Finished Quilting: Christmas Mat

Christmas mat quilted
Christmas mat quilted

As mentioned the other day, I finished longarming the Christmas Mat.

I am pleased with the design and pleased that all I have to do is bind. Friend Julie thinks that a red binding would work. I agree, which means rummaging around in the my reds to find the right one.

Now I have two things to which I need to make and apply binding.

Christmas mat detail
Christmas mat detail

Gift Post #2 – 2017

Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase
Le Cafe Eiffel Tower pillowcase

Sometime in September, I found some Le Cafe fabric by Danhui Nai for Wilmington. I was in the mood to make pillowcases at the time and bought a whole bunch of the fabric to make pillowcases for my sister for Christmas.

My idea was to use the toss prints for the main body of the cases and the border print for the cuff. I quickly screwed up the cuff idea by not buying the right amount for cuffs and screwing up the cutting. I found an old Verna Mosquera dot print and used that for the cuffs. It was like the fabric was made for the pillowcases, because I had plenty for four pillowcases. I think the dot provided a good contrast for the pillowcases.

I cut the pieces out during some evenings when I had 10-15 minutes while dinner finished cooking. I did most of the sewing over the Thanksgiving Weekend. I used the pillowcases as additional leaders and enders as I pieced En Provence. They are not ideal leaders and enders as the seams  are long. I beat myself into submission as using the leaders and enders technique gets projects done.

Creative Prompt #343: Christmas

Nota Bene: For those of you who don’t celebrate, I apologize. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Please select your own word and post a link to your response. I appreciate your understanding.





Christmas tree

Holiday music




family traditions


“Do They Know It’s Christmas,” a charity single released by Bob Geldof’s Band Aid 30

Advent calendar

Family gatherings



A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie


Christmas Eve

artificial Christmas trees

gingerbread house

Christmas decorations

Christmas cheer

Merry Christmas

A Christmas Story (1983 movie)


Definition: “Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Cr?stesmæsse, meaning “Christ‘s Mass“) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[7][8] observed most commonly on December 25[4][9][10] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][11][12] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;[13] in some traditions, Christmastide includes an Octave.[14] Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations,[15][16][17] is celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian people,[1][18][19] and is an integral part of the holiday season.

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[20] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[21] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

While the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[22] a date later adopted in the East,[23][24] although some churches celebrate on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which, in the Gregorian calendar, currently corresponds to January 7, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after the day on which early Christians believed that Jesus was conceived,[25] or with one or more ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice);[26][27] a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse[a] identifying Jesus as the “Sun of righteousness”.[25][28][29]” (Wikipedia)

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

More Christmas Pillowcases

Red Lights Pillowcases
Red Lights Pillowcases

I was concerned about the extra fabric I bought for Christmas pillowcases. I decided to make two pillowcases for two additional gifts. Can’t tell you for whom they are intended, but I’ll tell you later.

The cuff colors were hard, again, and not an exact match to the colors in the main fabric, but they mimic the hues in the fabric.

I worry about the solids being too much, but I made a decision and I am sticking to it. The colors for Christmas are definitely unconventional, but I think they work and don’t scream Christmas.

Christmas Pillowcase Tally #3

This third tally runs hard on the heels of my last Christmas Pillowcase update. I won’t keep you guessing, if you didn’t read that post. I finished the task I set out for myself. I am finished with the Christmas pillowcases.

Here is the grand total of what I have finished:

