Santa in the Trees

Here's a quilt I made several years ago, but is still one of my favorites!

Somehow this quilt never made it to the blog. Probably because I stopped blogging as much when I discovered Instagram (dang Instagram!). This makes me sad. Because, although I post a pretty picture and a little blurb on Insta, I don't give half as many details about the inspiration, design and construction process, or talk much about what was going on at the time I made the quilt. And I forget over time. I occasionally go back and read old blog posts and it's like a fun little walk down memory lane. So this is me, 5 years late, blogging about one of my favorite quilts, so I can read about it later. 

The inspiration for this quilt came back in 2016. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was wandering through Hobby Lobby (my mothership). On one of their beautifully arranged display shelves, I saw a tall pointy cone that was painted like a Santa. And I thought, "Oooh... cute! A cone shaped Santa!" I couldn't think of a good reason to buy it at the time, so I just stashed the image in my brain and kept browsing. A week or so earlier, I had been trying to decide what Christmas quilt I wanted to make (just like I do every year!) I had seen a few tree quilts online and I kept thinking about making one. And then my brain translated that cone shaped Santa into quilting format and it became a triangle shaped Santa. So over the next few days, those two ideas morphed into one and I started plotting a tree quilt with a triangle shaped Santa. The photo below is from my camera roll from a few days after my Hobby Lobby trip in 2016 - I didn't get a pic of the Santa at the store, so I googled and found these similar Santas.

So, one thing led to another and by the end of 2016 I had a bunch of pieced trees and a Santa up on my design wall. I used EQ7 to design the trees and Inkscape for the Santa. I tried to use green fabrics I had in my stash, but ended up buying a few of course. I also decided that a mix of white on white prints would be fun for the white fabrics, so that's what I used for the white backgrounds.

The Santa was made using applique and I had to make that block a couple of times. The first time, it ended up not being tall enough to match the trees - and if I made it taller, the point on the hat would get cut off in the seam allowance. I finally figured out that I had to sew a blank block in with all the trees first and then applique it over the top. I used warm and white batting for the beard, hat and coat trim- although next time I will probably try using white fleece or flannel. (I'm not sure how well batting will hold up when it is on the outside of the quilt!) I also used a shimmery gold fabric for the belt buckle. Ohhh applique is my favorite!! 

I put all the blocks up on my design wall and tried to finish it by Christmas that year, but alas, I didn't get it done. I decided to just leave it up on the wall in our living room for my husbands work Christmas party (it made the cutest Christmas decoration) and then it stayed on that wall through March before I finally sewed it all together. On the bright side, I had plenty of time to rearrange the tree blocks until I liked the position of the fabrics!

I quilted it with the pantograph "Snow Crystals" by Anne Bright Designs. I love all the little swirls and snowflakes - so perfect for this quilt! 

For the binding, I chose classic red and white stripes! Can't go wrong with stripes!

Since then I have made a couple of table runners in the same style and one of these days I am going to make a pillow. Maybe today! It is such a fun one to make!

Merry Christmas!

The pattern for the quilt is available HERE.
Table Runner Pattern HERE.