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!
Julia’s trip to Missouri Star found her bringing home fabric to do some Christmas quilting!
Julia chose a beautiful line of Christmas quilting fabric for her first large, quilted throw. Their first quilting project together began when, my daughter, Paige, and her best friend, Julia, took a trip to nearby Missouri Star this summer. While Julia chose a beautiful Christmas motif, Paige selected a warm, autumn line (see What is Quilting Heritage?).
Julia started with colorful layer cakes of a variety of reds which included traditional Christmas red, warm orange-y reds, and deep (almost burgundy) reds. The collection was rounded out with deep greens, black, warm whites, and lots of gold. To me her fabric has a traditional Christmas feel, but with LOTS of interest and sparkle to boot!
Next, Julia added a narrow green and gold border. Lastly, she chose a red and gold fabric for her outer, large border. Both border fabrics are found in the quilt center. Julia’s new Christmas quilt is a nice, large throw size.
As you can see, Julia and Paige chose to keep their layer cakes whole. They got together for an evening to “play” (arrange their layer cake squares). Paige sent me black and white photos to show she was testing the values (YES!). See The Tricky Traits of Valuefor more information.
Before the girls got their quilts finished, Paige and her husband moved 1,000 away, ending the frequent couples’ nights, friend walks, and quilting together. I know they enjoyed living near one another again (they grew up as neighbors and best friends, but were apart after high school). They will cherish their memories of their young adulthood and, both newlyweds, their young married life together.
Julia’s quilt will hold warm memories for her.
Lastly, Julia had her throw quilted with swirls and holly leaves in red thread.
Also, Julia shared her other Christmas quilting projects:
It’s so fun to know that twenty-somethings are enjoying quilting! I hope to share future projects by these two friends. What do you think they should do next…maybe a quilting retreat?
In the end, it’s fun to see a quilting journey begin so early in life. Here’s a reminder to you to enjoy your quilting journey!
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.
Here’s a little JOY from me to you this Christmas season.
Joy is in the air during this season when families come together, holiday foods are prepared, decorations adorn our homes, special gifts are given to those in need, and everyone is just a little bit nicer to one another. When heaven and nature sing, there is happiness in our world.
One of our holiday favorites is singing Christmas carols. Learn about the tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas HERE in “Wild Goose Chase Quilt Under the Tree”.
Looking ahead to 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 on the Twelfth Day of Christmas 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 a mini Christmas tree template.
Download this FREE pdf pattern by clicking the link above. It’s just a little JOY, a miniature of the larger 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 how easy and fun it is to use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric, like with the #usebothsides quilt patterns.
Patterns come with complete detailed instructions, guides for auditioning both sides of fabric, and full-size paper templates.
For a larger Christmas wall hanging, see JOYFUL below!
Use the easy-link blue SHOP buttons HERE to shop patterns, fabric, home-decor and MORE!
To begin 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. This year I spotted a Wild Goose Chase at Kiefner Christmas.
After bringing in our food and drink to share, the afternoon begins in the field. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.
Next, back at the house, the grandkids decorate the freshly cut tree. When that is finished, we gather around the long dining table to sing carols, boisterously. Afterward we enjoy a gift exchange, hot soup and goodies, and lots of visiting.
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.
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”.
Maybe it was unintentional, but Luanne’s choice of quilt to wrap around the tree had an extra meaning for me.
You see, 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!
When this post was originally published (2019), I didn’t know that this Kiefner “Christmas at the Farm” would be our last with Pop. He absolutely loved the annual gathering and having everyone around. Pop especially loved the caroling led on the piano by his loving wife.
Each year, prior to singing our last of about 10 carols, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, Pop would read to us all the origin of the song and the true meaning of the words. In recent years, he’d choose a different grandchild each year to read the words for him. Read about how the song was used by Roman Catholics as a catechism when they weren’t allowed to freely practice their religion HERE.
Then came the fun. First, Pop would gather the “geese” near him and explain their task to sufficiently perform the role of a “goose-a-layin'”. Even with limited movement, Pop would gleefully take proper goose-squatting position and demonstrate the role. Next, the geese had to show they could perform their role before the singing began. (Pop had been known to stop the song and make the goose squat lower!)
Finally, after we reviewed the rest of the motions, we’d join in singing and laughing through the long carol.
Do you make Christmas quilts for gifts or do you decorate with quilt? Are quilts a part of your Christmas traditions?
Wishing you a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas season.
Take a little time out of the bustle of the season to stitch up a primitive wool nativity scene.
O Holy Night is a simple wool wall hanging. It features Mary, Joseph and the babe in a nativity scene on a starlit night.
O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Both of our daughters sang for Christmas Eve church services when they were younger. After the early service, we hosted family for a meal and then we’d all head back to town for the candlelight service. O Holy Night, Mary, Did You Know, and Silent Night (to guitar) are the ones I remember most.
This O Holy Night nativity scene starts with a dark purple wool for the nighttime background. Choose any color for your stable. The gold wool depicts the glow of light, from the star and the presence of the Christ child. While I chose more traditional colors for Mary and Joseph, herringbone or other textured wools would add interest. Chain stitches add details the holy family. Blanket stitches finish the edges. I went outside to find the perfect stick for hanging this wool art.
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!
So, don’t let your need for traditions RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.
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
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like red truck Christmas quilt season!
Merry is a red truck Christmas quilt that’s easy and fun to make! You can start your holiday decorating with a fun Christmas wall hanging OR make one for a favorite friend!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics to make this quilted wall hanging.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane. On a background of winter trees, various sizes of snowflake motifs, cardinals on lighted lines, and glitzy deer, this red truck Christmas quilt is made with both sides of one focus fabric. So toss a tree in the back, add the mirrors, tires, license plate, and reversed details to “trim out” your truck. Pull out your winter/Christmas stash and start auditioning your fabrics!
Shop the “Merry” quilt pattern in my Etsy shop: HERE
Below are the current Christmas quilt patterns available. For each you will use both sides of at least one fabric. With each #usebothsides pattern, you’ll discover the nuances of value as you learn to audition BOTH sides of fabric. I teach you HOW, like what to look for and how to use value to your advantage.
Look at each picture below and notice where the reverse side is used. Look carefully because you’ll see that the reverse is often used in the background as well. Chances are you have fabric in your stash that will work, with beautiful reverse sides. So pull out some stash and turn it over! Once you learn about what makes reverse sides work, you’ll never look at one side of fabric again! It’s almost like doubling your stash (without taking up any more room). Plus, it’s fun and makes choosing fabrics easy!
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!
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
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.
A beautiful sight- we’re happy tonight.
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.