Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behind the Seams with our December Banner Winners...bye November lol

Thearica, Trudi, Debuko and Alice...
YOU all made our November something to remember...
Your quilts, your behind the seams stories...
made this a very special month...
Thank YOU! Hope to see you all again!

And now for our December Winners....
Oh look at them all...

( We had 468  Christmas quilts sent it.....all of them
would have been perfect here...I never know
who they belong to- till I have completed the design..
Then I check to see who's who? I blend until
I find a theme...in this case, trees, wreaths and poinsettias..
Thank you for all those who entered..YOU 
all were very special treats in my inbox ....xxx)

There is 
Christine, Nan, Marsha and Anne Marie...
( in this order)
and here is their .....

with Christine

You can see why I chose Christines....it is lovely isn't it?
I aded some snowflakes and some cool air for you ....Ü

I want to thank Madame Samm for the honour of having my miniature Christmas tree quilt chosen for the December banner. I was beyond excited when I got the news! The story of my quilt is not accompanied by much fanfare but it is rather a special little quilt to me.

I live in sunny South Africa where December is usually hot and I’m sure very different to what quilters in the Northern hemisphere experience over Christmas. Certainly we do not have any white Christmas’, instead festive celebrations take place under the hot African sun.

I belong to a quilting guild called Part Time Quilters who are a very active and hands-on group of quilters. We have a yearly programme of all sorts of projects that we can take part in. We sometimes have visiting quilters who come and give us demonstrations or one of the very talented guild members will share their knowledge and expertise. My little Christmas tree quilt was one such project last year.

I got the fabrics from my favourite quilt shop called Umnyama, which by the way is an African (Xhosa) word meaning rainbow. Every year they have a Christmas in July sale and we get to buy Christmas fabrics to our hearts content.  I used 1.5” squares, about 6 shades of green, a few squares of red in between and 5 shades of cream fabric. I really liked the outside border fabric. The tree was cross-hatch quilted and then decorated with a handmade beaded angel (made for me by my mom) and other miniature decorations. The finished quilt measures 13.5” x 15.5”. By varying the size of the squares we could make our quilt as big or small as we liked. One of the ladies used 5” squares and made a large wall quilt which she says she will use this year instead of a real Christmas tree and the gifts will be stacked in front of it on the floor….
pretty neat idea don’t you think?

This brings me to why my little quilt, titled “Christmas with love” is special to me.
I am engaged to a darling man who is as enthusiastic about my quilting projects as I am. I wanted us to have our own Christmas tree (instead of a “his tree” and “my tree”) and since my language is one of quilting, I decided to make a Christmas tree quilt to hang up over the festive season. Well, my fiancé was so pleased with the quilt that he refused to take it down, even long after the obligatory period for taking down Christmas decorations had passed. No amount of cajoling worked, even when I offered to make something else to hang in its place. So, I relented and it is with much humour that I tell everyone how it is Christmas in our home all year round…… This wee quilt now has a place of honour in the hallway. Who made the rule anyway that something you cherish must be displayed only once a year! 

with Nan....
(yes same Nan who brings a chuckle each month here)

fits in perfectly...yes Nan...and I didn't even know it
was yours till I had completed the banner design...

Here's the story of my quilt:

This table-top/wall-hanging Wreath Quilt was a Christmas gift for my mom in 1999.  It's from a Thimbleberries pattern, called Countryside Wreath, and it measures 40-inches square.  Here's the thing, this little quilt came together so quickly and turned out so wonderful that I could barely bring myself to part with it.  I even had it wrapped and taped with a bow around it and then unwrapped it and decided to keep it for myself!  But my conscience got the best of me and I rewrapped it and got it into the mail before I changed my mind.  And I'm so glad I did - my mom has loved this little quilt - she keeps it out year round on the back of the bench just inside her door - she always likes to keep a little Christmas Cheer up all year.  Every time I go visit my mom I get to see this little quilt and have my mom tell me how much she loves it.  That's what you call a gift that lasts!   (This pattern is still available on-line from Thimbleberries/Lynette Jensen or from Amazon.com.)

