Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Preparations

With the holidays just around the corner it is time to begin decorating. The first thing I do every year is put my Christmas Bowtie quilt on my bed. This really gets me into a holiday mood. 

This quilt has a fun story. On Boxing Day (that's the day after Christmas for us in Canada) I like to begin a new quilting project. In the late 90's I decided to make a few bowtie blocks using some of my Christmas fabrics. The fabrics told a story of my holiday quilting projects since I started quilting in 1984.

My mom stays at our place through the holidays so she helped me by sorting my scraps and choosing the ones to include in the quilt. I decided to make only 1 bowtie of each fabric. She put them on my design wall as I made each block. We soon realized that this would have to be a long term project if I wanted a bed quilt.

So every Boxing Day for the next few years I made more blocks and Mom would arrange them on the design wall. After the holidays I would take them all down again and we would start again the next year! We only worked on this quilt on Boxing Day each year.

When I exhausted my stash of fabrics I asked the members of my Monday Night quilt group for fabrics from their stash to include in the quilt since I still wanted every bowtie to be a different fabric.

Finally on Boxing Day in 2003 I had made 80 bowtie blocks - but the quilt wasn't quite large enough for our bed. I decided to add a cream border and then a pieced border and finally an outer border. After the quilt was made I didn't really like the solid cream border that surrounded the bowties. I had been practicing my machine quilting skills and thought it might be fun to 'write' in that border. So I wrote down all the words and phrases that had meaning for me during the Christmas season, wrote them on the quilt with a blue marker and then free-motion stitched over the lines.

The quilt was completed in 2004 and the pattern was published in McCall's Quilting magazine in December 2004.

No comments: