Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wego Quiltin' Santa Quilt

We've had a few block exchanges in one of my quilt guilds.  The first one was a Santa block exchange, way back in 2005.  This was my first block exchange.  The rules were to make a 12.5" (unfinished) block, using traditional Christmas colors.  There either had to be a Santa in the block, or, Santa fabric.  12 people signed up, so, we each had to make 12 blocks.  I'd only been quilting for 4 years at this point.  I'd only had one 'real' quilting class. 

Wego Quiltin' Santa block exchange quilt
(Sorry the colors came out so bad, this is really a stunning quilt in person, I've just never been able to take a good picture of it).

We had 6 months from the sign up to complete our blocks for the exchange.  The blocks were 'exchanged' at our July meeting.  We then had until the December meeting to make our quilt top (it didn't have to be quilted by then, thank goodness). 

As usual, I didn't want a smaller quilt, and I didn't want the traditional layout of 3 blocks across, and 4 blocks down.  I always have to make things different (read: more difficult). 

I'd taught myself how to do mitered borders, so, I had to add some in the middle.  I found the dark green with flowers material at a garage sale, years before.  I just loved it as a 'frame' for the middle blocks.  Of course, I had to set it on point.  I'd never done this before, so, I just 'winged it' as usual.  I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but, it worked.  The whole quilt measures 58'" x 90".  My sons said it had to be BIG so that they could fit under it as they grew. 

Here are close ups of the blocks.
top, left corner blocks

top, right corner blocks

center blocks

bottom, left corner blocks

bottom, right corner blocks, mine is the far right block
  Of course, I didn't have a clue what block to make, so, I practiced on a few blocks to see what I liked (I didn't have a clue how to do applique at the time).  I put my extra block that I'd made on the back of the quilt.  I didn't want to waste them, and I like decorated backs.

back of quilt

my extra 'tryout' blocks on the back
I'm a hand quilter, so, I hand quilted this.  What fun!  My hand quilted quilts are like an 'I Spy' of quilting motifs.  There are bells, sleighs, wreaths, Christmas trees, and Santa's face in the quilting.  There are also strings of Christmas lights, including the 'plugs' at the end (my hubby's favorite part).

hand quilting of Christmas light string, including the 'plug'
Sorry about the blurry picture. 

This is one of my favorite quilts.  Almost everyone signed their blocks, so, I know who made each block.  There is only one duplicate fabric in this quilt (the peppermint fabric, in the log cabin block, top, left, and used in the middle of the quilt and the backing).

The same guild had another Santa block exchange last year.  I posted about it here.  I still haven't finished that quilt.  Some of the ladies were in both exchanges. 

One of my fondest memories of this quilt was when I finished the last stitch on the binding, my youngest son took the quilt, laid it on the floor, laid down on it, then called the dogs over to lay on it.  Yea!  It was appreciated and used.  This quilt sits on the corner of the couch in the computer room all year long.  It is never put away. 

Merry Christmas!

PS:   This quilt is entered in the Christmas quilt contest over at The Quilting Gallery.


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