Thursday, January 3, 2019

TBT #13 Stars Upon A Christmas

Welcome to the first edition of TBT, Throwback Thursday for those quilts you made before you started blogging. This way we can record them, their makes and stories, because every quilt has one, right?

Today's quilt and a few ornaments were made quite some time ago, and are Christmas-themed. I don't know about you, but although I have taken down our Christmas tree, I still have several Christmas items around the house. This tablecloth is one.
The glass tree in the centre of the table is new, as are the vine and berries wreaths in the windows. I was on the lookout for them, as I had a lonely one, and saw this look on either Pinterest or an Instagram account I follow, and wanted to copy it.
This quilt was made at a guild retreat in 2005. It was the mystery for the weekend. It's pretty fabulous, right?

Love the curves and the red and green stars, each with a different centre. Love how the cream stars extend into the first three borders.

All right, confession time: I nearly forgot about writing this post (still haven't got the days of the week straight in my mind; yesterday just felt like a Saturday!) and after I taught yoga early this morning, I came home, did my own practice (good girl) and then dived right back into my Island Batik blog hop project...and suddenly something clicked...yikes! So I took the photos, edited them, uploaded them, and will post the rest here and finish the story after our dog walk, so that this can go live for you to link up! 

I quilted the quilt on my Bernina, with Sulky threads. Here's a closeup of the presents I FMQ-ed in the four red cornerstones:

That's with Sulky Blendables 30 wt...yes I still have some left! These are from Kathy Sandbach's first two Show Me How to Machine Quilt books, which were the start of my foray into FMQ. I'd seen her on Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts show on HGTV, and was instantly hooked into free-motion quilting, and 'drawing' with the sewing machine, something I could do much better than with a pencil, go figure. I bought Kathy's first book in 2004 and her second in 2005, (I write inside my books) so those two influenced the quilting designs in all my quilts from those years on. In the outer top and bottom borders I did wiggly Christmas trees. This next photo shows it a bit better:
Here you can see the FMQ-ed holly leaves in the dark green border. They are done with a rayon Sulky Twist. I just stitched in the ditch (SID) in the red and gold borders. 

I SID in the cream stars with Sulky Holoshimmer. It still glints when the sun hits it, 12 1/2 years later! The two outer side print border got meandering with a ribbon design.
Swoop-dee-swoops in the gold star centres with gold Sulky rayon, an angled echo/slight curve through the red star points with burgundy Sulky rayon, and a meander with the same ribbon design as in the outer border in the cream and gold stars, which is a cherubs print. I used white Sulky rayon for this. I'd bought my Bernina Artista in 2003, and took a few classes learning to use the embroidery component, making a few different projects, trying various threads, and then took a class on Sulky threads... and fell big time in love. 

As you can see, I've been FMQ-ing my signature for a long time...

The back:
I got several yards of that gold print and used it on several quilts!

The label:
Stars Upon A Christmas
Fall Retreat Mystery 2005
finished Oct. 2006

Continuing on with the Christmas theme in this post, I can never get enough Christmas lights! We went to Bright Lights, Windsor's Christmas lights festival with food trucks, music and local craft and items vendors on New Year's Day evening. I already put ten photos on my Instagram of the festival which takes place in Jackson Park.

It looks like a yarn-bombed tree but with lights I think!

Ah, can never have enough rainbows in the world, literally and figuratively. 

Here are three ornaments I made in the early 2000s:
The top one is English paper-piecing. You leave the papers in and make two 'wreaths' and then slipstitch the two together for a two-sided ornament. The pinwheel ones I made in the Stack 'n Whack method of Bethany Reynolds. These are all early 2000s, left overs from another Christmas tablecloth that I will need to write up for TBT. I didn't put any batting inside, just backed them and flipped them inside out, stitching the opening closed by hand. I remember they both were buggers to do, pushing out the points oh-so-carefully, stitching close to the edges and then doing a little FMQ. Those were done with Sulky gold rayon.

