Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Nativity Quilt

It occurred to me over Christmas break 2010 at my parents that I didn't have any sort of Christmas quilt.  Weird in light of the fact that I have several Halloween/fall minis and my mom has about a billion Christmas quilts.  Clearly the only possible course of action was to START-ANOTHER-PROJECT-IMMEDIATELY.  Which I did.  Of course, at that time I had several other ongoing projects, but when has that ever prevented any of us from starting something new?

I decided to do a mosaic quilt depicting a nativity, an idea that was inspired by an article about abstract mosaic quilts in a magazine that came out about that time, I think it was a Quilting Arts or Quilters Newsletter or maybe American Quilter.  I know, very helpful.  In any case, I made my pattern and added fusible to a bunch of fabric and then assembled/fused Mary and Joseph.  It was then time to go back home after the break and the quilt has remained packed away ever since then.  It came out once, but only because I was changing how I stored my UFOs.  The quilt has appeared on pretty much all my works-in-progress lists (including this one which was the first I ever posted).  After last Christmas came and went without any progress on it, I promised myself I'd work on it this July no matter what.  Of course in July I was busy finishing Seymour, so that didn't happen.

Last week though, I got it out!  Hooray!  Ever since then I've been working on it.  My background fabric (which shows through as "grout") is a pale swirly grey, and the medium tones of Mary and Joseph stood out nicely against it.  This past week though, as I was piecing on the baby Jesus and the star (in lighter yellows/oranges/browns) I thought there might not be enough contrast.  You can see it here in that stage (never mind the torn freezer paper pattern I had only halfway removed).

My next step though was to fill in the background with lots of blues, dark blues, darker blues, and blacks (to feel like a starry night).  As soon as I started, I realized that it was all going to be ok.  The baby Jesus and the star stand out great against the dark night.  Mary and Joseph actually blend in to the background a bit more than I'd like especially Joseph, but I'm going to try to compensate a bit for that during the quilting, and I really love the way your eye is instantly drawn to the star and downward to the baby.

I'm still working on filling in the background, it doesn't look that big until you've spent hours and hours and millions of pins cutting and pinning each tiny tile piece up there.  It's certainly taken a lot longer than I thought; I figured I'd knock the background out super quick (based on how the people sections went), but of course I didn't really consider how much bigger the background section is.

My goal is to have this finished by Thanksgiving so it can go on the wall when I get out the Christmas decorations this year.  Wish me luck as there are bunches of other things also on my list!!

Finishes This Week
One tiny secret project and one other small secret project (Christmas Presents).  No fun, I know.

Other Progress This Week
-I'm still quilting on my silk screened leaf quilt, maybe I'll have an update on that Friday.
-My singer 201 broke during said quilting (does that count as progress?  I don't think so).
-I started designing my project for the Hoop-La-La swap over at Sew Allegorical.

No Progress
-Too many to even list!

Linking up with Lee as always and hoping you guys are having good work-in-progress!