I have attached a new photo of the quilt, it's not the best but it's all I have.  I am sewing together another wreath quilt, since I found the pattern and have been wanting one for 11 years ..Now I will have one...

Thanks again, this is a fun thing for me and my mom will get such a kick out of it!!!

xoxo, Nan
visit me here

with Marsha....

 this just screamed at me ..pick me, I want
to be in your banner lol

Thank you Madame Samm for choosing my special quilt to be in the banner.  I used the pattern "O'Christmas Tree" created by Nancy Murty of Be Creative Studio.  My husband and I were out running errands one day, he wanted to stop at a hardware store and the quilt shop is right next door.  I'd never been to the quilt shop so while he went to look for his stuff, I stopped in to look around.  On the wall was the shop sample of O'Christmas Tree for a class they were having.  I love Christmas designs and I fell in love with this quilt.  I looked the sample quilt over really well and decided to buy the pattern.  This is my first large quilt, it measures 60" X 69".  Even though I had only made a couple of small quilts at the time, I decided to tackle it without going to the class.  I took the pattern home and read through it several times, then went back to the quilt shop and had the wonderful ladies there help me select fabrics.  I started piecing the quilt in October 2008 and finished hand quilting it in January 2009.  Since it was my first attempt at hand quilting I mostly stitched in the ditch or made X's through the blocks.  I drew around cookie cutters and stitched gingerbread men and stars into the top and bottom border and Christmas trees into the side borders. This quilt was made just for me I can't wait to have it out again for Christmas this year.  
I did not have a blog when I made this but I do now.  The link is http://sunshine-marsha.blogspot.com/
I am so excited I can hardly wait (but I will, I don't want to spoil the fun!)
If you need anything else, let me know.  Thank you again!

with AnneMarie

 and tell me what is the holiday
season without a poinsettia...see? 
perfect wink

 MY Story:

This Poinsettia Quilt is one of my favorites!  It is one of my first few quilts and really brings the Christmas spirit to my home when I pull it out on Thanksgiving.   I found the green border fabric at an after-Xmas sale and somehow everything else just fell into place.  I was still a beginner when making this quilt and selecting fabric was difficult for me.  I was beaming when I finished this quilt, as I finally got the "pop!" I was looking for that makes you say "Now that's a great quilt." The two different tones of red give the petals depth, and I love how the four flowers are accented by the candy cane border. This quilt hangs high up in my two-story great room below a crecent window.  Which means my husband has to get out the ladder to put it up and take it down each year..... and with the snow, sometimes we display this quilt until April or May!!  (I certainly don't mind


SEW here is to a beautiful month
for many reasons...
Thank you Ladies for adding your spark...

( January will be BLUE quilts..
please send them to me for consideration....
( madamesamm@cogeco.ca)

If you would like to be highlighted on YOUR BLOG!

Ohhh and tomorrow...we begin
a month of Guests Tutorials Holiday Projects...


  1. Oh my goodness! There is so much to say! I read the entire posting and smiled the entire time. There is a theme with all the lovely ladies of family, kindness, generosity, and sharing! What perfect quilting ladies to be honored this month. Thanks Madame Samm for introducing them to us. Every quilt certainly does tell a story. 4 great quilts...4 great ladies. And the fifth,Madame Samm, you rock! Your new December look is Absolutely Awesome!

  2. Good morning ladies.....this festive banner is my fav to date. To all those who participated. Thank you..all were joy to view.. Yesterday, today and all the tomorrow's to come..

  3. Lovely Ladies! Just lovely. The quilts and stories both.

    I love your Christmas trees around the page Samm!

