Christmas Is Coming!

The top of my class Christmas quilt is done, but it needs to be quilted. (I’m still working on the bear’s paw quilt, too. As these get bigger, it’s harder to work on them “at the same time.”)

Here are a few pix. Below is the finished top in as big of a view as I can manage. There are a few “Christmas” fabrics in it, but I rarely buy novelty fabrics. My friend Sharon passed a few of hers to me, so bits of hers show up. Mostly, though, it is other reds, greens, and golds I had in stash. I didn’t buy anything new for this.

Quilt top, laid out on the floor. I can’t get quite high enough to fit the whole thing in view. It’s about 68″ square.

OH, that’s not true. I did buy the green paisley in one of the strip borders. I’d used a different green, cut it and attached it, and simply wasn’t happy with it. This green has more light in it and has more interesting pattern.

A decent view of the center block, which finished at 16″. The green border around it is 2″ wide, taking the segment to 20″ square. Notice how the strip border neither encloses the center block, nor expands it. It is neutral. The swirly line print does draw the eye, but does not direct the eye farther out. This suits, because the center block really is self-contained. With its round shape and circling flying geese, it wouldn’t work as well with something like spraying half-square triangles in the first border.

The outside border is the red plaid at the top of the photo. It helps settle down the riot caused by the pile of packages in the next border, all in scrappy fabrics.

I had fun making the green “packages” with their bows on top. The bows are just flying geese, and they echo the shapes in the hourglasses above, as well as the flying geese in the center and the pinwheels in the corner blocks.

The pinwheel corner blocks are a funny illusion. They’re made of the same block as that ribbon border near the center. It’s called a “Y” block in EQ7. There are 4 of them in a pinwheel block, and using all the same “background” fabric makes it look like a pinwheel on point. The pinwheel spins, as do the flying geese in the center, though going in different directions. Finally, they are one more allusion to a package, as it looks like you’re looking down on the top of a fancy bow.

Over the years I’ve gotten over the wish to make my fabrics match for style. While I do want them to “go” together, there is a pretty broad range, even in a quilt like this. There are 1800s reproductions, a few Christmas fabrics, at least one batik, a fabric sold as wide backing fabric… I enjoyed using the last of a few scraps, evening piecing a few scraps together to make patches big enough. I remember where I bought some of these, including on a family reunion trip in Michigan, on an outing to Illinois with Jim, at chain stores and local quilt shops and one online store. A quilt like this represents a large part of my quilting history, stitching memories into the design.

I plan to keep this quilt. Though we decorate pretty minimally for Christmas, I’ll enjoy having this out, either spread across the dining room table or draped on the stair railing, or even bunched around the two of us on the couch. Some day maybe I’ll give it to one of my kids, instead of the coal they usually get for Christmas. 😉


20 thoughts on “Christmas Is Coming!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Of all the things I’ve made, this is one that would potentially be “patternable.” I’d probably redesign the center block if I did that, since I rescaled the original block from 17″ to 16″, and switched it from templates to paper-piecing. Thanks, Nann. Something to think about for the coming year!

  1. tierneycreates

    You know anytime you grow tired of your medallion quilts, they can come to my house! Another gorgeous medallion quilt from the Medallion Queen! I have a collection of Christmas themed novelty scraps a friend gave me and I should make a holiday quilt with them someday, but I agree with you, I try to stay away from novelty fabrics (unless I found the ultimate schnauzer fabric!) in general nowadays…but I got quite enamored with them in my early days of quilting (and I still have the unused fabric in my stash – ha!)

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you so much for the open invitation to my quilts. 🙂 I will fer sure keep that in mind. Also thank you for the lovely little wallet that I received in today’s mail. I will enjoy using it! You are too kind.

  2. snarkyquilter

    Your Christmas quilt is better than a roaring fire to make me feel warm and cozy. I like the dark plaids for the second and fourth strip borders as they give depth to your color scheme. In fact, your whole color scheme is a great lesson in how much the use of a wide array of values enhances a quilt. I don’t miss santas and reindeer one bit.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      You always know just what to say. 🙂 As I learn more, I depend more and more on value. In fact, I’d like this quilt to have a bit more range, or maybe just some larger spaces of lighter values. But it became what it was supposed to be, and that is just as important. (Story of the maker? or story of the quilt?) Thanks as always.

  3. katechiconi

    Normally, I don’t care much for ‘seasonal’ quilts, but this one is festive without being overtly Christmassy, not least because you’ve avoided using ‘Christmas’ fabrics too much. I love it, and can see it becoming a family heirloom, however you end up using it!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I agree with you on “seasonal” quilts. Aside from some placemats and the like, I really haven’t done this before. And probably won’t again, just because I won’t need two! 🙂 Thanks.


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