Santa's Mailbag
2016 Finished Quilts, Quilts

Quilting Santa’s Mailbag

My mom made a quilt top for her granddaughter (my niece) and asked me to quilt it. She brought the quilt, backing, and bias binding with her to QuiltCon, and I was looking forward to working on the quilt in April. I have had the quilt finished for well over a week and been waiting on better weather to photograph and share it with you! The quilt is super cute; the pattern is Santa’s Mailbag by Kate Colleran, and my mom was able to pick up a quilt kit using the featured Riley Blake fabric before they sold out (the fabric has postcards with letters addressed to Santa!). I really like the secondary design that the quilt makes, and my mom bought additional fabric to extend the quilt out as large as possible.

Santa's Mailbag

Santa’s Mailbag

The quilt top finished at 81.5-inches wide by 90.5-inches long after quilting and binding. First, waiting on the wind and weather to finally cooperate enough to photograph the quilt was a challenge, but then finding somewhere to hang a quilt this large was also not an easy task!

Hanging the quilt with care...

Hanging the quilt with care…

I am so thankful for my husband’s help in my quilt photography adventures. The first location we tried to hang the quilt is actually in front of our house. There is a rather large covered porch leading up to our front door with detailing that seemed like the perfect place to hang a quilt. Unfortunately, as soon as the quilt was hung, the wind kicked up and the sun came out…

Santa's Mailbag Photoshoot Fail

Santa’s Mailbag Photoshoot Fail

Case in point: tree shadows and a billowing, overexposed white quilt!

Santa's Mailbag: Take Two

Santa’s Mailbag: Take Two

So, back to the trusty block walls around my neighborhood. Thankfully we found a wall just barely tall enough with access for my husband to position the quilt from above. In the end we used scuba diving lead weights to hold down the upper edge of the quilt in the first photo I shared.

Santa's Mailbag

Santa’s Mailbag

I wanted to add some nice texture to the quilt and help show off some of the natural design elements. I used 50wt Aurifil 2310 (Light Beige) for the quilting because it blended in perfectly across the quilt top. I went for a sort of dot to dot / snowflake inspired design within the white secondary pattern that formed in the piecing. In general, I quilted a double loop in each block across the quilt top, used ribbon candy for the first border, large circles in the second dot border, and finished out with piano keys.

Quilting Detail

Quilting Detail

I especially like how quilting in the gold dot border turned out. And how perfect is that striped gold bias binding as a finishing detail?

Back of Santa's Mailbag

Back of Santa’s Mailbag

My mom does a beautiful job of making labels for her quilts. Clearly I have much to learn on this topic myself. She was kind enough to even label me as the quilter. <3

In all, I spent 11 hours on the quilting and binding (I did hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt), and I know my mom put many more hours of love into this quilt. I am sure that this will make a most excellent Christmas gift from my mom to my niece this year. And kudos to her for being prepared for Christmas so early!

Linking up with Main Crush Monday.

21 thoughts on “Quilting Santa’s Mailbag

  1. Sew says:

    A wonderful family effort all round 🙂 did have a little chuckle, I went and hung a finished quilt top thinking it was the perfect place till the wind picked it up and blew it down the street, of course it went all the way down hahahaah somedays are just like that 🙂

  2. Great finish. I wish it weren’t so difficult to get good photos. Same troubles here in Canada. I love that striped binding.

  3. How fun this quilt is! You did a beautiful job quilting it for your Mom and your neice is going to love it! I’m glad you were able to fight through the weather to get pictures.

  4. Your niece will surely love the quilt. The border and binding fabric are so festive – perfect for the holidays!

  5. This is such a sweet and festive finish! Your niece will be thrilled to receive this gorgeous quilt, made with much love. You both did a beautiful job!

  6. Renee says:

    Oooh it looks awesome! Glad you were finally able to get some nice photos of it. The quilting compliments the piecing really nicely, and I bet in person it has a great texture and drape!

  7. I really love this! Such a wonderful gift 🙂

  8. Jasmine says:

    This is beautiful! You and your mom make a great team. I am also trying to figure out where to hang and take pictures of quilts.

  9. Sally says:

    Now that is definitely a Christmas present which is good to have done well in advance! I love the envelope fabric and the fact that it’s Chistmassy but subtle in its tones still. And your quilting feels a very natural part of it, you and your Mum are clearly a great team and I’m sure your niece is going to love it.

  10. Beautiful quilting for a beautiful quilt! I love making larger quilts but it’s always a challenge photographing them. You and your assistant/husband did a great job. 🙂

  11. Yvonne, You and Your husband did a fabulous job in photographing this marvelous beautiful quilt! Your Mother did a beautiful piecing job and with extending the size it will make your niece a quilt that will be treasured for so many years. I love your quilting it works so perfectly with the pattern. Plus, the way that you chose to do the various elements in each section shows how you really take time to think and see what you want to showcase and bring out with the pattern. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

  12. Paige says:

    Beautiful in every way! I was already going to ask how you held it on the wall. I Thought I might learn a new quilt hanging trick (like you taught me with the masking tape), but scuba weights I do not have. Please tell your mom great job too with all those HSTs.

  13. Lisa says:

    Great job on the quilting Yvonne, and thanks for sharing the photography adventure.

  14. Lorna Jones says:

    What a great post! Kudos on your hard work. Thanks, everyone for you kind comments!

  15. Sue says:

    The quilt is lovely! What are you using as hangers in the photo with the tree shadow? Inquiring minds want to know!?!

  16. Greta team effort and great photography of such a large quilt, those are so difficult to take pictures of. The binding is the perfect compliment.

  17. Sandra says:

    I fight with the wind in nearly every photo shoot…it’s so flat around here and with massive lakes, well, there is always some sort of a breeze. When I first saw the quilt, I thought, that’s Yvonne’s? Since it’s so not like your usual makes! I love the soft colours and how adorable of fabric is that? The binding is PERFECT!! Love a striped binding and on an angle, score. Your quilting has really come along! Think back to a year ago…Those circles you did–love! Tell me did you draw them first or use a template to go around them, or inside probably…I haven’t used anything but my straight edge ruler, but I have some curves, and bought circle templates for drawing, but not for quilting inside…yet! Gorgeous finish and yay for another labeller. 🙂

  18. Great teamwork, Yvonne! I’m sure your niece will love it!

  19. Finding a place to take pics is difficult for me as well. You got some good shots on the brick wall – I wondered what you used to hold it in place. Diving weights – genius! 🙂 The quilt is gorgeous, you and your Mom did a wonderful job on this project. Ack, labels! I need to do so much better in this area! Thanks for linking to MCM. 🙂

  20. The quilt looks amazing and I so love seeing what people do with my designs. I love that your mom made it bigger and your quilting was great. Thank you for sharing and letting us see the picture taking process; I too, struggle with taking pictures of my quilts. We often take them in the cemetery right behind our home! Getting the lighting right and dealing with the wind are out 2 biggest issues. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  21. I love that you and your mom can work together on quilts! What a great interest to share, and it makes the finished quilts so much more meaningful, especially when you’re gifting them to other family members. I love the quilting you chose on this quilt, and that striped binding is perfect! The picture taking outtakes were fun too 🙂

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)