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Friday, 22 November 2013

A Christmas Quilt - And This One's For Me!


Back in July, I won a Christmas in July giveaway by Valerie @re.engineered.  Valerie made a 'Starry Christmas' quilt top using fabrics from the Blitzen line by Basic Grey for Moda and she decided to giveaway her remaining fat quarters and scraps and here's what I won.


Seemed like the right time of year to make something with my winnings but where to start?  I decided first to sew up a piece of fabric from the scraps and take it from there and this is the first section.


I loved it and didn't want to cut it up so instead I sliced some strips from the fat quarters - I started with 2" strips and with each round increased the strip size by 1/2", which looked like this.


I decided to stop adding strips once the amount of fabric I had left in the remaining sections of fat quarters was enough to create the backing and binding and here's how it ended up.


Using Aurifil 40/2 4129 - Turf Green, I fmq'd the whole quilt with stars the same width as the strip being quilted so the stars get larger towards the outside edges.



I've added a scrappy binding and my long label.



Time for the rolled quilt photo.  This photo didn't turn out too well - the quilt's unrolling and it's slightly blurred - but I couldn't resist it because look who's watching in the background, Tatty's growing out her fringe (that's her bangs for my American readers) and is currently sporting a Hugh Grant flop!


Here's another go at that rolled quilt photo.


And a final photo on the sofa.


I am so in love with this quilt, I had no idea I wanted or needed a Christmas quilt but now I can't live without it.  I'm so taken with the idea that this quilt will come out of storage every Christmas and become part of our family tradition just as all our other decorations have - a very big thanks to Valerie for sending me her leftovers and speaking of leftovers look what's leftover this time - not a lot!!!


And the latest news on my foot injury, well I'm on the mend, still having physical therapy twice a week and went back to work at the quilt store in Manhattan this week, though I'm only doing half days and I'm working at the back cutting desk/checkout as there's a high seat there that I can make good use of.

As you can see from all my latest posts my injury hasn't interferred at all with me sewing - in fact, what I have realised is that I'm a bit odd, you see I can sew with each foot equally and sometimes I sew with both feet on the pedal at the same time just to balance my hips out.  Now I thought everyone could do this but I quickly discovered from your comments on my Tula Pink Quilted Tote post that isn't the case so what I'd like to know is can you sew with only one foot or with both feet or does your machine have a pedal-free sewing function like my Bernina 440QE has - what would you do if you injured your sewing foot?  

Can't wait to hear your stories :D

Post Update at 1st January 2014:

WOW!!! There's been a fabulous response to my Christmas Quilt post and I'm thrilled many of you like my Christmas Quilt enough to want to make one yourself.  After a sudden rush of traffic to my blog today, I've discovered the quilt has also been featured here on Free Quilt Patterns - the problem being that this post isn't actually a detailed tutorial for the quilt just my brief 'how I did it' notes.

Obviously it's too late now for me to take 'as it happens' photos and create a tutorial so instead I've taken out the tape measure and had a look at the quilt and I'm listing here the widths of each section which, along with my notes above, may help you to put something similar together yourself.   

 My Christmas Quilt - Measurement Guidelines

NB: I'm quoting the cut strip sizes but each sewn visible strip is 0.5" narrower than the size given as 0.25" is lost in the seams on both joined sides.

The quilt's overall size is approx 46" x 47".

There's a scrap section measuring approx 22.5" x 23.5" in the centre made up of 1.5" to 2" rectangular and square pieces.

Then I have added the following borders:

2 rounds of 2" strips
2 rounds of 2.5" strips
1 round of 3" strips
1 round of 3.5" strips.

I've finished the quilt with a scrappy binding made from a 2.5" strip.

My finished size was limited by the amount of fabric I had available - if I'd had more I think I'd have continued two rounds further, maybe more. NB: If you add additional rounds then increase the cut width of the strip by 0.5" with each round.

I hope you find these notes helpful and I'm sorry for any disappointment you've experienced at this not being an actual tute!

Wishing you lots of fun making your version and I'd love to see a photo when it's finished if you'd like to share?!

Chris @made by ChrissieD :D 

Post Update at 7th January 2014:

 My son's partner, Ana, reminded me that I sent her some phone pics of the quilt as I was working on it - here they are!!!

detail of the back of the central scrap section
piecing the back


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79 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. Love the quilting on it

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  2. Love it! And so glad your foot is healing! Have a great weekend!

