I am one of those types of persons that hates to just “buy” something. When it comes to Christmas gifts, I really want to find something that has a purpose. I would rather someone give me a poem they wrote than spend a lot of money on something I may or may not like.
This is my first Christmas with a new company and when asked to provide an exchange gift, I was elated. Making exchange gifts by hand sure beats stuffing a gift card in an envelope. What Did I make?
I made a set of (6) custom-quilted holiday place mats. They were a little busy, but also provided a lot of visual impact. Holidays are about bright colors and fun patterns anyway.
I had a lot of fun fussy-cutting the puppies out to use in the side diamonds. While this side was full of ornaments, trees and snowmen, the back was one solid fabric. This allowed the beautiful gold quilted designs to show through. Doing it this way created a reversible mat design and a fun to give Christmas gift.
What type of Christmas gifts did you make this year?
It seems that fall is the time when thoughts of holiday-inspired projects seem to predominate. I have been pretty fortunate this year and have completed many projects well before the season they are inspired by. The first new place mats were of the Halloween variety. you can check them out HERE.
Recently, I started to updated my kitchen with new placemat designs. I just finished these fun, paper pieced placemats and have some Halloween themed ones under way.
For these fall-inspired mats, I chose to do a paper-pieced fall leaf. After this was accomplished, it was just a matter of adding fabrics to make them the correct size.
I adore the final border fabric, the rich, deep colors and gold are gorgeous!
After putting them together, I sewed them all into one piece and took them to the long-arm. While I could have done an overall E2E through the whole mess, instead I decided to do some sampling of different designs. I actually like them all: Leaves, Swirls, Cross Hatch and Turkey!
The Final Product
The final product turned out so cute and with the quilting, they are reversible.
A wonderful quilter friend of mine provided two different, but similar quilts for me to work on recently. Margret chose to do a Block of the month (BOM) from a local quilt shop – Country Stitches, in two different ways. This is a BOM times two!
Quilt one – Christmas Fabrics
The first quilt to discuss is the original, a lovely Christmas themed beauty. The fabrics are just gorgeous. Margret wanted to do something fun and with movement for the E2E quilting. She chose the Frost pattern from Urban Elemetz.
Quilt Two – Retro
The second block of the month quilt was done with vintage-inspired fabrics and takes on a more sedate and elegant look. We discussed how to quilt this one and ultimately decided to do a moderate custom design. Margret just said “make it pretty”.
I started out with a nice but not too dense block design as all the blocks were the same.
Next I looked at the sashing and corner stones. I do admit, that one of my favorite elements on this quilt are the cute flowers in the corner stones!
The last element to plan out were the borders. In the past, I have done piano key/type treatments to other quilts, but I felt that softening the hard lines instead would work better. So, instead I did a clam shell design that was just perfect.
I am a real sucker for reproduction fabrics, so to work on this second version was so much fun for me.
One hidden benefit to our home in Texas is that we are only 1 mile from the main Antique Alley shows. Some may feel this is a negative because of the added traffic 2x each year. We don’t!
This year was surely a wet one, so it was fortunate that we went on Friday before the deluge of the weekend commenced.
Each year, you really don’t know what you will find. While there are vendors that we see from year to year, there are also new booths and treasures to find.
My first find was this cute pair of scissors! I just love how well they fit my hand and can’t wait to use them at my long-arm.
The old/antique quilts I found at Antique Alley actually fell into two categories. First were hand-quilted cotton beauties:
The second category were non-cotton and mostly polyester. I have never came across so many at one time before:
Of course, the biggest purchase we made this day is the beautiful fountain that fits perfectly outside my kitchen window. We have been looking for something special for quite a while and was so happy to find it. A big thanks goes to Portillo Concrete Patio Furniture and Alejandro Portillo and son.
As you can see, we had lots of help, including our grandson, Hunter. I can’t wait to get it painted and filled with water, it will be so beautiful!
Finally, with Halloween just around the corner, I couldn’t resist taking this special selfie. I see a profile picture coming on 🙂