Friday, November 6, 2020

Christmas Is Coming / Beauties Pageant 104


One of the first books I purchased about quilting was Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, a co-owner of Purl Soho. I got so much pleasure out of perusing the projects in this book. At the time I hadn’t done any actual quilting; I was in dream mode, not quite ready to guide a huge quilt sandwich through the tiny throat of my sewing machine but getting excited about the possibilities. 

In addition to the fresh and modern projects in this volume, I also loved how the author organized them, by the time commitment each project required. Some of the smaller items fall into the two- to four-hour category, the midsize projects may take eight-plus hours, and so on. (Last-Minute Patchwork is out of print but readily available used. One project I made from its pages is this pencil roll.)

There will be no last-minute anything for me this holiday season. My world—as I expect everyone’s—has shrunk with the pandemic, and I am ahead of schedule. I am even sending out holiday cards, which in past years has been the first item to fall off my holiday to-do list. And they’re Thanksgiving cards, because why not? When you’re ahead of the game, you can send out cards in November.

If you’re in the opposite camp and are just starting to consider a Christmas project or two, here are some suggestions, presented in the style of Last-Minute Patchwork ...

An Hour or So

Ornaments are the perfect quick project for the holidays. I’ve made them from mini-charm squares that I’ve sewn into four-patches or from leftover half-square triangles. (See more pictures here.)

The problem with making ornaments, in my opinion, is that many require hand sewing, which almost always sends me running. I found this tree ornament pattern from Amy Sinibaldi, however: It’s super cute and sewn by machine. I already have some trees cut out to assemble for Christmas 2020. : )

**Please excuse this moment of gratuitous self-promotion: If you’re lacking in the Christmas-scraps department, I have a bundle for sale on FeelGood Fibers. It’s $20 with free shipping in the U.S. I just trimmed a quilt sandwich and have some Kate and Birdie scraps to add to the pile!**

A Weekend

If you’re looking for a more substantial project, I suggest The Tree Is Trimmed mini-quilt. It’s a tutorial I wrote years ago for From Bolt to Beauty and was subsequently posted on Moda Bake Shop. My favorite version is the second one I made, pictured above, that uses Basic Grey’s Evergreen collection. The mini-quilt requires little fabric (just four jelly roll strips for the green Xs) and uses a strip-piecing method.

A Few Days ... Or Longer

If you have the time for something bigger, I had a lot of fun making the log cabin blocks, by SterlingSewn, at the top of the post. You could whip up a mini-quilt in a weekend, but the pattern includes blocks more than the six I created, encouraging you to make something much grander. The designer made this throw quilt, which is not Christmassy but lovely and holiday themed just the same.

Will you be sewing any holiday projects this year? If you’re machine-sewing ornaments, I am especially eager to hear about them. : )

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  1. Maybe this year is the comeback of real paper holiday cards. We could help our struggling postal service. (But can you imagine what those holiday letters would be like?? Not to mention the masked photos.) Love your little projects. I enjoy making ornaments and am always looking for new simple ones.

  2. I'm considering the best way to handle holiday cards. I do like the idea of putting a lot of mail in the system!

  3. I LOVE the holiday trees on Amy's site. Thank you for sharing that link. The simplicity of the tree is so sweet.
    You have been doing great with destashing. Go Michelle!!

  4. I love your tree quilt. I haven't even begun to think about Christmas. But I do have quilts for my nieces that I made forever ago...actually forgot about them. LOL But I didn't send them back with my brother when he was here last week.

  5. Such lovely Christmas makes, well done

  6. Good morning, Michelle! I was annoyed at work yesterday - I was able to link up but not comment. Darn technology - somehow Blogger or Blogspot is blocked. Egad. Anyway, that's for all the eye candy! The issue you have with ornaments is exactly the reason we love making them! HAHA! We probably have 200+ in some totes in the closet. We were going to be in a craft fair, oh 10 years ago or more. Oodles and oodles of ornaments were made for the fair that never happened. Handmade gifts for this year as well as cards being sent - probably not happening. The older littles (a dichotomy, no?!) all want electronic gifts not a quilter holder for their $500 iPad. The little littles don't know yet what they want so we get pick out fun stuff like a play kitchen. HAHA! You have passed a squirrel, though. The tree quilt is going to be playing around in my mind now. Rather than have the little help decorate the real tree, maybe they could help 'decorate' this as a wall hanging. Thanks for the linky party today. Take care, stay safe, and carry on with the being ready! ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. P.S. Interesting thoughts about the holiday cards now that I've read a few comments. Boost the struggling Post Office. Hmm. On one hand, I can totally get behind that. Can you even imagine NO Post Office? On the other hand, it took a birthday over a week to be delivered late. It was sent on 10/25 and arrived 11/6. I take solace in that the were concentrating on ballots instead! I'm going to send out cards!! ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. I am currently not planning any new Christmas projects - rather to finish as many WIPs as possible till then. But we know how fast we decide to start something new nonetheless, right? PS: Have you tried the Scandinavian Stars (Christmas ornament)? They are only pressed and folded :)


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