Tag: Christmas Traditions

Traditional Christmas Colors or NOT for Quilting

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!

Image of JOY Quilt Hanging not using Christmas tradition colors
JOY Quilt Pattern

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!

So, don’t let your need for traditions RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.

Image of Christmas Tradition JOY Quilt
Shop JOY Quilt Pattern

In conclusion: This 2020 Christmas Traditions update shows that I still love aqua – but now I include red! Here is the NEW pattern, JOYFUL! See how her borders sparkle? #usebothsides

Image of Joyful Quilt Pattern

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.

A Christmas Passed.

All of a sudden your Christmas Traditions aren’t traditions anymore!

In a moment (it seems) our family has grown up and Christmas Traditions aren’t the norm anymore.

Note: since I first wrote this post in 2016, there have been many wonderful changes to our Christmas experiences. I’ll update that towards the end. But as you’ll read the original post, I was lamenting the changes of that time – not realizing that change can be exciting and good:

It happens in a flash. They tell you it will. You know it will. You even know at the time that it is…and then, all of a sudden, you know it DID. Therefore, it seems, Christmas traditions evolve.

Family dynamics change. All of those years of anticipation and child-like joy about the holidays are over. (They actually had been for several years.) I think I was just pretending and hanging on to them as long as I could.

I am a traditional kind of gal who loves to recreate the same experiences every year, like:

  • new jammies on Christmas Eve
  • the same Christmas Eve dinner
  • Saint Lucia bread on Christmas morning
  • attending the same candlelight service
  • listening to the same Christmas music each year
  • watching Christmas movies

Now, for the first time in thirteen years, neither of my girls will be singing for our Christmas Eve service at church. They won’t be here on Christmas Eve.

Image of Christmas Craft
Popsicle stick Advent toys I made
23 years ago. I still put them out every year.

This Christmas Eve it will be just us and the baby in the manger. No cooking all day, keeping it warm while hurrying to and from the first service, home to have Christmas dinner with family and rush back to church for the candlelight performance. No prayers in the pews for healthy voices and calm nerves. It’s just us this year for Christmas Eve.

I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there! Maybe you have a new round of grand-kiddos to share the excitement?

Change happens and so do Christmas traditions. I mean, let’s face it, my Saint Lucia bread hadn’t risen right since we moved to our new house, ten years ago! It actually became a tradition to laugh about the candle-lit flatbread with gooey orange icing and dried cranberries we had every Christmas morning!

One of my favorite memories was the St. Lucia wake-up:

Our girls would sleep in their white American Girl pioneer gowns and bonnets. In the wee morning hours they would put crowns on their heads, tiptoe into the kitchen and make us a treat. They would wake us with singing, a chocolate-y coffee-like drink, and Christmas cookies on a tray. It was sweet, if not so tasty!

So it’ll be a quiet Christmas Eve, but a beautiful one, I know. There’s nothing like singing Silent Night by candlelight in our filled, beautiful church. Then on Christmas Day, our oldest will fly in from New York, the youngest and her boyfriend will pick her up at the airport, drive a few hours and our celebration with family will begin. We will have a new menu, new music, and some new people…and I think some new jammies will still be in order!

Christmas Traditions
One year they sang outside the mall for the Salvation Army ringers at Elsa and Anna.
Image of Paige in Christmas Traditions
Paige performed in Miracle on 34th Street in Rochester, NY
Image of Jacq in Christmas show
Jacquelyn performed for Myer Dinner Theatre’s Christmas show.

UPDATE: It’s 2020 and boy, have things changed! I’ve loosened up a lot on our traditions and this year is like no other! Our girls are 28 and 24. AND we have a son-in-law! A few constants in our Christmas experience are family gatherngs, carols, hymns, Silent Night by candlelight, adult jammies and celebrating the Christ-child born to save us all. And Christmas quilts…

Image of Noelle Quilt
Noelle Quilt Pattern

Thank you for following my blog. Blessing to each of you this Christmas and throughout the new year.