Thursday, November 8, 2012

'Tis the season: Classic Nutcrackers and Gingerbread Joy

Each year we feature a theme that brings the holiday to mind, such as Christmas trees, angels, and simple stylish holiday quilts. This year we're focusing on figures of the season, including Matryoshka dolls and other toys.  In today's post we're pleased to show two fabulous quilts by designer Sue Garman: Classic Nutcrackers and Gingerbread Joy.

Classic Nutcrackers by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

The Classic Nutcracker series by Sue Garman contains patterns for 12 different appliqued nutcrackers.  In each month's pattern you will learn a little bit about the history of nutcrackers, along with a special German recipe.  Did you know that, according to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck to your family and protect your home? A fierce protector, the nutcracker bares its teeth to the evil spirits and serves as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill.

Block 1, Classic Nutcracker by Sue Garman at Quakertown Quilts

Do you remember the Nutcracker Suite ballet? This figure reminds us of the wooden nutcracker which comes to life in Clara's dream.  This nutcracker is all dressed up and ready for action in his gold-trimmed jacket and tall hat.

Block 8, Classic Nutcracker by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

Over the years, the subjects of nutcrackers have grown to include characters from German folklore and legend. This classic Santa nutcracker has a long white beard and a jaunty Santa hat.  He is carrying a bag of toys and a Christmas tree to bring good cheer and joy to all he visits.

Gingerbread Joy, 80 1/2" square, by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

Gingerbread men and gingerbread houses bring to mind the warmth of the holidays, making  "Gingerbread Joy" a Christmas favorite. Sue Garman designed this lovely combination of 12 applique blocks and 12 pieced blocks, each measuring 12". Each pattern includes instructions for one pieced and one applique block.

Gingerbread Joy Block 7 by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

We are happy to see that "Gingerbread Joy" includes gingerbread men and women.  It's much more fun that way!  This cute gingerbread lady is decorated with buttons for her eyes and her dress. The block is available as a standalone pattern, so you could make this as a mini-quilt or pillow applique.  Instructions are included for  a 6" or 12" pieced block; a complete kit is also available as of this writing.

Gingerbread Joy Block 11, 6" or 12" square, by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

Block 11 of "Gingerbread Joy" is a charming gingerbread house with a frosted roof... the frosting is even seen dripping down the sides!  The little house is decorated with candy canes,  red hearts, and colorful gumdrops.
Quilted Gingerbread Joy, 76" x 93", by Sue Garman as seen at Quakertown Quilts

"Quilted Gingerbread Joy" is another variation of Sue Garman's heartwarming design.  This cheery quilt is full of gingerbread and berry sprays, which are surrounded by red-and-green star blocks. We've always loved the combination of pieced blocks with applique, and Sue Garman does this exceptionally well. This cozy quilt is sure to brighten up the house at the holidays!

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Sue Garman. Please visit Sue Garman's blog for information about her quilts, works in progress, quilt shows and other topics. Sue Garman's patterns and kits can be found at Quakertown Quilts. We previously featured her fabulous  Night Before Christmas and Lily Rosenberry quilts.

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