It's never too early to get excited for Christmas! And since this whimsical wintery quilt requires a fair amount of hand-stitching, you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to complete it. I love the meditate quality of applique, and its handmade nature is well-suited to holiday decor. Feel free to play around with different color combinations-- a black background would be very striking, or a white one would emphasize the snowy feel of this scene.
Two Bella Solids Charm Packs (SKU# 9900PP-20)
One Bella Solids Moda Candy/Mini Charm Pack (SKU# 9900MC-30A)
1 1/2 Yards Bella Solids Gray for background and binding
1/2 Yard Bella Solids Snow for tree
1 Yard Christmas Countdown for backing
Card stock or preferred template material
Fabric pen or pencil
1. First, create four circle templates: one large 4 1/2"-diameter, one medium 3 1/2"-diameter, one small 2 1/2"-diameter, and one tiny 1 1/2"-diameter.
2. From the 5" charms, trace and cut a total of 7 large circles and 24 medium circles, cutting along the traced line.
3. Trace a small circle in the center of each large circle, then cut out inside the traced line, allowing a generous 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat with tiny circles in the center of each medium circle. You should have donut-shaped fabric pieces.
4. Trace a tiny circle on 24 of the 2" charms, and cut out allowing a generous 1/4" seam around the traced line circle. Do the same with the small circles, tracing them onto the 5" squares and cutting out with a generous 1/4" seam around the drawn line.
5. From the Bella Solids Snow, cut one rectangle 8 1/2" x 4" and another 17" x 21". Take the larger rectangle and fold it in half along the 21" length, then trace a diagonal as shown. Cut along the traced line through both layers so that when you unfold the fabric you have a triangle.
6. From the gray fabric, cut a rectangle 42" x 38". Lay the triangle and rectangle in the lower left corner of the background fabric, approximately 2" from the side and bottom. Since you will be folding under 1/4" around the edges of both shapes when you applique, they should be overlapping a 1/4" so that when you sew, the folded edges will be touching. Pin in place.
7. Arrange the circles on the tree and the upper right portion of the quilt top as you like. Each two-toned circle consists of either a large circle with a small circle layered (and centered) beneath it, or a medium circle with a tiny circle layered beneath it. I placed 2 large circles and 5 medium circles in the tree itself, then arranged the rest in a billowing motion starting at the top of the tree. Pin all pieces in place (I find it easiest to use safety pins for all initial pinning, then replacing these with straight pins as I begin stitching each segment).
8. Time for some hand stitching! The outside of the tree body and the tree stump are stitched with regular applique, folding under about a 1/4" along the edges as you sew. I folded the top tip of the tree so it was flat for about 1/2".
The circles are stitched with a combination of regular and reverse applique. Work on one circle at a time; first, cut into the interior 1/4" seam allowance every 1/4" or so, then reverse applique the interior in place, stitching through the quilt back and the smaller circle that's layered underneath while folding the seam allowance under as you go. Then, stitch the exterior of the circle using regular applique, folding under a scant 1/4".
9. When you're done with the appliqué, baste and quilt as desired. I stitched curlicues in the center of each circle, then swirls in the exteriors. I chose a loose and wavy stitch for the background to accentuate the winter wonderland feel. Use the remaining gray fabric for the quilt's binding.
One festive wall quilt (38" x 48") to hang up during the holidays. You could also use it as a table centerpiece for a yuletide fete.