Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas (Feliz Navidad) !

For Christmas Eve, here is a lovely quilt that relates to Mary and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem, so that the Christ child might be born. To all of our readers around the world, Merry Christmas !

Feliz Navidad by Betty Busby , Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

In Betty's home state of New Mexico, the southwestern U.S.A., and  Latin America, the Christmas traditions revolve around the celebration of  Las Posadas.  It is the re-enactment of the search for shelter as the birth of Jesus draws near. A procession of people walk to a home, as Joseph and Mary walked to the inn at Bethlehem. The leader carries a lighted candle with a paper shade around it, known in Spanish as a "farolito". These farolitos (sometimes called luminarias) are also used to decorate the homes and buildings of the surrounding area, as you can see above. The paper bags are filled with sand, then a small candle or battery-operated light is placed inside the bag.  Betty writes........"Our whole neighborhood glows with these simple decorations during the holidays."

Close up photos, Feliz Navidad by Betty Busby

In Feliz Navidad, Betty has depicted her own home in New Mexico, beautifully decorated with farolitos. Gorgeous shades of pale lavender, golden brown and tan, plus deep purple, are used to portray the peaceful, snow covered landscape of a New Mexico winter.  Betty used turned-edge machine applique and machine quilting to create this memorable work.

This close-up shows some of the extensive applique on the tree branches and surrounding farolitos. The horizontal quilting pattern of the snow and sky give an artistic,expansive depth to this realistic landscape scene. You can almost hear the voices of the Las Posadas procession, singing carols as they approach the front walk, anticipating the fiesta inside.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration. Betty Busby is an award-winning quilt artist whose works have been exhibited around the world; for more of her beautiful works, see her website, Betty Busby Arts.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 15: Christmas Crazy

Yesterday we featured "Crazy About Christmas" by Australian designer Linda Steele. Today we wanted to share a photo of her award-winning, hand embroidered "Christmas Crazy" quilt. It won two prizes at the 2013 Victorian Quilters Showcase: a first in Mixed Techniques, and Excellence in Embroidery and Embellishment. We saw this quilt in the World of Beauty exhibit at the 2013 Houston IQF.

close up, Christmas Crazy by Linda Steele

Placing the blocks in Christmas ornaments was such a clever idea!  The quilt has 9 different intricate ornament blocks, which are hanging by chain-stitched gold thread from a scalloped curtain. The ornaments were part of Linda Steele's crazy quilt journal project in 2012, and the whole quilt was finished in 2013; an 18-month journey. 

close up, Christmas Crazy by Linda Steele

After completing the ornament blocks, Linda designed a wintry scene for the top of the quilt, with an appliqued and embroidered reindeer and a sleigh filled with presents. The block that surrounds the scene is embellished with various stitches and threads.

close up, Christmas Crazy by Linda Steele

This was one of our favorite ornament blocks.  We loved the royal blue fabric against the green background; there is even some marbled fabric in this block, which looks like the reflection from a real ornament.  The nutcracker's bushy white beard was done in a turkey stitch and there is an embroidered Mouse King - complete with crown - to the right of the nutcracker.  In addition, this block has a tiny Christmas tree and an evergreen vine with red candles.  

This block is described in Linda Steele's 2012 June Crazy Block blog post.  To read about the overall design and auditioning of fabrics for Christmas Crazy, see Designing Christmas Crazy.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston IQF.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 14: Crazy About Christmas

Here is Day 14 of our Advent of Christmas quilt series. This year we've been impressed by the work of Australian artist Linda Steele, whose crazy quilts have been winning awards - like crazy - at international shows*. On her website, Linda says: "Crazy Quilting proved to be the perfect vehicle for me to commence my original design work. Using this technique I was able to freely combine my love of color and fabric with embroidery." 

Crazy About Christmas by Linda Steele (Australia)

"Crazy About Christmas" was exhibited in the silent auction at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival. The circular center block is filled with Christmas-themed embroidery and surrounded by yellow daisies. For the square embroidered border, Linda Steele first chain-stitched a square with gold thread; she then wove a stem stitch vine over the border and added some lazy daisy leaves and flowers. The entire piece was beautifully quilted with feathers on both sides of the embroidered vines.

close up, Crazy About Christmas by Linda Steele

The delicate green wreath in the center of the block was made with tatting and decorated with small beads.  The block includes a Christmas stocking with green candy canes, a trio of candles, a  snowflake, the outline of a gingerbread man (to the lower left of the wreath) and sprigs of greenery along with many pretty flowers and beads. 

