Tag: Christmas Quilts

No Hard Rules…in Christmas or Quilting

Christmas is a season filled with tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t break tradition.

But families change. Kids grow up. Holidays are shared. Traditions (rules) might have to (wait for it)…change.

What does this have to do with quilting?

I always took pride in our Christmas traditions. There were certain categories of gifts and each had to be filled. Certain music had to be played…movies watched, cookies baked, old recipes fixed. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.

A few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? Not red and green? It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace the idea…to throw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window.

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.)

Side note: the tradition started when our girls would dress up like their Kristen (American Girl) dolls in their white gowns with their St. Lucia crowns to serve us some coffee-like substance and “cookies” on Christmas morning – it was adorable!

I wouldn’t use my red and green Christmas quilts anymore – and 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…but for me it was a NEW tradition!

My original “JOY” quilt pattern was made using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. But, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I had to make this blue one – from both sides of a beautiful, aqua Hoffman panel! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging
JOY Quilt Pattern

Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together, we are considering changing more 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. It’s as if a weight is being lifted.

Seriously, how is this post about quilting?

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 didn’t realize the difference until the day a wise quilter suggested that rules were meant to be broken.

It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules, not realizing that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.

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!

Don’t let your need for tradition RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.

Image of JOY Quilt
Shop JOY Quilt Pattern

Introducing…Merry!

Image of Truck Quilt

It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter!

Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics.

This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane.

“Merry” quilt pattern is available in my Etsy shop: HERE

Merry Red Truck Quilt

More Christmas patterns:

JOY – Use BOTH sides of ornament fabric, toy motifs, stars, snowflakes, pine motif fabrics…or many other fabrics for this joyful tree. The gifts beneath the tree are made using the reverse side.

Image of Quilt Close Up

Pepita – every year there are many, many poinsettia fabrics on the market – you likely have at least one in your stash – turn it over and see if the reverse would make a beautiful pot for your own poinsettia quilt! Super fun to arrange and goes together quickly! Pepita is named after the little girl in the The Legend of the Poinsettia.

Image of Quilt Close Up

“Holly” is made using BOTH sides of two panels OR BOTH sides of Christmas motif fabrics! This quilt was designed for Hoffman California Fabrics and is featured on the cover of their Winter Projects 2019 catalog!

Image of Wreath Quilt Closeup

Have a wonder-filled quilting journey!

Designing Quilts with Panels

To the tune of “On the Cover of the Rolling Stones”, I feel like singing! At the close of 2018, I happened onto my pattern, “Holly”, featured on the cover of a Hoffman California Fabrics’ catalog!

It began with an email asking if I (along with four or five other designers) would like to try our hand at designing with a new Christmas line of fabric. It’s my understanding that other designers use digital fabric swatches and their computers to design patterns. But since I use BOTH sides of the fabric, I need the real thing!

Click HERE to see the Winter Projects 2019 Catalog by Hoffman California Fabrics.

We had a week for the deadline – but since I needed the fabric shipped to me and then I needed to ship the finished quilt back to California, I had less than that to design and make the quilt!

Frankly, I was in a hurry! Add to the mix that it was Thanksgiving weekend, I was driving six hours on Saturday, attending our daughter’s show, driving four on Sunday, and staying in a hotel (with terribly inadequate lighting) until Tuesday AND, until I could see and audition BOTH sides of the fabric, I had no idea if my idea would work!

Working with both sides of fabric means lots of value-checking. You can’t tell from the front of fabric if the reverse will work. Some fabrics have great reverses and some just don’t. Click HERE for “The Tricky Traits of Value”.

The Christmas tree panel is gorgeous on its own – who would want to cut that apart? I certainly wouldn’t cut it to make another tree. I was also pretty certain that other designers would be designing borders around the whole panel, so mine had to be different.

I started to focus on the fat-quarter panel they sent. I had received a whole box of fabric to choose from and I knew if I wanted to use this panel, I couldn’t just use one fat-quarter of it or even half of them- I needed to use the whole panel. After auditioning many combinations, I decided I could use the panel – BOTH sides of the panel!

