Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Welcome back to Quiltmaker’s Countdown to Christmas, where we share all kinds of holiday cheer.

QMs CountdowntoXmas2 Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

I thought it would be fun to show you some of the holiday quilts we’ve published in the past. I spent some time going through my back issues which start in 1982. That’s right—Quiltmaker turned 30 this year.

It was interesting to see how much quilt styles have evolved. The techniques have changed a lot, too.

rotaryCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Rotary cutters weren’t being used in quilting when QM was started, and paper foundation piecing as we know it hadn’t been conceived. We’ve come a very long way.

 

christmascoverCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Quiltmaker's cover, Spring/Summer '83

Here’s a cover from 1983. It wasn’t intended to say “Christmas,” but I couldn’t resist including it, because I think it’s very holiday-like. In spite of being 30 years old, it has a bit of a modern feeling because of the solids used. It’s vintage happy and that makes me smile.

holidaysparkleCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Holiday Sparkle was patterned in Quiltmaker in 1984.

In 1984 we published Holiday Sparkle. Look at those piecing diagrams. Not for the faint of heart. This was around the time I became a quilter!

 

celebrationsamplerCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Celebration Sampler, above, came out in the Early Winter issue of 1989. I still love it when designers do something interesting with cornerstones, just like they did here.

 

holidaywonderCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

In 1990, the Holiday Wonder pattern gave instructions to stencil on the quilt using freezer paper and fabric paint. All of the little holly leaves and other green motifs were to be painted on the quilt. I wonder how many of these quilts exist and how well the paint held up over 23 years. If you have one, please let me know.

 

poinsettiaCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Maybe applique won out over stencils because in 1991 we published Poinsettia. This applique looks just right for a confident beginner, don’t you think? And remember those border prints? If you mitered them, they’d travel right around a corner.

 

constellationCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

Constellation wasn’t labeled as a Christmas quilt in 1992 but I think it could have been. We’d foundation piece those tricky angles now, or at least use a special ruler to make them easy. See how the border echoes the block’s spiky-ness? Great design technique, then and now.

In the same Early Winter ’92 issue, Noel, Noel was patterned.

noelnoelCC Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

I think this design has stood the test of time. Its composition is balanced and beautiful. It seems to glow from within—artists call this luminosity. I imagine it in hand dyed Cherrywood suede-like fabrics. Noel indeed.

So that’s a taste of our first decade of Christmas holidays. If you have QMs from the ’80s and ’90s, you will find these patterns there. If not, there are plenty of newer patterns to keep you sewing for centuries. We’ll be sharing more as the Countdown to Christmas continues.

About Diane Harris

I'm Interactive Editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I've been writing pattern instructions and product reviews, and doing a host of other tasks necessary to help produce a national pattern magazine. Now I work remotely from rural Nebraska to generate some of our online content. I manage the QM Scrap Squad, our blog tours and our Quilt-Alongs. I have one of the best jobs in the world.
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9 Responses to Countdown to Christmas: Past Holiday Quilts

  1. Joyce - WV says:

    I have most of the older Quiltmaker magazines and confess that I love most of the patterns! I look through the new mags and find one or two that I like, but my traditionalist heart just quickens over those old ones.

  2. Beautiful Christmas quilts! Any chance of getting the patterns?

  3. BT says:

    Neat, I remember some of them. I too like the quilt sparkle. Would be neat with some of the batiks that are out there. Can we have it published again???? Thanks.

    BT

  4. Annette says:

    Love the look back at some of the quilts. Do you plan to re-publish the Holiday Sparkle? Today’s fabrics would be great in it!

  5. Chris Worth says:

    Thanks for the eye candy!

  6. Debbie says:

    Beautiful patterns even though they are “old”. Just imagine them in today’s fabrics. Thanks so much for sharing them. Quiltmaker is one of my favourite publications.

  7. Toni Stone says:

    I recently received some of the 80′s Quiltmaker’s and love them. Thanks for your magazine.

  8. Linda says:

    Thank you! Loved looking at the old patterns and I most likely have the issue!

  9. Judy says:

    What a beautiful “look back”!
    Most of these older styles look just like those of today!
    Thanks for sharing!

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