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!

 

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.

Ay-Yi-Yi! It’s Christmas!

Nutcrackers

Well, that tune is playing right now on the iTunes list, and it’s true–no presents yet.  But we’ve started setting out my husband’s nutcracker collection, and pretending that Christmas isn’t 22 DAYS AWAY!!

Quilt Doodles

So in order to really tackle that list of Christmas jobs, I got right to work doodling some quilting ideas on my Santa Quilt mock-ups.  I set the intensity to 50% and print them out, then doodle away.  It’s my map, because I don’t feel uber-confident in the FMQ Skills Department.

SantasVillage Center Quilt

I should be joining the crazies at the Mall, but instead I’m listening to Christmas Carols, working on my Santa–my main work in progress.  Besides, the Christmas cards.  And getting the tree.  And cleaning up the house. . .

Like I said: Ay-Yi-Yi, It’s Christmas!!

WIP on

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced Fabrics.  Today it is hosted by Cindy Lammon from Hyacinth Quilt Designs.

Santa’s Village Quilt Top Completed

SantasVillage quilt top

After three days of sewing non-stop, except for the time when I went out to Costco to buy vegetables, or the time I took to talk on the phone to my mother and others, I finished the quilt top for Santa’s Village.  (My apologies if you heard the sewing machine whirring along while we talked.)  Pattern Plusses: the very cute Santa in the middle.  Pattern Minuses: the directions that needed to go to about 20 more pattern testers before they released it to the public.  I’ll have an errata sheet later on, when I’m not bonkers from sewing.

SantasVillage quilt pieces

This is where I started this morning.  Only I think I only had one side on the roofs of the houses.  Hard to remember.

SantasVillage quilt_partial

Houses and trees done and arranged.  I’m tired, but I press on.  I want to be done with the quilt top before I stop.

Ocean Waves Blocks Leanne

Oh, and Friday I finished up Leanne’s quilt blocks for the Always Bee Learning Bee.  And finally the weather started to turn from the near 90-degree weather on Thursday to something more respectably autumn-like.  At her house in Canada, Leanne had snow.  Shoveling snow can make you tired.

thanksgiving1918style-thumb-510x381-thumb-350x261I became even more tired when I called for reservations at The Fancy Restaurant for Thanksgiving and was told they were already booked up.  (All of our children and their families are scattered to in-laws or other, and this is just not the year to cook.)  But the Other Restaurant in the moderately fancy chain hotel has a buffet, and it’s not booked up.  Now I can spend time in the sewing room, giving thanks for Santa being finished.  Or. . . maybe quilting him, before and after our Thanksgiving feast.  I used to be a purist, never going out on the holiday because I remember when my son had to work on Thanksgiving and I was ticked off about him not being at the table with family.  Funny how things change as you age. My apologies if your son has to work at the local restaurant because little old ladies are too tired to cook.  (And PS, I’m not shopping at Target that day, nor WalMart, nor any of the other stores who are open that day.  I do have my limits. . . and my inconconsistencies.)

Leftovers

When you are this tired, it’s good to trim the HSTs leftover from the roofs, and start playing around.  It’s good to have a piecing marathon behind me as on Monday, papers come in, and on Tuesday, I teach my class on the Pleated Tote at Bluebird Quilts (our LQS), and I need to make samples on how to easily make a zipper pocket in the lining.  I loved teaching the last class there and am looking forward to this one.

Happy Sewing!

Some Friday Finishes

Christmas Trees

Working on some Christmas Trees to go around this guy:

Santa Quilt center

I finished up the center, bordered it with red, and arranged and sewed the blocks from my bee-mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee.  I think they look swell.

Cross-X Blocks_1

Krista invited me to the Friendship Cross-X block swap.  Or + and x.  or X and +.  So many names for the same block.

Cross-X Blocks_2

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After hours of listening, I have one more hour to go on Catherine the Great. I’m glad I learned about her and her times, but it is a loooong book to listen to.

MCM Bee Rene block

Finished Rene’s block for our Mid-Century Modern Bee for November.  I just realized I forgot to make the signature block (we do one of those for all our blocks, and send it to our bee-mate), so I’ll be slicing open the envelope and sliding it in before I head to the post office today.  She used *this* tutorial; these are fun and easy.  Another for the I Need to Make That list.

I noticed it’s getting harder and harder to carve out some uninterrupted time in the sewing room, so yesterday’s long day was very welcome.  So many things I want to do, people I want to be with, traveling I want to do, and grandchildren I want to see.  I was able to help my daughter’s oldest children sew a small project (a sleeping bag for a stuffed animal).  I’ll leave you with Riley doing his first stitches:

Okay, back to the sewing.  Today is partly errands, mostly sewing, which should continue through the weekend.  Monday?  The re-grading of the (shockingly bad) second essay.  Yep.  I made them all re-do it, so now I get to regrade it.  Now I know I’m nuts.

WIP Wednesday

I seem to be on an Amish trend.  First the book announcement and a round-up of my Amish quilts, and then with this WIP Wednesday, news of my Amish With A Twist-2 BOM status. I was sailing through these monthly chapters of fabric and pattern until this one: twenty-eight blocks, all log cabin style.

AWAT2 cards

I got out my trusty swatch/color helper and started cutting.  I had to add a bunch to my cards to keep them current, one selvage snip at a time.

AWAT2-strips_1

At first I was confused, with what they wanted, then I figured it out.  They want a TOTAL of 28 strips, in a variety of the colors listed.  I did my math, and figured out that would be about 4 strips of each different color, in the dark color way and a different number in the medium color way, so lined them up on the board and started cutting.

AWAT2-strips_2

And cutting.

AWAT2 centers Log Cabin

I sewed the centers together, then did one complete round of strips.  They look kind of cool lined up here, I think.

AWAT2-strips_3

I assembled them in kind of a log-cabin-block arrangement, just trying to get the visual.

AWAT2-Log Cabin Blocks1

And finally–twenty-eight blocks completed.  I have eight more to go in a different coloration, then assemble and finish.

CrossX_1

I’m also working on the #friendshipxandplusswap showing up on blogs and instagram; there are quite a few of us who have paired up, decided on the number of blocks, and are going at it.  In October I was supposed to send my partner two blocks (we make four and send off half), and in November, four.  Well, here’s a part of November’s, I still owe October’s and December is right around the corner.  We all plan to blog on the last Friday of the month, so if you are not entertaining a turkey-pumpkin-pie hangover from the day before (American Thanksgiving), and can head back around, you’ll see some more of these blocks.

Structure1

Structure2

Next WIP rattling around in my head comes from when Leanne announced the theme for our next Four-in-Art challenge: Structure.  So when I was visiting my sister and her husband at Cedar-Sinai hospital this past week, I took some photos to get me in the mood.  They have very cool structures there, in terms of modern, angular buildings.  But it’s their art on the inside which is swoon-worthy. (That’s another post).

Santa and His Squares

Here’s the Big Kahuna of WIP projects, and the deadline is fast approaching.  I have now received all the 12″ squares from my bee mates.  Now to find the hyper-overdrive-Christmas-blast of energy to get it done!  I’ve not arranged these yet how I want them, but I love seeing them and all the signature squares,  up on the pinwall.

I could bore you with more, but I think that’s more than enough.

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced.

WIP on