Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Spirit

The transformation is complete! Winter weather has arrived. For too many years the winters in the Midwest have been uneventful, but last year we had a season reminiscent of childhood. This year holds the same promise... snow before Christmas. Greg went out with his brother and cut our tree on Sunday. Here it is in the front of the picture. You will see it transform in the next few weeks.

In this months posts I will concentrate on homemade gifts, which have always been a part of our family celebrations.  Handwork and craftsmanship are a way of life in this house. Above you see the Winter Tree pattern,  a contemporary interpretation of a classic image. Below you will see another delightful translation of my pattern!

Here it is done as a small wool rug hooking by Patricia Smith and was eventually made into a pillow. We met at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium in Wilmington this year. When I learned that she was a "hooker",  I hinted that the Seasons patterns would be perfect for both mediums. I think she did a nice job converting the design into wool... especially the snowy background. I would love to see them done as hand appliqued felt/wool "penny" rugs, too.

My first holiday project was to whip up a tablecloth for a new seasonal look. I have never been into the fussy old fashioned Christmas style. I prefer a clean, contemporary and fun look, so the red home decorating "Night Life" fabric was the natural choice. It was the perfect wideth and the big white pom pom trim is a fun finishing detail, like snowballs!

We have had this Christmas creche since the kids were little and is always one of the first decorations to come out of the closet. The heat from the candles make the windmill turn and the shepherds march after their little lambs. But those candles are always a dilemma, because they inevitably drip and every tablecloth gets damaged. So this year we have a new solution. 

This is a handsome wooden Ikea tray which costs about $15. I cut a paper circle as my pattern and to make sure of the size. Then I cut a fabric circle which was Mod Podged (matte finish) into place. It takes several coats, but it is easy and fast. Best of all, it cleans easily and wax doesn't hurt it. Plus it looks really great and could make a dramatic and useful gift.

Next, I made a set of checked napkins to match the tablecloth. I cut 21" squares and hemmed them with double folded edges. I think there are several other great napkin fabrics in the Prairie Gothic line. A set of  eight napkins would, also, make a wonderful holiday gift.

Here they are in a table setting with a twig and berry accent. Below is a simple ornament made by one of my favorite elves, Melissa. This would be a fun project to make with the nieces and nephews and less fattening than baking cookies!

So hopefully the holiday spirit is taking hold! If you still need goosing, I recommend an evening with Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Inn. These movies will even soften-up Mr. Scrooge!


Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

How Beautiful! Merry Christmas!

Susan Loftin said...

Beautiful Christmas decorating! I love "Christmas in Connecticut" and watch it several times around Christmas.

Melody said...

Hi Jane,
Another idea for napkins is to make them double, a different fabric on each side. Sure they are heavier, but the weight makes them feel even more luxurious. And matching placemats too...What fun!
Merry Christmas

The Paisley Studio/Sarah McNamara said...

What a fabulous tablecloth -- right down to the pom pom snowballs!

Hppy Holidays! Sarah