  • SIL#1: 4 kids, 2 spouses/SOs
    • 3rd oldest nephew + SO (Dear Santa theme – DONE for both)
    • Oldest niece + Fiance (flannel – DONE for fiance, lights with white background theme – DONE)
    • Nephew (Christmas in So Cal theme – DONE)
    • Youngest niece (black Gingerbread and Toy Shop theme – DONE)
  • SIL#2: 3 kids, 1 spouse, 2 great niece-phews
    • Oldest nephew + spouse + 2 kids (old fashioned Christmas with green cuffs for nephew and niece-in-law: DONE, 2 kids (Olaf for boy, Anna/Elsa for girl): DONE)
    • 2d oldest nephew (present theme – DONE)
    • middle of the pack nephew (blue lights theme – DONE)
  • BIL #1: 1 kid
    • 3rd youngest nephew (DONE)
  • Young Man (Christmas in So Cal theme – DONE)
  • SIL#3: 2 kids
    • Middle niece (DONE) –Gingerbread house theme
    • middle of the pack nephew – 4th youngest ( Nutcracker theme – DONE)
  • BIL #2: 2 kids
    • 2d youngest nephew (DONE)
    • Youngest nephew (DONE)


Again, I AM DONE except for the mailing.

Last Batch of Christmas Pillowcases

I finished the last Christmas pillowcases. Hooray!!! I just sat down and did a bit of sewing one day. I had about an hour so I only finished a couple, then I finished the stragglers a few days later. Voila! I am done.

Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase
Dear Santa Pillowcase

The two Dear Santa Pillowcases are some of my favorites. On the left will go to Raymond, the SO of my 3rd oldest nephew and the right will go to the actual nephew. I hope they don’t look too girly.

I really like the sense of humor that Cotton & Steel has with some of their designs. I also like the 50s look of the design. I am waiting for some Christmas designs that include the Shiny Brite ornaments I like so much.

Blue LIghts Pillowcase
Blue Lights Pillowcase

The blue lights pillowcase is similar to the white lights pillowcase I made the other day. This will go to one of the middle nephews (so many nephews!!!). I think the lights might be a little smaller, but I am pretty sure the fabric is from the same line as the white lights pillowcase.

I have more fabric and am tempted to make more pillowcases, but am going to hold off. I had some fun just doing some tests the other day and want to keep that feeling alive.

Now, guess what I am worrying about? Packing up and mailing all of these things out to the Niece-phews! Sheesh! I have over a month and can do it a little at a time.

Another Batch

Kiera's Toy Shops & Gingerbread Houses
Kiera’s Toy Shops & Gingerbread Houses

I only really had Sunday to sew. I am still not focusing well and I decided to work on pillowcases for awhile in the morning. Well, the morning turned into an almost all day marathon of pillowcase making to get the Christmas project done once and for all.

As I have said the hardest part is picking the cuff fabrics. I think I need to do that when I buy future pillowcase fabric. We all know that is not going to happen since I don’t plan that far ahead. A girl can dream, though.

About midday I had all the bodies and cuffs cut and pinned. One thing I learned is that I need to cut my initial pieces (you know the ones I cut out of each piece of new yardage) up the side of the fabric, especially the half yards, because if I cut across the bottom, the half yards won’t be long enough to make a cuff. That cuts down my cuff options. Live and learn.

Phil's presents
Phil’s presents

I methodically sewed and this time I used an applique foot so I wouldn’t have to guess on the initial seams. Still, sewing the final seams was less ideal, because of that foot. I used a wider seam allowance. I am sure it will be fine, but it makes me want to invent a pillowcase foot.

Some of the fabrics had purple in them so I chose purple/lavender cuffs. It is an odd choice, but I think it works.

I made two of the gift pillowcases (2d photo in this post) as I had a lot of the gift fabric and figured I might as well, since I didn’t want to keep the fabric for anything. I am not sure where I got it and why I got so much of it, but I have enough to make some gift bags, too.

White Lights Pillowcase
White Lights Pillowcase

One of the pillowcases I made is really one of my favorites. I like that print. I actually have it with blue and red backgrounds as well.

This one is for my oldest niece. I didn’t have enough to make two with the same fabric, which I would have done if I had enough fabric. I already made one for my niece’s fiance’ and I can make more later.

I have two more pillowcases prepared, but I don’t know if I will get them done until next weekend. I’d like to, but we will see.

More Christmas Pillowcases

Sean's Pillowcase
Sean’s Pillowcase

I made more progress on Christmas pillowcases last week. It works very well for me if I cut the length I need from the Christmas fabric, then find some cuff fabric, pin everything and stack a bunch up, then sew on the weekends.

