About ten years ago, while I was still working, a retired teacher who regularly visited our office came by with some bags of 'sewing things.' She was nearly 90 at the time and her daughter was insisting that she sell the family farm and move into smaller quarters in town. Among the items she was giving away to any and all takers were two Norman Rockwell Christmas panels, which I happily accepted.
These vintage panels are much larger than those produced currently, measuring 35 inches by over 57 inches from selvedge to selvedge! They were marked only "Wamsutta" and "Hallmark Cards." I would love to know when they were produced but so far Google has revealed nothing.
Anyway, right from the time I received them I had planned to make Christmas quilts for my son and daughter's families. This is the year that will hopefully become a reality!
So last week I found my bin of Christmas fabrics and went to work to add some borders and make the quilts a little larger than just panels, found a perfect backing fabric from among the flannels and set about quilting them. Here is the first one, quilting complete and just needing binding attached along with a bunch of threads to tie off and bury.
I used my go-to allover quilting motif, Wendy Sheppard's Jesters Hat to quilt these since doing anything more elaborate would push the finishes into next year. The idea is to get them done, and gifted, move some stash out of the closet and off of my UFOs list - this year! A couple close-ups of the quilting:
This first quilt top measured 73 x 51-1/2 inches before quilting. And I'm loving this wonderful Thimbleberries flannel backing from 2006 - 6 whole yards sitting in the bottom of the bin, and just exactly enough to back both quilts! It's so soft and plush, I know the grands will be fighting over who gets to wrap up in this quilt - good thing it's long enough to go over all three if they snuggle up on the couch!
The second one, for my daughter's family, is well on the way, being about 75% quilted at this point. It has a predominantly green border and different print cornerstones, but otherwise is very similar to this first one. I'll be taking a break from quilting for a few days as the first cataract surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Hoping that the stitching hiatus is short-lived, cause I'm on a Christmas gift-making roll now and don't want to stop!