Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Christmas in July!
I realized I'm quickly running out of days in which to title a post "Christmas in July". It's a tad wrinkly from being folded up since Christmas, but I wanted to show off my Countdown to Christmas advent quilt. I made this quilt just in time for December last year (I think I finished it on November 30th). I originally designed this quilt at work and our staff quilter, Margaret, sewed it up. It even made it into The Quilter magazine's Quilting for Christmas issue! Seeing my name listed as the designer in the magazine was super exciting.
The pattern for this quilt is available for free here. You'll notice that I didn't make the fancy border that is shown in the original quilt. I was afraid I would run out of fabric/time/knowledge/patience to get that border done, so I decided to simplify. Each "block" is a pocket to hold a special treat/gift for each day counting down to Christmas. The kids loved it this past Christmas and I hope it's a tradition we can carry on for many more years.
Most of the pockets have an appliquéd number on the front, but seven of the pockets have a quilt block, all of which I paper pieced. Figuring out how to make the pockets probably would have meant a lot of trial-and-error for me, but luckily Margaret worked all that out when she made the first quilt and sent me home with a nice little sample pocket.
Here's a close-up of one of the number pockets. I fused down the numbers and then stitched around them with a simple zigzag stitch.
And here are a couple of my favorite quilt block pockets:
All of the fabrics (besides the solid white and greens) are from Kate Spain's "12 Days of Christmas" collection. I loved it as soon as I saw it because it wasn't the traditional Christmas fabric with the red, green, and gold motifs. Hopefully I love it 10 years from now too, as I hope we'll still be using it, no matter how many eye rolls I get from a then 15-year-old Aidan. He's gonna look forward to that candy cane or Hot Wheels car everyday, darn it!