Peppermint Quilt

I can’t seem to pick a favorite Christmas color scheme.  I like the traditional red and pine green, and I like jewel tones that bring in blues and hot pink.  Silver, gold and white?  Yes, I like that too.  But when I see candy colors and pastels added to the mix, I always smile.  This Peppermint Quilt makes me smile.

You may remember the peppermint version of my Anthem Quilt pattern .  I made this quilt top last year and finally quilted it.  I’m making progress on quilting all my Christmas quilt tops this year, and I have a few more yet to start.  (My Giant Hunter’s Star and Supergiant Hunter’s Star holiday quilts were finished last week, hooray!)

I decided to be brave in my quilting.  The red swirls in the stars continue the peppermint theme and create movement.  I practiced drawing these on scratch paper before I tried quilting them.

In the green background I used a green thread and quilted holly leaves.  Each holly leaf is half of each background color and I like how it looks.

The holly leaves almost look like snowflakes.  It was fun to try something new with my quilting and have it work!  I finished by quilting around the outline of each star.

I saved this “ho ho ho” sheet for years to use as a backing for a holiday quilt.  The minty green is the perfect color for my peppermint quilt.  The quilting looks pretty from the back, too.  (Relief!)

One thing I love about quilting is the way a pattern can look completely different, and it’s just a matter of fabric and color choice.  I still love my original Anthem Quilt with the red, white and blue stars, but a two color background and pink/red stars completely changes the final look.

Changing my Story: I’m Ready for Christmas

I hear it every year, busy women asking each other, “Are you ready for Christmas?”  The big question is followed by many responses.

Almost.  I haven’t started shopping.  I just have a few more things to do.  I’m not even close.

What is your answer to the question?  I’ve probably given almost all of them over the years, but this year that conversation is bothering me a little.  So I’ve made a decision and I’m changing my story:  I’m ready for Christmas.

My kids are ready for Christmas.  They’re ready for all of it:  Christmas movies, twinkling lights, the first snowfall, Christmas music on the radio, hot chocolate, Christmas stories.  No matter their age, their hearts are open to the magic of Christmas.  My college student has been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since October – that’s how ready she is.

What it really means is that they’re ready for the feeling of Christmas.  Their hearts are open to the beauty of it all.  The lights went up on the house and it was magic for them.  We chose a tree and it was magic again.  They came home from school to find the stockings hung:  magic.  Oh yes, they’re ready.

For me, and for many adults, the question of being ready for Christmas has become a discussion of our to-do lists instead of a state of being.  It’s about our tasks instead of our hearts, because I think it reveals a tendency to act like the holiday is something we provide.  In truth it’s a gift for our taking as much as for our children.

I turned toward November and December with a heart in need of nourishing and a little healing.  There’s no way to overstate the miraculous and generous ways in which my family has been blessed this year, but there are wounds that came before the miracles and they need binding up.  In many ways, I’ve never needed Christmas more, so I’m coming to the stable with a yearning heart.

As I pondered this difference between myself and my kids, I realized it’s my choice.  The bell can still ring for me at Christmas, the magic is mine for the savoring.  I AM NOT THE GIVER OF CHRISTMAS.  It’s a gift from God himself, in the form of his Son.  To quote Jeffrey R. Holland, “But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or tinsel, with a baby, that’s how Christmas began.”  And that’s where the power of Christmas really comes from.  The lights and the tinsel won’t bind up my heart.  Christ will.

This is why I’m changing my story,  I’m ready for Christmas.  I’m ready for His love, ready to adore Him, most importantly I’m ready to celebrate what He has done for me.  That feeling, that celebration, is free for the taking, regardless of my to-do list.  My new story starts now, because I’m ready for Christmas in the only place that matters, my heart.  Won’t you join me?

Holiday Quilts: Giant Hunter’s Star

Last month’s quick holiday quilt tops are now finished and in use.  I waited for our first real snowfall to photograph them, and it was worth it.  I enjoyed making these quilts!  When I wrote my Giant Hunter’s Star pattern , I wrote it with an option for using fat quarters, but I hadn’t made one for myself.

I split a fat quarter bundle of the Alison Glass Holiday collection into two different colorways and made a Giant Hunter’s Star from each stack.

The blue/green/gold colorway is such a pretty combination.  I love the festive feel of both quilts, without them being strictly red and green.

Each quilt is quilted with straight lines in a diagonal crosshatch pattern.  I followed seam lines where I could and used my hera marker to make crease lines for all the others.  It was a relatively fast and simple way to quilt them.

I have two favorite prints in this collection, the Kitschy print (left) and the Crossed print (right), so I chose one of each to use on the backs.

For my binding I used the same print on both quilts because I like the stripe.  It’s called Stripe (surprise, surprise!) and works great as a binding.

Now I’m two quilts closer to my goal of having a Christmas quilt at the foot of every bed this holiday season.  It feels great to finish them up, and they were fast, fun projects.

If you’re looking for a quick quilt to make, this pattern is fast and fun, and available here .

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