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  3. What a great line of fabric. It's a beautiful Christmas quilt!

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  4. Oh Chrissie...I love this quilt. I like the non-traditional Christmas colors!!

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  5. Oh wow, its beautiful! A wonderful finish! Glad your foot is healing, quite shocking how it happened though...

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  6. It's a beautiful quilt. I've never wanted a specifically Christmas quilt before, but now I do !!! Love those stars in the quilting, and guess what - I'm off to see if I can sew with both feet now !

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  7. Lovely quilt Chrissie, how nice to be adding to your Christmas traditions.

    I have only ever sewn with one foot on the pedal, will have to give using the other foot a try. Have to sew without shoes or slippers too :)

    Glad to hear that your foot is on the mend too.

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  8. Ooooh, love the all the tones of green in this one - adds such depth to the quilt. I also love the idea of a quilt becoming part of the family Christmas tradition, hmmm - maybe I need one too??!! I do not use my feet at all to sew. My pedal likes to sew magically by itself (ie. when you take your foot off, it keeps going) and trust me - this is so not a pretty sight!!! Luckily my machine has a button to make it go, right above my needle. So I have been doing that for years now and truly cannot imagine going back to a pedal. I love it.

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    1. Trust me Lisa, you'll be so glad you made a Christmas quilt! My machine has the 'no pedal' option too, I'm trying to get used to it to take the pressure off my hips but I find I have to turn my stitching speed right down to feel in control of it and it drives me crazy sewing so slowly when I can go full speed using my feet. I unplugged the pedal yesterday, I'm going to see if a week sewing without it gets me used to sewing faster using the machine button :D

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  9. Gorgeous quilt Chrissie - Valerie has a great eye for colour and you have put her scraps to brilliant use! I always machine with my right foot - will be trying the other one and both too later on! Have a good weekend. xx

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  10. I love Blitzen! Your Christmas quilt is a corker. I have a mini charm pack of Blitzen and this really makes me want to go and make a mini Christmas quilt right now!

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  11. I absolutely love your quilt, Chrissie! Increasing the width of the border strips gives it such a great illusion of coming toward the eye! I am so glad you could get some use out of my leftovers. How cool to be able to make a whole quilt with them!! I hope your foot is healed soon! I have never tried sewing with my left foot or both feet, but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be able to do it. I actually had to stop piano lessons at 10 years old because I could never play with both hands simultaneously! I'm not sure what that says about my brain - one side is too dominant perhaps...? Anyway, I hope you enjoy your quilt! My Starry Christmas quilt has finally been sent off to my quilter so I can hopefully enjoy it just in time for the holidays!

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    1. Thanks again Valerie, it's turned out to be a really special quilt that I know memories will grow around - can you believe it's made from your scraps?!!! Looking forward to seeing your Starry Christmas quilt finished too :D

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  12. Beautiful quilt, I love the idea of the new family tradition :D sorry to hear about your injury, I missed that somehow. Hope you're feeling better soon x And I'm definitely a right footed sewist, would be stuffed if I hurt it!

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  13. I love this quilt. Glad you made it for yourself. Hope your foot is healed soon.

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  14. I love your quilt! It is just beautiful. Tatty's 'fringe' is cute. I have a Wheaten Terrier and he doesn't have a fringe or bangs ... on Wheatens, we call it a "fall". :)

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    1. Thanks Pat. A fall - I haven't heard that before - Tatty's looking a bit 'tatty' right now. Her head coat has changed quality and won't stay upright anymore so we've no choice but to grow it long - she'll look more like a Havanese then but it's strange getting used to her new look! :D

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  15. Beautiful Christmas quilt! I broke my ankle a couple of years ago and had to wear a huge boot on my right foot (my sewing foot) for 6 weeks. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to sew at all, but then tried using my left foot on the pedal. It was weird in the beginning, but I got better at it after a while and now I can use either foot. :-)

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  16. Really lovely quilt, modelled really well by your dog! I hope your foot gets better soon.

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  17. Chrissie what a fun Christmas quilt! I love the back as much as the front! I'm glad your foot is on the mend! I have always used my right foot on the pedal - usually barefoot. I do have the hands free bar and love it.