So…once again, it all comes down to fabric values. In classes, I have quilters audition many background fabrics and take lots of black and white pictures to see how their background fabrics “play” with their focus fabric. The smaller accents strips are allowed to be a bit “louder”, but the larger pieces need to provide interest as opposed to distraction. So take a look at this picture of the panel. Lots of dark fabric, right? Really pretty fabric…but more darks than lights.

Now look at a close-up of the quilt. Do you recognize those fabrics? …same fat quarters from the panel – just using the other side! Most of the accents strips are made from the front side. The bows, bells, stripes, plaid, and Christmas words make this an exciting background for the Holly wreath. One of the fat-quarters had two stockings printed on it. I used the one on the wreath and I embroidered the second stocking for the quilt label.

Image of Quilt Close Up
See the candy canes made from the reverse stripe?
Image of Back of Quilt
You can see the quilting, the extra stocking as a label, and the prairie point hanging method here.

The wreath is made using fused holly leaf shapes from the Christmas tree panel. Being a digital print, the fabric has a sparkle of light to it, making the wreath sparkle as well.

You might notice I didn’t have time to take great pictures – and apparently I borrowed my husband’s house shoes that day!

Even the pieced binding is made from the fat-quarter panel!

This is a fun quilt to make and so easy to shop for if you use the two panels! While I have no official timeline, my guess is that these fabrics will be in shops by summer!

If you have Christmas yardage in your stash – you can use it! I wrote this pattern to work with the panels as shown OR using your own choices of fabrics. The same method applies to both – it’s all about the value!

Here’s how Holly look inside the catalog!

I designed Phoebee 2.0 using BOTH sides of Hoffman California Fabrics “Electric Garden” as the focus fabric -it’s available in shops now!

Image of Electric Garden

Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)

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A Mini-Quilted Christmas

I wanted to make a little Christmas gift out of our dad’s shirts for my sister. I couldn’t come up with ideas, so picking the brains of my Lady of the Lake (LOL) quilting buddies proved quite helpful!

Image of Orville Wichern

Sitting around the table, we ran the gamut of ideas…a bear, a quilted Santa, an apron, a journal cover…whatever I could make from my dad’s old shirts – but it needed to be just right. One friend suggested framing a pieced/ quilted shirt quilt – she was on to something. It often takes a period of mulling…or percolating for me to round out an idea…instead of a frame, make it a shadow box… and add vinyl lettering to the inside of the glass…

I have to say, this little piece came out sweeter than I expected!

It’s not a big, fabulous quilt, but I really like how it turned out- and hope to one day make for myself one day–or maybe the gift to me was the cutting, stitching, and remembering that came with making this for my sister.

I used small amounts three different shirts. Once quilted and trimmed, I glued the quilt to the back of the box. Using Scan N Cut (click HERE for more info.), I added our dad’s name in vinyl to the inside of the glass (remember to reverse the lettering). I penned a short message on the back of the box with a Sharpie.

Do you gift your quilting for Christmas? How do you find ideas?

Please share in the comments below.

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galations 4:4-5

Read The Tie That Binds to meet Willie (Orville, Bill, husband, brother, uncle, son…dad).

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring – are you listening?

In the lane, snow is glistening…

Want to experience some old style Christmas? There are a couple of ways here locally (Southeast Missouri) and in towns all across the nation – and if you can’t find one near you, grab a Christmas themed book – the one I’m sharing includes quilts, a Christmas Walk, and antiques in a quaint wine country town.

Celebrated author and creator of the popular Colebridge Community and East Perry County novel series,  Ann Hazelwood provides insight into a new community with her Wine Country Quilts series. I am currently reading Lily Girl’s Christmas Quilts (2nd book of the new series) and was fascinated to learn that the real town, Augusta, Missouri (upon which the series is based), is having a Christmas Walk (as depicted in the book), and the author, Ann Hazelwood, will be signing books at this Stone Ledge Antiques shop (I wonder if it looks like Lily’s) starting at 7 tomorrow night! Learn more about Ann’s books HERE. Take a stroll on the Candlelight Christmas Walk tomorrow night – find more information HERE

Image of LIly Girl's Christmas Quilt Book

A beautiful sight- we’re happy tonight.

