I have a friend whose had a rough year. She has many health conditions, is currently unable to work, and is facing surgery next week. To top off the misery, her room-mate is having back problems. For all those reasons, they decided not to put up a Christmas tree this year.
I saw this panel and loved it. Since she has many quilt hangers, I knew it would be no trouble to replace a non-Christmas quilt and still have a tree this year. To make the gift more special, I used pre-cut gold stars, added a wish to each with sharpie (such as “good health” and “financial security”), and placed the wishes under the tree. I also gave her some blank stars so she could add her own wishes. Since these were hardly works of art, I just hand-basted them lightly to hold them in place. She really appreciated the thoughtfulness, the tree, and the idea of having her wishes for the next year displayed.
I must say that my friend is a very good quilter. I think this is sometimes intimidating for us … we don’t want to give gifts to people who can see our mistakes! I have to say that I did not give this idea any consideration! When gifts are given with love, people (even quilters), do not judge. I don’t feel that perfection plays any role when we are giving from the heart.
As for perfection … this piece was not! I used mono-poly thread and learned several lessons. I quilted feathers in the border and it was a nightmare — no marking implements would show up on the shiny fabric, so I was doing my feathers free-hand. Then, again due to the shiny border and the invisible thread, I couldn’t see where I’d sewn. Mono-poly is horrendous to rip out, so I just kept going and chalked it up to experience. There is quilting in the leaves, the ornaments, the garland and the pot — as well as the background. It does have a nice texture in person, but doesn’t show up much on photographs.