the moment LeeAnna! That's just fine!
    Take care,

  4. I have to force myself to use my good fabric on the back and really never use the "really good stuff" if I'm going to sell it or give it away I do try to use something nice although have found lately that just a plain color that goes with the from shows off the quilting better. But then I never buy solid plain fabric as I always go for the cool pretty stuff. That vintage Christmas flowers fabric is gorgeous! Hard to cut it up, huh?

  5. I have a hard time using the 'pretty' fabric for backs, too...
    And I could be singing harmony with the rest of this post, as well. Making simple things complicated? Yep. Wanting to work on the season IN the season instead of planning ahead? Yep.
    You go, girl. You're doing it right.

  6. Good luck quilting Santa. If it's not finished in time, just keep going; there's another Christmas next year and you'll be well in time for that. I think that's the way my Christmas project will be going, alas!

  7. There is always Christmas in July :-)
    I am sure you will be super-busy one way or the other.

  8. I've only used a really pretty (pet-able lol you know, just take it out and pat it;-))) ) fabric on one lap quilt as I can flip it
    and still pet that fabric...I hate to use them or cut them --they just sit in my stash and sigh...cute pattern--but I know what you mean about fusibles--they give me the sniffles...hugs, Julierose

  9. I've been known to use pretty fabrics on the backs too. And I too like making seasonal quilts and other projects in the season not months before or even when the mood strikes me. Since I am in no hurry to complete a project eventually it will be used/displayed for the season it was meant for evenif it takes a few years.

  10. It took me over 2 years to finish a halloween quilt and last year I finished a christmas quilt in January - they get done eventually! It feels more complete to use nice fabric on the back even if doesn't get seen that often!

  11. ha...plan? why would we do that LOL! Spontaneity can be a fun part of the for quilt backs.....hmmm..I tend to use pretty or hand dyed or pieced backs.....I am always a little disappointed when I see a stunning quilt with an ugly backing....oh well...maybe that is just me

  12. Hi LA, i use fabric that says use me, if not large enough i will ad fabric 'til it large enough to be a backing. or i will paint plain vanilla cotton with the colors of my imagination that recalls the colors in the top. and this process is not fast, often things must simmer before next step, to layer up, which is not my favorite. and it takes all the time it takes! i talk about this in my post of 5/26/15 if you want to see what i am talking/typing about. as for that poinsettia fabric of eons ago, i made a dress outta some just like that and when i see the photo of us taking neices to the nutcraker ,it looks more like a table runner candidate material!!!

    1. ooooo your back is so pretty. Okay, it's fabric and meant to be used. Even on the back, thank you Sonja for always bringing the beauty. LeeAnna

  13. I love two sided quilts where both sides are useful. As a result if I really love a fabric I will try to use it on the back deliberately because that means I can flip the quilt over and enjoy a whole piece of a favorite fabric over and over...and still have a finished quilted top on the other side. Mine are most often not wall hangings which is why this works so well.

  14. You can use it as a classy drape over a chair or table any time of year. It's making the first cut that is so hard to even contemplate. Love your classy dog lady ornament. She would find a stunning use for it in her Park Ave apartment.

  15. Lots of fun projects!! Like you, I have a hard time using beautiful fabrics on the back. I guess that is why I buy muslin by the bolt.

  16. I used to only use crap on the back, thinking I was being economical. Now I've grown up and realized that I want to die with only the crap still in my stash, having used up all the good stuff! Can't wait to see more of your kaleidoscope, it looks awesome!