That is what I did with the Hallowe’en pillowcases and these two Christmas pillowcases.

These are fun. I love the California (could be Aussie/NZ as well, I guess) Christmas theme. That camper is super fun as well.

I bought enough to make two pillowcases and decided to give on to the YM and the other to the cousin who always hung out with him. A little matchy, matchy, I know, but too bad. They can make their own pillowcases if they don’t like it. 😉

YM's Christmas Pillowcase
YM’s Christmas Pillowcase

Yes, I used some Pearl Bracelets for the YM’s case. If I had had some Kona Ash, that would have worked, but I didn’t, so Pearl Bracelets it was.

Another Christmas Pillowcase

Suddenly it is September and I feel like Christmas is looming. Like a giant black raven waiting to peck my eyes out.

Anna and Elsa Pillowcase
Anna and Elsa Pillowcase

Fortunately, I want to stay away from nasty imagery so I went full force in pillowcase making department. The Anna and Elsa pillowcase is now done, which means I can pack up one family’s pillowcases and prepare to send them off around Thanksgiving.

I also cut two other Christmas pillowcases and 3 Hallowe’en pillowcases. I have a number of other Christmas fabric in the pipeline ready to go.

I cut a piece of the Anna and Elsa fabric for FOTY 2015, but really tried to avoid the faces. They aren’t creepy or anything, but I don’t want Anna or Elsa looking at me until FOTY 2015 disintegrates.

Pillowcase Tally

After one of my recent posts on pillowcases, I thought I had better do a tally regarding the Christmas pillowcases I am planning on making. The last tally I did was May 4 and I have made some progress, so I thought I had better crow a little bit.

Here is the grand total of what I still need:

  • SIL#1: 4 kids, 2 spouses/SOs
    • 3rd oldest nephew + SO
    • Oldest niece + Fiance (yes, this has changed since the last update) (DONE for fiance)
    • Nephew (not sure where he falls in the order)
    • Youngest niece (DONE)
  • SIL#2: 3 kids, 1 spouse, 2 great niece-phews
    • Oldest nephew + spouse + 2 kids (Nephew + spouse: 2 done, 1 kid: done)
    • 2d oldest nephew
    • middle of the pack nephew
  • BIL #1: 1 kid
    • 3rd youngest nephew (DONE)
  • SIL#3: 2 kids
    • Middle niece (DONE)
    • middle of the pack nephew – 4th youngest (??)
  • BIL #2: 2 kids
    • 2d youngest nephew (DONE)
    • Youngest nephew (DONE)

I am off the fence about my 3 youngest nephews. Even though I made them pillowcases last year for Christmas, they are each getting a pillowcase. My YM is also not on the list, but I will probably just send him one before the school year ends.



I am pleased with the progress I have made.


I needed some leaders and enders s I worked on the backs for the Food Quilt #2 and the Box Full of Letters quilt. I still have several Christmas pillowcases to make AND college care package pillowcases to make for the Young Man so I decided that pillowcases would be my leaders and enders.It is much easier to use mindless squares, but I didn’t have any prepared (make a to do list note) so it had to be pillowcase. I did a bit of putting together the Field Day quilt, but not much.

I finished three pillowcases, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is progress.

Gingerbread House Pillowcase
Gingerbread House Pillowcase

First, I have finished one of the Christmas pillowcases with fabric that I bought at a shop in the South Bay (forgot the name, sorry!) which I really like. The colors are cheerful and one take on the modern Christmas palette. I really like the way designers are using pink and aqua and turquoise for Christmas now. Yes, it will look dated in 10 years (remember mauve?), but I still like it. Choosing fabrics for the cuffs is always a problem for me. Not sure why. I thought this dot worked with the brown in the gingerbread houses and added a little fun fun.

