Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Merry Christmas mini quilt

My youngest sister graduated from college last weekend.  Way to go Kris!
I made her an adorable Christmas mini quilt as a graduation gift, to go along with the rag quilt that we made in November.

The pattern is from Nancy Halvorsen’s book,  I Believe.  I spotted the pattern back in July and loved it.  I had planned to make several of them for my mom, sisters and some close friends, but it’s looking like this will be the lone quilt made this holiday season.  The book also has patterns to make a Christmas card holder and an apron using these same Merry Christmas letters.  I’d like to make one of each!

I changed the color combination to the traditional green, red and white and am very happy with it.


The project really wasn’t hard.  I began by tracing the letters onto interfacing.


Then I cut them out, but not on the line.  I cut about 1/4 inch outside the lines, and then ironed the letters onto the back of a variety of fabrics.  After this, I cut them out of the fabric by cutting on the lines I’d traced.

I used a black and white background because we did that in her other quilt, and just arranged the letters until they were all in place.  Then I peeled the paper off the backs and ironed them in place.  (Sorry about the poor lighting; it was around 1 a.m. and I obviously didn’t have any natural light.)

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When they’re all ironed in place, stand back and ooh and aah a little bit at how cute it is!


Next came the borders, simple and straightforward.


Ta, da!  The top is completed.


I decided to piece a backing so I could put in a strip of my favorite Christmas fabric.


I cut my batting the same size as the backing, and since the quilt is so little I decided to use basting spray to hold it together while I quilted it.


I laid some paper on the floor to protect my floor from the overspray.  Then I put my batting down and sprayed half of it.


I carefully placed my backing, right side up, on the batting, working from the middle to smooth it out really well.  Then I sprayed the other half of the batting and did the same thing.  Next I turned it over and sprayed the other side of the batting and put the top of the quilt on the same way.

Then came the only real time consuming part:  quilting around every one of those letters!  I most certainly didn’t do a perfect job, but I think it turned out fine.


When that was done, I used some leftover striped binding from a quilt I made a couple of years ago, and bound it.

Finished!  The quilt measures approximately 24 by 30 inches.


I love this pattern.  I think it’s one I will end up making several of (hopefully, next year!) because it’s just so happy and festive.  I’m really glad that she liked it.

Merry Christmas!

Holly & Berries Christmas rag quilt

So, back in October I sketched a little design for a Christmas rag quilt.  My sister and I went shopping for fabrics, and after she cut out tons of holly leaves and berries, we got together to make a quilt.


Two sewing machines on my table!  What fun!  As we began this project, she looked at me and said, “You realize that a lot is at stake here, don’t you.  If this doesn’t work, I’ll probably never try making a quilt again.”

Yes, I realized that a lot was at stake.

So, we took a deep breath and began!  Here are the first two holly leaves.


Add the berries, and we’re liking it!


And so it began.  A day of sewing with my sister.  It was a really fun day, as the quilt slowly began to take shape, one block at a time.

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I think she’s having fun.  I hope so.


After quilting every piece, we laid them all out.

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Here’s Kristen holding the first finished row:


Right about now I realized I’d made a mistake in my math when I drew the pattern out, and we made an adjustment so it would still work.  Then we sewed the rows together, and here it is!



It was time for Kristen and Jake to head home, so she took the quilt minus the borders and finished it at home.
She just sent pictures of the finished product, with borders, all snipped and washed and snuggly.


I think it’s so cute.  I love the way the holly leaves and berries turned out, and I hope that she likes it.  It was a fun project to do together.

So here’s the big question:  Will she ever make another quilt?

I know I will.  I might make one of these!

Binding, a find, and a bird

I promised myself that my Christmas gift to myself this year will be to finish up some projects that have been waiting for attention.

So, I stole a few minutes and made my binding for two quilts that I REALLY want to finish (one has been waiting for months!)  I’m excited to get them on the quilts and finish them up.

When I was at the thrift store recently looking for ugly sweaters (what’s with EVERYONE needing an ugly sweater this year?), I found these great little miniature compote dishes for $4.  They stand about 1.5 inches tall and about 2 inches in diameter.  SOOOOO cute!  I can’t wait to find something to do with them!

And finally, my quilt is back from the quilter’s.  This one is a fun combination of three different ideas that sort of happened as I went along.  I’ve been in love with all things birds for a while now, but this is the first quilt I’ve made that includes a bird.

I’ll show more pictures of this quilt when it’s finished.  I’m really happy with it.

I’ll get to work on this ASAP, but first I have to finish (I mean, start!?!) my Christmas shopping.
I think this is the year of lowering our standards so I can impress everybody next year.  Oh well.

Have a great day!


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