  4. Beautiful quilts.. So Merry.. and it does put me in the Christmas spirit!

  5. Beautiful quilts.. So Merry.. and it does put me in the Christmas spirit!

  6. Beautiful quilts. I do love the look and feel of Christmas. I am looking forward to the Holiday Tutorials. I am looking for a quick project for my grandsons teachers.

  7. Quilts worthy to be in the banner. It is fabulous!

  8. Congrats to all you girls! M Samm you have outdone yourself with this great new banner. I love how you can come up with these things!Looking forward to all the fun this month!

  9. Wow! Awesome banner, Madame! Love your snowflakes and the "whoosh" of cold air! Four beautiful quilts by four lovely ladies - what a wonderful start to my morning! Love seeing their skills, and what talent YOU have in creating this presentation!

  10. I love all those quilts! One can't help but be in the Christmas spirit looking at these lovely handmade beauties. I can't wait to more...

    More! More! More!

    Hugs and have a great day, dear!

  11. Every story tells me something about the quilter. You are all such lovely ladies and your stories mirror that. Thank you Samm for bringing us all together this season -You know how to do it in style. Luv Liz in NZ

  12. Toe each of the ladies may I send my heartfelt Congratulations!! Job well done and I must say, Samm, you selected well! Nothing beats the colors of Christmas and guessing by the stories each of our quilting ladies told, they all agree!!
    Blessings for a Merry Christmas
    Gmama Jane

  13. WOW, All of this Christmas Glory and the stories behind the chosen quilts for the Banner have left me just in Awe! Congratulations to these talented Winners! I have just got to see their Blogs. Madame I can only imagine the Fun, Oohhs and Aahs, Smiles, and the warm fuzzy feelings you had at opening each and every email! True Holiday Bliss I shall think! I am sew looking toward this month of Quilting Project Fun here!!


  14. What great stories and wonderfully pieced quilts. It will be delightful to open up to such a beautiful banner and to see all the talent that gets posted on this blog! The magic of the holiday season has started!

  15. Beautiful quilts, beautiful stories! Congratulations and thanks to Christine, Nan, Marsha and Anne Marie for such a great start to December. Mdm Samm, thanks for such a creative banner, you rock!

  16. Beautiful quilts! Congratulations to these talented Winners. Madame Samm, thanks for the beautiful banner! Best, Debuko.

  17. Congratulations ladies! All are works of art! Wonderful looking banner, Samm.....that snowman in the wooden wheelbarrow is so adorable!

  18. Great job, now you need to do a post on all the banners this year so we can see them ALL. cw

  19. Oh Samm....how can I help but let you know that your new Banner is a bright spot in my morning this day! You are so talented and your ladies have each done such beautiful work. Thank you all for sharing your work with us! Have a wonderful day!

  20. Thank you Madame Samm, I am so excited to have my quilt chosen to be in the banner. It is an honor to share this with Christine, Nan and AnneMarie, their quilts are outstanding! I love the banner you created, your talent amazes me. Enjoy the Christmas season!

  21. LOVE the new banner! I smiled immediately when I saw it! Sure puts one in a festive Christmas spirit!

    Can I come play in the snow??

  22. I love the new banner. What a warm and festive welcome to the blog. My favorite of all, so far!

  23. These quilts certainly deserve to be winners! They are beautiful :-)

  24. I love the new banner! So festive.

  25. Once again you have created a work of art with the quilted pieces of art you chose Samm. I do so love Christmas quilts and if my husband wasn't asking this very morning what in the world I was going to do with all the Christmas quilts I have I'd be planning to make each one of those! blessings, marlene

  26. Oh Welcome Ladies!! Such beautiful quilts! I love all your stories, and Madame Samm you out did your self on the banner. I just love it so very much! Happy December!!

  27. Another month of beautiful quilts, you sure can pick them!!!

  28. Oh how fun...holiday quilts. Your banner will always be beautiful with submissions like these.


  29. Beautiful banner! You ladies did an awesome job!


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