Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like

Yes, yes I know it is still August, but every home-made-holiday maker knows that right about now starts the big push to get things done in time.  So between today (whatever day this posts-it has been that kind of summer) & the last Saturday in September, I need to finish my Christmas Star blocks for the quilt block swap group.

Unlike most of our swaps, this one was sign-up & capped at 15.  Also unlike any other swap we have this one was not non/multi-denominational.  The calendar quilt swap last year had some grumblers as I nixed all non-secular representations for any months.  As a person who does not observe any widely accepted christian holidays except christmas (& even then, not every year), there was not a more disappointing swap than the one where I made several sets for swapping & got nothing but easter blocks back.  If I were of a paranoid bent, I would think the swap-master (swap-mistress?) had it in for me but I happen to know the swap was inundated with easter fabrics because of a large donation of same from a quilter moving to smaller digs.  I put all but one of these blocks into an orphan block bag to be used for community quilts but kept the one with the little square that read "bathed in the blood of the lamb" because it creeped me out so completely I had to hang on to it.  I have of course since misplaced it & sometimes I have a nightmare where slips under the door into whatever room I am in & then grows to sort of wallpaper over the whole space while making a humming noise that gets gradually louder & then I wake up screaming. I have other quilt block nightmares, too....

What was I saying?  Oh, right.  The calendar quilt swaps are indeed secular-only.  While this prompted a few people to drop out or rather not sign-up at all, we only need twelve & twelve were easy to come by (thirteen, actually as I gave mine away thinking there would be one last minute "I cannot do this after all" but there wasn't).  & before anyone gets up-in-arms I made the offer of a christian calendar quilt but got no takers.  Not one.  None. If I had to guess I would say a couple people got worked up & only realized after they had their say that there are very few christian holidays that stay in the same month.  Even christmas is celebrated in not-December by some & not at all by others who identify themselves christian.  As the calendar quilt is one person makes twelve blocks representing January, another makes twelve representing February, etc. it just was not a good fit.

Our usual every-other-month swaps are more of a "whatever" kind of thing.  At least one block needed a holiday fabric & for some that holiday was christmas, for others hallowe'en & others chanukah.  For all I know there were other holidays represented, but I did not spot them.  Still, enough people clearly wanted a christmas-specific swap & if enough people want it, etc. etc. & so, we are wrapping up the fist Christmas Star swap next month.

I made my prototype star using a blue fabric with small red cardinals & I was not super-happy with it.  Also I thought if I am going to make a christmas block, it ought to be a CHRISTMAS block.  That is when I looked through my fabrics & realized that aside from the bit player in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I do not seem to have any santa fabric at all.  Trees were a bit more plentiful, as they appear in Rudolph & Charlie Brown, but still that did not seem quite right. Then I found a piece from I-honestly-do-not-know-where.  White background with green holly & red berries.  Barring actually going out & buying something, this was as good as it was going to get in my stash, christmas-wise.

I cast around for a star pattern & that was not so easy either.  Because of the white background,/mall almost fussy pattern of red&green in my focus fabric, I really wanted a star were the focus fabric was not sewn back to itself.  I knew there was no way it would not be jarring.  Like that sentence right there was.  In the end I went for a star block from the June 2010 AP&Q which looked simple & clean & was in fact, a complete bear.  Those one inch strips in red & green with itty-bitty polka-dots drove me crazy & don't have nearly the sizzle they should for what they took out of me.

Still, I am not not pleased.  I hope to recover from the quadruple negatives I seem to be laying on & ever since I started working with tiny regular white dots, I no longer dream about the humming blood-of-the-lamb block.  This would be a bigger plus if I weren't dreaming about another quilt-related humming imprisonment.

Finally, for your listening pleasure:if I could have found it on accordion (for the polka in polka dot) I would have but alas, you will just have to make do.  Feel free to hum along.

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