Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Santa,

Next Christmas...I promise to have started my gifts in the summertime (before Christmas). My vow is to do a better job of getting things done and wrapped. I would like it that the gifts would surprise even me when they are opened. However, I also know my patience for things good...I am likely to open them to take a peek before the holidays if I forget. Or maybe I could post the images in my blog and then I could research them. Or (in case my family reads my blog), I could post a top secret blog that no one knows my name.....007 Sew Agent.

Of course, I did get the cute little Scottie Dog panel with your pockets on it for letters to Santa. The Scottie dog squares around the panel are each a pocket for inserting letters to Santa Claus or for keeping wish lists. My husband's family has always done a great job of keeping wish lists at his parents' house. Only in the last few years do I recall not consulting with the master list. And of course, there was always the task of being very sure to check off the things on the list that you had gotten. Can't help but wonder if Grandma Reicks would have had a cute holder for wish lists like this, we'd have likely worn out a few of them as we scoured the lists for something in our budget and something that we wanted to give the recipient.

The Scottie Santa Note Panel was fun to build. I loved skittering around the trees so much on the background that I have used it for my blog panel. I used a wool batting (scrap) and the effect was amazing. The trees and scotties popped out and look animated. I know many of you think that those of us who like to machine quilt are incredibly artistic. I can't tell you enough that we are just brave and very willing to wreck a quilt. Silk thread also helps because if you zig off the wrong direction, you don't have a heavy thread to remind you later. I also love, love, love my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator). It gives me the freedom to go as slow as I need to go to achieve my design or zip along and my stitches remain the same length.

The other fun (AND EASY) thing I did when I finished this panel was to use one of the my Quick & Easy Binding techniques. I remind you that a quilting judge won't like this technique, but I find it perfect for stuff like this and for placemats and some table runners. First I trim the batting away flush with the top of the quilt. Preserve the backing fabric. This step can be tricky because you don't want to snip through the backing. Then I cut the backing one-inch away from the quilt top. Then double-fold the binding, the first fold being taking the raw edge to the edge of the quilt and then rolling it to the right side. I then blanket stitch it to the front of the quilt.

When I got the top done and the pockets sewed on, I remembered that I should have put loops on top. So, I built loops like a turned pillow. Top-stitched the edges. Then I folded them in half and then used my button-sew-on foot and stitched the loops in place.

Notice the buttons I am using are some antique buttons that cost 15-cents for the package. Sure I know there are some that think I ought to save those things because they are antiques. I don't agree with that philosophy. When I am gone , things like antique buttons will go on the estate auction and bring pennies stuck in a box of junk that someone will regret dragging home. On my Santa banner, I hope they will grace a child's home to give them joy. There is no more noble way for a button to spend its life!

May Christmas be filled with love and peace....jill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll be in town next week... lunch? Let me know!