Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!

Welcome back! Quiltmaker’s Countdown to Christmas continues with a giveaway of great Kansas City Star books. There will be five lucky winners.

QMs CountdowntoXmas2 Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!

Do you know that feeling when you see something and it just grips you—you absolutely love it? This happens to me with fabric, with entire quilts, with color schemes and with quilt blocks. It happened to me when I opened The Spirit of Sacajawea by Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick.

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I’m often drawn to repetition. I like its orderliness. See the block in the top left corner of the quilt below? The numerous hills or bumps that suggest leaves really appealed to me, and I loved the bird and berries, too.

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Last weekend I decided to whip up one of these blocks. I thought it would make a great Christmas wall hanging.

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I wanted non-traditional colors, so I pulled a gray print and several bright fabrics to complement it. I prepared the applique pieces and fused them down (fusing is wonderful for a down-and-dirty get-it-done-fast project). But when I put the block up on my design wall, I was really disappointed. It just didn’t sing.

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I think the problem started with a background fabric that was too busy. It takes away from that gorgeous wreath. It seems to swallow up the bright colors. There isn’t enough contrast between the background and the design elements. The berry colors were off. I stopped right there…

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…and changed to a more traditional Christmas color scheme. You can hardly go wrong with a shirting for the background plus turkey red, poison green and a bit of cheddar thrown in for accent. This version is so much better!

twoblocks Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!You can really see the difference when the blocks are viewed side by side. Quite a contrast, isn’t it?

You’ll find a bevy of gorgeous blocks in The Spirit of Sacajawea, which carries the subtitle “A Textile Tribute to an American Heroine” and was the Kansas City Star’s 2012 Block of the Month. I enjoyed reading about this young woman’s role in the early history of our country. The book is a lovely combination of history and beauty—what could be better?!


1340640714 czecherboard cover HR 300 Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!

Here’s another title from Kansas City Star Quilts I really enjoyed. Czecherboard Quilts by Rose Ann Cook is subtitled “Stories from my father’s family.” Cook set out to learn more of her family’s history and then designed quilts to honor the family members she discovered. The quilts are doable and beautiful, and the family stories that are interspersed throughout the book held my attention.


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The Garden Quilt: Interpreting a Masterpiece will interest lovers of applique and quilt history. Authors Barbara Brackman and Ilyse Moore have researched a masterpiece quilt called The Garden by Mrs. Edward B. Irish. One book in 1929 called the quilt “exquisite” and stated that “Words can scarcely describe this triumph of the needle.” Similar quilts have been found, some with links to Emporia, Kansas, but much remains a mystery, and The Garden Quilt will pique your interest in this topic. Instructions are given for a variation of the quilt called Paradise in Kansas.


memories of christmas past1 Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!

Returning to our Christmas theme, Memories of Christmas Past features a beautiful sampler quilt in traditional colors. Each of 12 sampler blocks includes a Nine Patch twist. These blocks surround a center of Poinsettia and Nine Patch blocks. Best of all, throughout the book Carolyn Nixon shares childhood memories of growing up in the Ozarks during the 1950s. Her co-author is Betsey Langford, and the two have included six companion projects ranging from a table runner to a memory journal.


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And if you enjoy decorating your home for Christmas and other holidays, you’ll love Deck the Halls by Lynda Hall. This title has quilts to inspire family traditions. The country look abounds and there is easy wool applique on pillows and wall hangings.

*     *     *     *     *

Each of these books goes to one lucky Quilty Pleasures reader. Please leave a comment below before midnight Friday, Dec. 14 and tell us how you use quilts to decorate your home for Christmas. We’ll choose winners and announce them here next week. The lucky winners are: Celeste (#78), JuliaP (#13), Patricia (#47), Diantha (#136) and Barbara (#48). Congratulations!

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About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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148 Responses to Countdown to Christmas Day 8, Giveaway!

  1. Sharon Judkins says:

    I don’t decorate too much with mine but I do have them on the back of my couch and I have two quilt racks that display them.

  2. Kristin M says:

    I have a number of quilts that I hang around the house. I also put out a couple of table runners.

  3. Shirley V says:

    I have not actually decorated with quilts for Christmas before, but this post has inspired me to buy some fabric to make quilted placemats. I would love to win these interesting books, to get even more inspired.

  4. Vicki Hill says:

    I made Christmas table runners for my daughters, sisters and of course myself this year. I also have a holiday throw on the couch.

