Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Memories and Decorations

A wreath's welcome on our front door, I usually make one or two in early December from cedar boughs.  I like all different types of wreaths and have made them from our Douglas and Noble fir trees too.  My favorite wreath though is just a simple fresh cedar one with a red ribbon. 

Santa Clause asleep by the fire with a fluffy cat on his lap, and a cup of steaming hot chocolate on a table beside him..  This is a picture we bring out of our treasure trove of Christmas memories, and every year we hang him up and look at him all cozy by the fire.  I've sat with my own cup of hot tea on many winter's eve and studied all the little details of this picture.

In my early 20's, during the years of pregnancy and nursing of my 2 oldest daughter's, I spent about 4 years learning to quilt.  My sister and I both took classes and bought books, fabric, and sewing machines.  I made 2 Christmas wall quilts that I bring out every year.  They aren't just specifically for Christmas, it's just become ritual that I bring them out and hang them up over the winter and then put them away until the following year. 
I remember 20 years ago making this quilt sampler in a class that I took.   My sister Joy and I took the class together and we learned all about the different techniques of quilting, including applique.  You would never know how much work goes into a quilt unless you've actually worked on one before.  These quilts have thousands of tiny little stitches in different patterns on each one, you can't tell by the picture or see all those stitches.  As I walk by going down my staircase, I touch them and remember all the different places that I sat and worked with a needle and thread, and by hand pieced them all together. 

The quilt below is one I made just because I love the red and white star motif.  I spent many happy days sewing and lovingly worked on all the many tiny stitches.  These quilts are labors of love and someday will get passed down to my children.  I haven't quilted since my son was born, once I had my third child and the girls began to grow my time got wonderfully consumed with raising children.  There is a season for everything and I may still get back into making some quilted projects.  The last quilt I was working on was for my son Jason when he was a baby, I still need to put the binding on it and will probably now present it to him when he has a child someday. 

The Christmas mouse was sewn and pieced together during my quilting and sewing years. 
We bring him out every year, his whiskers are gone, I need to patch a few places,
but he is part of our ritual too and one of our  home-made treasures.

Hand-made ornaments by my children are special, here's Jason in 2rd grade.

Heather's hand print ornament made in 3rd grade

I didn't make this Santa quilt, but I love it, many years ago I bought this quilt when my children were very young, it always hangs on the wall right by the Christmas tree. 

Another picture that we pull out to hang over the winter months. 
Kids, horses, geese and a dog all playing in the snow... how fun!

May the child-like magic of Christmas stay alive in us all, Happy Holidays!

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