Friday, November 30, 2018

tis the season...

for a finish!
I started these festive blocks in February of 2017.   Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts was hosting a Jolly Christmas quilt along.  I couldn't keep up with it last year but I didn't give up and I'm happy to have it finished now - only one year late!
I've been following Lorna since the Elephant Parade.  I'm always blown away by her darling patterns.  I've made several now.  (Here, here, and here!)  Her instructions are always easy to follow and, while some of the blocks challenge me, I'm always pleased with the results.

All the prints are from my Cotton and Steel stash.  Some were just bits from my scrap bin and some pieces were cut from full fat quarters.  These prints are so fun to play with.  The background is Essex yarn dyed in flax - a staple in my sewing room.
I framed each of my blocks and made my borders larger than Lorna suggested.  I'm always so afraid to challenge myself with quilting, especially when I've spent so much time on piecing blocks, but Angela Walters has been hosting a series on dot-to-dot quilting and I wanted to give it a try.  

I made my borders to finish at 3" wide.  I spent lots of time with my washable blue pen marking my quilt with dots and got much more comfortable using a ruler while free-motion quilting.  (Is it still called free-motion if you use a ruler?)

The backing is a map of London.  I needed more than one width of fabric so added this fun, colorful print to each side.  I like the colors and houses and think it looks like neighborhoods and life around the city.

Can you pick a favorite block?  

Personally, I love the mittens!  They were the first block I made.  We live in Michigan, the mitten state, so I'm a little obsessed with them!  
The sweater was especially fun to make.  It's from a prior year's QAL that I didn't participate in.  But again, I live in Michigan and my Christmas quilt had to include a ski sweater!

This poor little guy landed in the top corner so often gets out shown by those blocks on the bottom but I absolutely adore him.  

I hope you're enjoying your holiday prep and that your projects are finishes soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by.

I'll be linking up with:
and, of course, with 


  1. Wow, Karen! This is really impressive. And I'm so happy for you to have this gorgeous finish to use as Christmas quickly approaches. I've recently begun following Sew Fresh Quilts, and just adore her "tools" quilts. It's great that you're trying ruler work quilting! I've been ruler work quilting quite a bit myself lately, as I've been trying it on my new Bernina. I'm sad to say that the rulers I use (Fine Line Rulers by Accents in Design) aren't playing well with my 770 which has a dual feed. The posts on the rulers, used to "hang onto" while quilting, are tall enough that they bump into the dual feed on the back of the machine. It's a big disappointment for me as I own ALL the Fine Line Rulers! What brand are you using? I will continue to play with them though, as I enjoy the different design possibilities I have with rulers.

  2. Karen, What a fantastic finish! Love your colors of each block. Super cute! Great job quilting too.

  3. I made my quilt with Essex linen for the background too, but in a darker gray colour. Your quilt is very festive and I love the addition of the Christmas sweater!

  4. Hi Karen! What a wonderful finish for today, and how nice to have it off your UFO books. My favorite block initially was also the mittens, but Santa keeps drawing me in. Nice job on your quilting - it is hard to see but it sure looks like a nice allover design. Plus I can see and feel the quilty squishy goodness through the computer screen. I just adore the backing fabric - it looks like the map fabric is leading you right to those fun house. Happy Happy Wednesday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Beautiful finish, Karen! I especially like how you framed each block. And that quilting -- wow! Good for you for challenging yourself. : )

  6. I love it! I don't think I could pick a favorite block though! The frames are the perfect touch and the quilting is wonderful! Love it!

  7. It's a beautiful quilt and you did a great job quilting it. I don't think I can pick a favourite block, they are all stunners.

  8. I am crying! This is simply the SWEETEST! Karen.... you have outdone yourself. Again. Love the reindeer... But Santa is SO JOLLY!

  9. Your colors are so different with the Cotton and Steel fabrics. Amazing! If I had to pick one favorite I would pick the entire top row. Love it.

  10. It's beautiful! And you finished it just in time to enjoy it all month.