Christmas traditions abound. It is a season filled with activities we do over and over. Traditional Christmas colors are a big part of that tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t mess with tradition!
But families change. Kids grow up. Christmas traditions (including colors) do change.
What do traditional Christmas colors have to do with quilting?
I always took pride in our Christmas traditions from decorations to cookies. We listened to certain music and watched specific Christmas movies. We always baked the same cookie recipes. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.
Well, a few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? That’s not even one of the traditional Christmas colors!
It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace that idea. I threw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window!
(To be fair, aqua happens to be my favorite color.)
Therefore, I stopped using my quilts of traditional Christmas colors of red and green anymore. As quilters, you’ll understand, I had to make new ones with all the pretty blues!
I think a lot of people embraced the blue Christmas – for one or two seasons. However, for me it was a NEW tradition!
In other words, I found that my comforting traditions were holding me back. Similarly, the rules I’d embraced as a quilter were doing the same.
For example, last year I realized that the beloved tradition I’d started at our old house of making St. Lucia Bread, hadn’t risen properly one time at our new house – ten years in a row! (I’d tried all the yeast tricks, too.)
I made the original “JOY” quilt pattern using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. Therefore, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I stitched this new JOY – using both beautiful sides of a digital aqua Hoffman panel!
Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together. We changed Christmas traditions this year. We are brainstorming about how to make our time fun and meaningful. What’s interesting is that the more we talk about setting aside our old traditions (rules), the more creative we have become in our brainstorming. A weight was lifted.
Seriously, how is this post about quilting?
Now, when I first started quilting, I was all about the rules (traditions). I wanted to learn every single one of them. Some were paramount to good technique and skill-building and very important. Others were just plain silly. I heard a quilter say one day, “Rules are meant to be broken”.
It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules. I realized that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.
Therefore, I’ve noticed now that I watch for the rule-breakers in quilting. Their work excites and inspires me, regardless if the technique is traditional or contemporary.
If you know me personally, you know I embrace tradition. If you are familiar with Lutherans, I am a “page 5 of the old, OLD hymnal” kind of gal!