Image credits: Photos of  "Crazy About Christmas" were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  *We previously featured Linda Steele's "Naturally Crazy" quilt, which won a blue ribbon for Best in Country - Australia at the 2013 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 13

From the 2013 AZQG, Visions of Christmas symbolizes the sights of the season, with its vibrant blocks of applique. Wreaths, mittens, candy canes, stockings, gingerbread people, toys, and of course Santa, all invite us to sit and gaze awhile at this cheery quilt.

Visions of Christmas by Eva Kilgore

Eva notes, "Since Christmas is my favorite time of year, I wanted to make a quilt that conveyed the joy and excitement of the holiday. "  We think that Eva's done a spectacular job with her high contrast, pure colors.

Close up, Visions of Christmas by Eva Kilgore

A slightly cross-eyed Rudolph the red nosed reindeer sporting a giant green bow gives a very merry and whimsical touch. Eva quilted "Visions of Christmas" herself, and here you see how her echo quilting pattern gives Rudolph lots of personality and a energy.   He seems to almost pop right off the quilt.

Close-up, Visions of Christmas by Eva Kilgore

Vivid solid color buttons work perfectly as tree ornaments placed among bric-a-brac used as garland.  We love the use of very creative embellishment which really makes this little tree sparkle.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 12

The first day of winter, December 21, is quickly approaching in the Northern Hemisphere! To herald its arrival, we're featuring this lovely quilt from the 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show in Mesa, Arizona.

Snow Daze by Linda Koerner, quilted by Jodi Driver

Linda writes,  "This was a challenging pattern: use of neutral colors, the old tradition of hand embroidery, a lot of free-hand drawing, and the piecing of the quilt."  Linda has done an exemplary job in selecting beautifully muted and tinted tones of taupe, tan, and silver gray. This quilt reminds us of a winter day in the country, when nature seems to be hushed, silent, and in deep repose.   The "Snow Days" design is by Meg Hawkey at Crabapple Hill Studio.

Take a look at the close-up below to see Linda's  fabulous embroidery depicting winter scenes and activities.

close up, Snow Daze by Linda Koerner

We really enjoyed seeing this intricate and detailed hand embroidery showing a cozy house, schoolhouse, and their snow-laden roofs, surrounded by trees. In the distance, a child playfully sleds downhill, interrupting the stillness with happy activity.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 11: Christmas in Scandinavia

Every year on December 13, Santa Lucia is celebrated in Scandinavia.The Lucia tradition can be traced back to St Lucia of Syracuse, a martyr who died for her faith in 304. The festival is also a symbol of the coming return of the sun and the lengthening of days. Danish artist Bodil Gardner, who is known the world over for her art quilts, created this delightful piece called Santa Lucia.  It was a showstopper in the "Traditions" exhibit at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Santa Lucia, 51 x 62", by Bodil Gardner (Denmark)

On Saint Lucia day in Sweden, lights are turned off and girls dressed in white, carrying candles and singing the Lucia song, are led in procession by the Lucia bride with candles in her hair. Bodil Gardner has incorporated the lyrics of the Lucia song in her quilt. We were captivated by the figures in this quilt: their large and expressive eyes, rosy cheeks, and the textures of their hair.  It is her use of a flat perspective that makes us feel as if we are seeing every aspect of their faces; although we are viewing them from the side, you can see that their mouths are open in song.

close up, Santa Lucia by Bodil Gardner (Denmark)

Bodil Gardner has been making patchwork pictures since the early 1980's.  She works with second-hand fabrics, mostly cottons,using applique techniques.  The dog in this quilt was created with a brocade-like print, and the Lucia dresses were created with a textured lace fabric that may have been a dress or tablecloth in a former life.

On her website, Bodil says: "Material is bought at flea markets or it arrives as gifts. Faded, well-used cottons are fascinating and nice to work with." "My hope is that by exhibiting I can give other women courage to exploit their own creativity. Most of them have a sewing machine and some remnants of material - no need to invest in expensive gear."

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  For more information on Bodil Gardner's work, including techniques and a gallery of quilts, please visit her website at Bodil's Patchwork Pictures.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 10

For Day 10 of our Advent of Christmas series, how about another bright, heartwarming quilt?  "Yuletide Joy" is a fabulous sampler quilt that includes some of the best-loved themes by designer Sue Garman.  Karen Michaels hand-appliqued and hand-quilted this beauty.

