Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christmas in July

While I was in Tennessee with my daughter, I went to a “Christmas in July” weekend retreat at The Stitchery Quilt Shoppe in Dyersburg. See What fun! There were only 5 quilters, plus Linda and Danny, the shop owners. Everyone brought great pot-luck dishes to share, and Danny made a beef brisket. Heaven forbid that quilters should get hungry! We stitched and ate our way through a Christmas project, listened to oldies on the radio, and talked and enjoyed all the customers who came into the shop. I came home with all my blocks sewn and trimmed, and I just finished putting them together yesterday.

I chose this pattern called “Tree’s Up! Lights On!” by Pieces from my Heart:
This is an easy “stack and slice” pattern. You copy the pattern onto freezer paper, iron it to a fat quarter of fabric, then stack under it as many layers as you think you can slice with your rotary cutter. The pattern said to slice 10 layers at a time, but I only cut 5, like this:

You need 30 fat quarters—10 in each of three colors. I chose red, off-white, and black/green, and all my fabrics were purchased at The Stitchery. After you slice the pattern, you rearrange the pieces so that the prints are mixed up, and you sew them together in the order indicated on the pattern.

My finished blocks were very uneven, but they are supposed to be, since you are creating your own seam allowances, in effect, with this type of pattern. When the blocks are done, you trim them all to the same size. I managed to get a 10” x 14” block, but some quilters trimmed to 9½” x 13”.

I can never leave well enough alone, so after I got home, I drew some wacky stars—to go with the wacky trees—and appliqued them to the leftover scraps. I inserted some stars with the blocks, and used others in the border.

The border is scrappy out of necessity. I only bought 1 extra yard of 1 black fabric, so I had to add in pieces of other black and red leftovers. The end result is a happy quilt, as a Christmas quilt should be.

I thought that surely I would be able not only to finish the top, but quilt it by today, but life and laundry happens, you know, and I feel lucky to get the top finished. It's pretty big--68" x 78". I’ll have plenty of time to think about how I want to quilt it, because I am off on another road trip, which you all know I love. Woo-hoooo!!--to Colorado this time, for 2½ weeks. First to a conference with my husband (he’s conferencing, I’m hiking) in Snowmass, where we will find a nice restaurant and celebrate his 60th birthday, which was yesterday. Happy birthday, honey! In the picture above, on the left, you see some spare bicycle tires and other equipment he is packing with his bicycle so he can ride in the mountains.

Then I’m off to Longmont to visit my youngest daughter, Libby, and to my sister’s ranch near Wetmore to cook for Libby’s wedding in September. I’m taking three hand quilting projects with me to finish. Libby has my old Bernina, so I can even sew on the binding if I finish the quilting. And do you think there are any quilt shops in Colorado? I’m flying there, but driving back, so that means … I better take an extra tote bag!


  1. Love your Christmas quilt! What a fun way to cut up the fabrics! I can't believe you were in Dyersburg! My sister goes to that shop too! Have fun in Colorado and visiting family!


  2. LaDonna--Linda and Danny at The Stitchery in Dyersburg are very friendly and helpful. I LOVE to go there to see what Danny is quilting on his big Gammill quilting machine.

  3. K, that is soo much work, but absolutely adorable!

  4. LaDonna: Is your sister Diana Cox (that looks like her in your profile picture)?? I taught with Diana in Cville! My name is Genevieve Felts Meyer, this is my Mom's blog. :) What a small world!

  5. Cindy I love your post!!! We had a great weekend! I have finished my tops... I made 2 small quilts and added borders to mine. I believe I'm gonna applique 5 stars in the border, to represent the fab. five, lol.
    Sharon Riley

  6. Cindy....what a GREAT job girly!!! You are sooo talented!!! The quilt looks awesome! We all did have a fantastic time and I can't wait till Christmas in July 2012!!! I wonder what next years project will be?????

    I finished my quilt top and am going tomorrow back to dyersburg to pick out more fabric to do a border so I may just pick up on yours and Sharon's idea and something for the FABULOUS FIVE!!!!

    Have a sew-tastic weekend!!
    hugs n stitches
    Pam Monasco