Christmas Quilts · Free Quilt Pattern · Gridsters

Tannenbaum, in construction

Many years ago, my mother stayed up all night on the 24th of December, worried that the child she was carrying would actually come on the due date of Christmas Eve. Who would help the other three young girls? Who would get the ironing done? But I did not arrive on my due date. Nor on New Year’s Eve. But I came 12 days later on Twelfth Night, and dodged forever having my birthday on Christmas. (And she did get up early that morning to get the ironing done before she went to the hospital.) Now I share a birthday with Richard Nixon, the arrival of the Three Kings and the Storming of the Capital.

Why do I bring this up? Because Tannenbaum will most likely suffer the same fate, arriving somewhere around Twelfth Night. It’s because I wanted a longer drop on the sides, and didn’t have enough of the beige fabric (earlier version is seen here). So as long as I was playing around, what would the quilt look like with red? I quite liked it. Many iterations and consultations with my quilt gurus (I have a couple) and I ordered some red fabric from Laundry Basket Quilts. Like me, in my almost early days…this probably won’t be done by Christmas.

Trying it out for size; I like it!

This is where I am now, with the two borders attached (big smiles), the wrinkles that will need to be quilted out in the center, and sideways on my design wall, because it’s too big now to go vertically. (In other words, it looks like it needs its make-up put on, the lipstick applied, and good blow-out for the hair. You know, like all of us in the morning.)

I’m working on the pattern now, and that’s coming along too. But what has arrived?

This one’s mine…you’ve seen it before.

Several of my Piece Maker Quilt Ladies have arrived from the Gridster Bee, along with their cloth sewing treasures, like buttons and rotary cutters and topiary trees. You can read more about this project, written a few whiles ago, but basically I got the idea from Surfside Quilters, from their Blocks of the Month page. I’ve always wanted a Freddy Moran-style quilt, and now it looks like I’ll make one.

To help further this quilt along, I’ve been collecting black-and-white prints to go with other 400 black-and-white prints (dear, I’m kidding). I have discovered there’s a particular kind of black and white print that works with Freddy Moran style quilts, and I think I probably have enough now. Too much white? It bleaches it out. Too much black? A blot in the quilt. Black and white — that when you squint your eyes — turns into grey? Nyet. I think two of the prints above are perfect (on the outer edges) and we’ll see where the others may go.

In keeping with the red theme of today’s post, here’s a treat I want to try: Cranberry Lemon Bars, from New York Times Cooking.

And I’ll see this, next week. First airplane ride in over 20 months (better get it in before Omicron shows up).

But before that, we have to finish putting out my husband’s nutcrackers, arranging the lights on the mini-tree, switching out the quilts, and generally getting ready for the Christmas season. Another work in progress.

Merry Quilting!

In case you want something fun, here’s a free pattern to make this little tree on a frame, from my earlier days of pattern making; still good to go, but not quite as fancy.

And here’s the teeny tree:

More info is here.

And here’s a sneak peak of what I’m working on for 2022. I’m thinking a monthly quilt-a-long, sort of easy, no sign-ups, free patterns, work together, have fun, make a nice-sized wall hanging. And if you can’t deal with any more outside pressure to produce, it’s okay if you just want to grab the patterns and squirrel them away. That’s fine, I’m fine, you’re fine.

I also always make colorful quilts, and this one may go there yet, but I was gifted a little stack of Sherri and Chelsi’s newest line (thanks, Sherri!), and I’m starting there, because — oh my gosh — I do need a cool Valentine-y quilt. So that’s my starting line. I’ve got the first month’s pattern done, but I want to make samples, so you won’t see it until after the holidays. Maybe even by Twelfth Night!

19 thoughts on “Tannenbaum, in construction

  1. Dress warm for Boston
    If you go to the North End for dinner or such, go to my favorite bakery called Modern it’s wonderful

  2. I always so enjoy your posts and your Tannenbaum quilt is coming along fabulously, such a beauty!
    Have a great trip to Boston, looks like an exciting show.
    I look forward to the possible sew along in 2022, is it EPP? I do have a harder time with EPP as I have gotten older, that darn arthritis.

    1. Love that Tannenbaum quilt! It is gorgeous! Safe travels and Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I am having trouble with my hands (I think I have carpal tunnel in both hands–my left is very swollen as I type this). I do love my EPP but it is hurting to hold those little pieces right now. Takes me forever to get anything done! Your 2022 project sounds interesting! I may be one of the squirreling away types though!

  3. Oh tannenbaum is looking great! I loved having a new quilt to pull out at Christmas this year since I didn’t finish my nativity until spring!

    Agree on the b/w prints. A challenge to find the balance.

    Mike’s Pastry! Flour! If we have nothing else, we’ve got good bakery! (Lobster tail at Mike’s!!!)

  4. Turn the red-bordered Tannenbaum mock-up image into Christmas cards please… love it as well as the actual flimsy in progress!! 🎄💕

  5. I like the red for the borders too. I also like the tan. Tough choice! I LOVE your bee blocks. That is going to be such a fun quilt. We had Freddy visit our guild years ago and she is a hoot. Her home is as colorful as her life. Sooo fun. Have a wonderful trip. We’ll be looking forward to pictures.

  6. The progress on Oh Tannenbaum looks wonderful (and it fits the bed so nicely)! I was also an overdue baby. And my husband was born the day after Christmas, which meant birthdays were always the day spent driving to visit grandparents for Christmas instead of celebrating a birthday (oy). Omicron promises to be interesting; have a safe trip!

  7. Love the red borders for Tannenbaum. It will be the perfect finish even if it’s late. But then I never consider a quilt late . . . done is good enough. Looks like you are mastering Affinity and have a cool design thing going on. I haven’t spent much time with it. Have a great trip.

  8. SO much happening in your corner of the world Elizabeth! I LOVE (yes, I’m shouting!) what you have done with your Tannebaum quilt! It is going to be an absolute stunner! And a trip to Boston-that feels positively exotic to me! I look forward to reading about your adventures! I’m in for a casual and relaxed quilt along…I need something to re-ignite my passion for quilting!

  9. The red border is the perfect addition to this quilt!! I saw the “Fabric of A Nation” exhibit in October and it was fabulous – you are going to love it! Have a wonderful trip!

  10. Please tell me more about Piecemakers Quilt Lady patterns. I was member of Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Newark, Ca and their President several years ago. I retired and moved to the valley but would love to make a Piecemakers Lady Quilt. Thank you and happy Holidays!
    Dawn Lunn

  11. The Tannenbaum is beautiful. I’ve zoomed in on the picture to get a sense of how its constructed. This looks such fun to make. I will try to check back for possible pattern coming from you. I drifted into quilting after being asked to sew for a local hospice and I’m loving it. I constructed two scrap quilts during the lockdowns here in UK last year. Several baby quilts and a lap quilt for a poorly friend. It is such a wonderful hobby.

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