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    1. Hi Cynthia, I can't believe quite how much I love this quilt - last night I said to Simon that maybe we also need Christmas cushions now, you should have seen his face! I have the hands free knee lift and I love it too :D

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  18. Gorgeous quilt. I'm behind in blog reading so I didn't know you hurt yourself. Glad it's getting better. As for your sewing foot question. I think I'd figure it out. I once was in a caste on my right leg for 6 weeks and I still drove my manual car. I learned to bend or straighten my knew to apply pressure to the gas pedal. I'm assuming I'd do something similar. Perhaps I should learn to sew with my left foot so I can be prepared for a right foot injury. :)

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  19. Love your quilt! Blitzen is such a beautiful line--I love the different shades of green in it. I got a Cherry Christmas layer cake for a steal last spring, so I think I may have to have a Christmas quilt I never knew I needed as well. ;)

    Glad your foot is on the mend! I've never tried sewing with my left foot, but I kind of want to now. My brother broke his foot (twice) in HS, and it was his right foot--so driving was the big difficulty for him! I think I would find switching my feet for driving far more difficult than for sewing.

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  20. If I couldn't adjust to the left foot, I'd have my husband attach the pedal under the desk somehow so I could press it with my knee! That's the way sewing machines were when I first learned in 8th grade. They had a knee lever instead of a foot pedal. And my goodness, what a lovely bunch of "scraps"!! I can't believe Valerie had so much fabric left over after making her own quilt . . . even enough for a backing? Wow! Now, how about a little pillow top with the rest of your scraps?

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    1. I've caught the Christmas fabric bug now Kathy and I think making a cushion with the leftover scraps is a great idea, I suggested as much to my husband and his face was a picture! :D

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  21. I love the quilting need a Christmas quilt, not for this year - too many things... But next one. My sewing foot is my right foot, not sure what I would do, try the left one I assume?

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  22. Love that quilt, now you have inspired me to make one as well!

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  23. LOVE it! This is the kind of quilt that really gets me in the Christmas spirit!!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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    1. and thank you so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday! I enjoyed getting to see this quilt again in the link up!

      :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  24. Returning the visit...nice to meet ya! I'm a GFC follower of you as well! :)

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    1. And for you is good! Thanks for rejuvenating this post at Tuesday Archives CHristmas theme!

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  25. Hi, what a beautiful Christmas quilt you made! I really love it and you did a great job. I saw it at submarine sunday party. Take care. Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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  26. Yeah for you. It turned out so fun!

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  27. I love the fabrics! My name is Katie and I host Fall Into the Holidays. All entries get pinned. I would love to have you link up! This week’s round is still open!

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    1. Thanks Katie - I've added my quilt to your link up, thanks for dropping by :D

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  28. I love the quilt you made with your winnings and how you just winged it and came out with such an attractive quilt... love it and the fmq you did... if my foot was out of commission I would live as I mainly hand quilt... I machine piece most of my quilts and would probably use both feet if my "driving" foot was out of commission! lol Good luck on continued healing and getting back to driving right the whole time :) Kathi

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  29. This is awesome! I've decided that everybody needs a Christmas quilt, even if my husband thinks it's silly to make a quilt that will only be used one month out of the year... Making it with mostly free fabric only sweetens the deal, doesn't it?

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    1. Pretty great to have a quilt you love and it hasn't cost a penny isn't it :D

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  30. Lovely quilt! I'm ampifootsterous. I can't use both hands (I'm a leftie) but I can sew with either foot and use whichever is closest to the pedal.

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  31. What a clever, clever girl you are!! I love that quilt! And well done with the FMQ'ing too! I sewing with my right foot & my right hand. I think I have the possibility to sew with my knee as well on my machine but thankfully have never needed to find out! :-)

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    1. Thanks Elita. If you machine has hands free options give them a go. Mine has a knee lift to lower/lift the sewing foot, the foot pedal can raise/lower the needle and there's a stop/start button on the machine to make it sew instead of using the pedal. In normal sewing I don't think you need all this but if you're quilting a large quilt it means you can hang on to that quilt with both hands and not have to leave go - and that can be hugely advantageous :D

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  32. Love your quilt! I sew with my right foot, so when I had my right hip replaced it was uncomfortable to sew with my right foot. I have a button on my machine and tried it. I love it! I don't know if I'll ever use the foot feed again. I'll have to see.

