Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa's Sisters

Silly me - THIS is the quilt I should have entered in the Weekly-Themed-Contest.
I didn't realize that the entries did not have to be completed in the last year - until I submitted "Christmas Lights" and used up my "One entry per person per week."  This quilt won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon in a local quilt show a few years ago.

Santa's Sisters

Santa Paula - top left
Santa Monica - top right
Santa Barbara - center
Santa Anita - bottom left
Santa Fe - bottom right
Machine Pieced
Machine Appliqued
Foundation Paper Pieced
Machine Quilted
53" x 53"
Started - August 1998
Completed - December 1998

Pattern - My Family
Incredible Quilts for Kids of All Ages
Pg. 89-95
By Jean Ray Laury (c) 1993
Row 2-1 - Santa Paula
Row 2-3 - Santa Fe
Row 3-2 - Santa Anita
Row 5-4 - Santa Monica
Row 6-1 - Santa Barbara

Years ago I saw a Christmas Card that read "Merry Christmas from Santa and his Family".  Inside was a drawing of Santa and his brothers and sisters with names like - Santa Maria, Santo Domingo, etc.  I laughed - and put it back on the rack - but never quite forgot it.  I thought that it would make a great quilt someday - but I had absolutely no idea how to do it.  That was until I found Jean Ray Laury's book - Eureka!  It had cartoon pictures of faces! Now I could make blocks with girl faces and names of various cities that started with "Santa".

I chose Santa Paula - Santa Monica - Santa Barbara - Santa Anita - and Santa Fe from a long list of possibilities.  They became "Santa's Sisters".

They say that sometimes the quilt talks to you - and this one definitely talked to me.  I wanted the layout to match "Blueprint 12C" in the book - Design Your Own Quilts - by Judy Hopkins (c) 1998 - Pg.54-55.  (I told you I have a lot of books!)

Like this -
Top Left -              X
1/2 step over -       X
whole step over -      X
whole step over -         X
1/2 step over -              X

But it insisted on going in an "X" formation.

Once the faces decided where they wanted to go - the rest sort of designed itself - step by step.  Hourglass Blocks worked perfectly as alternate blocks - framing each face.  Foundation Paper Pieced trees - ornaments - and hearts - filled in "holes" along with other blocks as needed.

Of course, the interfacings and fusibles that were available for applique back then were not near as soft as the stuff that is available now - so the faces are extremely stiff and I have to be very careful how I fold it so as not to crease a face.  Don't want the "girls" to have any more wrinkles than necessary, right?

I had so much fun making this quilt.  It's one of my all-time favorites.  Someday I want to make one of "Santa's Half-Brothers" - with San Juan - San Francisco - San Diego - San Clemente - and San Jose.

P.S.  You have to be careful ironing on the "Holly Letters" used in the title block - they can melt.  Ask me how I know!!

Talk to you later - gotta go -

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