On Friday I mailed the Christmas quilt I made for my son Michael and his wife Daniela. Since I only had about one hour and a half per day to work on the quilting, it took me one week to quilt and bind it.
I chose to quilt each row with a different background motif after I outlined all the appliqued shapes (outline done using monofilament), and decided on each motif as I came to the rows (why plan, right?…). In my haste to mail it to California, I took pictures of parts of the quilt and have no overall picture to show you (but you can see the completed top here).
Every row’s quilting motif extended to that portion of the narrow green border, adding a sectional effect to it. Stars were mixed with meandering on one row, hearts and meandering on another, doodles, leaves, strings with balls, and ‘pancakes’ on the remaining rows.
The outer, red border was marked for the quilting – I will show you what I did on my next post. The fabric used for binding was the same as the one used on the red border, the quilting thread throughout was a cream-colored Signature cotton, and on the border I used green rayon Robinson-Anton embroidery thread.
It was a good project for year-end. All its symbols signal the closing of one year as hope builds for the upcoming 12 months. I realize there is never a ‘bad’ year, just one full of learning opportunities, however much we dislike how these opportunities came about…
At times I yearn for those long-ago Christmases of my childhood in Brazil surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, with laughter echoing through the house, the aroma of different foods beckoning from the kitchen, inviting us to, once again, gather around the long tables covered with white cotton table cloths, grownups around one, children – gladly – around another.
Dried figs, boiled chestnuts, walnuts graced small dishes placed around the living room. An artificial Christmas tree and a nativity scene were the only decorations necessary during the season. Loud conversation took the place of Christmas music as the background for an evening feast that extended through the wee hours of Christmas day. All gifts were exchanged and opened after the midnight banquet. On the 25th, yawning and red-eyed, we met again at the same house for a late luncheon and an afternoon of board games or card playing. Those were the days…
I don’t remember when our parents replaced Santa Claus as far as the gift-giving duties are concerned. I just know that we never made Christmas lists, always loved the presents we got, and always had a great time together.
Family traditions stay in our memories. May this season remind you of those memories which are worth keeping, and help you build or maintain enriching, happy, lasting customs in your own family.
Happy memory making!