Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A season of giving

I am wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. This year at my house, the Holidays are going to be low key and hopefully stress free! My hubs and I traditionally go to see his family in El Salvador on alternating winters and this was supposed to be a year to go. But we have had a busy busy semester with him interviewing all over the country for residency positions. Next semester will be just as busy with his away rotation to Korea and my heavy teaching load. I am thankful we will get to spend a quiet day at home just enjoying each other's company and playing board games (once I leave the lab...yeast wait for no beast!)

I've been meaning to share two special quilts I made this year for charity. I try to make sure I make 1-2 charity quilts every year as one of the ways I give back. I wasn't sure where to send these quilts originally and I sat on them for a while. But then I remembered that Chick-fil-A sets up a Christmas tree sponsored by the salvation army in December for kids donations. You can  pick any number of kids and bring in a gift for them. I chose a 1 yr. old boy and 1yr. old girl to give these quilts:

Boy quilt - I used up the rest of my scoot transportation fabric to make this cute rectangle quilt. I love the backing fabric I chose here too. It's a perfect complement to the front.

For the quilting I decided to try something different and I free motion quilted different angular shapes with a variegated Aurifil thread.

Here is the girl quilt:

This is my own pattern that I am calling fractal. It is actually made up of 16 identical blocks rotated to form this pattern. I quilted it with a giant spiral starting in the center which is why it looks a little puffy in the center in the picture below... or maybe that is because it was folded up for months before I decided to photograph it and I didn't iron it.

The back is made of wonky cross-cutting strips. Pretty psychedelic.

Merry Christmas little boy and little girl. I hope you like your presents!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Skirting the Tree

We interrupt my (lately) silent blog to bring you a finish! What do you get when you pair cool Christmas fabrics with a giant swoon block? A glorious tree skirt.

I was drawn to a bright red with icy blue palette. The woodgrain grounds everything and the low volume background ensures that the overall effect is soft. My only regret is that I used too many grayish background fabrics. The gray was so close to the blues I used that you lose the overall swoon effect. It is so hard to get soft colors to contrast the right way!

I made a 2X swoon block and then cut out the center.

The bias binding went all around the quilt and then I added ties so it would close around the tree.

Emboldened after seeing Sarah's (Stitching and bacon) dogwood quilting up close, I went for it. If she can do it surely I can too. It was fun and pretty easy given I already had a grid for reference:
I think the dogwod quilting is Christmas-esque without being too in your face.

 Iwanted a reversible tree skirt so I did a fun design on the back using some leftover HSTs from the construction of the front. It is decidedly bolder and frankly, looks better under the tree...go figure.

The busy design also hides all those pesky pine needles better. Sorry my grass is so brown.

Here are some pics in situ. It was early morning and my front window faces the sun. So get ready to deal with the glare.