Yuletide Joy, 61 x 63", by Karen Michaels at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild

Karen Michaels says:  "A 14-year project finished! I began this hand-appliqued BOM project in 1998, finished the top in December 1999, and began hand quilting in July 2001. The quilt was displayed every Christmas, basted and partially quilted, until Christmas 2011. I then quilted until it was finished in March 2012." 

We loved the pretty colors and many whimsical characters.  Check out the sleeping Santa Claus in the lower right corner, and - right above him - a snowman who has lost his head!  In the close up photo below you can see several of the blocks which were beautifully appliqued, including a lop-eared bunny in the snow.

close up, Yuletide Joy by Karen Michaels

Image credits:  Photo were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 9

For  Day 9 of our Advent of Christmas series, here is a beautiful applique quilt with a Christmas message of Peace, Noel, and Joy.  There are so many fun blocks in this quilt:  see if you can find Santa Claus, two elves, gingerbread people, a church, and an angel with flowery wings.

Christmas Quilt, 63 x 54",  by Sharon Mazanec, hand quilted by Aileyn Ecob

The colors were lovely, and the poinsettia fabric was a perfect choice for the border. Sharon Mazanec says: "This quilt was started over 20 years ago and has progressed through the years. It has some of my favorite patterns and I recently decided to put them together and finish it for Christmas 2012. My friend Aileyn Ecob helped me finish it by doing the hand quilting.”

close up, Christmas Quilt by Sharon Mazanec, hand quilted by Aileyn Ecob

The potted pear tree was a highlight of the quilt.  The main stem was covered with holly leaves, and the tree was surrounded by red berries. As you can see in the photo below, Aileyn Ecob hand stitched around each of the elements and also stitched within the birds, star, leaves, and pears.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County show.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Advent of Christmas Day 8: Christmas with Dear Jane

Here is our third and final "Christmas with Dear Jane" post. The quilt was made by Sue Mead, who says:  "This quilt is a selection of blocks from Dear Jane, Sylvia’s Wedding Quilt and [the] Farmer’s Wife Quilt. The borders are Dear Jane blocks made by my retreat group."

Holiday Tree, 60 x 72", by Sue Mead, quilted by Suzi Dillinger 

The blue background with scattered pinwheels gives the appearance of the night sky, and the animal silhouettes under the tree add to the feeling of the great outdoors.

close up, Holiday Tree by Sue Mead, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

The ruffled-looking edges of the tree were made with appliqued holly leaves on a half-square triangle, accented with cheerful red hearts.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilt Guild.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Advent of Christmas Day 7: Christmas with Dear Jane

As our celebration of Christmas continues, here is another sparkling quilt! The Dear Jane® blocks alternate with hourglass blocks made of paisley and ivory prints, creating a jewel-like setting.

Comfort and Joy, 47 x 64",  by Christine Taylor, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

There are 39 different Dear Jane® blocks in this lap-size quilt.  Christine Taylor says, "This quilt is made from blocks I received in an exchange of Christmas themed 'Dear Jane' blocks.  I love them all."

close up, Comfort and Joy by Christine Taylor

Since the paisley print has all the colors of the quilt, it unifies the composition.  We enjoyed seeing the Christmas-themed fabrics which were used for the blocks, including the candy cane stripes shown above.  You can also see the pretty quilting by Suzi Dillinger in the photo below. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Advent of Christmas Day 6: Christmas with Dear Jane

How about a Christmas quilt made with Dear Jane® blocks?  You probably know the history of the now-famous quilt.  It was made by Jane A. Blakely Stickle in 1863 and "discovered" by Brenda Papadakis, who documented and drafted all 225 blocks.  Since then, the little blocks have inspired legions of quilters.  We first featured Dear Jane® in two posts in 2010 (see Crazy About Jane and Crazy About Jane II).   We love seeing creative variations, such as this pretty Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree by Netty Soares, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

Netty Soares says, "This was made from squares I made in a Dear Jane exchange".  She used forty-two different blocks to create the Christmas tree and borders of this quilt.  

