Tag: Christmas

Christmas (Quilts) in July

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.

Introducing…Noelle.

Christmas (Quilts) in July Noelle Pattern

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!

Nancy

Next pull out your winter motif fabrics! Just five fabrics and two accent strips make up the background. Super fast!

Christmas (Quilts) in July

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!

SHOP more than 35 patterns & fabric kits HERE Creative Bee Studios Etsy Shop.

(This focus fabric is available while supplies last -click the link above.)

Have you made Christmas quilts this year? Join me on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and share your quilts!

Follow my Christmas Quilts board on Pinterest!

Enjoy your quilting journey, Karla

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Wild Goose Chase Quilt under the Tree

Simple Tree. Special Quilt.

At our annual Kiefner Christmas gathering (the Sunday before Christmas), we load up in our trucks and head out to a field at the family farm. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.

Image of Matt and Pop in Field
My father-in-law, Pop, and husband Matt at the tree cutting.

Back at the house, the grand kids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy hot soup, visiting, and eventually gift opening.

In a quiet moment, I noticed my mother-in-law had placed a vintage quilt around the base of the tree. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for the lovely work, obviously done by hand, long ago.

Image of Tree with Quilt

Seeing the quilt made me wonder how many quilters around the world had made quilts as Christmas gifts, wrapped them and placed them under a tree for a loved ones to open.

This blue and white quilt was a Wild Goose Chase pattern, as best I could tell without disturbing it’s placement. It was gifted to my mother-in-law from her brother, having belonged to his wife.

The “Wild Goose Chase” quilt block is said to have been named after families heading west in search of fortune. It is also called “Flying Geese” and “Oddfellows Cross”.

Perhaps unintentional, my mother-in-law’s choice of quilt to wrap around the tree had an extra meaning since each year any new-comers to the Kiefner Christmas are required to star in the roles of the “Geese a Layin'” in our “Twelve Days of Christmas” (with motions) carol. There is a year-long quest for new geese and perhaps a bit of exaggerated drama about the role they are to play, just to make them nervous and have a little fun.

Image of Family Pic
Family Photo by Blake Kiefner of B Connaway Photography

Did you make Christmas quilts for gifts? Have you ever made a Wild Goose Chase quilt?

Follow my Facebook page: Creative Bee Studios to join in the conversation – click HERE.

Image of Diplay at Shop
Use BOTH Sides of one focus fabric for “Merry”! Shop Etsy CLICK HERE.

O Holy Night Wool Applique

Take a little time out of the bustle of the season to stitch up a primitive wool nativity scene.

Click on the download below for the templates and head outside to find the perfect hanging stick!

Image of Nativity Wool Applique
Image of O Holy Night Nativity

Creative Bee Studios – Use BOTH sides of fabric – on display below at The Golden Needle Christmas Open House. Shop Etsy for patterns and focus fabric kits!

Image of Diplay at Shop

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Christmas filled with joy and blessings.

Nature’s Color Wheel

Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!

If you like to play it safe, are in a time crunch, or have run across a line of fabrics you adore, choosing fabric and colors for your next quilt can be a simple, quick process.

I find that every now and then, I want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.

Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!

You can refer to previous posts about color here: “One Easy Way to Conquer Color” “Monochromatic by Nature” and “Six Tips for Using Color In Landscape Quilts”

There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.

Image of Beach and Sky
How many colors and values do you see here?

Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.

Image of Christmas Cactus Plant
There are many variations in just the flower petals of this Christmas cactus. I would have normally just considered it “pink”.

Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.

I challenge you to look around you today and collect some fabulous fabric ideas from the nature around you!

An example of using BOTH sides of a line of fabrics: “Holly” was made from two panels by Hoffman California Fabrics and was featured on the cover of their “Winter Projects 2019” Catalog.

SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!

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

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).

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 d├ęcor 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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O Holy Night

Manger Scene Wool Applique

O HOLY NIGHT

Here is a sweet wool applique manger scene for you!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Christmas blessings to you each day of the year!