Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Surprises are the BEST

I've posted this before, but for those of you who need a refresher course...I don't post what I'm working on if it's a gift...until the gift is given. Then I like to post because it's a bit of a log on some of my projects. The funnest ones are secrets. Everyone's gotta love surprise secrets. And I'm a great secret keeper. ;)

It started in July when I saw an ad boasting a 'Christmas in July' special. Christmas wasn't even on my radar. But, that bee was placed in my bonnet. Then I came across a lovely pattern for a Christmas table runner using a braided effect. I could picture this sitting on my loved one's tables. I had to get cracking if I was going to mail them the day after Thanksgiving. (That was my goal). I've never been able to do things small. I always seem to make things complicated. I lovingly made six of these puppies. No TV for me! Oh, except for Big Bang Theory, of course.

Here are some pictures of my process...and then...the reveals. Try as I might...I try to take pictures of all of my projects before I send them. But I literally finished these table runners the day I mailed them. my efforts to get them in the mail...I forgot to snap pictures of some of them. (Yes, I forgot which I had snapped pics of and which I had not.) So I texted everyone and asked if they'd please text me a picture of the runner sitting on their tables. That was so FUN for me. I got to see them actually sitting on the tables. I had pictured their tables in my mind as I made them. When they forwarded those snap-shots I got teary.

Learning how to begin the 'braid'.
Notice my stacks of pieces top left.

I'm so thankful for my little Rowenta ironing
station to the left of my machine. I just swivel
my chair to press a seam. Awesome!

I'm a very fussy and slow quilter. But...
check out my matching points. Wa-BAM!
That's what I'M talkin' about!

The first top assembled. OK- It took
me for-EVER...but hopefully the next
ones would be easier. Learning curve, right?

Fun times! I'm running out of room on the guest bed
in my sewing room. I keep calling in my family for inspections.

This one's for me.

Nearly finished with all six tops. 1st week of Nov.

Then off to Connie Keller my quilting
friend at Quilt Country in Lewisville, TX.
Connie supports her family by quilting,
and teaching classes. She's so nice.
Thanks Connie!

This is how they looked when they came back
from Connie. The black is 80/20 batting.
GREAT stuff. Now to get back to work!

Each runner had to be meticulously cut
out. You can see the red backing fabric
peeking out from the bottom.

The 'points' are trimmed off the sides. SCARY!
I used the 'JOY' designer fabric line by- Moda.
Quality fabric is a...wait for it....JOY to work with.
PS- My middle name is...Joy. See how that works?
Connie even quilted the word 'JOY' into some of the
center squares. This one is for Dad and Marilyn.

I made, and double bound all of the
table runners with bias binding for durability.
I attach the binding by machine on the front.

But I stitch the bindings by hand to the backs to fit precisely.

My little sister Shannon received hers first.
Here it is on her table. :) So CUTE Shannon!

Next, my best friend Lynn sent me this
picture. She has been my dearest friend since
college. Some 30+ years. She's my 'person'.

Next- My sister Cindy got hers. That's so
pretty Cindy. What a cute center piece.
There's the best BIL ever relaxing on the left.
Hi Dennis!

Then my angel of a SIL, Julie, got hers.
We almost lost her in Oct when she was
hit on her bike by a truck. So thankful she's still with us.
Love you JuJu!

I know, I know there is one missing. The one I sent to Dad & Marilyn. I sent it to their home in S. UT where they winter. But they had gone N to their other home for some medical reasons and also to spend Christmas. So their box is MIA at the moment. I did how-ever want to get this posted to my blog before Christmas. I'm guessing the table runners are no longer a surprise to Dad anyways since he's probably seen all the one's at my sisters. :) I'm sure we'll track it down. Not to worry Dad! Love y'all!

I cannot be with my family for Christmas. But I hope that by having a little piece of me in their homes will unite us in spirit. Each table runner is unique and special just like the people I made them for. They were stitched and made with love. I only wish I had the time to make many I have so many in my life that I adore and appreciate so much. May my days on this earth be prolonged so I can make each of you something fun, from me to you. Just know...I love y'all! Merry Christmas.


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