  5. Kim KD says:

    I have just started quilting and have not made a Christmas quilt yet. But my List of Quilts to Do includes several Christmas quilts, runners and place mats. Christmas is such a special time of the year!!

  6. Shirlu kelly says:

    I have some Christmas lap quilts and am making wall hangings now. They make the house so festive looking.

  7. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    I don’t have any Christmas quilts!

  8. I love to decorate with quilts~ I hang them, fold them, and stick them in baskets. I put them on the table and backs of chairs. Its all fun! Thanks for the great giveaway! I just love books, not only for the patterns, but the inspiration!

  9. Claudia says:


    I was just looking at your two blocks that are above. The reason that the first block doesn’t work is contrast — not in colors, but in values. The gray, pink and blue are all medium values, instead of the three values Laurie and Polly used in their block. Your second block works because you have adjusted those values, an off-white background, a medium green, a dark medium red and black, and multivalue berries. Good job. And that is my two cents, and I’m sticking to it.

  10. I think quilts make a home feel so homey and are easily interchangeable. I love to be able to change up depending on my mood or the season.

  11. Donna Amos says:

    Since I make a Christmas Quilt each year, I have a pretty good stack. Always have one hanging on the wall in the family room, several on the backs of sofas and chairs and a big stack so the grandkids can grab one to wrap up in to watch movies and so on during the holidays. Also use lots of Christmas table toppers. One of my favorite memories is when one of my grandsons said ” I love being at Grandma’s on Christmas, you can just reach out anyplace and there is a quilt to keep you warm.”

  12. Carmen says:

    I haven’t used full-sized quilts to decorate (yet). I only have a quilted table runner hanging on my bedroom wall.

  13. Diantha says:

    I have quilted covers for my throw pillows on the couch, and made table topper for the table.

  14. Donna Magee says:

    I forgot to mention that I have several that I hang at church also.

  15. Donna Magee says:

    I have quilts I hang and ones I put on beds and tables for Christmas. I am always attracted to Christmas patterns! I have made some for my daughters as well. They make the house look festive and warm!

  16. Claudia says:

    My Christmas quilts have gone to decorate other people’s homes, not mine. I have one Christmas bed quilt in progress–it is aging until it is “time”.

  17. Darlene Krystal says:

    Every year since little I have made one Xmas themed block to learn…this year I ended up with a wallhanging and quilt…the xmas block…the pineapple square in xmas colors…my quilt has mostly green, and the wallhanging mostly red…next year I’d like to try miniatures blocks for xmas….

  18. Rina Mason says:

    I have a Christmas quilt on the bed, a lap Christmas quilt in the living room and various quilted holiday themed things used as decorations everywhere in the house.

  19. LizaA says:

    I have several quilted Christmas wall hangings and just finished my first Christmas quilt. I’ll display it on the back of my favorite rocking chair.

  20. Robin says:

    I love to givew Christmas Wallhangings as Christmas presents

  21. Elizabeth W says:

    By the way, I have made a primitive quilt for my bed and my cousin is going to quilt it on her machine quilter. I also made a mantel runner, christmas valances, a new quilted tree skirt, and a coffee table runner–all new quilt projects for me! It just makes me happy!

  22. Lisa's Chaos says:

    I use quilts all through our long winters but have a few select ones I pull out and drape around the living room for the holidays.

  23. Elizabeth W says:

    My cousin and I are all about Christmastime and creating. She and my mother introduced me to quilting–and I am attached! My mother has been an avid quilter for years; the maternal and paternal women from both sides have always been hand and machine quilters. My mother always tried to get me involved w/her quilting pleasures. I was more interested in counted cross stitch. But this past year, I began experiment and and happy to say quilting is my new love. Thanks for offering your advice, projects to complete w/examples, and giveaways. Yours is a site I will frequent often!

  24. Karen A says:

    I have table runners, a tree skirt and quilted pillows displayed.

  25. I use larger quilts on the couch, banisters and ladders. I love the warmth they bring to our home. I also make smaller wall quilts and mini quilts to hang on the walls. I use double sided rug tape to hang them, so they can go anywhere and be taken down without harming the quilts.


  26. Emily C says:

    I use them for couch and wall decorations.

