Winter Solstice

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Did you/ will you celebrate the Winter Solstice this year?  Here on the east coast of the US it was at 11:49 last night; for Europe it was early this morning. The longest night and the shortest day of the year.  It’s not an event my family has ever really celebrated, but every year I imagine us making the time to mark the event. I picture a day of peace and simple beauty. A bundled-up nature walk in the low afternoon sun, a crackling fire, a special homemade stew. New pajamas?  We did have a lovely soup for dinner last night but otherwise we didn’t break from the rush of this season.  Next year, we keep saying…

I did gather myself together long enough last night to list my Winter Solstice template pack in my Etsy shop.  I love how the star looks almost like a snowflake.  My sweet friend Carissa came up with the name for me many months ago and so I thought I should list the templates for sale in honor of the night.

Winter Solstice

Technical details:

There are three pack sizes, containing enough templates for 1, 2, or 9 stars.  The star finishes 17″ high and 15″ wide, and can be appliqued onto an 18″ pillow or quilt block or set together with 1″ hexagons and 1″ 60 degree diamonds.  Or, it can “float” alone in a sea of as many 1″ hexagons as you like!  If you want to make the 58″x64″ layout shown below, you will need a large pack of Winter Solstice stars, a large pack of 1″ hexagons, and a small pack of 1″ diamonds.  You also need a few 1″ equilateral triangles for the edges, which I include for free with your package.  If you are doing a smaller layout and only need a few diamonds/ triangles, let me know in the notes to seller and I’ll just throw them in for free 🙂

Winter Solstice Layout

So here she is, Winter Solstice.  If you have any winter solstice traditions or have heard of any nice ones, I would love to hear about it!

 

Ideas for pretty fabric?

Since making the Strawberry Shortcake Quilt I’m finding myself a little obsessed with putting red and bubble-gum pink together.  This little pile of fabrics practically assembled itself on my sewing table and it makes me so very happy, the way the whites and greys and deep blues provide contrast and balance to the sweetness of pink kitties and red cherries. But, I don’t have any idea what to do with it. I’m not going to start any more epic projects right now, but I wouldn’t mind taking a break from the epic for a single-afternoon-into-evening sort of project.  Something, maybe, that would be useful for baby and/or me.  Any suggestions?

For the boy..

I have a new stack of fabric that I am so in love with…

All shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett.  This fabric, plus Dream Wool batting, makes the most squishy, silky soft and cuddly quilt you could ever dream of.  And if a quilt doesn’t make you want to curl up with it, then in my book it’s not a successful quilt.  So.  These are for my darling 10 year old, my only son, who for the most part gets passed by when it comes to handmade things.  Dolly carriers and tiny baby knits are what pop into my head when I want to make something for my kids, and I have to work a little harder to think of just the right something for an older boy.  But he is such a sweetie, so loving, and for god’s sake he puts up with a lot, being here with two much littler sisters day after day.  He really deserves to have something handmade by Mommy.  So with much love I have been planning this project, and waiting and thinking while some other things were finished up, and now I’m ready to begin.

I have a couple of different sketches I’m deciding between, but it’s definitely going to be something improvised and free, just something fun for me to play with for a few weeks.  I’m planning on some medium-dense hand quilting to really play up the lovely feel of the wool batting and make it something he will love to curl up with.

I’m popping these in the wash now as I type, and tomorrow they’ll be ready to cut into.  Maybe I’ll have a quilt top by Christmas?

Quilt Radio Spot and some pretty pics

Pat Sloan American Patchwork and Quilting radio Jessie Aller Aug guest

Hey there!  I’m so excited that Pat Sloan has asked me to be on the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast next week!  You can listen to it live this Monday, August 12th, at 4:00, or download the podcast at your convenience any time after that.   We’re going to chat about my fabric, the DC Modern Quilt Guild, English Paper Piecing, and who knows what else.  I was lucky enough to meet Pat in person a few months ago and she’s really a fun lady.  Check it out!

I also wanted to share some inspiration pics today-

These are my favorites from the collection of 1930s quilts on display this year at the Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA. My extended family and I have been meeting at that show for years now and it’s always a great time!

(I wish the photos were better, but the lighting in the convention center was so awful, that this is the best my camera could do!  I thought the quilts were awesome enough that their beauty would shine through the grainy photos )

These kinds of quilts always inspire me to persevere.  Isn’t the star quilt amazing?  Made from humble fabrics, what stops you in your tracks is just imagining how long it must have taken.

This one from a distance looked like the selvage quilts that are so popular right now.

This one, the triple wedding ring, I want to make that for myself.  I could look at it all day!