Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Shams after Christmas

In December of 2015 I finished my first Christmas quilt and it went on my bed.  Ah, my heart just swooned.  I knew it needed pillows to set it off so I found some that I had bought ages ago (seriously - back in 1995 and still in the wrappers) to go with an Ohio Star quilt I was working on then and haven't touched since.  Out they came and my bed was a delight.  However, I knew at some point I would want those if I did finish the Ohio Star (and I'm happy to say I am working on it) and that knowledge resulted in planning some shams to match this wonderful quilt.

This past fall I finally got around to starting them.  You can read about the start in this September post and then that's as far as they got.  I needed to applique the pieces on and so they sat, and sat, and sat until today, January 2.  That's right!  Even though the studio is a complete disaster, I am off to crawl into a corner, put blinders on so I can't see the mess, and quickly applique these two blocks.  After about an hour, the task is finished and I once again weave my way out of the mess and back into the house.  YES!  Now to move on.  Well, tomorrow at least.  I am still cleaning house and trying to make some sense of the mess around here today.  Ta ta for now.

1/3 - Hey there, I'm back and today is the day.  These shams are going to get put together.  The big question is how?  I have absolutely no idea yet.  However, I DO know that the threads need to be buried and tied off.  A comfy chair by the Christmas tree early this morning with a cup of tea does the trick and the crazy thread mess is tamed and neat. The next step is to find the box of Christmas fabric that I set aside while working on the quilt.  As I sort through it, I discover a gallon bag of white scraps.  What the what??  Well that's another task on the table now.  Moving on.  What else is in here?

There are several 4 patches, some pinwheels, quite a few flying geese and some half square triangles in a baggie.  I take out the four patches and lay them by an appliqued square.  An idea starts to hatch.  I think I have some of the red inner border fabric left too.  Where is that?  Oh yay, is there enough?  Time will tell.  Okay back to the box to continue searching.  Oh fun, there are a ton of 1 1/2" squares/strips to use up.  Let's start with those.  Laying them out in stacks of four will give me more four patches to play with.  I also find all the loose scraps and cut them into workable squares if possible, tossing the rest.

Once all my little stacks are made, it's time to sew.  The four patches are then sewn into strips the size of my appliqued squares.

Well now, isn't this lovely.  I like it.  Now to try and see if I have enough of that red border remaining.  (oh, the sham in the background is there as a size guide.  I gotta build to that.)

Whew, I have enough red with even one strip leftover.  It's on and I'm now moving on.

Where were those flying geese leftovers?  My quilt is edged with them.  Can I make it work for the shams too?  It looks like I can do the sides only.  Okay, that's what I'll do.

I don't have enough flying geese left but still have 1 1/2" strips I can use.  A quick cut nets me the parts to make the rest.  They are quickly sewn into strips and then attached to the blocks.

With two sides on, I now have to figure out how to finish these.  I have fabric left that was used as the binding for my quilt.  Is there enough to border and bind these two shams?  Yep.  I quickly cut the borders and get them attached.  I also make the binding at the same time --- why wait?

Now for the backs to the shams.  I want to make split backs and am hoping that there is also enough of the quilt backing left.  As I work with it, I'm a little bit worried, but a few extra seams makes it happen.  It's the back, right?  A little piecing won't hurt.

The last thing I find in the box is an orphan prototype block of the ones I made for everyone.  I sure don't want it to go to waste and there is one small section of my backing left.  It is a perfect fit and so will make a wonderful little throw pillow.

I have a quilt on the frame in the studio right now so as soon as it comes off, these will go on, get quilted and be in the finished column.  I'll get the pillow stuffed and maybe get a picture of everything together before I take everything down.  I'm leaving town on the 18th and all the Christmas decorations need to be down and put away by then.  I guess that means I need to get out to the studio and finish a quilt.  I'll update this when the quilting/binding and stuffing are finished.


  1. Wonderful progress!! Loved you documenting your progress so I could see how you build them from all your wonderful scraps. They are going to look great!! Hugs, Allison in Plano

  2. Those are just awesome! I have some shams to make and was dreading it - but maybe it won't be so bad if I play around with them to see what I can come up with. thanks for the inspiration.