Christmas countdown is on

There are quite a few days until that day when a fat jolly man squeezes down our teeny, tiny chimney, leaving me fabric, patterns, and chocolate. Luckily for us it is summer here, well sort of, and we don’t have to let the fire go out to avoid awkward questions around scorched imaginary friends.

Despite the week and half to go, I feel like there is a countdown going on my head. I can almost hear the seconds ticking away, the pressure mounting.

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The lounge is in a state of semi-chaos. The tree is decorated sparsely, since we have energetic cats with ornament fetishes. The floor is doubling as a quilt studio again, while I sneakily baste a Christmas quilt.

I’m having these little Christmas-related conversations in my head:

Have you found a cheesecake recipe? Oh my gosh, can you actually afford the ingredients for that? I mean really, that much marscapone? Do they think I have a house cow? But then, it will be delicious…Maybe I’ll just make the condensed milk version again…(resigned sigh)”

How big a present should I buy for the bloke who doesn’t buy presents, eats enormous amounts of food despite not bringing any to share, then sits all day reading and ignoring us? Damn, I feel guilty just thinking this….big, expensive bottle of wine it is.

The conversations go on, and on. And so I started the day at 4am, with a list of the days activities already formed in my mind.

However, most of the list will not get done because I am now sleep deprived. So, I prioritised and finished the remaining presents to be posted away. “Lucky’ for me, most of my family sort of invited themselves here for Christmas Day, so I don’t have to post much. I have concentrated on making pillowcases for the extended family, with my  second youngest brother receiving a classic Possum pillowcase. As a hunter, I’m sure having an exotic pest species on his pillowcase will fill him with Christmas cheer.

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These look astonishingly like the Australian possum which has invaded our nation. My brother spent some time trapping them, so this will bring back memories.

With that off the list, I have started quilting the last Christmas quilt. I’m trying not to count down the rows of quilting, but it is hard to maintain enthusiasm for straight line quilting. I am stitching in the ditch and a quarter of an inch from the main sashing seams. After that, I’m not too sure how I will quilt the individual blocks. I’m sure inspiration will strike somewhere around 4am tomorrow morning.

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Must keep sewing, must keep sewing…

What I am really looking forward to is finishing up all this Christmas sewing, and then I can return to my Gypsy Wife #2. My design board is standing in a dark corner of the quilt room, waiting for me to turn my attention to it again. One section left to sew together, then I can attach all the sections together. I am looking forward to seeing how my fabric choices look in the end.

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One dusty design board, awaiting my attention.

I have learnt this Christmas, that while it is good to be able to gift quilted and sewn items, I really need to get going sooner in the year. I have made  five quilts and many pillowcases in the last little while, and I think the schedule has been a little overwhelming. Partly this was bought about by our trip to Australia which sucked up a bit of the budget, but largely by our decision to do some house painting this summer. With lead based paint on our house, we are biting the bullet and getting the professionals in to do the job.

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Partially assembled Gypsy Wife.

I have also learnt that I need to buy bigger pieces of fabric. Fat quarters are great for scrappy quilts, but I think 1m is a better length to put in stash. The pillowcases all needed a 27 inch length of fabric, and I had few pieces of fabric of sufficient length. So, in 2016, I will buy more fabric (hooray). I started practising last weekend at the Busy Bee Quilt Shop in Wellington, picking up some clearance fabric in 1-4m lengths, since it was clearance, and only $6/m (usually $27-$32/m in NZ).

I also plan to join up with a mid-year Christmas QAL next year, and get a little more organised about Christmas present making. Who knows, by November, I might have my sewing done.

By the end of this week I hope to be binding the last quilt, leaving next week for cooking, and house cleaning. How is your week looking?

Linking up eventually with WIP Wednesday, Lets Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday.

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6 thoughts on “Christmas countdown is on

  1. Tarnia,I love the quilt you are working on! Those colors are terrific. I feel your stress. I always say I’m going to start early on making gifts, but I never do. The conversations you have with yourself made me smile; I hope you are able to get everything finished and have a wonderful holiday!

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  2. Hi Tarnia! This can be stresful time. I hope you get everything ready in time. Your quilts are always so beautiful and I’m looking for to see more the Gipsy Wife project. Happy holidays! x Teje

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  3. Holidays and stress go hand in hand! I just finished a stack of last minute gifts, which should have been started weeks ago instead! Your quilt is pretty gorgeous and you will finish it in time! Happy Holidays!

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