A spending freeze has its good points. At such times, one inclined to dabble in handicrafts is forced, when confronted by the sudden and inexplicable urge to create, to start rooting through the $16,946.29 — conservatively — of tools and supplies he or she purchased and promptly forgot as soon as a more appealing (read: easier) project happened along.
Or so I hear. Surely no one in my house is guilty of such behavior…
The Christmas spirit hit me in full force last week and I must say, better late than never. And so I started digging through the holiday oddments I bought in my post-Christmas, uber-clearance orgy last year.
My favorite find: Pottery Barn velvet quilted stockings in a beautiful moss green for $4.99 each. Oh yes.
I didn’t have them monogrammed because — this admission is going to hurt — I bought two for children who are not yet even a glimmer in our eyes. And so I don’t know their names yet. And I wanted the monogramming on everyone’s stocking to match. (OCD and delusions of grandeur, all in one package. That’s the story of me.)
Anyway. So lacking actual monograms, I borrowed from this blog and whipped up some letters for our stockings out of raw (unbleached) muslin from my voluminous fabric stash.
SIDEBAR: Raw muslin is my new favorite fabric in the whole world. Think “poor woman’s linen.” RM + AP = LOVE.
Didn’t they turn out cute? And then, of course, I got carried away.
I turned my back on an entire box of brightly colored Christmas ornaments and used only the gold and silver ones, along with strips of knotted raw muslin on the tree. (Which has since been decimated by two very curious toddlers who’ve pushed and pulled and yanked until it’s only a shadow of its former self. But oh well. If you look only at the top third of the tree, you can see what I was trying to accomplish…)
Then I realized that in ten years of Christmas tree ownership, I have never had/used/bought/made a tree skirt. The obvious solution: raw muslin. And here it is.
For those contemplating channel-quilting anything, anything ROUND in particular, I ask you to remember these important lessons:
- Buy stock in Coats & Clark before embarking on a such an expedition. I used almost three entire spools of thread. As in 900 yards. As in more than one half-mile.
- Channel-quilting in the round is a perfect illustration of Chaos Theory: small irregularities are magnified. Every bobble, every wrinkle, every pinch gets multiplied with every concentric ring you sew. (For those wishing to learn more about the science behind channel-quilting, please contact Ian Malcolm.)
In the end, however, I was going for the rustic look, so I think it turned out okay. Of course, my kiddos supplied the obvious humor. When I at last got the tree decorated — the first time we haven’t put it behind a baby gate — Griffin raved about how beautiful the tree was before he announced: “Something’s missing from the tree, Mama.”
I’m sure you see where this is going, though I did not. “What’s that, son?”
Sigh. The one thing I haven’t done.