Monday, February 18, 2013

xmas in february: santa in the sky {with diamonds}

Or, what happens when you accidentally use a horizontal (vs diagonal, agh!) measurement for a strip-pieced Lone Star and find yourself with half a star just days before the jolly old man is due to land on your rooftop. Needless to say, this design was more a product of creative necessity than careful planning. Details, details -- clearly I overlooked some important ones here ;)

The idea for this quilt came about in early December, which is about the time of year my husband chimes in about my grinchy-ness.  (It's not that I don't like Christmas; I just prefer Thanksgiving.)

In any event, this quilt was an attempt to add some (apparently lacking) holiday cheer to the {no} hats household.  You see, this being our daughter's very first Christmas, I thought that we could start a tradition of laying out a picnic for Santa every Christmas Eve right before her bedtime:  milk and cookies, naturally, but also some bread, cheese, small plates, and who knows, maybe even some mulled wine to warm up the big guy on those cold winter nights.  Lucky Santa ;)

Of course, to set up Santa's lovely picnic, we would need a picnic blanket, right?  But not just any old blanket...  No no, Santa would need his very own special picnic blanket in rich reds and snowy creams.  So I sketched what I believed would be an enormous Lone Star quilt, and in the usual holiday rush I hastily cut the fabric and started strip-piecing like mad.  Then, when it finally came time to re-cut the sewn fabric into diagonal strips, I quickly realized that I had grossly underestimated my initial cuts:  instead of the anticipated yield of eight strips per panel, I was lucky to get five.  Oh dear.

Now, what to do with the scraps... Maybe some placemats, coasters, and napkins for Mr. Claus's meal?

By that point, I was too far into the process to go back to square one (i.e., cut+sew+iron+cut just to be caught up), so I returned to sketching instead (which, ironically, is as "square one" as it gets, but that didn't occur to me at the time).  Realizing I had enough sections for at least four full diamonds, I played around with placement options until I finally outlined an oversized argyle-esque sequence.

But it was still missing something... So I grabbed a stack of solids left over from this adventure to figure out which secondary color might add some interest whilst honoring the quilt's seasonal significance.  As far as I could tell, I had two choices:  shades of green, or blue.  So why blue?  Honestly, the former combination seemed (1) too predictable and (2) too Christmassy (I think my husband is right about me).

Finished size will be about 85" x 90".  Plenty big for Mr. Clause, and perhaps even a guest or two ;)

In any event, what I wound up with was a snowy background filled with red --> white {wonky} diamonds bordered in strips of shaded solid blues.  And you know what?  If I may, I have to say I'm quite fond of the result.  Added bonus?  Plenty of straight lines to guide the quilting design ;)

Needless to say, Santa missed out on his picnic.  But I have a good feeling about this year...

Later this week I'll be linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday, freshly pieced's WIP Wednesday, and finish it up Friday hosted by crazy mom quilts. Yay for linky parties ;)  And I know, I know, at first blush it seems inconsistent to label a work in progress as a finish.  But if you don't at least acknowledge the mini-finishes with big quilts, you might never make it to the binding, right?

'Tis the season ;)


  1. I think it's fantastic! I love it when projects come out even better than we anticipated (and hoped for!)!

    Well done!

  2. Hilarious...although you probably don't think so!

  3. Are you sure you didn't sneak in some of the mulled wine you had set aside for Santa? ;) Looks fabulous anyway, and I am glad you were able to redesign without abandoning altogether. It has turned out wonderfully. What a sweet idea.

  4. That's fabulous and I think it looks so cool!

  5. The work in those diamonds is incredible. I love how the finished quilt is looking. Really nice work.

  6. I think it is great how you fixed a boo boo.. I have skipped plenty of details in projects. And we do not want to toss into the trash. great job!

  7. What a save! You are awesome girl, and Santa's sure going to appreciate it next Christmas too. Keep on going, Christmas is coming!

  8. How creative and beautiful! Sometimes it can be so much fun to do weren't planning!


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