  27. Kathy Bruckman says:

    I use quilts in my living room and family room over my sofas and chairs. I also use them on the dining room table and in each of the bedrooms. This year, I made some table runners for my coffee tables and smaller quilts for my end tables. I also made a runner to put on my piano bench. I have one quilt to finish, and that will go on a wall leading down the stairs.

  28. Deb says:

    I use quilts in my living area over a chair, over the back of the sofa, and on a quilt rack. Unfortunately, I’ve never made a CHRISTMAS quilt!!! i must remedy that for next year!

  29. Linda K says:

    I had a little gathering yesterday, so I’ve been busy for the last week or so putting out all of my Christmas quilts, wallhangings, and table runners. I have an old farm ladder against the wall in the kitchen and many of my seasonal quilts hang there. Thanks for the great give away!!

  30. Rayne Garnsey says:

    I hang them over the fireplace, lay them out on tables & hang them over my banisters.

  31. Margaret Schindler says:

    I cover my sofas and chairs with Christmas quilts and then change them for all the holidays. I make placemats and runners for the tables. My next project is some wall hangers although I do have quilts hanging in my bedroom.

  32. Rochelle Summers says:

    I have made different wallhangings over the years from small to larger and they hang in different areas of our living space. I love being able to visit them for 4-6 weeks every year and remember the fun it was to create them. Sometimes, I like the pattern so much, I make several and give the spares to children and grandchildren.

  33. I’m such a new quilter that I don’t have any Christmas quilts yet. But I’m working on it!

  34. Linda Webster says:

    I have a log cabin Christmas quilt that I put on my dining room table. And I also have a quilt up on the wall in the hall. The blocks were made by myself and four friends and all the blocks have a Christmas theme.

  35. Gloria Pietruszka says:

    I have a quilt on my rocking chair , table runners a quilted tree skirt and a snowman quilt on the wall quilt rack. I change my quilts with the seasons as I love to decorate my home with them.

  36. Mary Jo Jones says:

    I love to decorate with quilts..I drape them on chairs..hang them from my quilt rack…and have lots of tabletoppers…even mug rugs. I always hate to put them away after the holiday..but then I dig out my snowmen:)

  37. gab says:

    I have quilts, large and small, hanging on my walls. Really warms the house up.

  38. ritainalaska says:

    one of the things i do at christmas time is dressing my bed up with the christmas quilt i won from a raffle fundraiser so long ago. it’s just gorgeous, hand made, hand quilted, christmas star blocks! for awhile i used it all winter long, but now just christmas month to keep it nice.

  39. Sandy A in St. Louis says:

    I don’t have any quilts that I use to decorate for Christmas, but I do have an appliques pillow I made this year! It has a tree branch with an ornament hanging from it on it. I hope to get a quilt made someday for Christmas, even have some blocks I won in a lottery that are green & red. Will have to pull them out to see if they can be put together quickly!

    I do have a panel quilt with a Christmas tree and Scotties on it which is over the chair at my office, though! Does that count?

  40. Yolanda Robinson says:

    I am a fairly new quilter, but so far I have used qulits as wall-hangings and christmas pillows. I plan to do more wall hangings and a tablecloth and tablerunner next year

  41. Linda Wilson says:

    I have made a quilted Christmas tree skirt, a Christmas throw, and table runner.

  42. marci says:

    im just about to finish a baby christmas quilt for my son :)

  43. i just love all things christmas and want to make a christmas quilt . thanks

  44. Debbie H says:

    I’m just a newbie so I haven’t yet made anything to decorate. But I’m working on it!

  45. Connie Phillips says:

    I hang Christmas wallhangings and use small quilts on tables…anywhere I can find a place for one!

  46. Judy Maggio says:

    I use quilts on end tables as table toppers and I throw a big quilt as a tree skirt under the tree. I also have a wall hanging in the front door -facing out of the glass window-for all to see as they come in.

  47. ashley b says:

    When we were younger they were on the couch, bed, and even under the tree. Hubby and I lost our house in 2009 and all my mothers and grannys quilts. I do not know how to make them or where to buy them. :-( I was googling and thats how I found you! :-)

  48. Jo Moury says:

    Right after Christmas the decorations start coming out of storage and it takes days to transform our home for its Christmas festivities. My traditional and fall seasonal quilts come down from the walls off the beds, tables and other “resting” places. Each year it seems like I add at least one new quilt to the Christmas collect and it generally is one of my own designs. Some of the older ones get wrapped up and sent to friends and family to start new tradtions therre :)


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