Incorporate Favorite Christmas Art Into Quilt Patterns

By: Penny Halgren

Christmas art quilt patterns are great heirlooms, but don't be overwhelmed by the project. Just keep these tips in mind, whether piecing a Christmas art quilt pattern or appliquing one.

First, select simple art. Maybe your first Christmas art quilt pattern design shouldn't be an intricate nativity scene. Try starting first with a Christmas tree.

A Christmas art quilt pattern that centers on a Christmas tree can be very simple or more intricate, depending on your skill level. It could be as easy as stitching a large green print triangle for the evergreen and a small rectangle for the trunk.

Use your computer's clip art collection - or your favorite online clip art - for design inspiration. Once you find the Christmas art you want to use for your quilt pattern, print it out and you'll have your Christmas art.

Once you've selected your Christmas art, quilt pattern selection is next. Will you appliqu?our Christmas art one large 12-inch squares or incorporate it into another pattern, like a nine patch? Maybe you'll choose to appliqu?our Christmas art onto a large panel in the center of your quilt and border with several blocks of your favorite quilt pattern. It's up to you!

Maybe the Christmas art you want to incorporate into a quilt pattern is a family photo from Christmas past. What an exciting way to create a family favorite!

There are a couple of ways to get your photo onto the quilt. I recommend putting the photo on a quilt block prior to piecing. In case something goes awry in the transfer process, it's much easier to cut another block than to create a whole other quilt!

Photo transferring is easy. The transfer paper is available at most craft stores. If you'll be printing the photo on darker fabric, make sure to get transfer paper especially formulated for dark fabric. Follow the directions included to create your photo Christmas art quilt pattern.

Another method of transferring photos is through direct to fabric digital printing. It will cost a little more than doing the transfer yourself, but the water-based ink goes straight into the fibers of your cotton fabric. The photo will be soft to the touch because it actually becomes part of the fabric.

Digital printing has long life, which is important if you plan to use the quilt and will need to wash it frequently. Some photo transfers do not last through multiple washings. Call area t-shirt printers to ask if they offer digital garment printing services. Most are screen printers so you'll have to ask for a digital direct to garment printer that does not use sublimation. Wording your question that way should help you weed through to find a good photo printer for your Christmas art quilt pattern.

If you're not interested in appliqu?there are several quilt patterns that have Christmas trees, bells, or wreaths pieced into the design. Choosing one of these traditional Christmas quilt patterns would be an easy way to create a holiday family heirloom.

If you chose to piece a Christmas art quilt pattern like that, appliqu?ouldn't be necessary. To add your own flair to the traditional pieced tree pattern, you could embellish the trees with buttons, iron on rhinestones, rick-rack garland, etc.

Once you have completed your Christmas art quilt pattern, don't forget to sign and date the quilt. Use a fabric marker to sign your name and date the quilt. You may also choose to use simple embroidery to stitch your name and date into the quilt. Remember, your creation won't be complete without your name and the date on which it was completed!

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