Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'Tis the season: Nutcrackers

When we think of Christmas time we think of the Nutcracker Ballet. Nutcrackers come in such fun shapes and sizes that many people collect them.  If your house does not have room for collections, how about a nutcracker quilt ?  Here is a delightful pattern by Amy Bradley.

Nutcracker Quilt, 48 1/2" x 48 1/2", by Amy Bradley at Amy Bradley Designs

You can see Amy Bradley's distinctive and fun style in these cute characters.  There are three different nutcracker blocks that repeat in each row for nine blocks altogether, and each one is slightly different.

We've admired the blocks made by Karen Snyder of Anna Lena Land (you may know her as the designer of fabrics, especially 1930's reproductions, for Timeless Treasures). Karen chose some wonderful black-and-white fabrics for her nutcrackers; she even fussy-cut some of the pieces as shown below. 

Nutcrackers by Karen Snyder at Anna Lena Land, design by Amy Bradley

In this photo you can see that Karen Snyder hand stitched, with a blanket stitch, around each of the applique pieces.  The nutcracker's mouth is also stitched with embroidery thread, and buttons are used for the nutcrackers' eyes and the top of his hat. We also love the starry red fabric which Karen used for the background.

The nutcracker is just one of nine different figures in Amy Bradley's Merry Christmas Quilt pattern, shown below.

Merry Christmas Quilt Pattern, 48 1/2" x 62 1/2", by Amy Bradley at Amy Bradley Designs

This quilt has every figure we associate with the season!  Here you can see an adorable gingerbread man, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a penguin, snowman, reindeer, angel, nutcracker and polar bear.  The pattern has instructions to make the Nutcracker and Penguin versions - each of which is  48 1/2" square - and a felt pillow.  You can even choose between "merry christmas" or "happy holidays" for your greeting.   

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Amy Bradley Designs and Karen Snyder. Amy has a fine arts and graphic design background; she designs quilting patterns and gift items available in quilt shops.  You can read about the design of the Merry Christmas Quilt, and see more photos, at Amy Bradley's blog.  Karen Snyder owned a quilt shop called Anna Lena's in Long Beach, Washington for eleven years. In 2008, she closed the store to concentrate more on her quilting, designing fabric, pattern writing, and teaching nationwide. For more information, visit her website at


  1. Those are plenty cute, and I like the way changing the fabrics gives a different look to each row.

  2. Your post came up when I was looking for a nutcracker pattern for a friend. This may be just the one. Thanks!

  3. thanks for sharing.


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