Christmas Quilts-and a Free Motion Quilt Tip

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Today,  I am decorating the house with our collection of Christmas candles, figurines, Santas and snowmen.  I have several red and green small quilts that I use as a base for my collections.

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They add a bright “pop” of color…

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and protect the wood from scratches…

Christmas Decoration with Quilts

Some of the quilts are “free form” doodles…like the red one on top (below)

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while others start with a stencil:

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I liked this stencil, but I wanted a square quilt…and the stencil was not detailed enough for me…

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In the above quilt, I added feathers and a lot of filler to make the feathers stand out.  I also added my favorite–spirals– and lots of other tiny quilting–(you’ll notice no stippling—my brain does not do stippling!)

The next time you use a stencil–(you can find some great stencils at The Stencil Company)   make it your own and go beyond the stencil…(more on beyond the stencil in 2013)

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Time to run.  My house is a wreck of boxes, tissue paper and bubble wrap!

You might also like:  Ten (Must Have) Stocking Stuffers for Quilters

and Work in Progress: Christmas Gifts

Terracotta Warriors

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Last week, I went with a friend to see the Terra Cotta Warriors at the Minneapolis Museum of Arts.

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This terra-cotta army of the First Emperor of China (c. 220 BC) is considered one of the most spectacular finds in archaeology.  In 1974, a farmer -seeking to build a new well- discovered a pit filled with  a garrison of buried warriors over 2000 years old!

More than 6000 sculptures were buried near the emperor in order to protect him in the afterlife…

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Horses, archers, cavalry, infantry…

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Truly amazing!  Unfortunately, photography of the warriors is not allowed–the above photos are of replicas…

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So I have included a few photos from the little book I purchased.

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The detailed faces are fascinating-each sculpture is very unique-with detailed expressions, hairstyles, hands…

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Photos just don’t do the exhibit justice…If you get a chance to see this exhibit as it goes on tour, jump at the chance–it is amazing!

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I think I will add seeing the real excavation to my Bucket List…

Oh, and if you do go…watch the movie-(it is free), but unless you are super hard-core – skip the headphone tour–

You might also like:  Franconia Sculpture Park   and  The Witch of Fox Point

Decorating Christmas Trees – With Free Motion Quilting

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I wish I was one of those organized quilters who stitch their Christmas projects in July-but that’s just not me.  My quilting is usually seasonal (see here).  Now that we are decorating the house for Christmas, I’m inspired to stitch a few quilted motifs.  As usual, I start with a few doodles: (You can read more about Doodle Notebooks here)

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Then I head to my sewing room.  The nice thing about decorating Christmas trees is that the essence is so simple:  a triangle…with a trunk…and maybe a star on top.

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If you start with that shape, it almost doesn’t matter what you stitch…

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It will be recognizable as a Christmas tree…

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I liked this tree a lot and it was easy, easy to stitch.

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Lightly draw a triangle.  Start stitching in the middle and move up to the pointed top (add the star now if you would like one).  Then stitch down and to the right.

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Then, just sweep left and right to form the bows of the tree-offsetting the upward “swoop”.

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In less than a minute you will have a gorgeous tree…

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Then just stitch a few more trees with any pattern that comes to mind….

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I like this fancy tree:

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A bit plain, perhaps…

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I love this decorated tree–wish the tree in our living room was so quickly decorated!

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Now it’s your turn–give it a little glitz!

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Next week–I have an easy project for our quilted forest!

You might also like:  Poinsettia