Feeling a little Christmassy

It’s been red, red, red all over the place here this weekend. I had a blissful Saturday morning when Mr T took the children skating, then a lovely afternoon just mooching around in our flat with my lovely brother who came over. The children were so excited to see Uncle C, and were intent in showing him all their LEGO and various occupations. He brought the most marvellously moist cake that his incredibly creative wife had made. Somehow the recipe calls for adding a whole pot of jam to the dough. It sounds rather extravagant, but it was terribly yummy. I even had some for breakfast.

In addition to eating too much cake, I also found some time to throw fabric around, make various meals, and start two super-easy quilts… Then life took over again, but I was quite good at sneaking away at times, to Mr T’s silent despair. Little Mr A, aged four-and-a-half sewed his first stiches on the sewing machine, to his absolute pride and excitement. After having much fun with all the decorative stiches on my machine (butterflies! tortoises!) he sewed a little red felt pocket with zig-zag gold thread all around it. He was most proud, concentrating like anything with the foot pedal while I guided the fabric. I was so touched.

Lunch today was a rather strange Swiss-chard pizza-thingy following the weekly recipe that comes with our regular local box of vegetables. As this company was started by two former students of mine, we try to support them as they serve up regular servings of anything that can grow within a small distance of the city of Geneva. Except in the dead of winter. There are only so many recipes you can make with a huge box full of roots and potatoes, and we got rather bored of the selection last year…

Red Xmas 20131So, when I wasn’t stretching boundaries of good taste, I was sewing in practically the same colours as those that feature on this dish: red and green.

First, a single quilt for a small boy, or just for us all to snuggle under on the sofa at the chalet, feeling festive. It’s all scraps accumulated over time, some of my old pyjamas, bits and pieces (including some fabric given to me by a kind PhD student, thank you Ms C!), and a snippet or two from Ms E. The spotty border is from a duvet cover from that usual large Swedish place — the back will be the white-on-red spots that also appear in this front (cut from the matching pillow case…). When will I get this quilted (when another three quilt tops already await attention…)? Hopefully before Christmas. Or during the holidays.

Red Xmas 20135Yes, I fear it is another quick square quilt. I posted up photos of most of the quilts I have made in the past three years. It is quite sobering to see how many are made of 5” squares. I really ought to challenge myself more: but then when I am tired, and have no space to really sew in, and little time, it is just lovely to sit squinched in to my little corner in my bedroom and just randomly sew squares together in strips. I ought to do a quick explanation of how I speed-piece a square quilt. I do it in a very quick, instinctive way that is totally foolproof. Anyone want a quick tutorial? The good thing about making an illustrated tutorial would be that — ahaaaa — I would need some photos of the process and so would need…. to make another. Please tell me I can!

Then, with some extra squares left over, and a few more cut, I made a little baby quilt for the upcoming Christmas Market at the Anglican Church in Lausanne on the 30th November (10am-4pm at 1 Av. Eglise Anglaise). That, at the very least, will have to be quilted in the next two weeks! Red dots on the back: basted and ready to be quilted in one evening. I used straight flower pins here because I cannot for the life of me find my little white plastic box of curved safety pins. Any ideas where that might be? I am even starting to wonder if it ever came home with me from the last Peaks retreat?

Red Xmas 20132I hope someone with a Christmassy-baby actually buys it. Otherwise I will have to buy it back and give it to a friend.

This weekend, I also started to make some little bits and pieces for the Christmas Market’s craft stall. I do always so admire what the other creative people make. Incidentally, I will be teaching a quick spontaneous class during this event, at the end of the morning, to show people hands-on how to make the little Japanese triangular bags shown here on my grubby ironing board. I’ve cut out lots of lovely fabric for this, and am doing quite a bit of pre-stitching to make it manageable without machines. This is from a pattern first used by Ms J, faithful other Peaks participant, and copied here with her permission. Thank you, my dear!

Red Xmas 20133OK, now to bed.

Happy preparing for Christmas! Although it still seems a long way away. JJ

About pragmaticpatchwork

Academic and quilter
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3 Responses to Feeling a little Christmassy

  1. Pingback: Baby Quilt for Christmas | Pragmaticpatchwork

  2. Katy says:

    Hope you’ve found your pins by now! Love the sound of all that food…

  3. Pamela says:

    Beautiful quilts and delicious looking pizza. Please do a tutorial on the speed piecing method you use. I’d love to see a tutorial on the triangular bags too!

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