Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas is Coming

Normally I can wait until after Thanksgiving to begin decorating my house for Christmas.  This year, because I was working with this gorgeous Island Batiks fabric group, I've been itching to hang my stockings and put the wreath on the door!  I'm in the spirit!

As an Island Batiks ambassador, I receive collections of various prints.  I can use the collection as I wish.  But that can be a little intimidating.  First, you get a bundle of fabrics, often 1/2 yard pieces of each.  I want to use them to show off the gorgeous colors, and that wonderful hand dyed texture, but what can one do with just 1/2 yard?  I don't like wasting the fabrics, and want to use as much as possible.

I also love Quilt In A Day, and have subscribed to their Block Party this year.  These last few months have been new patterns.  Sew Radiant is one of the latest, designed by Pat Knoechel, Eleanor Burn's sister (and someone I've met a few times at her show at Pocono Sew & Vac).

Well, this pattern uses fat quarters and some yardage.  I picked 3 reds, 3 greens and 3 golds from the Island Batiks bundles, and one more print for the binding, and used almost all of it on this quilt.  I think I have 2 4" strips left, and some 1" strip scraps.  Yippee!  I can make some mug rugs out of the remaining fabrics.

The Island Batkis fabrics are gorgeous. 
After cutting the blocks, I had pieces that were about 4" wide, so I pieced them to the right length for the borders.   

 The red fabrics have stars and snowflakes, in gold metallic paint, and a batik print with green leaves.  The greens have pine branches or reindeer, snowflakes and words like Rejoice, Joy, and Noel in gold, or a batik pine print.  The gold had the gold pine branches, stars and swirls.  All the backgrounds are hand dyed batiks.  And the threadcount of the base fabric is wonderful, too.  It's so nice to work with gorgeous colors and fabrics that are sturdy and don't fray.  
 Backing is a poinsettia print with gold accents, but not from Island Batiks. 

Quilting was done on my Viking Sapphire, all hand guided (FMQ) with Superior metallic thread in light gold.  I did a snowflake in the center block, and feathers surrounding it, and in the border.  6 bobbins of Aurifil 50wt for the backing, in red.   Most metallic threads are difficult to work with.  Superior is the best I've found, and it gives a lovely accent to the fabrics from Island Batiks. 

So, don't you want to light a fire in the fireplace, turn on It's A Wonderful Life, and snuggle in with a cup of hot chocolate, next to your favorite person or dog?  Yeah, me too.

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