Monday, November 17, 2008

Glad Tidings

Glad Tidings book coverA few years ago (2004 maybe?), while on the Bluebonnet Patchwork Trail Shop Hop in Central Texas, I saw a sample. It was on display at a wonderful San Antonio quilt shop called Las Colchas. It was an Advent quilt from the Nancy Halvorsen book Glad Tidings Advent. I instantly fell in love with the quilt. I have no idea why. I’m not particularly religious. I’ve never been into the primitive/folksy look. But there was something about the design that just sang to me. I actually waited a little while before buying the book, just in case it was a momentary thing. But I couldn’t get that quilt out of my mind. So I did buy the book, as well as a special button set.

As I was straightening up my quilty room in September, I found the book and decided that this year would be the year. I worked on it for a bit, took a break, worked a little more, another break, and finally completed it this last week.

Glad Tidings quilt front
I love it.
I pretty much followed the given instructions. My only big regret is that I went ahead and did the suggested “Quick Quilting” finish of placing the top and back right sides together, sewing around, turning, and stitching closed, and then quilting. As a result, I’ve got some rippling going on. I think I would have been better off to do a traditional finish, quilting first and then doing a binding. Other than that, I think it came together pretty well.

Glad Tidings quilt back
Another change I made was in the hanging tabs. Instead of sewing both ends in, I only attached one and then finished the other. I then went and made buttonholes on the finished ends so that they can button around onto the back of the quilt. The hanger I wanted to display it on is closed—so there is no way to slide hanging loops or a sleeve onto it. Now I can button around the hanging bar. The hanger was a Christmas gift from our friends Ruth and Patrick. How perfect is it with this quilt? Thanks again, Ruth and Patrick!

Glad Tidings cow ornament front
The little ornaments were very simple to make. Just fabric fused onto wool felt with some embroidered and button embellishments. I used perle cotton for the hanging loops (I couldn’t find any black crochet thread, as was suggested in the book). The book instructs you to hot glue the hanging loops to the ornament. I did this, but am not thrilled with the result. It’s a little messy looking. It’s on the back so it’s not like anyone is going to see it. But if I were to do it again, I think I would maybe cut the felt a little differently, leaving enough room for an eyelet at the top to thread the loop through.

Glad Tidings cow ornament back
The book has some other cute projects using the same elements that appear in the Advent quilt, including some mini quilts and a little pillow. But really, I kind of see it as a one-trick-pony kind of project book. It is also focused on speed with regards to the techniques—the fastest ways to get to a completed project. It’s definitely not about best practices. I think the end products evidence this. But with some creativity and forethought as supplements, this is a fun little book with very cute patterns.

Glad Tidings label
Despite its faults, I love this quilt. I look forward to making it a part of our family holiday traditions, and using it to help us better experience the spirit of the season and remember the story of Christmas.

Glad Tidings angel detail

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