Close-up, Christmas Tree by Netty Soares, quilted by Suzi Dillinger

Suzi Dillinger has carefully quilted precise, symmetrical snowflakes into the background. They beautifully contrast with the curved holly leaves which comprise the outside of the tree.  Charming valentine hearts complement the rounded features of the leaves and echo the heart-shaped cardinal shown above.

Close-up, Christmas Tree by Netty Soares 

Many different shades of red and green were used to create these traditional squares, which play a large part of  America's quilting heritage. We especially like the gaily colored red polka dot block and the candy-cane striped asterisk block, which reminds us of peppermint sticks arranged like a pinwheel.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Guild show. Dear Jane® is the registered trademark of Brenda Papadakis and is used with permission;  for more information see the Dear Jane® website.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 5

We loved the elegant simplicity of this quilt.

Christmas at the Hoffmans by Karen G. Fisher, 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild Show

Third place winner for Small Mixed Techniques Quilts, Karen writes, "I used my 'Graduated Grid: Circle in a Square' pattern from my book [that I wrote] Easy Grid Quilts to make this quilt for the 2011 Hoffman Fabric challenge." Karen's work depicts a set of lovely Christmas ornament balls in different sizes, all ready to hang on the Christmas tree.

Close up, Christmas at the Hoffmans by Karen G. Fisher

The swirled quilting was done in red thread, which really shows up on the gold background fabrics. What a lovely way to showcase large floral Asian-themed prints! You can fussy-cut them if you wish to spotlight the centers or petals of the flowers. Look closely, and you'll see the sparkly silver tops of the ornaments, embellished with tiny silver rings.

Close-up, Christmas at the Hoffmans by Karen G. Fisher

Tucked fabric adorned with beads gives an original and creative dimensionality to this border outlined in a hue of warm festive red.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 4

For Day 4 of our Advent of Christmas 2013 series... here comes Santa!

Close- up, Sew Many Santas by Annie Gaunder,  2013 Arizona Quilters Guild Show

Here are some examples of the pretty embroidery detail of this quilt. Note the chain stitch on Santa's belt and the blanket stitch around his feet, coat, and hat.

Sew Many Santas by Annie Gaunder

Annie notes, "This was a Block of the Month project for my California guild." This quilt features an array of Santas for the seasons.  Can you find the July 4th Santa, the Valentine-shaped Santa, and the Santa who is visiting the birds of springtime?

Close-up, Sew Many Santas by Annie Gaunder

Delicate embellishments really help to dress up this quilt. Note the sparkly beads near the star and the metallic tassel on Santa's hat. The clamshell quilting design of the background really helps the Santa figures pop right into the foreground.  We can tell that the construction of this quilt took hours of handiwork, by Annie, and the result is both cheery and artistic.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Advent of Christmas: Day 3

We're counting down to Christmas with a collection of quilts we've enjoyed this year. Here is Day 3!

A Sleigh Ride with Santa, 50 x 55",  by Dennie Sullivan, 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild Show

Dennie Sullivan's "Sleigh Ride with Santa" is based on the Friends for Christmas pattern by Lynette Anderson Designs in Australia.  Dennie states,  "I machine appliqued and added some embellishments. ....I was just waiting to find the perfect focus fabric. "  This quilt has so many fun folk-art motifs to it. The Amish stars in the border add an extra sparkle and visual interest.

Close- up, A Sleigh Ride with Santa by Dennie Sullivan

Tiny details really add to the charm of this quilt. A jovial snowman stands next to a whimsical reindeer with a tiny bird perched on his back.  Extra merriment is provided by the roly-poly heart adorned penguin who looks as if he's ready to party.

Three very cute penguins wearing Wise Men's crowns arrive at the tree, bearing a star, a gift, and a Christmas treat. Even though their bearing is dignified, it seems as if they are set to play as soon as they set down their gifts.  Dennie's precise workmanship can be seen throughout this delightful quilt. 

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Arizona Quilters Guild show.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Advent of Christmas : Day 1

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days in anticipation of Christmas. We're celebrating the Advent with a collection of Christmas quilts we've admired.  Without further ado... let's begin with Day 1!

A Little of Them and a Whole Lot of Me by Ruth Hoglund

The Twelve Days of Christmas (a popular Christmas carol) are depicted here  in Scherenschnitte rows made in red felt on white. For the melody and lyrics to this song, please click here.   The tree is topped by a partridge in a pear tree as shown below.

