Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Quilts Day One: Glad Yule

This is the first in a series of five blog posts about some of my Christmas quilts. Each post will feature a bit of story telling about the featured quilt or quilts.

My holiday quilt book, "Glad Yule," was published by Graywood Designs in 2007 and remains one of my favorite design collections. The ideas were percolating for quite a few years until they began to take shape as stars and trees and houses and flowers that peppered the table runners and wall quilts in the book. This collection was introduced at International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City in the spring of 2007.

These two designs use an easy five inch tree block that features Thangles, an innovative notion that helps quilters make successful half square triangles. Thangles are an invention of my clever quilting sister, MB Hayes. Making Thangles is a little like eating potato chips -- you can't stop at just one.

The wall quilt, "Starry Yule," has several dozens of Thangles that make up the central tree and the side borders of trees and stars. A smaller size, it ended up just the right size for the limited wall space in an apartment or kitchen or a hallway.

I can't look at these quilts without thinking of Danielle Damen, my able helper and editor, who sewed so many of the samples as the book took shape. Danielle's expertise rescued me in those months of design and layout and editorial work, since it was in those months that my mother, Val Hayes, entered her end-of-life months, and then died in January, just as the book was taking shape.

Quilts can be very communitarian, in that they join you to other people who touch your life as a quilt takes shape. That quilting community certainly surrounded me in the days and months of publishing this book. From a sister's clever thought, to a colleague's careful work, to a mother's final days, and then to the many quilt shops who sold this book, these quilts let me touch, again, those whose lives have made a difference in mine.

Tomorrow -- from Texas to Michigan to Baltimore, the Simpleworks quilt.

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