I’m not much of a pre-planner, and my co-workers will certainly attest to this! My brother thinks I procrastinate, but that’s not true. I do a lot of last-minute stuff, however – maybe my name should be Last-minute Lucy. When I have a quilt to make for a show, display or magazine, the first question I ask is “When is it due?” Then I work back from that date, allocating time to the quilt project, and fill in other necessary activities/commitments around that. Problem is, I sometimes (okay, usually) don’t allocate enough time – to any of the commitments. The end result is that I still get the projects done, and in the time allotted, but I have to work much faster as the time runs out. I get so much done in that “11th hour”. A deadline is a real motivator! Just ask any quilter who has committed to having a quilt ready for an upcoming show – he or she is working on it daily, right up to the day before the show. Quilts always seem to take 10 or 20 hours longer than we plan, don’t they? Some of you are saying “No”, but a lot of you are saying “I’m with you, sister!”
That’s why, when I make a holiday or seasonal quilt, I like to make something that is really quick and easy – I want to get the quilt done and on the bed long before the holiday is over. Take my Hootin’ Holidays quilt that is in the 2014 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter’s Best Christmas Quilts, on newsstands now. I used Northcott’s Holiday Hoot flannel collection, with its adorable owl border stripe.
This stripe is doing most of the work in the quilt. I used it in the border, of course – great big 9” wide strips – and it makes a very interesting border. The effect is that it looks like I sewed lots of strips together, when in fact it is just the fabric. Then I also used the stripe in the blocks, cutting upper and lower triangles, and piecing them with bright flannel textures to create sashed square-in-a-square blocks. The flannel textures are from the Stonehenge Kids flannel coordinates, and I pulled colors from the border stripe – golden yellow, orange, chartreuse, turquoise, red, royal and dark green – not exactly Christmas colors! The end result is a cozy twin/double quilt that is cute and fun – just perfect for a kid’s bed.
Northcott also designed a sew-easy advent calendar to coordinate with the Holiday Hoot fabrics, and it is the easiest advent calendar ever! You simply fold the panel along the lines indicated to make rows of pockets, and then stitch vertical lines between the columns to create the individual pockets for treats. My boys are 22 & 20 and they still look for their advent calendar every year, as they count down the days till Christmas.
Each December 1, I pull out the Christmas stuff and decorate my home for the holidays. This includes putting a special Christmas quilt on each bed. I started making these quilts several years ago, and have made one almost every year since. They usually include a panel or lengthwise border stripe, as the Hootin’ Holidays one does, so they really do go together quickly. I also have 5 holiday wall quilts that hang in place of pictures for the month of December. One of them was made by my Nana – hand-quilted, it is my first quilt, and I love it!
How about you? Do you decorate your home with holiday quilts? Is there one that is extra-special? Please post a comment on my blog, sharing your thoughts, for a chance to win a complimentary copy of Best Christmas Quilts. I will include some fabrics from one of Northcott’s Christmas collections – Holiday Hoot, Christmas Traditions, Old Time Christmas, Stonehenge Starry Night – or winter collections – Winter Wonderland, Alpine Getaway – if you tell me which collection is your favorite. See the collections on www.northcott.com. Comments received by midnight tonight are eligible. I will choose 1 winner for the magazine and fabric, and 2 more winners for just fabric. And enjoy this year’s Best Christmas Quilts – there are some fabulous projects in it.