Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.
This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.
Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.
Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.
Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.
You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.
You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.
Use both sides of Christmas scraps to add a Little Joy to your gifts!
I think every stitcher has a Christmas stash. You might have leftover fabric from a quilt, stockings, or napkins. Personally, I don’t keep a lot of Christmas stash, just two cubbies (!). However, you don’t need much to add a little joy to your gift decorating.
About a year ago today, I was part of my local quilt shop’s Christmas Open House. See the sample gift bag with Little Joy. Download the free pdf (further below) on gift bags using your Christmas scraps. Consider adding Little Joy to craft paper covered boxes as well.
This mini pattern mimics the JOY and Joyful quilt patterns which both use the large template of JOY.
You can see that the tree is made with the front side of a Christmas motif and the gifts under the tree are made from the reverse.
Like all my patterns, it requires auditioning BOTH sides of fabric to test their values. You’ll want to see the tree first, then notice the gifts under the branches. In the quilt patterns, you’ll also audition your background fabrics and try to pull a fun variety of fabric styles together to give the quilt an added interest.
Of course, for your gifts, just choose a surface with the contrast you desire. If you choose blue bags and have blue fabric, your design will be subtle. Use white bags for a high contrast.
It’s just a simple and fun way to use up some fabric scraps and get a little playtime in!
Christmas (Quilts) in July? Yes, it’s a thing! Ours is a craft that requires lead time!
Let’s think of happy days ahead, with family and friends and gifts of joy and comfort. I love the idea of combining two of my favorite things: Christmas and quilts. I hope you’ll enjoy this month to contrast our lovely, warm summer with a taste of the crisp winter to come.
Noelle is quilted wall hanging pattern of a cute little pair of ice skates (like you might hang on your front door at Christmas time) with beautiful bouquets of winter flowers spilling out their tops. Her background is snowy white (scrappy) with fun winter-y accent fabrics. Like most #usebothsides quilt patterns, this one is fast and easy!
Go check your stash! I bet you have a Christmas floral in there, just aging for the right quilt! You’ll use your focus fabric for the skates (reverse), bouquets, and the binding!
Years ago I made myself a Christmas jumper out of this beautiful poinsettia fabric. I couldn’t bear to part with that jumper because I loved the fabric. I cut it apart and will use it as my focus fabric in my ice skates quilt!
Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!
With the Noelle quilt pattern, you’ll learn how to audition both sides of fabrics to pick just the right focus and background fabrics.
The technique for making your bouquets is what I like to call Modern Broderie Perse. (Click HERE for more information about Broderie Perse.) Basically, it’s fusible applique while using your fabric motif as your cutting guide! See, it is fast and easy! And if your fabric has bonus motifs, like pine cones or birds, you can add those to your masterpiece! Quilters at workshops and classes seem to have the best time arranging their bouquets!
The best part is, once you make Noelle, you’ll know the technique for making all the broderie perse #usebothsides patterns!
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas (also known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas), we recognize several things (in my understanding): the coming of the Magi (Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar), representing the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (for all peoples); Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist; and the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ.
Since today we recognize the gifts brought by the Magi, gold (royal standing), frankincense (divine birth), and myrrh (mortality), I thought it appropriate to pass along a little gift of joy… as in a “little” JOY pdf pattern.
Download this FREE pdf pattern by clicking the link above. It’s just a little JOY, a miniature of the larger JOY quilt patterns. You can use it to decorate gift bags or other items using BOTH sides of a scrap of fabric and fusible…and if you have a scanning/cutting machine, you can have all the cutting done for you!
You can learn for FREE how easy it is to make any of the #usebothsides quilt patterns – the applique designs use the same basic technique.
Full #usebothsides patterns come with complete detailed instructions
AND guides for auditioning both sides of fabric
AND full-size paper templates (for applique or broderie perse designs).
