Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Christmas gifts and decorations
Tis time for some holiday cheer and preparations for gifts and decorations as only quilters and needleworkers can do. It takes time to do these projects and even starting now might find us stitching at the eleventh hour on the holiday eve. That seemed to have become a tradition with my mother-in-law. Each year found her and maybe some of her elves (daughters and granddaughters) working on stuffed toys, quilts or clothing for one of her 16 grandchildren.
Nobody says old fashioned Christmas quite like Debbie Mumm and her delightful primitive holiday patterns such as this free Santa Door Banner pattern. Of course she has many more beautiful creations with patterns available in her book, Quick Country Christmas Projects.
Also featured on that same site is a free flying geese pattern to make Christmas stockings. Although I particularly like the table runner with the pieced poinsettia motif.
While thinking of the holidays, Jennifer Chiaverini has written an Elm Creek Quilts novel just for the season with the apt title: The Christmas Quilt. The entire series embraces the art of quilting as well as the women who make them.
A Beary Merry Christmas has been around for several years, but the pattern continues to warm my heart whenever I chance upon it. The free pattern is available here.
Of course memory quilts make great gifts any time of the year, but maybe during the holiday that celebrates family, they are even more beloved. I particularly like the quilt book "Memory Quilts in the Making" compiled and edited by Rhonda Richards for Oxmoor House.
A Redwork quilt is also beautiful at any time of the year, but seems perfectly suited for a Christmas quilt. You could take coloring book pages and embroidered them on squares and set them together with Christmas patterned fabric or alternate them with star squares or turn them into pillows. Here is just one of an endless number of Internet sites that feature coloring book pages.
A story quilt of the nativity seems in order, too. I have a basic pattern of the holy family that I am hoping to make this year. But I also stumbled across this lovely quilt that may also make its way into my 'to be made' pile of quilt patterns, books and ideas.
For a variety of Christmas quilts where you might come up with ideas for your own original, check out Forever in Season. Well, maybe this will whet your appetite and get you started on the seasonal gifts. Or perhaps you'd like to just start making charity quilts to donate for this season of giving? If so, don't forget the dogs and cats as well as babies, homeless, sick, war torn, or those whose loved ones are fighting in the military.
Of course there are other holidays -- Thanksgiving, Hanuka, Veteran's Day.... all good reasons for quilt making.