Jolly Old St. Nicholas • recap

JollyOldStNick_front

I recently received an email from a reader, asking me about the details of my Jolly Old St. Nicholas quilt.  Her simple request pointed up a problem all of us blog writers face: how to find things on our blogs.  I do have an index, but she specifically asked for more information about that quilt, which is NOT on the indexed link.

While it may seem strange to have a post about Christmas in June, I will occasionally be going through some long-term projects, and collecting all the information about that quilt in one post, linking to other posts when necessary.  I can see several that are strung out across several months, that would benefit from this coalescing.  So here it goes for Santa.

Santa's Village Pattern

Pattern: I used Santa’s Village, from Thimblecreek, but with many changes.  See Construction Photos section for more info.

Outside Large Green Blocks: I didn’t like many of the pattern’s original blocks.  So I drafted my own in QuiltPro Software, and asked my Mid-Century Modern Beemates to each make me a block, shown in this post, where there are 14 blocks to choose from.  You can download templates (or pattern pieces) for each block on that page.

Construction Photos

JollyOldStNick_1

On the original pattern, you can see the top of the tree and the tips of Santa’s toes being chopped off by the addition of their giant rick-rack.  I decided I wanted a cleaner finish as I wasn’t keen about the “chop-offs” on the original pattern.  I measured carefully, placing everything just so, but in the end, I slimmed down the top of the tree (inset) so everything would fit.

I also added a 1-inch red band around the outside edge.  Be careful in your measuring.  The center Santa block needs to finish at 24″ so if you are going to add a one-inch border, then the center Santa needs to finish at 22 inches (cut the center white square down to 22 1/2″ inches to allow for seam allowances).

The feet were a torture to applique, but they make this guy, so stick with it.

JollyOldStNick_4

As mentioned before, the blocks were made by my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee; here I audition them for their placement around Santa.

JollyOldStNick_2

Then it was time to start on the trees and houses.  The original pattern has a lot of funny pieces at the ends of the trees.  Basically  you make a sort of flying geese block, stretched or regular (depending on where in the tree stack it is), then added a spacer at the end to even it out.  I eliminated those end spacers on the top and middle triangle sections as I thought it was a lot of bother.  You can figure this out.

Truth: My pattern is either lent out to someone, or in a proverbial “safe place.”  Either way I can’t put my hands on it, in order to be more specific about this.

Another Truth: This pattern needed several more rounds of pattern testing.  I did talk to the designer at a quilt show sharing with him some of the problems I had with it.  He wasn’t very happy with me.

JollyOldStNick_5JollyOldStNick_5a

I’m showing you both of these photos, so you can see the types of spacers between the house and the tree.  I had to put one on each end of a house-tree strip in order to make them fit (different from the pattern), so don’t hesitate to make adjustments if needed.  You can see what I’m talking about if you look at the original pattern, where the tips of the trees in the corner are touching the houses.  Mine don’t touch.

JollyOldStNick_6aJollyOldStNick_6b

Since my reader asked me about the center Santa, I thought I’d throw in a couple more photos showing how cute he is.  Yes, sir.

And that’s Jolly Old St. Nicholas!

 

2013 Finish-A-Long, Quarter Four

FAL Q4_2013

This was my declaration of Things To Be Finished, for the 2013 Finish-A-Long, Quarter 4, hosted by Leanne, of She Can Quilt.  I’d put only four things on my list: my signature quilt, the Schnibbles I was working on at the time (in blue and white), the Four-in-Art quilt (represented here by an early idea of a map), and the Santa’s Village quilt.  I’m back, now, for the wrap-up.

Good thing I only had four on the list, because this fall illness hit me hard and I barely had enough energy to keep the papers graded and the laundry done.  My round-up of medications included 4 trips to the doctor, 3 courses of oral steroids (asthma), 2 different asthma inhalers, 2 runs of antibiotics, 1 bag of cough drops with their perky “you can do it!” messages. . . and a partridge in an pear tree.  Oh, and vats and vats of hot chocolate, which can be considered medicinal, right? So I consider the fact that I finished up this batch of quilts nothing short of remarkable.

SilverGold_draped

1. The signature quilt was finished just before the close of 2013, and I’m still working on the labels.  It’s now titled Silver and Gold, or The Toni Jones Quilt, and you can read about it *here.*  As this was nearly nine years in the making, I consider it my most significant finish.

Childhoods Wide Avenues Art Quilt_front

2.  Childhood’s Wide Avenues was my quilt for our Four-in-Art group’s challenge of Urban: Maps.  Our next challenge is due February 1st, and I’ve already done some preliminary sketches and gathered up photos.  But I’ve had to get through Christmas, first.

Pacific Grove Blues

3. Pacific Grove Blues was a part of the Schnibbles Challenge, and it reminded me of a week my husband and I spent in Northern California this fall.  I’m happy to have finished it. (We had a name change from Sand and Sea.)

Santa Claus Quilt_1

4. Jolly Old St. Nicholas has been up in our hallway all through the time of visits from our children, a 60th birthday party, and I consider it a real treasure.  As soon as I finish this post, though, I’m taking it down.  I can see some places I want to add some quilting, but then again, I may put it off until next December. We’ll see.  I wouldn’t have finished this without the help of my bee mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee, who all contributed the large green-and-white squares, and who were all on time in their contributions.  They are an amazing group of people!

FAL 2014

Leanne, of She Can Quilt, has hosted the 2013 Finish-A-Long and in 2014, Katy of the The Littlest Thistle will be taking over the reigns, if you want to join in.  I haven’t yet decided if I will participate.  Leanne was a blogging friend and I enjoyed the digging out of quilts and finishing them up, and even contributed a couple of tutorials to the efforts.  While some may benefit from the prizes offered for finishing, and they are generous, Mr. Random Generator and I have never been on speaking terms (aka, I never win), so that’s not really a draw for me.

However, I feel like I want to “direct” my own blog and my own quilting, moving in some different directions.  I don’t have a big stash of quilts I need to finish up and get out, and part of the rules (although I’ve noticed a bending of them lately) specifies that they need to be projects that are started and that the quilt needs to be completed (not just a quilt top).  I have a list of quilts I want to work on, but none begun, and I don’t want to rush into that right now.

FinishALong Button

But if you are someone who has a lot of tops, and needs some motivation to get things done, I heartily endorse this!  It’s been invaluable for me this year, as I’ve completed quite a few projects that may have languished in closets or in drawers.  Thanks, Leanne, for all your work!!

Santa Claus Has Come To Town!

Santa Claus Quilt_1

Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Finished December 2013

Doesn’t Santa arrive on the 24th?  Well, we just made it in time, over here.

Santa Claus Quilt_2

I started this in late September of this year, and finished it early this morning.  It’s done enough for display, but I want to go in after the rush is over and add some detail quilting here and there.  Okay, and maybe re-do a square or two, but really, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.

Santa Claus Quilt_Back

The back, with my beemates’ signature blocks along one side.  They made the green/white large patchwork blocks.

Santa Claus Quilting_1

This shot, in the shade, shows some of the quilting.  Each level is slightly different, and each block is different.

Santa Claus Quilting_2

Merry Christmas, everyone!

˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙˙

This is Quilt #125 on my 200 Quilts List.

FinishALong Button

It’s also one of my Fourth Quarter FAL Finishes, hosted by Leanne, of She Can Quilt.