Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Beast Conquered

This quilt was started in the summer of 2015 as my youngest son's college graduation quilt. It has appeared here on the blog many times, but progress was halted on more than one occasion due to shoulder problems, then surgery, and finally a long, slow recovery.

It feels so good to have finally taken the last stitches on this king-sized quilt, and completed the label. It may have been meant to be a graduation gift years ago, but this is going under the Christmas tree this year! 

Below is the glamor shot--at least as glamorous as a t-shirt quilt can get.

The twin to this quilt can be seen HERE. I made that one 9 years ago for my oldest son's graduation.

I have another near finish that I should be able to share at the end of the month, when I also hope to have a monthly mini ready, but here is a sneak peak.

This was Thursday when I was working very hard to get the quilting finished on my HQ Sweet 16. Friday afternoon I attached the binding and got half of it sewn down by hand on the back. Hope to get the other half finished today. To finish two quilts in one month that are large enough to keep someone warm is a very rare occurrence for me. I want to bask in the feeling for a minute. :)

I had a request from someone who wanted to see my tree that only has handcrafted ornaments this year. I have wanted to do this for several years, but I always hate to leave off the ones we have collected on family vacations, or the ceramic ones I painted, or the Matreshka doll ornaments that echo my doll collection. But since we won't be hosting any family gatherings, I figured no one would care if I left those ornaments off this year. You should be able to enlarge the photos to see the ornaments more clearly.

These photos get the tree from most angles. You can enlarge them to see the ornaments. The crocheted chain, large felt ornaments, and most of the counted cross-stitch were all made around 40 years ago, early in our marriage when buying ornaments wasn't an option. Many of them haven't been on the tree in decades. There are ornaments made by my mother and mother-in-law, my daughters, granddaughter, myself, neighbors, and some of you.

You may have noticed a little guy sitting on the window ledge. That is our "Gnome in a Dome." Many of you have an elf on a shelf, and some have a Nisse or two (or more). When hubby and I recently visited a Christmas display at a local garden center we couldn't help but notice that gnomes seemed to be the predominant theme. We decided we could use a gnome for our dome. He is a cute little guy.

We will be having Mom join us for a few days next week. It will be a privilege to have her with us for Christmas this year. There will be precious memories made. She wasn't supposed to live to see last Christmas, so it is a miracle she has made it this long. Though frail and struggling with short-term memory issues, she is still spunky and her dry wit keeps us laughing.

If you are celebrating Christmas, or Chanukah, or any other special traditions in your family, I hope you will cherish those with whom you are able to gather, virtually or physically. Make memories that will be remembered fondly. Choose to set aside differences, forgive past hurts, reach out to those who may be a bit harder to love. See if you can help someone feel valued. Choose to be part of the change the world can use right now.

Until next time,

Janet O.


Earlier this week I was walking to my car in a parking lot and was captivated by the view of this sun dog. It is brighter than any I have seen before (does this prove that I am a weather geek?). ;)


Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Your son's t-shirt quilt is a massive accomplishment and probably the nicest t-shirt quilt I've ever seen. Your homemade ornament collection is so special. Have a wonderful Christmas with your Mom and thank you for your nice thoughts at the end of your post, inspiring. (and.... I never knew that term, sun dog!).

Little Penpen said...

Congrats! On your awesome finish! I’m sure you must be happy to have that beast behind you. It’s beautiful! I love your handmade tree; lots of gorgeous and meaningful ornaments! Merry Christmas to you and your family! 🎄🎄🎄

Vivian said...

It 'twas beauty that slayed the beast! Well done and your son will cherish it. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

cityquilter grace said...

pat on the back for the big finish....and echo your sentiments for happy your mom will be with you for christmas...

Barbara Black said...

Fantastic job on the big quilt! Lovely tree. Even better sentiments—Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Debbie said...

First, yay for the beast! I know how glad you are to have this accomplished! And what a year to finish it, and I know it will be remembered and loved.
Love the simple tree of handmade ornaments. It is a delight to see.
Lovely post for your glad you can enjoy the time with her still. Your sentiments are spot on right now.
Don't forget to view the planet alignment as the "Christmas Star" on Monday evening!

Frog Quilter said...

Beautiful finishes and love the Christmas trees. Hugs.

Quilting Babcia said...

Congratulations on completing The Beast! Your Christmas tree is a delight, and isn't that what they are supposed to be, a place to be reminded of all the memories of family and friends who made the ornaments as well as the real reason for the season. Haven't seen a sun dog since leaving Oregon, but I recall seeing them fairly frequently while living in Alaska many years ago. The one you captured is spectacular. Enjoy your special time with your Mom. She is a treasure and an inspiration!

Terry said...

That's a beautiful quilt! I'm sure it will be well loved! :0)

Robin said...

A big WOW! You deserve to be carried on someone's shoulders as the rest of us applaud. Wonderful finish. It feels so good to get some of those old projects off of my shoulders on on to the recipient. I'm really happy for you. Sweet ornaments on the tree. My tree is different this year too because no one will be coming over to handle, break, or misplace things. I've never seen a sun dog that I know of. Nice sighting. I must not be outside enough.

Julie said...

