Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Houses 1997

I have shown you this quilt before, but never with the details. Christmas Houses was my first ever liberated project, courtesy of the remarkable "Liberated Quiltmaking" by Gwen Marston. It's such a weird mix of icky ugly Christmas fabrics from the 1980s as well as gorgeous purples and greens that I still love. I've written more about making this quilt way back in this post.

I was so proud of my quilting when I finished this. Now I would do a whole lot more - but I think I've gone overboard with the hand quilting in recent years.

Look at my little misshappen snowman. I could make this so much better now, but he has his charm. I am thrilled that I included the date in my quilting - I know exactly what year I made it just by looking at the front of the quilt.


Speaking of Gwen, her Liberated String Quilts is now out of print. I don't understand that at all, it's such a beautiful book. Great pics of antique string quilts. You can still buy a copy directly from Gwen, which you should consider doing before the price of the used copies shoots way up.

I haven't done any sewing lately, just working on gift bags. I figure I've got to do it while the mood is upon me, otherwise they'll never get finished. Yesterday I watched the first four episodes of the tv series Jericho, about life in a smalltown after a big nuclear attack on the U.S. I keep thinking these people aren't nearly freaked out enough - the world as they know it is gone. But I guess they haven't had enough time to think it through yet. I'm already yelling at them to start rationing batteries, fuel and food. I'm sure they'll get there soon.

On a much happier note, I've put my Christmas music into play, so now I'm grooving to Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Steve Tyrell, the Ventures and the immortal Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby. And of course Elvis, how could I have forgotten to mention him.

I have a bunch of links for you. First off, I received an email from Kris asking me to tell you about a non-profit website called Twirls for Girls, which was set up so that people could download free doll skirt and top patterns to be made and donated to the Marine Toys for Tots foundation this Christmas. When I think of Toys for Tots I always imagined that they just want purchased toys, it's good to know that they value hand-crafted items. And if there's no Toys for Tots in your part of the world, I'm sure there is a child or charity that would love the gift of doll clothes as well.

The amazing Bonnie has been incredibly busy (I know, when isn't she). First off, she has kindly added my free-piecing Basics tutorial to Quiltville so you can now print it off much easier over there rather than from my blog. She's also come up with a fun Crumb Tutorial that hopefully will give ya'all a better idea of how those little blocks are made up. She included pics from our Crumby Retreat that made me I wish I could be there in Florida sewing with her now. Last but not least, she has added directions for making String Stars.

Cascade Lily free-pieced a teapot and it looks excellent. She drew it out first to get an idea of how it would go together and then just pieced it. Looks marvelous. She's been quilting freehand fans too, so go check out the other fun quilts on her blog.

Kimberly M at Loco Quilter is a hoot. She made wonderful free-pieced Halloween blocks and now she's working on Christmas. you can check out her blog to see her charming Santa. She's also a member of the Winter Class where there is some great work being posted.

Deputy's Wife just tried the free-pieced letters. She was very brave, just dove right in and didn't even practise with the simple ones first. Her work in progress can be seen on her 26 Nov post. She found making the letters easy and fun. Always wonderful to get feedback like that.

26 comments:

de vliegende koe said...

The quilt is lovely, I love houses. You should really cherish this one. You might make it different or better now, maybe, but looking back at the mistakes, as you call them, makes you aware of your quilting journey!

Susan said...

I love this quilt! One of the nicest things is that when you mix the fabrics that aren't all that great into a quilt like this, with fabrics that you love, it all looks wonderful. I think the snowman is just perfect. =)

Looks like we could listen to the same music for an afternoon of stitching, too!

Sandy's Quilter's Block said...

I think your snowman is very charming. This is a gem of a quilt.
Your quilting stitches look great.

joyce said...

The houses are still the best part of free piecing for me. I must try one of those tall ones. It reminds me of a lighthouse. Fabric styles may change but the quilt still looks fantastic.

Hedgehog said...

Just love these houses! I have to file this away for future inspiration. I wish I could just make quilty gifts full time until Christmas, but there's no chance of that. I swear this year, I'm starting in January!

Paula said...

I really like your quilt. I love the hand quilting on it too! You did a great job.

atet said...

