Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Stars Quilt - Done in time for the holidays!

Christmas Stars

My Christmas Stars Quilt is all finished, washed and dried! I started this quilt a long time ago, by Christmas last year I had finished the wonky stars and basted it. Then it went on the pile.

Christmas Stars

It was always my plan to give hand quilting a try with this quilt, and that is why it stayed on the pile - I did not really know how to hand quilt. Then when Rhonda, from Quilter in the Gap, and Rachel, from Contented, made the Duo QAL with its focus on the quilting, both free motion and hand quilting, I knew it was time to take it off the pile. So as to play along nicely with the QAL, first I made the ROYGBIV Log Cabin Quilt, but then they let me sneak in this one for the hand quilting.

The finished quilt is about 48" x 60" and is made out of Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas fabrics with Kona White. The binding is a light pink flannel with red dots and the back is flannel too.

Christmas Stars

I used perle cotton and hand stitched around each of the 20 stars. I learned that the stitches are going to be organic, adding texture and colour, not fine needlework. I do love how the hand stitches look, but my very sore fingers are not really fond of this hand stitching - they would rather knit, or do cross stitch, petit point, or embroidery, anything but this.

Christmas stars

So, after I outlined the 20 stars, using 4 different colours, I took the quilt to my machine and added big asterisk - * - stars in the resulting empty squares and smaller asterisk stars in the middle of the wonky stars so that there was enough quilting to keep the quilt together. The amount of quilting is still fairly light and the finished quilt is soft and snuggly.

Christmas Stars

We actually had a little sun this afternoon and so this is a shot before I bound it and washed it. I applied the binding by machine, following the careful coaching that Marianne (The Quilting Edge) provided. Although I clearly need a lot of practice, she is right - it is so much easier and far faster to do the binding by machine.

Package from Sarah

And this loveliness is from Sarah, Narcoleptic in the Cupboard. Several weeks ago she mentioned that she was happy to give this wonderful fabric away. Well I put my hand up immediately. She sent it to me along with the lovely fabric box and matching perle cotton.

Fabric box in use

I have decided this little box is perfect for keeping my scissors, seam ripper and other tools that I need handy tidy on my sewing table. They fall off a lot less now.

Christmas tree 2011

We did decorate our Christmas tree yesterday but I am still challenged to get a nice overall photo. Here is a little peek instead.

I hope you are enjoying the last week of holiday fun and excitement. I finally made a shopping list and spent a wonderful couple of hours at the bookstore with my kids last night. Despite all the fuss, I love this time of year, with bright lights and shiny ornaments - a time for sharing and for family, friends, and community.

I've added a link to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story and the Needle and Thread Network. There are lovely projects there if you have a minute or to to be inspired.

Fresh Poppy Design