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    1. Thanks Cindy. I need to use my stop/start button more often instead of the foot pedal. I just need more practice so I can use it and still go at full speed, at the moment I have to slow it down to stay in control. :D

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  33. Very festive quilt and I agree that it will be a quilt to take out for the holidays every year♥ I am working on one for my family this year as well.

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  34. Christmas quilt is awesome!I love how Tatty is helping you out! We call them bangs in the US too!

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  35. Gorgeous quilt! I love the quilting.

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  36. I love the improv nature of the quilt, the harmony of the fabrics brings balance but the improv piecing adds interest - it turned out great!

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  37. It's beautiful...makes me want a Christmas quilt. =)

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  38. It's beautiful on all sides! Love that fabric line and you have really make it shine.

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  39. So pretty!! I don't know if you intended it to be but your center with the little blocks almost looks 3-dimensional to me. It reminds me of water lilies.. ;)

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  40. It looks so pretty on your couch! What a great Christmas quilt, and even greater you get to see it year after year! I have a charm pack of Blitzen I haven't figured out what to do with. Thanks for a little inspiration!

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  41. Very nice. Like the simple design and the multiple rows of border. Good to hear your foot is doing better.

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  42. I'm glad your foot is better because you whipped up that beautiful Christmas quilt! I love the concept and the fabric patches on the back. And yes, Tatty is always adorable! I sew with my right foot, never tried with the left, but I'm sure if I were desperate enough I could manage :)))

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  43. Yay for a beautiful Christimas quilt! I love doing design-as-you-go too. I used to sew with my right foot, but switched to my left so I could use the knee lift better. I've never tried using both feet though - that's new!

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  44. Really nice quilt and I love the quilting on it. Merry Christmas!

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  45. Nice finish! I sew with both feet but not at the same time, I elevate the foot that is not using the "gas pedal" to try to keep my hips and back in alignment. The older I get the more aches and pains add up in the sewing room.

    Happy Healing and good for you for getting back to work slowly

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  46. Looks great! I just finished my first Christmas quilt - a gift. The next Christmas quilt in line will be a donation. I wonder if I'll ever do one I get to keep! :)

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  47. Well done! Enjoy, year after year!

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  48. Love this quilt and your process for designing it! I wonder if it is too late for me to start a Christmas quilt???

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  49. I love the addition of aqua with the more traditional colors. Fantastic quilt!

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  50. I love this quilt, the colors and the quilting are just beautiful, what a wonderful holiday quilt.

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  51. I feel your pride! I just got my "this one's for me" quilt done...such a joy to see it on my bed every day! Mine isn't a Christmas quilt though...that's on my list...I even know the fabrics/design I want to use...need to get shopping.
    ENJOY! www.sewcraftychick.blogspot.com

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    1. I've packed the quilt away now for next year Diana, it gave me lots of pleasure this year and I can't wait to bring it out again next. I'm not sure if we make enough "this one's for me" quilts, need to rectify that more this year!!! :D

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  52. This is such an awesome quilt! It is such a creative way to use scraps and FQs

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  53. Lovely! I just finished a Christmas quilt for myself too, and I know exactly how you feel about it. I absolutely love mine; I'm going to be sad to put it away each year!

    Jo

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  54. Found you through NTT - love the quilt! And you are talented to be able to sew with either foot, or both for that matter! If I ever injured my right leg/foot, I don't know what I'd do!!!

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  55. Are the scraps enough to make a pillow/cushion? I love your quilt. I injured my right ankle at the beginning of a week vacation at my mom's. After a week of trying to stay off if it and learning to use crutches, I had a 12 hour drive home in which I had to use my left foot for gas and break work. Thank goodness for cruise control.

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    1. I'm certainly going to use them in some way Vicki - even if it's a mug rug!!! :D

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  56. Very beautiful quilt you made. A family heirloom for sure. 'Found your blog via SEW-Licious Home Decor's Christmas link party. Now following yiour blog. Hoping your foot heals very soon :)

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  57. It's a fun Christmas quilt and I love the story of how it came to be.

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  58. Love those fabrics, great quilt!

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  59. Brilliant Christmas quilt! I'm in the process of making my second Holiday quilt! I think it's lovely to have ones that you can get out at special times of the year!
    Thanks for linking up with Ho Ho Ho and on we Sew!

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  60. How fun to get coordinated left overs--you turned them into a great quilt.

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Chris Dodsley