Good thing I've already got my copy of Liberated String Quilts :0). As always I love your wonky quilts -- and yep, probably would do things differently now, but if there were no room for changes in taste and/or technique, where would the fun be?

Thanks for the links as well! Those doll clothes look like fun to make and I can see making 2 sets -- one for dd and one for Toys for Tots!

jude said...

love the crumb post and that snowman is hilarious. lots of smiles here all around....

Brit said...

I love your quilting...poor Qwen, she won't get any of the credit for my liberation!!

Marge said...

Even though I've looked at Christmas Houses before, I understand it more since you've shared other details about it. A long time ago I learned that I have to use some ugly fabrics to make my quilts interesting and to compliment my favorite fabrics. As you critique different parts of your earlier quilts, I am always reminded that you wouldn't be where you are now as a quilter if it hadn't been for these earlier gems. You constantly inspire me...

Sue in western WA said...

I appreciate your going back and showing us quilts you may have shown before. I would probably miss out on them otherwise! The Christmas houses quilt is charming. And inspiring :- )

Mary said...

I love the Christmas village. I'm almost done with my Holiday House and while I'm not completely happy with it - it's been fun.

Both Liberated Quilting and Liberated Strings are favorite books of mine and I agree - must haves!

Cascade Lily said...

Aw shucks, thanks for the plug :)

Your Christmas quilt is great - 10 years old too! You're allowed to change your style and tastes over a decade you know!

I love how you did the wavy lines to show snow on the roofs.

LOL re Jericho - we started watching it here too. It's like a soapie but set in post-nuclear US. Maybe it's a comedy? :D

Kieny said...

I love that quilt. I love all the different houses, the night skies, trees and the colours are wonderful. Can I ask how big it is? I hope they are going to reprint some of Gwen Marston's books. I tried to order one at Amazon but it was too expensive for me.

Kathie said...

A House quilt HAS to be on my agenda for this coming year. Yours is just SO cool.

Laura said...

I love this quilt because it looks so colorful.
I really wanted to watch the show Jericho but life always seemed to get in the way.
And we are listening to the same music!!! I go home and put the traditional holiday music on my FX tv. I love Dean Martin, Doris Day, Elvis and Ella anytime of the year and Elvis Blue Christmas is my favorite

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

You'll love this - earlier today I ordered 'vintage' Christmas cd's by Louis Armstrong, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and B.B. King because I get so tired of the trite and trendy "elevator" Christmas music...

Have you ever listened to Andrew Peterson's cd named 'Behold the Lamb of God' - I especially love his 'It Was a Labor of Love' track.

Absolutely love your holiday houses... I was going to work on a calendar quilt for 2008, but after seeing your post, I am going to create a couple of houses, trees, etc. each month so that by this time next year I'll have my own fabric holiday village.

Thanks, Tonya, for the ongoing inspiration!!

Ming said...

Tonya, this is a beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing with us. just watched news about Paris on tv. I hope everything is fine.

Dawn said...

Oh I loved all the links of the free form winter challenge. Since I don't have much time to sew lately at least I have lots of good eye candy!

andsewitis Holly said...

I love that snake "dish" in your last post. It would be great to hide a cache in - really throw someone off, don't you think? I've heard there are cache containers like that, plus fake poop ones - hehe. I'm on the lookout for said containers but a bit wary of anything snake-like.

I think the gift bags are an excellent gift for your parents. You did great!

Oooh, I'll have to check out those tutorials. Thanks for the links.

katelnorth said...

Great house quilt Tonya - I like that a lot. And luckily for me, I have a copy of Liberated Strings already...

Kris said...

Tonya, Thank you so much for letting everyone know about "Twirls for Girls!" We are so excited about this project and it has been a lot of fun seeing the pictures of the skirts coming in and being donated all over the country! Also, your Christmas house quilt is AMAZING. You are so talented!

gloria g. said...

Yes, I so love this quilt, but after researching the book....it's out of print and the price is out of my budget! Help!!! Anyone have one they want to sell????? Great job!

gloria g. Richards, TX

Joanna Jenkins said...

Just stopped over from Sarah Sullivan's to say how FABULOUS your Christmas quilt is! It immediately put me in the holiday spirit!

Thanks,
xo

Alison said...

And I have just stopped by as well. But I will return! I LOVE the quilts!

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