Next, I made one of the college care package pillowcases. This one will be for Halloween. I don’t plan on sending giant care packages every month, but a little something every month or so will be fun. Hallowe’en is good time to fill a box with rubber spiders, mini-Snickers, spider webs and plastic ants.

Halloween Pillowcase for YM
Halloween Pillowcase for YM

I found this skeleton fabric at the Fabricworm and knew the YM would appreciate the Halloween fun. The cuff is made from an old Jennifer Sampou print from her Art Nouveau line. It has been laying around much too long and I think it works fine with the skeletons. It isn’t perfect, but it is ok and the YM won’t care.

I am feeling a lot better about my pillowcases now. They are a uniform size and I can make them quickly.

Olaf Pillowcase
Olaf Pillowcase

The last pillowcase is another for the Christmas series. I found some Frozen fabric and decided to use it to make a fun case for one of the littlest nephews. I think the orange I picked for the cuff makes for one of the best cuffs ever. Hopefully, this will delight a little boy.

I still have to make a pillowcase for his sister and she will get one from the Frozen fabric line, too. Once hers is done I can get the family’s ready to send off.

More Pillowcases

I counted up the pillowcases I need as well as the ones I have made and have a good idea of what I need to make before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, you ask?

I was thinking I would mail these out around Thanksgiving so the niece-phews could use them throughout the Christmas holiday. We’ll see.

Here is the grand total of what I need:

  • SIL#1: 4 kids, 2 spouses/SOs
    • 3rd oldest nephew + SO
    • Oldest niece + SO
    • Nephew (not sure where he falls in the order)
    • Youngest niece
  • SIL#2: 3 kids, 1 spouse, 2 great niece-phews
    • Oldest nephew + spouse + 2 kids
    • 2d oldest nephew
    • middle of the pack nephew
  • BIL #1: 1 kid
    • 3rd youngest nephew
  • SIL#3: 2 kids
    • Middle niece
    • middle of the pack nephew – 4th youngest (??)
  • BIL #2: 2 kids
    • 2d youngest nephew
    • Youngest nephew


Grand Total: 17 pillowcases needed

This does not count The Young Man. Not sure whether to include him or not. I am thinking of sending him a pillowcase per month when he goes to college. It might be the only time he changes his pillowcase. (EEWWW!).

I made two last year and 7 the other day. Total of 9, so I am halfway done.

2 Snowman Pillowcases
2 Snowman Pillowcases
1 Opposite Snowman Pillowcase
1 Opposite Snowman Pillowcase

Now, the thing is that I made 3 pillowcases for the littlest nephews a few years ago. They should still have theirs, but it somehow seems unfair to leave them out. I was also thinking of giving them the designs above. They are close in age and often play together. I would give the 2 that are the closest in age (different families) the top two and then the littlest nephew the bottom one. I want them to know which are theirs, so I don’t want to duplicate the designs.

Still if I give those three away when they have already gotten them, I have to make three more.

Halloween Pillowcase
Halloween Pillowcase

I think the Halloween pillowcase needs to go to the youngest niece. It just seems like her and I wonder if she will notice that it is not Christmas. Since I would be giving them out together, she will probably notice and think I am odd. Perhaps she will get two.

Flannel Pillowcase
Flannel Pillowcase

Finally, this one is flannel and nice and cuddly, except for the cuff. It is also fairly staid. Not sure who will get this. Perhaps a spouse?

Christmas Pillowcases

7 Christmas Pillowcases
7 Christmas Pillowcases

Last year, I thought about making pillowcases for all of the nieces and nephews. It didn’t get done. I didn’t do it. I made an effort, though. I pressed a bunch of Christmas fabric at some point and it has been hanging over a piece of furniture for months. For some reason, I decided to get those pieces of fabric out of my life. Well, not out of my life quite yet, but into a form where I can get them out of my life in December.

I made 7 pillowcases on Sunday. I don’t really like making pillowcases, but making them in batches is much better than one at a time. I get a feel for the cutting and once I deal with the cutting issues, the sewing is much, much easier. The sewing is actually really easy – 5 seams and the pillowcase is finished.

