CHRISTMAS CARDINALS WALL HANGING

CHRISTMAS CARDINALS WALL HANGING

I found this “cheater” panel and the matching cardinal fabric at Paducah one year, and just had to make something for Christmas from it. This cute Christmas Cardinals wall hanging was just fun to make. It could have been much quicker if I had not gotten distracted with other quilting projects.

I started out with the center panel, added some leftover pieced squares, then a border in red. The outside border is the coordinating cardinal fabric. The machine quilting is a small stipple design by RLM. I completed it with dark green binding, and a tag on the back.

Finished size is 35″ x 35″.

Backing for Christmas Cardinals.
Backing fabric

Fabric panels are also called “cheater fabric”. My thought on quilting is that is should be fun and that whatever technique I (or you) choose to do is fine.

Here are some other “cheater fabric” quilts:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/06/ships-another-panel-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/06/heart-of-america-panel-quilt.html

https://indianaquilter40.com/nautical-scene-wall-hanging-fabric-panel-quilt/

I don’t waste time on the “quilt police” that occasionally show up in my life – you know the ones – “I only do hand quilting” or “I would never use that fabric in that pattern” or “I hand piece all my quilts” or “I only do traditional patterns” or “I use cotton batting” or………. Folks like that will not change their minds if I (or you) try to explain why doing a particular thing in quilting is just fine, so do not stress yourself.  The process of quilting should be fun, satisfying, and enrich your soul.

Using fabric panels

The only real rule in quilting is to do good workmanship.  Everything else is personal – the pattern, the fabrics, the quilting design, hand or machine quilted (or tied), and hand vs. machine piecing. Do the techniques you enjoy.

Feel free to mix techniques in your quilts. Quilting and quilts should bring you joy. Your quilts can be as individual as you are. Enjoy the process.

I use a mix.  While I love the traditional look of quilts, I personally don’t want a home full of traditional looking quilts.  I like to use the colors and designs of fabric that catch my eyes.

Clip art - Make Today Amazing

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

LETTUCE BE BERRY CHRISTMAS QUILT

Holly and berries

Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt – it is not the average Christmas quilt. This top was sewn together in a day and a half while on my annual trip to Maine in Sept. 2014. It is named for the lettuce and berry fabrics in it. When I decided to make this quilt, I was looking for fabrics that read “red” or “green”, not the theme of the fabric.

Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt on the bed.

The center blocks and inside border are a solid black with gold flecks – perfect for the beauty of Christmas.

I cut the fabric before the trip and took it along to be sewn together. The center squares are 4″ squares and the strips are 2.5″. I did two “logs” around each block. The inside border is 4″ wide and the outside border is 6″ wide. There are 36 blocks.

I got the entire top done in the day and a half except for sewing on the final border on two sides of the top. Here it is at Colonial Pemaquid in Maine:

Lettuce Be Berry on display outside.
The final outside border is missing on two sides in this photo.
Lettuce Be Berry displayed by the ocean,
This is on top of the fort, looking out toward the ocean.

I finished the top 100″ square in Oct. 2014 and it was machine quilted in Nov. by RLM. I finished the binding on Christmas Eve 2014.

Here is a photo of Lettuce Be Berry this year ready to be shown off for the Christmas season.

Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt

Christmas quilts are a wonderful addition to the season:

https://indianaquilter40.com/a-road-trip-and-beautiful-quilts/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2012/12/courthouse-steps.html

Have a wonderful Christmas. Make memories with family and snuggle in those Christmas quilts.

Clip art - Merry Christmas
Clip art of decorated Christmas tree

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS (hand quilted)

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS – The last time grandma and I went fabric shopping together, she told me that I didn’t have to buy scraps (I was buying 1/4 yd. pieces of Christmas fabric) because she had plenty and would be glad to share.

"Grandma Came For Christmas" hanging on a fence.
Photo taken in 1998 before the county fair.

I pieced the center 16 Log Cabin blocks in 1988 while living in West Germany. The red center block is 2.5″ and the logs are 1.5″ in width when cut. I used green and red scraps with muslin. I put them away because I wasn’t sure what to actually make with them.

At some point, I added two borders around the center blocks, with the red border being 3″ cut and the cream muslin border being 4.5″ cut.

On one of my trips back home, Grandma and I went fabric shopping – many of those 1/4 yard pieces got put into the piano key border which is 10″ wide (cut). The final outside border was from Grandma’s fabric collection and is 6.5″ cut.

I would piece on it, then put it away for several years (1988 – 1997). Grandma never saw the completed top or quilt since she died in 1996. I hand quilted this in 1997. The binding is also hand finished.

Finished size is 80″ x 80″.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the hand quilting.
Some of the hand quilting. Location was front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

In 1998 this quilt got a blue ribbon at the county fair. Here are the comments from the judges:

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - judges comments.

Grandma was a huge part of my life growing up. She encouraged me to quilt and be anything I wanted. She insisted on good grades in school and finishing high school because she only was able to complete up through 10th grade. I miss her still. Her wisdom and compassion are something that are missing in our current world.

“Grandma Came for Christmas” is brought out every year at Christmas to be displayed, cuddled in, and talked about. It is a great way to remember a super important person in my life.