Close-up, A Little of Them and a Whole Lot of Me by Ruth Hoglund

In describing her quilt, Ruth writes, "A life long enchantment with paper cuts and felt has brought me to this project. I found a pattern twenty odd years ago in The Family Circle Christmas Treasury 1989  for 'The Twelve Days of Christmas in Paper Cuts'. When I retired, I wanted to see if I could translate them by cutting felt fabric instead of paper."
In this close up photo you can also see the five rings, four calling birds, three French hens, and two turtle doves.

Close-up, A Little of Them and a Whole Lot of Me by Ruth Hoglund

This scalloped border is embellished with stacked circles of felt; each raw edge is beautifully blanket stitched with white thread.

Close-up, A Little of Them and a Whole Lot of Me by Ruth Hoglund

Last but not least,  can you see the clever way in which Ruth created a fanciful papercut of her name (Ruth Hoglund)?  She concludes, "The creative force took over, and I knew that I had to design many new patterns that better fit my vision. The quilt that hangs before you is....A little of them and a whole lot of me."

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters' Guild Show.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Free pattern day ! Christmas - Part 3

We just updated our previous Free Pattern Day - Christmas - Part 1 and Free Pattern Day - Christmas - Part 2.  Now, here are 20 MORE free patterns for festive holiday quilts.  We've included plenty of pretty pieced patterns which can be made in a hurry... just in time for the holidays !

Circle Tree quilt, 27 x 40", free pattern and tutorial by Gayle Schliemann at WeAllSew

A Winter’s Dance, 50 x 50", free pattern with appliqued reindeer by Robyn Pandolph for RJR Fabrics

Joy, 72 x 80”, free pattern by Kate Spain for Moda Fabric

Simple Snowballs, 31 x 40", free pattern by Mary Jane Carey of Holly Hill Quilt Design for Henry Glass Fabrics

Christmas Poinsettias, 91 x 106", free pattern by Hilary Bobker at Windham Fabrics

Snowville quilt, 56 x 68", free pattern by George and Linda Wheeler for Windham Fabrics

Holiday Celebrations quilt, 56 x 63”, free pattern by September Olson at Clothworks

Sister’s Choice quilt, free pattern with instructions for four sizes at The Fat Quarter Shop

Snowflakes Wall Hanging, 6.5 x 30.5", inspired by Karen Montgomery, at All People Quilt

Holiday House Block throw, inspired by Tara Lynn Darr, free pattern at All People Quilt

Blitzen, 67 x 67”, free pattern by Basic Grey for Moda Fabric

Tonga Joy – Ornaments, 50 x 70”, free pattern by Osie Lebowitz for Timeless Treasures

Nature’s Gift for Moda, 65 x 77”, free pattern by Deb Strain at United Notions

Starry Eyed Quilt, approx 62 x 78”, tutorial by Angela from Fussy Cut as seen at Moda Bakeshop

Rowan Poinsettia &Holly quilt, 53 x 63",  free pattern by Ellen Maxwell for the collection by Martha Negley at Westminster Fabrics

Evergreen, 54" x 72“, free pattern by Audrey Page for Benartex

Star Log Cabin quilt, 40 x 40",  tutorial by Marlene Biles at Moda Bakeshop

Christmas Trees quilt, 54 x 68”, free pattern by Laurie Matthews as seen at Ann Kelle

Snow Globes quilt,  37 x 37", free pattern by Denise M. Russart at Hoffman Fabrics

Gift Boxes quilt, 46 x 54", tutorial by Rebecca Silbaugh from Ruby Blue Quilting Studio as seen at Timeless Treasures

Deck-ade the Halls Quilt Along, 62 x 71", free patterns at Fat Quarter Shop

Holiday Double Nine Patch quilt, 63"square, inspired by Cori Derksen and Myra Harder, free pattern at All People Quilt

Sparkle Bright quilt, 46 x 62”, free pattern by Gayle Camargo for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Simple Snowman mini quilt, 21 x 25", free pattern by Craft Sisters for Moda Bakeshop 

A Gingerbread Christmas mini quilt,  22 x 26", free pattern by SunFlower Quilts for RJR Fabrics

Image credits: All images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs. Complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. Some of these are tutorials while others include downloadable (.pdf) patterns; we have tried to note which is which in the titles.  We update our links every 6 months as needed; however, websites may change their pages in between updates. If any links are broken we'd love to know; please email us at Quilt Inspiration.
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