Thats a stunning quilt Janet & gosh - two large quilts finished in a month - quite an achievemen!! Your tree is beautiful - I treasure my handmade decorations more than any of the others. I hope you have a wonderful festive season Janet - my Mum has chosen not to join us this year so enjoy the time you get to spend with your dear Mum. I always enjoy my visits to your blog Janet. xx

Mary said...

Two in a month. Good job!! Glad you can show your trees. I ❤️ my Ornaments you made me. We have a very small tree here. Merry Christmas. Have to ask, what's a sundog??

Karen said...

Does the king size t-shirt quilt weigh a ton? I am interested in what kind of batting you used.

Sandy said...

Wow, where to start? I have never heard of a sun dog, let alone seen one. That is spectacular! I’ll have to look it up and learn more.
So wonderful to have your mom with you this Christmas, and that she’s doing so well after all she’s been through.
I love your handmade ornaments! Like you, we made our first batch the year we got married, out of salt and flour, then painted and decorated them all.. I have many handmade ornaments similar to the ones on your tree, but alas, no tree (no room).
Congratulations on the T-shirt quilts, and your other finishes. My hubby wants me to make him one but I’m terrified I’ll bung it up.
Your sentiment for the season is perfect, Janet. Bless you and your family.

Kyle said...

You have conjured the Beast. It looks fabulous. Your son is going absolutely love his Christmas gift. I'm glad your mom is going to be able to join you for the holidays. I know you will treasure the time together. I have to go look up the term sun dog. Gorgeous

AnnieO said...

Congratulations on conquering the beast and crossing it off the list. Glad your shoulder is holding up enough to work on another larger quilt. Love your handmade decorations tree. I was very choosy with mine this year too, and left a lot of table/wall decorations in their boxes. Wonderful to hear your mom is doing better, still communicating and able to join you. We are sad to miss all our loved ones this season. The sun dog pic is so cool!

Barb said...

Congratulations on finishing the beast.! It must be such a great feeling to have this second one finished.
It will be a much appreciated gift under your tree this year.
Looking forward to seeing your works in progress. I also want to hear how you like the sweet sixteen. I am thinking maybe I need a quilting machine one day.
Your tree is so charming and full of so many lovely handmade items. Must bring back many good memories.
How special to have your mom with you for Christmas.
I hope you will not miss your larger gathering too much. Next year we will be back to normal I hope.
Your final thoughts brought tears to my eyes.
Just Beautiful and heartfelt.
I have to go look up Sun Dog. as a weather geek myself, I'm surprised I don't know it.
Sorry I'm so late in commenting, I somehow missed this wonderful post.
Merry Merry Christmas.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

First of all, your tree is gorgeous! I love hand made ornaments the best and you have such a fabulous collection. Congratulations on taming the beast! It is a wonderful tribute to t-shirt quilts everywhere! So happy to hear you will have your Mom for Christmas. I will be visiting through the window with my Mom this year, but at least she is in great spirits. I think this pandemic is hardest on those of us with large families. But as Barb says, next year we will be back to normal! I wish you the very Merriest Christmas!

kwiltnkats said...

What an awesome post. I'm so happy for you that you got the T-Shirt Quilt done. The ornaments are something I want for my gtree and you will see that from my blog in days to come. Wool will be its makeup and a path ahead for me to explore. Thanks again for my gift of soaps and pouch. I will always think of you when they are in use. Happy Holidays and I agree with your sentiments of the holiday in 2020. Sandi

Nancy said...

Big and beautiful and very masculine-looking! You've taken such care with all aspects of this quilt and it shows. Congratulations on the finish--on both finishes, Janet. There is no doubt which team your son supports!
Love your tree and all the handmade ornaments.
I was thinking of your mom the other day and wondering how she was doing. Thanks for the update. I hope she has a good Christmas.
I love your last paragraph. Such wise words to remember and act upon.
I had to look up what a sun dog is. I don't believe I've ever seen one. Thanks for sharing the photo.

moosecraft said...

Congrats on TWO very important finishes!!! Enjoy your time with your Mom! Even though this year has been a trial for a lot of people..... there is always ALWAYS something GOOD to be thankful for....wishing you peace, health and happiness!

Denise :) said...

Yay! Whoop-whoop!! Congratulations!!! I *know* it feels good to have it FINISHED! ♥ Your tree is precious ... I love all the hand-crafted ornaments! What a beautiful and special collection!!! I'm so excited for your that your mom will spend this Christmas with y'all. That's treasured time! There you go showing off that landscape again! Stunning as always!!! :)

Ann in PA said...

I haven’t heard anyone mention “Sun Dogs” since my days of helping with the Hawk Count during fall migration.
Congratulations on your quilting progress! Blessings to you & your family for a wonderful Christmas.

Barbara said...

Congrats on finishing your son's quilt--it looks fantastic! Your Christmas tree looks so pretty. I love handmade ornaments but this year we don't even have a tree to put them on--probably the first time ever! So glad your mom will be spending the holiday with you :) I had to look up a sun dog, too. Had no idea what that was! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

Lori said...

Merry Christmas! Love your tree!!
For about 5 years in a row we always said "this will be his last Christmas" about my step dad! He had a lot of last Christmases. I know you'll enjoy the time with her. Look for the humor, sometimes it is so sad you have to laugh.

Good job on the teeshirt quilt! I have my sons shirts stacking up in my sewing room closet for a someday project.
Much love and blessings to you and your family.

dq said...

I just love the fabrics in your striped quilt!