Show & Tell: My Christmas Quilt

Posted in: Handmade Holiday — By on December 29, 2014 11:54 AM

At my house, a Christmas tree and Christmas cards on the mantel have been the extent of my holiday decorating for the last few years. This year I felt the urge to up my festivity with a quilt! (I guess I’m running low on reasons to make quilts… I’m not one to just churn out quilts for the heck of it!)

Some beautiful reindeer fabric that I found at the Creativ Festival in October served as my inspiration for the quilt. I wanted to do a simple horizontal striped pattern that would showcase the fabric, so I pulled some Christmas-y fabrics from my stash, ordered some additional reindeer fabric from the only place I could find it online (a quilting shop in Colorado) and got to work!

It didn’t take long to plan this quilt, but I procrastinated for a while before actually piecing the top. I finally did it on a Friday night after I’d put my son to bed. I was tired from a long day, but determined to get the top done in one sitting.

(I should note that most of my sewing these days takes place on my couch so I can pick it up and put it down when I need to do something or my son wakes up. I’m a big fan of hand quilting and hand stitching my binding. I find it much easier and enjoyable to craft that way, rather than set aside time to spend in the basement at my sewing machine now that I don’t have a sewing room!)

Any quilter watching me piece my quilt would have been shocked by how many rules I broke. These include:

  • Hand winding my bobbins because my bobbin winder is broke and I haven’t got around to getting it fixed;
  • Not measuring;
  • Not pinning;
  • Not ironing;
  • Doing all of my cutting by eye on the floor;
  • Using the horizontal lines in the fabric as my guides.

Clearly, I just wanted to get this step done as quickly as possible. If you looked up “quick and dirty sewing” in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of me sewing this quilt top! But it turned out looking great, so there you go. The red stripes on the plaid part of the quilt are just some bias tape I had. Since the quilt doesn’t have the typical green and red Christmas colour scheme, I needed something bold like the red stripes to add some festive flavour.

I used white sashiko thread and red embroidery floss to quilt. It didn’t take long to do the hand quilting because I could just follow the horizontal lines of the fabric. I think it adds some nice dimension to the final product.

After quilting, I added dark green binding. I don’t think the quilt really reads “Christmas” as much as “winter”, but at least that means I can keep it out for a few more months!

The moral of the story? When it comes to something seasonal like a Christmas quilt, you may want to think twice about how meticulous you want to be. Nice fabric and a bold design can make up for (many) technical imperfections!

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