Sunday, December 20, 2009

heirloom xmas

Though I don't conscientiously think about it, I'm very much into the idea of heirlooms--though not always in the traditional sense. I'm also enchanted by building traditions, creating a moment to hold once a year, once a season, once a lifetime, and then the next.

This is true of quilts, and this is true of xmas. A few years ago, I made some xmas trees from a pattern from the small object. These were to be part of my xmas tradition. They would live in a box and then, at xmas, they would grow out of the mantle, off of a window sill, gathered together into a small festive forest. I'm still trying to get these trees back from my ex. They were part of my xmas tradition, one that i was making to share with family and loved ones. So, here's the thing about building a tradition: sometimes, you have to start from scratch, again.

This year, I knew I would be spending xmas in New Zealand with my love, and who knows what traditions we will build in hand and light. I didn't want to decorate my apartment in Brooklyn as I wouldn't be there on the day to celebrate. Still, towards the beginning of December, I thought it would be nice to make the apartment a little more festive. I decided an xmas bunting was just the thing.

I often undertake large projects, so it is nice to sometimes make something that can happen in the span of a few hours. At this month's Church of Craft at the Etsy labs, I scavenged some lace, red/white/green, fabric trimming, a bolt of candy cane micro stripes shirting fabric and various cream and white scraps. Then I used a rotary cutter and a triangular quilt template to cut out the flags. I arranged and pinned the flags to the lace, and then ran in through the sewing machine with contrasting green thread. The result was instant festive, and it was very satisfying to finish this project so quickly.

That night, my roommate helped me hang up the bunting across our living room. Our other roommate brought home a surprisingly magical phosphorescent tree. We drank cider and dressed our tree. Here was our impromptu tradition: new heirloom items, first xmas season in a new apartment. We sat in the glow (the tree ripples colors: water of a forest) and smiled at each other. Here was our suddenly seasonal and all the more festive home: new traditions, and all.

I didn't get a very good picture of the finished project, alas: