Joy to the World,

which we really need this coming year. While it’s too late to get this quilt done for Christmas, it doesn’t matter! Just leave off the holly, and it’s a year-round throw. If red is too harsh for your room, try it in cranberry or pine green. Actually, it’s beautiful in royal blue, but it could be any color. You could also change the tune–it has “Joy to the World,” but you could make it purple and and do Prince’s “Purple Rain” or in gold for “Fur Elise” or even pastel with “Rock-a-Bye, Baby”-hey, it’s YOUR quilt and your choice. On sale for $3.50 until the end of the year. CLICK HERE

“Joy to the World” cc1015 by LJ Christensen

What makes it amazingly more simple than it looks is the use of faux-piecing for the keys and my friend, black BIAS TAPE, for the black keys and note stems. Also use a braid for the lines of the music. I always look for shortcuts, and this quilt is full of them, yet still very impressive. Yes, some time-consuming applique, but on the other hand, very little piecing.

If you are more interested in the holly, you can get the pattern for just $1 through the end of the year. It looks hard, but the trick is in using water-soluble stabilizer and old-fashioned yoyos. CLICK HERE

Basically, you use fusible web to glue two leaf fabrics together, back to back. Zigzag around them in a leaf pattern, cut it out, THEN sandwich it between two layers of the water-soluble stabilizer and do a wider satin stitch that covers the first. Pull off excess stabilizer and soak off the remainder. If you leave a little, though, it stiffens the leaf. The yoyos are just stuffed with a little polyfill and pulled tight. Hello, holly!

I’m wishing you a fairly Merry Christmas and hopefully, a grand NEW YEAR! I’m eager to stop making masks and start making new quilts. I have lots of designs in the works….so keep tuned!

Have a Jolly Holly Christmas!

Decorate your house, yourself and your quilts. We certainly don’t have time to start new quilts this time of year. However, sometimes you can cheat just a little and simply whip on or pin on an embellishment to change the look, such as wreath and bows I added to “Log Cabin in the Pines“:

“Log Cabin in the Pines”cc 2305 decorated for Christmas!

To help you decorate, I have a simple way of making holly. “3D Jolly Holly Applique“cc2205 explains just how to make fun double-sided holly leaves and stuffed berries, using paper-backed fusible web and water-soluble stabilizer. Once you know the technique, you can use it for all types of flowers, leaves, and other appliques. I’ve put the pattern on sale for just a $1.00 until the New Year, so don’t miss it! click here for more info

“3D Jolly Holly Applique”cc2205 by LJ Christensen

I have to apologize for letting down my blog this month. Like all the other elves out there, I’ve been so busy wrapping, packing, trimming and participating in two art shows….that I finally ran out of time (not to say energy). But I have to say I’m really blessed this year. My son is home, and he and my sweet husband have been extremely supportive in helping me move into my new Christensen Creations Sewgocreate Studio. No, it’s still not finished (I say, gritting my teeth), but outside of a custom desk, cabinet and a couple of tweaks, it’s nearly there. Now….what to put on which shelf? (What a wonderful problem to have!)

Sneak peak of Christensen Creations Sewgocreate Studio by LJ Christensen

As I look at the photo above, I’m realizing the lavender quilt on the quilting machine does NOT look good with the log cabin quilt. However, what it means is that soon in the new year, there will be a lavender castle pattern. Also note the blue/white one on the top right, called “Wedgewood Plates.” It’s close, too! Many more to come. I counted about 25 new patterns in various stages of development. New this week is “Check Out my Purple Heart,” which I hope to have ready before Valentine’s Day. Then there’s “Sssnakes” appropriate only for intrepid youngsters and “Snowflake,” a simple wall hanging. I had planned to finish it before Christmas, but as we’re experiencing the 70’s here in mid-Alabama, somehow it just didn’t seem seasonal. Maybe Jan and Feb will bring some snow. We’ll see. I like to design when and where the spirit moves me. Right now it’s hard to settle and sew, though, when there’s a new studio that needs to be outfitted and loaded. I confess to discombobulation!

But I’m definitely having a GREAT Merry Christmas! I hope you all are, too!