Tis the season! So of course, for my guild’s holiday celebration, I pulled my favorite Christmas accessory out of the waaaay back of the closet.
I showed it to a couple of friends before I wore it out of the house. The reactions were mixed… it seems that this gorgeous thing that was THE BOMB when I made it in 1995 is now, quite possibly, the quilter’s version of the ugly sweater.
No matter! I sweated over it, so I’m wearing it! Seriously, it has more hours in it than many of the quilts I’ve made (the smaller the pieces, the longer it takes). Where on earth did I get the idea? From Judy Murrah, author of Jacket Jazz (and now the head of education for Quilts Inc.) I took a class from her in 1995 – fabulous teacher – and well… went a little overboard with concept.
Many of the techniques are in her book. The twisted texture…
… the 9 degree wedge elements (one half of the strips is the sleeve, the opposing half is the front).
I designed the presents for the second front. Notice how I integrated the pocket. Damn proud of that, considering what I didn’t (and still don’t) know about garment construction.
I shrunk the poinsettia from a wall hanging pattern (my apologies to the designer… I no longer have the pattern to credit you!) and APPLIQUED it. Yep, I actually did the A-Word for this (albeit by machine, but still). I only wish I had known about glue basting back then!
I finished it off with a run of paper-pieced trees. They needed a bit of a switch up, so I swapped a tree from the back with a Santa from the cuff. Santa does get around, you know.
So there it is. Shoulder pads and all. I like to think that, due to the wonders of time, it has perhaps transcended from tacky kitsch to retro cool, just the way that ugly sweaters have, no? And when you think about some of the holiday excesses (swants, anyone?) then perhaps not quite so over the top!
I wish you Happy and Merry from my studio to yours – I hope you get to spend time with good people and good food, and that every stitch you made on a gift is well appreciated by the lucky person that received it!