Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start the Christmas posts, right? I mean, the stores have been putting Christmas stuff out since the beginning of October. And last week I saw egg nog – egg nog!!! – on the shelves at the store. Didn’t we used to have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for egg nog? I mean, sheesh, why not just sell it year round… and while you’re at it, why not sell girl scout cookies year round. Or peeps or whatever your holiday treat of choice is. Isn’t the whole idea of only marketing those things at certain times of the year that people will find it special and therefore buy more???
But I digress… again.
I present (ha ha get it pre-sent/present – ok, I know that was awful) to you my very first entry into the bloggers quilt festival.
Years ago I saw a tree skirt at Pottery Barn that I fell in love with. Of course, I didn’t want to pay $95 for a tree skirt. I mean, when I was a kid, I think we used an old sheet or something. No way, no how I was paying more than $15 for a tree-skirt. But oh, I had to have that perfect tree skirt, and this was in the height of my Pottery Barn knock off days. (You should see the wine cabinet I made Chris build.)
I’ve had friends bugging me for years to blog about this particular project. I did want to do a post on it on several occasions, but could never drag myself up to the attic to dig it out of its storage box before we put the tree up, and by the time the tree was up, the living room would be such a mess that there was no way I wanted photos of that on my blog.
So here it is. Well loved and not washed until last year… I was so afraid to wash it despite all the dog hair and dust because the only machine sewn seam on the whole thing is between the white background and the red border. Everything else is hand sewn. These days, I wouldn’t worry about hand sewn goods being put through the wash, but this was one of my first projects, and knowing now what I didn’t then, I was terrified that the whole thing would turn into a frayed mess in the washing machine.
But last year, after all the presents were opened and the piles of trash in the living room were picked up, I noticed a big gray smudge on the once white background. From the dog lying on the skirt. So I had to suck it up and wash the thing. I figured if it fell apart I’d just make another one. Though, I must admit that I did consider reenforcing it before the washing. But when I pulled the tree skirt from the dryer last year, I saw that now my beloved skirt was not only in one unfrayed (and clean!) piece, but it was also all freshly-washed quilty crinkly. I was elated. (I was also glad that the red border didn’t bleed all over the white background.)
The quilting on this bad boy shows me that by the time I made it, I had come a long way from the first quilt, and had some idea of what good hand-quilting was supposed to look like. Or at least what traditional quilt-show worthy hand-quilting looks like. I only say that because these days big visible stitches in hand-quilting seem to be the cool thing to do. You can also see that I didn’t “properly” bind this quilt either. I merely rolled the backing fabric to the front and sewed it down. I’ve done that on a few quilts too, because sometimes it’s just the only thing that will work. I’m sure that quilt-show judges would ding me for that, too. (Yes, Amanda, I’m talking to you… wink wink).
And just because… a gratuitous kid photo. Apparently she likes lying on the quilt as much as the dog.