It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! There is snow on the ground, the wind is blowing hard, and I just finished a Christmas quilt! Okay, in reality I am searching the ground every day for a tiny sign of spring and planning all the planting that needs to be done, but I really did finish a Christmas quilt. And Mother Nature has kindly provided us with some snow so that the pictures look wintery. Wasn't that nice of her?
If you recall, I pulled these poor neglected blocks out of the closet a few weeks ago and gave myself two weeks to get my act together and do something with the blocks. It took a little longer, but I did get them together into this comfy quilt. Yay for not going back into the closet!
I did not make any of these blocks. They were made by friends of mine in an online quilt group for a group swap. These came from people all over the US and I know for sure one of my blocks is from a friend in Australia. Of course, I made a ton of these blocks and they got sent on to other friends.
The pattern for these blocks is HERE. I can tell you that they are tricky to make and not for beginners. One issue in both the construction and the quilting is that the rays of the blocks are made with 3D flying geese. I kept getting hung up on those free edges while I was quilting this. It was quite frustrating. My one piece of advice for anyone quilting 3D pieces is to make use of a glue stick. Seriously, it can tack down those edges just enough so that they can be properly caught in the seams and so that they don't snag your machine foot when you're quilting.
If you look closely, you'll see that this quilt is extra dimensional. I used two layers of leftover wool batting that I just stitched together, which made the quilt really puffy but also soft and warm. It needed something special because I wasn't going to spend a lot of time quilting it up. Even the two layers of wool gave me no problems with the quilting. It moved through the machine just fine and stitched beautifully. The binding is scraps of three different red Christmas fabrics, which are now all used up. Double yay for that!
I have to confess that the quilting on this quilt is atrocious. All I did for the quilting was use a walking foot along both the short and long edges of the blocks to stabilize the quilt, then I free-motion quilted along the arcs and a little away from the rays in each block. I really should have used the walking foot for that part as well, and I would have had better results. My problem was having to twist and turn the quilt to use the walking foot, and that would not have gone well with my machine. As it is, the lines are quite wobbly. A lot of it gets hidden in the batting, and I'm hoping that it will be much less noticeable once it's washed, too.
All told, though, it came out pretty well, especially since it's just for our family. The best part is that it's not going back in the closet! We'll probably cuddle up with it for a little while, then it will get washed and put away until the end of this year. So that's one more quilt all done! Getting this out of the closet and finished is a load off my mind. It's so freeing to get a project moved along. I don't have to look at the box and feel bad any more!
It happens that I have one block left over from this quilt, because we all made 36 blocks and got 36 blocks back (over the course of several months, not all at once!) This weekend, I'm going to use the leftover block to make a little doll quilt to support Bernie's Share the Love project, which you can read about in her post HERE. If there's anything that will warm your heart, it's this project, so hop on over there and check it out. And have a great weekend, too!
Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and crazymomquilts.