Christmas Angel


Taking down the Christmas tree is just about my least favorite thing to do. This January, as I was about to take the strands of lights down, Jesse decided to stage a sit-in and protest the whole idea…


This was funny and touching and oh so bittersweet since we knew this would likely be his last holiday with us. When I saw the photo I knew that it had to become a quilt as a tribute to our boy.

First step, run the photo through one of my apps to create an easier pattern. Then, to the stash! This is one of those very rare pieces for which I literally bought nothing 😇. I pulled a yard of dark red dupioni for the tree skirt…some dark brown batik for the tree trunk…2 shades of green Cherrywood for needles…a piece of beige linen for the wall (which sadly didn’t make the cut, was not really the right shade)…and, for Jesse, a mix of holiday-themed light gold batiks and Carol Eaton’s amazing snow-dyeds. As always, Jesse helped…


I decided to construct Jesse first, with a layer of wool batting, on my Bernina, and then add him to the quilt with light stitching (trying to preserve a 3-dimensional effect).


Next, the background. A small piece of tan Cherrywood for the floor, and lots of fabric for the tree skirt! Thank goodness for MistyFuse…


It was great fun to bunch up and wrinkle the red silk to simulate the folds of the actual tree skirt. I think of it as sculpting fabric!

Next, ripped strips of fused brown batik were arranged (the trunk properly wrinkled) and fused. For the needles, I first thought it would be cool to do lots of rubbings with a dark green PaintStik, using a branch from the actual tree. It soon became clear that it would take an awful lot of paint and that I needed more texture to balance the dense tree skirt and cat, so the green Cherrywood it was:


This was another step that would not be possible without MistyFuse…pressing those “needles” then needing to rearrange more than a few 🙄. Finally, time to quilt! Just a little thread…


…and some fun textures:


The tree lights were a bit of a challenge…I tried simply stitching in some sparkly thread, but it was not nearly enough. Angelina to the rescue- I pressed a sheet of it, fused it, cut into small rectangles, and scrunched on top of each light location. If you’ve never tried Angelina, do…it is incredibly fun to use.


Finished and ready for a facing…as you can see, Jackson kept me company as I finished the hand-stitching ;).


Now back to a clean studio and my next pet portrait 😁…have a wonderful long weekend!

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