Christmas Pillowcase Project Round 1

A few weeks ago I posted a pillowcase tutorial that used some sort of Christmas fabric. I think that I really want to make pillowcases for my nieces and nephews. For those that are married, I will make one for the spouse and children as well. I thought I mentioned it, but don’t see the words on my blog. It may have been that I was thinking about it since I made the three pillowcases for the littlest nephews last year.

I have a bunch of Christmas fabric that I bought on sale for gift bags. I never made those gift bags as I really have enough and am happy with the ones I have. The fabric was languishing (read taking up precious space and getting on my nerves) in one of my drawers. I finally decided that I would actually make pillowcases for pre-Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews so they could enjoy the holiday season while they sleep.

This means the following: <Quilt Math ALERT: Breathe deeply and don’t panic>

13 nieces and nephews
+1 great niece
+1 great nephew
+1 niece spouse
16 total pillowcases
-3 pillowcases already made for nephews last year
13 total to make by Thanksgiving*
-2 already made this year (see this post (-;   )
11 pillowcases to make by Thanksgiving

I will make as many as I can and I will start from the top down so kids in the same family or household all get the pillowcases at the same time if I can’t finish them by Thanksgiving. I feel a little bad that the littlest nephews won’t get them with their cousins, but since I plan on sending them early (so the cases can be enjoyed during the season) rather than giving them out at christmas, they really won’t know. I am pretty sure the 3rd and 5th graders don’t read this blog.

I washed all of the Christmas fabric for the pillowcases and decided to press it as I made the cases. If you have read the gift bag tutorial, you know that I don’t wash fabric I use for gift bags as I like the sizing to give the bags a bit of body and they will probably never be washed, so I don’t take the time. There is minimal pressing so I don’t break out from pressing the unwashed fabric.

Although I haven’t used up all the fabric I have, I had to buy some fun, modern Christmas fabric on sale after Grand Parlor because I loved the color. I think I bought enough for 4 pillowcases, but can’t remember.

Christmas Pillowcases
Christmas Pillowcases

Last week, I finished up the two pillowcases I started the week before I went to Vancouver.

The main body of the pillowcases is the Christmas fabric and the cuff is some fabric that looks like crumpled paper that I got in the mid 1990s. I remember getting that fabric from Lisa Call, who bought a bunch of it in several different colorways and distributed it to those who ordered and paid. I was really excited about the fabric, then never did much with this particular colorway. I used the turquoise and rose colors in various projects. Green has never been a favorite of mine, but the fabric worked very well with the Christmas fabric. (Aside: use your beloved fabric before it ends up as the cuffs of pillowcases!)

I decided I didn’t want to bother with the trim. I don’t really like the way it has come out on the ones I have made. I also think it is an extra bit of annoyance when I am trying to plow through a project. I might feel differently on future pillowcases, but for now that is the word.

I do want to try piping again and if I can perfect my piping technique, then that might look lovely. On the other hand, piping might just make ugly lines on the nieces and nephews faces when they sleep. For now, I will leave it.

I might even get the packs ready to send to people, so there isn’t a lot of packing up required. That might be a little creepy organized even for me. We will have to see.

It is kind of fun to have a project like this. I don’t think I have had one since I made the card holders. I feel like I am spreading the quilt/fabric love when I make useful stuff that non-quilt people won’t wonder too much about. Who knows? They all might think I am insane regardless.






*Thanksgiving is kind of my unofficial cutoff time for sewing projects like this. I go later sometimes, but really try to have big projects done by Thanksgiving so that I am not sewing at the last minute. A lot of my spare time after Thanksgiving is taken up by writing cards.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

I took this photo back in September at the Alden Lane Nursery Outdoor Quilt Show. The quilts got people to the nursery, which actually sells plants and garden stuff (yes, my technical term).

Although, not all of you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you will project peace and love out into the world in your own way so that we can have a better world this month and next year.


















*See more terms for peace at Columbia



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