Quilters, your quilts can have a story or be in memory of some important person in your life. Quilts can have funny or sad stories. Don’t forget to pass the stories on with the quilts.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the colors are still as bring in 2019 as in 1998.
The colors are still as bright in Dec. 2019 as they were in 1998. Location of photo was at front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

Another log cabin quilt I made:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/purple-without-apology-log-cabin.html

More Christmas quilts I made:

https://indianaquilter40.com/a-road-trip-and-beautiful-quilts

A ROAD TRIP AND BEAUTIFUL QUILTS

Clip Art - road trip with car and family

Today was a fairly nice day for early December in central Indiana. No snow, no rain, in the 40’s temp range, partly cloudy that eventually turned blue. I wanted to be outside but couldn’t think of a real reason to be there – I needed to be getting some fabric cut. Um….how about a road trip and beautiful quilts thrown in.

So six Christmas quilts got chosen to go along and get their photos taken outside and/or in an interesting location. Ended up in Sullivan County, Indiana with my trusty side kicks (AKA hubby and grand-daughter).

The first stop was the county courthouse which is listed as a National Historic Place. Has a really pretty roof (stained glass?) and marble pillars. https://www.cityofsullivan.org/sullivan-county-courthouse

Stained glass roof of rotunda at Sullivan courthouse.
Roof of Sullivan courthouse rotunda 12/06/2019
Staircase at Sullivan courthouse.
Staircase at Sullivan courthouse 12/06/2019

The below quilt is named “Lettuce Be Berry” and was completed in 2014. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2014/09/lettuce-be-berry.html

Lettuce Be Berry (a green and red log cabin quilt).

The photo below is “Christmas Stars and was finished in 1999. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-stars.html

Christmas Stars quilt

And here they are hanging together. People who were in the courthouse stopped and commented that they were pretty. I provided an unexpected quilt show.

Two Christmas quilts in red and green.

Next stop – The Sullivan County Public Library. It is a Carnegie library and is a neat looking building also with a rotunda and stonework exterior. https://www.sullivan.lib.in.us/locations/main-library/

This one is “Christmas Scraps” completed this year (2019). https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/10/christmas-scraps.html

Windmill blade quilt in red, green, and black.

Here is a “Christmas Stars completed in 2000 for our son. It still lives at our home. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-stars_17.html

Black border, white stars, and red and green blocks.

This one is “Grandma Came for Christmas”, is hand quilted, and was completed in 1997. https://indianaquilter40.com/grandma-came-for-christmas-hand-quilted/

And finally a “Flying Geese” quilt that was finished in 1999. Flying geese quilts are so much fun and they look great in any color choice. https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/04/flying-geese.html

Flying geese are red and green with a medium blue border.

Taking photos of quilts is fun and honestly, who doesn’t want to show off the quilts they make? Look around for interesting places to use when taking photos of your quilts – it can be your own personal quilt show and a fun road show at the same time.

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS 1985

Clip art of sky line of Paris.

We lived in Germany for five years during the 1980’s. The short version of this story is that I lost the coin flip and we spent Christmas in Paris 1985 (instead of Rome). It was certainly exciting to be in Paris, and we saw all the tourist places during those five days (Arc de Triomphe, Norte Dame, the Louvre Museum, Versailles, Eiffel Tower, etc.).

Not to mention walking around downtown and getting lost, or that my husband got food poisoning. It was a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience (he is rolling his eyes right now).

Never did I think of making a quilt as a keepsake for the trip – I had lots and lots of photos that are still fun to look at. However, I was in a fabric store recently, the Rockin Bobbin https://www.rockinbobbinquiltshop.com/ and there was some really pretty Paris themed fabrics.

Clip art of Eiffel Tower

The light bulb went off – a quilt to commemorate the Christmas in Paris 1985 trip would be fun so I picked up several different pieces. After washing and ironing the fabric, I cut it up without thinking to take photos before this fabric was cut up, but here a close up of a piece that is used as an alternate block for the quilt.

Close up of black and white Paris themed fabric

I went through my Christmas prints and chose some that were glittery (like Paris, right). The goal was a simple wall hanging so I cut 8″ squares of the Paris fabric, and a few glittery Christmas fabrics for a total of 20 squares which I sewed together 4 squares x 5 rows.

A gray stone looking fabric was chosen for between the blocks and the glittery music outer border.

Christmas in Paris 1985 pieced together.
The completed top – Christmas in Paris 1985

It was easily pieced in a day and is ready to go for machine quilting. The finished size is 41″ x 48″.

The backing is a Paris toile and I will hand cross stitch a pretty tag to put on the back once it is quilted.

I am normally the person taking photos, I am not fond of having my own picture taken but here are two photos of a much younger me in Paris during December 20 – 25, 1985.

Photo of Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

Life’s events can certainly be commemorated with a quilt, either simple or complex. What life event would you like to commemorate with a quilt?

Clip art of Paris tourist destinations.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS (or a cheater block quilt)

Christmas Angel quilt made with cheater blocks.

I pieced this super quick quilt of Christmas Angels in 1997 from pre-printed angel blocks and a pretty poinsettia print. I cut the 8 pre-printed blocks apart and added the poinsettia print cut to the same size as the printed blocks (either 12″ or 14″ – at this point I forgot and my quilting scrapbook does not say either) so that the two prints alternated making a top 3 blocks by 5 blocks.

After sewing the blocks were together, I added a border of green print (I usually do either a 4″ or 6″) around the outside. I only spent an afternoon piecing this top together because the pieces were big.

Tip: Watch for cheater blocks or panels that can be utilized to make quick projects or quilts for people in your life.

Clip art angel with violin

The batting was polyester.

The backing was a flat sheet that I pre-washed before using. I also tend to cut off the hems (rather than take the hems out with a seam ripper).

Finished size was 57″ x 82″.

It was machine quilted in January 2002 by RLM. The design was a continuous pine tree. I did the binding in solid green cotton.

Given to a family member for Christmas that year.