Christ-mess and Friends


IMG_5977In the photo you see part of a quilt that was begun in 1992, worked on in 1993 and finally finished in 1994. I am going to share the story as it is about friends and that is what prompted this blog.
I belonged to a group of quilters in Edmonton in the early 90’s. We were much younger and somewhat more enthusiastic about group endeavours than at present. It was decided for each of 12 members to make a dozen blocks that were identical and exchange them. This was a lot of fun and quite delightful to share and ooh and ah. The blocks were a wonderful Christmas present and a celebration of friendship. Even now I look at this quilt each year and see the names and picture the person who made the individual block.
Once we had the blocks what do do with the? I worked with a friend who received a set and we decided on a diagonal set to show off the blocks to best advantage. However 13 blocks were needed. So in 1993 I undertook to design a Santa block and appliqué one for myself and my friend, Bev. I found a bolt of fabric printed in squares. However the squares were too big for the original blocks. I pleated and stitched to get them to fit and then appliquéd the individual blocks by machine onto the printed “border” background. Then the centre of the printed blocks were cut out and set aside for cocktail napkins. (No they haven’t been made yet, I am not into rushing things). Next we found some deep green fabric. This worked for the corner and setting blocks but there wasn’t enough for the sashing. More fabric was found however my eye could see a difference in colour – slight but discernible in my opinion. Off to a shop and a purchase of what seemed like a million miles of narrow red ribbon solved the problem of transition between the two greens. Finally the top was finished, the quilt layered and off to my friend Dawn to quilt pontsettia’s and ribbons to decorate the setting triangles and link the blocks together. Dawn quilted each block differently so there is interest every time you look at the quilt.
Long and short of it, when given something I just can’t set it aside. While some years I might like to have a different colour theme this quilt just has to go up. In fact each of my Christmas quilts have a story to them and so every year as I hang them I have a trip down memory lane.
If you are still with me let me tell the second part of the story about friendship.
For a break in the hanging action tonight I sat down with my Winter 2014 issue of “The Canadian Quilter” which arrived today. There are articles by two friends in the issue. The first is by a new friend Helene Blanchet who I met this summer at Art Quilt Camp in Muenster Sask. The second by my friend Anna Hergert. As I read first one and then the other I could hear each of their voice clearly in their writing and felt that they were beside me this snowy evening warming my home with their presence.
So no matter the darkness, loneliness or coldness of the night we are surrounded by friends. We only need a quiet moment to bring a memory of laughter and sharing good times to brighten the evening.


About Elinor Burwash Designs

I am a fibre artist, teach quilting and am a quilt judge.
This entry was posted in Journaling, Textiles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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