Yesterday I finished and washed up Blue Christmas, another in my series of procrastination scrap quilts as I ponder the quilting for the Slow Quilt. In going through my Christmas and pine cone fabrics, I discovered an untidy pile of blue holiday and winter fabrics.
Two of them were coordinating fabrics with vignettes that I have previously fussy cut, hence the messiness. I wanted to fussy-cut them again, but wanted something different from my framed squares quilts (see Christmas Birds and Christmas Plaid). I was intrigued by the Economy Block (square-in-a-square) craziness from earlier in the year, and I thought it would display this fabric really well. I stumbled across a great tutorial at Catbird Quilts. Melanie gives a lot of info about the math and construction, and then does the math for us, creating a table for various sized blocks. She also has a link to seventeen different sets she designed for this block, and I stole the very best one, Jewel Box. Go there and look at this great stuff. I had already made mine up on EQ7 and used their rotary cutting directions, which make the block to size, without trimming, so I didn’t try out her measurements.
This is quilt was straight forward and easy to sew, although it does require a tad of pinning, unlike my previous two. I ran into a couple of snags, but that was just me. First, just as I was congratulating myself for using up nearly every bit of the fabric, I discovered that I hadn’t made enough blocks. It’s not that I can’t multiply; it’s that I can’t remember the total I planned to make for a particular quilt. I’m going to have to start posting a sticky note above my cutting table instead of trusting my brain. So out of almost no fabric I had to come up with six more blocks, three of each. I dove back into the Christmas Scrap Locker and came up with some soft green and bits of navy and green reindeer to add into the previously all blue quilt. Fortunately, I had more of the darker solids I was using. And I like the way it turned out.
The other problem was with the quilting thread. I honestly think I got a bad cone of Bottom Line. I hadn’t changed my machine settings at all, but when I opened this new cone of light blue and started in, it did nothing but shred and twist and break. New needle, rethreading, changing tension, etc., nothing really helped. I slowed down and tried not to cuss too much, and it turned out okay, but with a lot more stops and starts than I like. I see some tails and thread boogers I still need to clean up.
I’m not sure the photos show it, but this quilt has lots glitter and metallic accents on it, besides all the Christmas motifs. And the back is a glittery, almost snow-flaky fabric for which I was glad to find a home. Blue is not a color I use that often, but I like this quilt.