Saturday, December 3, 2011

Little Christmas Pieces

It's certainly "that time of year." Time to worry about all the little Christmas gifts you need for the people in your life. I'm not talking about your kids or your parents...they're kind of a given. But where to you draw the line? Co-workers? Friends? Friends' kids? Mailman? Teller at the bank that always gets your deposit wrong but he's so nice about it you're not supposed to hold it against him?

I usually draw a pretty tight circle. Partly because most people I know have so much (more than they need) that worrying about giving more seems almost improper. Not that I won't pick something up if I think a certain person will like it, but I don't worry about it. Except for work...

I know we are having a Christmas party at the end of December. I know that my coworkers will be giving gifts around (based on last year's precedent). And I will feel bad if I have nothing to give in return. A little resentful that we are playing this game, but bad nonetheless. Last year you may recall that I made mini knitted stockings. This year, I have just finished little mini quilts (about 6"x8") that can be hung or used as a "mug rug." (Think coaster, but a little bigger so it can hold a drink and a snack.)

I have to admit I think they are pretty cute. Maybe I will even have to make one for myself.

Before I show them all to you, I will give you advance notice that I will be asking you to vote for which one you think should grace the front of my Christmas card this year.

And so, without any further comments, here they are:


Ok, here's the poll. Please vote on which mug rug you would like to see on my Christmas card. You may vote for more than one, if you'd like.

You have until December 10 if you want your vote to count.

Returning to the quilts themselves, the backs of the quilts are all single pieces of fabric.
I quilted them all the same. I think you can see it here pretty well:
It's a basic outline of the tree and the box around it. (The inside edge of the border.) And then of course, I stitched around the appliqued star as you can see in the very first picture. I used my "light neutral" piecing thread for all of the quilting on all the quilts, regardless of fabric. And I used my shiny gold "lame" thread for zig zagging around the star.

The design itself was paper pieced and you can get a copy of the pattern for yourself here. (You're welcome!)

You may have noticed that even though I said the mug rugs could be hung if desired, I didn't add any pockets (like these) or loops to hang it with. I didn't want any hardware on the back which would unbalance a glass and decided a simpler, less permanent solution would work:
A safety pin! The quilts are small enough that they will hang from the pin--all you need to do is get it reasonably centered. Here's proof:
There it is merrily hanging on a wall from a safety pin. And if you don't want to hang it, just take the pin off.

And now's the part where I give you a little tip. It's something I picked up from my sister when we were having a quilting bee. We had four of us set up on four sides of a quilt we were binding so we could all work on the same quilt at once. I couldn't help but notice that my sister really was just whizzing along. Finally she showed me her secret, and now I'll show you:
I love simple tricks.So obvious once you're told.

I think I have gone on long enough now. I hope you've voted. I hope you are able to use my tip one day while binding. I hope you have a merry advent season, giving with a cheerful heart! (Set me a good example.)

1 comment:

  1. Aaaww man! its very difficult to pick one from the 5 but, I voted for the first one. given a choice, I'll pick all 5. ;-)


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