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.