There’s also a new quilt app for your phone you might want to join called Quilt Space – it’s only for quilters and it’s a simple newsfeed that show quilts or quilts in progress posted by quilters. Since I joined during the Twelve Days of Christmas, I decided to post Christmas themed quilts daily through today, Epiphany. Check it out – it’s free, just sign up with the usual info (email, password) for the app. Shout out to Anastasia for the heads up!
Do you use quilts in your Christmas decor? How about layering some additional textures among the quilts? Here are a couple ways to explore other techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy:
The background quilt (laser cut kit) was made a number of years ago, when aqua became a Christmas color! (I love aqua and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating!) This was such a fun kit and there were lots of added textures, like the skate strings, buttons, and “pearl” necklaces on the birds!
Add in a little punch needle snowman…
Layered on a snowflake runner (snowflakes cut on Accuquilt)…
…add in a little manger scene made with vinyl and a wool candle wrap for another layer of crafting fun!
To make the candle wrap, I just cut strips of muslin on the diagonal and stitched down the middle of them onto a piece of wool. I then threw them in the washer and dryer with a load of towels and they came out nice and fuzzy. I still plan to blanket stitch around the edges of the wool – oh, and it connects in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.
I made one several years ago for a friend, using the Accuquilt snowflake:
This Christmas bear quilt was made from a McKenna Ryan kit – but I changed his hat and mitten and made them from an old wool sweater that was in my mother-in-law’s stash.
…and of course, JOY made from BOTH sides of a Hoffman California Fabric panel is keeping in the aqua winter theme.
JOY and all her pals (quilt patterns and focus fabric kits) are found in my Etsy shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE).
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.
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.
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!
Shop all my patterns at my Etsy Shop: Creative Bee Studios (Click HERE)
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Like many of us quilters, space is at a premium, so when I find a tool or machine that has multiple uses, I get excited about it!
Let’s face it, we can’t make everyone a quilt every time we need a gift! That’s why I like to use my Brother Scan N Cut, which I mostly bought for quilting purposes, to also make unique non-quilted gifts.
Click HERE for a review of the monogrammed baby quilt I made using a phone app and the Scan N Cut:
Click HERE to see the old Italian proverb made with Scan N Cut in this Italian Row-by-Row quilt.
The Scan N Cut project I’d like to share with you today is one I made for Christmas last year – and it requires a short story…
Each year, we gather at my husband’s family farm before Christmas. We all traipse into the fields and watch as the chosen tree is cut down. The (now grown) grand-kids decorate the tree while the older grown-ups visit. Before opening gifts and eating, everyone gathers around the very long dining table while our mother-in-law leads us on the piano in Christmas carols. It’s sounds all cozy and Hallmark-y, right?
Then comes the finale, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”! Except for two assigned parts, we all do the motions for each of the days. The assigned parts? The three brothers are “Lords a Leapin'” for which they do what is supposed to be a leaping type of movement (they take this role very seriously) and any new boyfriend or girlfriend brought to the party is the “goose” for “Geese a Layin'”. This involves squatting, twisting, and flapping movements.
Fabulous Photo by Black Kiefner
Now, there is a year-long push for new geese–so each single grandchild has a bit of pressure to find a goose to bring for Christmas! Both of our daughters will say their geese have been somewhat traumatized by Kiefner Christmas!
What does this have to do with Scan N Cut? I came up with this gift idea last year using vinyl and paint on glass in a barn wood frame. The painting was very easy, just dabbing layers of green and white in the general shape of a tree (the only tricky part was that the paint is on the back of the glass so you want to paint the foreground first). Placing the letters was easy once I figured out to use a rotary mat under my glass to line everything up. I ended up making a few variations for other families and I think they were all well-received.
If you’ve wondered about using a Scan N Cut for quilting, this would be a great time of year to check them out – dealers are having sales and you need something to put on your wish list, right? (I have no affiliation with Brother or any dealers, I just like to share with you the things I like!)