Stone Ledge Antiques during the Candlelight Christmas Walk in Augusta, MO.

Another opportunity  for an old-style Christmas experience is to take the driving tour of country churches in rural Southeast Missouri counties of Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, and Perry. You are encouraged to tag your steeple-chasing buddies for this self-guided tour and travel the beautiful country-side to these decorated country churches where you’ll find music, warmth, treats, and the real meaning of Christmas. This tour begins today at 2 p.m. The tours run both today and tomorrow until 9 p.m. Learn more HERE.

I hope you’ll find joy and take a break from rush of the season by going walking in a winter wonderland.

Need a last minute gift for the quilter in your life?Shop #usebothsides quilt patterns HERE.

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14.

Christmas and Quilts and JOY!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

“Holiday Revue” is our youngest daughter’s current dinner theatre gig at the Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro, Indiana.

Our first stop in the quaint town was a visit to the old-fashioned soda shop!Image of Hot Fudge Sundae

Image of Myers Dinner Theatre Logo

Everything about the dinner was delicious and the Christmas “variety” show featured every Christmas genre: we heard beautiful spiritual music, classic carols, and youthful tunes. Featured guests included Mary and Joseph, Elvis, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty, a cow girl, a giant blue bear, Linus, and a stage full of life-size toys. Image of Raggedy AnnImage of Cow Girl

And there was lots of audience participation! Yes, that is my husband on stage and dancing to Santa Baby! I got a little hug from Elvis!Image of Matt DancingImage of Karla and Elvis

The show ended my favorite way- with a wonderful White Christmas finale!

Image of Matt on StageImage of JacquelynImage of Singers

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

It’s the most wonderful time for quilts! Do you include quilts in your Christmas decor?

You might recall JOY, made with Hoffman California Fabrics All Aglow on a scrappy background. The tree, topper, and binding are made from the front of the focus fabric and the gifts are made from the reverse.Image of JOY Quilt

This year, I #usebothsides of one Hoffman California Fabrics Supernova Seasons panel for the tree, topper, gifts, and  binding! It’s a fun quilt pattern that makes a great gift for a quilter friend, a quick quilt to gift, or to add to your Christmas decor.Image of Blue Christmas Tree QuiltImage of JOY Quilt Hanging

Shop HERE for the JOY Quilt Pattern.

Also, learn about Pepita (named after the poor Mexican girl in the Legend of the Poinsettia who had no gift to give the Christ Child on Christmas Eve) HERE.Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Silver bells…silver bells…

Yes, I’ve been listening to Hallmark Christmas music the whole way to and from Hillsboro, Indiana!

I love the classic big band sounds of the holidays and Hallmark has a great variety. Sirius XM has Free Listen – so check out the Christmas channels!

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: Isaiah 11:1

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Pepita, the Legendary Quilt Pattern

Pepita is the name of a new #usebothsides quilt pattern AND the little girl in the legend of the poinsettia.

Image of PatternPepita was a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present to the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. The story goes that as she and her cousin Pedro walked to church, he tried to console her by saying, “Pepita, I am certain even the most humble gift, given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” Pepita gathered up a bouquet of weeds from the roadside to give as her gift. Her spirits lifted as she entered the chapel and approached the alter. She laid the weeds at the feet of the Christ Child. Suddenly, Pepita’s common weeds burst into brilliant red blooms! This was considered a miraculous event and was named the Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night).

Today we call these flowers poinsettias, after Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first ambassador to Mexico, who first brought the bright red star-shaped flower to the United States.

Pepita is made using both sides of one poinsettia focus fabric on a scrappy, fun background.

You can use your neutrals and accents strips from your stash to make this easy quilt. It’s great for gifting because the fast technique and stunning look!

I used to avoid poinsettias plants because I thought they were poisonous for pets. In my research about them, I’ve learned they are only mildly toxic, causing a stomach upset if ingested. But if you are concerned, make up this beauty and you can have poinsettias in your Christmas décor every year!

Image of Poinsettia Quilt

Pepita Quilted Wall Hanging

Click HERE to see other Colorful Petals series quilts!

Stop in my Etsy Shop to see all #usebothsides patterns and kits!

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