And one last shot of Stars Upon A Christmas on our table:
Yep, those observant readers will notice a quilt on the arm of one of the kitchen chairs. It's my Goddess Eyes RSC 2017 scrap quilt, there for when I'm working there on the computer or eating, and feel a bit cold, as I often do in winter! Sun and warmth-loving creature I am.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: guild mystery, no clue where the person who ran it got this from
Size: 47 1/2 X 48 3/8" (weird must shrink differently as it is a 'square'!
Fabric: various scraps/stash to go with the outer border, I know the red is David Textiles, as I just loved that fabric and used a couple yards of it in various projects, still have a little bit, think some is actually in my Canadian Women quilt; the gold is RJR (yep have a wee bit left) and the green tree bark fabric is Northcott (yep a teeny bit left too), and the dark green star points is leftovers from a wedding quilt I made for a dear friend back in hmm 2003/4.
Backing: Northcott
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina, walking foot SID and FMQ
Threads: pieced with Gütermann or Mettler (don't recall but I only used those two), and quilted with Sulky, details in the post!

I'll be back a little later to fill in details and stats of the quilt and ornaments (and now I have, a day later!). Hope you drop back in, no worries if not; trust me, I get it. I still haven't got around to all the DrEAMi! projects yet that were linked up on Saturday.

I cannot WAIT (and I'm totally stressing as well TBH) for you to come back on Monday. Why? Because Island Batik is having the final blog hop of the Ambassadors Year, and I get to go first (gulp). I'll be 'dark' as a result (going off blogging and Instagram) until then in order to have a finish for you, but I am super-duper-incredibly-excited to show you what I've designed for the theme, which is Getaway. There will be a couple of posts each day from all 40 of the ambassadors over the course of four weeks, with tons of giveaways, so be sure to follow along! :-)

Inlinkz Link Party


  1. I spy something familiar in the window behind the table... :)

  2. That's a great pattern. Some day, you'll have to share how you made the ornaments.

  3. Pretty fabulous, YES! From the presents in the corners to the trees in the borders, beautiful.

  4. I’d love to learn how to carry the pattern out into the borders. You always do such beautiful work.

  5. What a pretty quilt! I need to try some whoop de doos; that makes me giggle just saying it. Stars in a quilt are timeless, aren't they? Love them. Those ornaments are cute too, and I want to walk through that light tunnel! I have a throwback -- I need to pull it out and get a post written!

  6. Hi Sandra, that's a great tabletopper and ornaments. Happy New Year!

  7. Hi Sandra! Excellent idea about TBT as I'm sure so many have oodles of quilting projects BB (before blogging). I am so impressed that you labeled your quilt in 2005, and what a cute label it is! I really LOVE the packages in the corners, and the trees and holly leaves in the borders. I always love to see FMQing!! It looks really nice and comfy on your table. Those berry wreaths look so fab in the windows too - what a nice nook to just hang out in. I wonder if the birds think they should be enjoying those berries now and then?! Isn't it just AMAZING how they can wrap a tree in lights?! I just LOVE looking at displays like this, even if I don't get to visit them myself. There are so much better in person, but I can enjoy them via your wonderful photos. Happy Happy Friday. ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Such a sweet nook, Sandra. Those berry/vine wreathes will look pretty all winter. Actually, so will the quilt and Christmas tree (winter tree, now), I think. I usually keep a few things with red in them up until Valentine’s Day. I love how all the patterns in the quilt play off each other while also standing out individually—a really balanced design that looks wonderful with your fabric choices. I always learn so much about FMQ from your thoughtful planning and explanation of it. And the lights! That looks like a fun festival. The last time I was in Canada, there was a yarn bombing in Sombra, andh yeah the trees looked just like that. I can’t imagine how they do it with lights, though. One question: do you label your fabrics when you store them, or you have super fabric name recall?

  9. Pictures of quilts before I started blogging? Ha, they are all in boxes in a storage unit up in Maine. That was before I got a digital camera. But love the thought! Crafty daughter has a few I’ll have to try to take new pictures of to share later. Your work has always been fun and beautiful, Sandra. Enjoyed this post very much.

  10. I love that corner of your home! Such an inviting place.

  11. You definitely have the quilty holiday spirit. Wonderful holiday decor. Good luck with your Ambassador project, looking forward to seeing what you've got up your sleeves.

  12. It's a beautiful quilt! love stars for all seasons!