Break out the fine China…and Charlie Brown, of course…Christmas is on it’s way!!!!
I love Christmastime! (Is that an actual compound word? I didn’t think it was, but spell check didn’t yell at me, so I’m sticking with it!) I’m a believer in Christ, so, of course it’s extra special for that reason. (Happy Birthday, Jesus!) But, admittedly, what really jazzes me up is the thought of 50’s Christmas music. I look forward all year to the time when I can sing “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” and not be stared at. Notice I didn’t say I look forward to being able to sing it. Nothing stops me from singing it… What? Summer’s supposed to mean I can’t be jolly? Um, NAY!
And what is Thanksgiving really all about if not for breaking out your Christmas Pretties and listening to Run, Run, Rudolph? Sadly, that didn’t happen this year. We didn’t even get around to getting out the Christmas stuff the weekend after Thanksgiving. Tragic, I know. My house has been completely void of cheer for entirely too long, so I did the most I could do without getting the third degree from my fam for not waiting for them. I swapped out the table runner and place mats. (And that’s only because I can spin it like it’s a chore. If I take any flack, my retort’s gonna be “okay, well, you can set the table for the next few months to make up for it.” -Evil laugh-)
The Stages of Progressing Merriment at My House:
These were the first of the Christmas Trappings at our house. And who can blame us? They’re so darn delicious!
My fall table set up has had Santa’s advent calendar on it for a couple days. Hey, it was a start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can’t be expected to change out my table decor in one fell swoop. Well, actually, now that it’s in print it sounds fairly reasonable.
A little closer up- for possibly no reason at all other than I went Pic Happy today.
Did Santa look more in place with the fall stuff? Maybe he’s a closet October guy.
I made these mug rugs last year and the table runner the year before.
The Mug Rugs (Or The Melba Toast of Place Mats, If You Will)
Below are like 47 pictures of them because I measure pride in a project based on time to completion, so I’m super duper proud of these babies! They’re actually really easy, and probably pretty quick to make if you’re an experienced quilter, which I’m not. (And if you’re new to it, you wouldn’t believe how much fabric can stretch when you’re quilting straight lines on the bias, like I did with these. Geesh!)
I used a tutorial for the cutest Christmas mug rugs I could find and it was a bonus that it happened to be an easy design. I gravitate toward modern quilting designs- and loud colors…Have you seen the pictures with my walls in the background? My house has periwinkle, orange, green and yellow walls- and that’s just downstairs. The colors this blogger had used were what pulled me into the design. I got my fabric at ConnectingThreads.com. I love that site. I got the pattern for the table runner there, too.
You can find her tutorial here: http://www.pleasant-home.com/2010/11/scrappy-tree-mug-rugs.html
The straight stitch quilting really compliments this design. And it’s easy, minus the stretching of the fabric around the Christmas tree.
On the first one I made, I sewed little curly Q swirls in the two horizontal lines. I decided I liked the negative space better and left the other ones open. I made a set of 6, but it’s not super noticeable- not enough, at least, to try to take the stitching out.
The Table Runner:
Pattern from Connecting Threads
Here are some close ups of the table runner. I tried to use different free motion stitches on this project. It was my first quilting project ever, so I bought an actual pattern kit with the fabric and directions to make things a little simpler.
This bow makes me happy. It’s certainly not perfect, but I love the medium of free-motioin.
These strips of fabric are zig-zag stitched on. It’s actually a prettytreatment.
Ah, my novice meander/stippling stitch. We all gotta start somewhere, right?
Okay, so this was really fun to do! Doing the pebbling stitch is just delightful. I tried to make a strand of Christmas lights on the strips of bias tape here. It’s kind of a jumbled mess, but I’m actually happy with it. (I’m managing to keep the perfectionist in me quiet. I have to bribe her with shoes.)
I love the colors in this collection. I didn’t want just red and green. Now these can match our mostly purple, pink, and lime green Christmas tree ornaments, which were mostly picked out by my husband, by the way. And that’s why I love him!
So it’s not perfect, but at the end of the day, it’s almost Christmas and who can be unhappy surrounded by colors like this?
The Moral of The Story?
You should always, always, always greet each holiday with it’s respective Charlie Brown special! This is critical.
And if you’re a procrasti-quilter like me, I recommend buying holiday fabric. Hey, it’s gonna come back around, right?