525 pieces later, I can only ask myself—What was I thinking?!! I’ve been working off and on for two weeks—TWO WEEKS—putting together the center of a Christmas quilt for my granddaughter, Danica. And there have been so many interruptions—the roofers finally came to fix a skylight, I had to clean out and reorganize my closet before I tripped one more time over suitcases and summer sandals, the car had to be serviced, there was the church bazaar, and on and on, or so it seems. But really, the thing about this quilt that has taken so long is just the sheer number of pieces. No strip piecing here; each piece was individually cut, placed and sewn. The center of the quilt:
I guess I DO know how this started…. Last month when I was at the Main Street Quilt Co. in Shelbyville, Illinois, I fell for “X-Rated,” a little Schnibbles pattern by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. This pattern was specifically developed to use charm squares. The pieces are cut 2 inches by 5 inches, and 2 inches by 2 inches, making a 4 ½-inch finished square. These X’s looked more like kisses to me, so I had the idea of adding some O’s and making a Christmas kisses and hugs quilt.
I also bought two Moda charm packs—one called “12 days of Christmas” and one called “Bliss.” The colors are what I would call “new” for Christmas—apple green, light red, and turquoise blue. To avoid the matchy-matchy look, I added more traditional Christmas fabrics in darker reds, greens, and even a dark turquoise, and a white-on-white dot for the background. I almost reconsidered using this crazy mix of reds and greens of different shades (with pink, even), but I did it anyway. It really is true that the more fabrics you use, the less important any one of them seems.
It wasn’t very much fun to sew all these tiny pieces, to tell the truth, but I do love the finished product. I stopped at 9 rows of 9 X’s. I was going a little crazy and I could see this quilt was going to end up like an accordion—seams expanding and contracting—if I continued! This center measures 39 ½ inches, or 40 if I really smooth it out, so now I am faced with squaring it up and adding the border. The first row will stabilize and square it up, then I can add more X’s and the appliqué O’s that I have planned. I do love to machine appliqué.
And I just opened up the cover of the pattern and saw this written in pencil inside:
I hope tat u havv fun maceng mi kwelt Felse
(I hope that you have fun making my quilt, Feltsey)
Oh yeah—that’s what I was thinking. That’s why I sewed these 525 pieces! Danica is coming to my house on Sunday, and I sure would like to have the top ready to show her by then. I’ll be sewing like crazy for the next few days, before I have to start all the turkey business ….