Let’s get ahead of the game and pull out our red and green fabrics to use with these two fun Christmas quilt patterns! Choose one (or both) and get it ready over the weekend. They have just been published in the Christmas Quilting book by Annie’s Quilting.
Holiday Stars on page 25 measures 51″ x 67″ and the blocks are 16″. I used fabrics from the Holiday Decadence collection by Hoffman Fabrics. The prints are beautiful with pine cones, robins, seasonal words… all wrapped in lots of gold trim.
This lap or throw project, with its large blocks and straight borders, is very fast: quilt in one day and done! Ideal for Christmas decor or gift, it would even look fantastic as a wall hanging if you have a wall space that needs adorning.
The instructions are very easy to follow with step-by-step diagrams. I have an easy trick for forming those red diamonds in the middle – wait till you see it! The blocks form an intricate frame to the golden stars, although there is nothing complicated about their construction.
Yes, Holiday Stars would be wonderful as a Christmas gift. As a lap quilt, it will bring warmth, joy, and love to whomever receives it! Let’s face it, a handmade gift is a treasure. Quilts last many many years so they become family heirlooms. Yeah!
Are you ready for the second Christmas quilt pattern?
Above is Welcome Friends on page 8 of the same publication. It measures 44-3/4″ x 44-3/4″ with five 10″ blocks. I am loving this wall hanging! I worked with the Frosted Flight collection by Hoffman Fabrics – you know, the same one I used on my sew by row Flights of Whimsy project, another of my Christmas quilt patterns.
The center block features my favorite – machine applique’. Notice how big the shapes are and how simple the placement of the whole floral arrangement – an ideal project for beginner quilters. I used matching Aurifil 40wt thread to applique’ each piece.
Tip: Matching or contrasting thread?
When you use matching thread to applique’ you are emphasizing the motif and adding texture to it without adding another color. However, if your purpose is to create a primitive or whimsical look, choose a thread color that will contrast with every fabric you are using: black or brown are popular ones..
As for the applique’ stitch, I always use the blanket stitch unless the shapes are very tiny, in which case I use straight stitch (with the free-motion presser foot). I do not add interface to the back of the applique’ blocks as I prefer a softer hand to my projects.
My Bernina sewing machine (440Q Quilters Edition purchased about 15 years ago) is a master at the blanket stitch, another reason why I do not use the interface. That said, you can use your favorite stitch, even more decorative ones.
The star block was a perfect choice to feature the fussy-cut robin print, don’t you agree?
Tip: On-point blocks with directional fabric
Since the blocks on this quilt are set on-point and the robin fabric is directional, you must cut those center squares on point, too, so the bird will face in the correct direction when the blocks are stitched together. One way to do it is to trace the square on a plastic template, cut it, then place it over the motif so you can clearly see how it will look on the block and what you are including in the square.
Depending on the size of the square, you can also use a transparent quilter’s ruler.
You noticed that the fabrics I selected for Welcome Friends have a silver outline to them. I am glad I made one Christmas quilt with gold and one with silver. I can vary the Holiday decor from year to year or from room to room.
The silver fabrics do have a more modern look to them. Regardless of what you like, or even if you want to use novelty fabrics or solids, your projects will look great.
As for the quilting, if you send it out for long-arm quilting, select a Christmas design. If you would like to quilt them yourself, quilt in the ditch using the walking foot for a quick finish. I use the free-motion foot to quilt around the applique’. When Melissa quilts it for me, I let her quilt over the applique’ unless I want a custom design, which I hardly do as I am usually pressed for time to send the projects to the magazines.
You can find Holiday Stars and Welcome Friends Christmas quilt patterns in the Christmas Quilting book published by Annie’s Quilting. Whether you get a hard copy or download the PDF version right now, you will enjoy the 8 projects you will get as they are creative, unique, and perfect for every skill level. The cover log cabin quilt is so cute! It was made with novelty fabrics – we all have loads of them, right?
I have made a few Christmas quilts already, so I can scratch a few people off my gift list. Phew! How about you – do you wait until the end of the year to start your marathon of gift-making, or are you on schedule to have them completed before Thanksgiving?