Christmas Joy Quilt - using 12 fat quarters

This is a short and sweet blog post to share about my Christmas Joy quilt that I made this year! It's hard to believe that Christmas Joy was my second quilt pattern. It's one that I've revisited multiple times and each time, I find a way to teak the instructions to make something completely new and fun. This was also Peter's first quilt pattern! Last year he made a scrappy Christmas Joy using fat quarters and a scrappy background, which you can read about here

For this quilt, I wanted to use our 2021 Christmas fat quarter bundle, called Kringle. This is our third annual Christmas bundle but it might be my favorite! I created a Nightingale quilt using our Christmas bundle last year, which you can read about here

But back to this quilt!! I created the Kringle 12 piece FQ bundle as sort of a traditional/moody Christmas palette. I love traditional red and green quilts, but I especially love that this one isn't overly festive. If I *accidently* leave this quilt out all year, I don't think it'd feel too out of place. While the colors definitely convey the Christmas spirit, the prints are relatively neutral for year round use. In the bundle, I used a mixture of Kona solids, Art Gallery prints and some yarn-dyed wovens from Ruby Star Society. The mix of textures is so fun and interesting!!

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For my background fabric, I didn't want to use a stark white...it felt too crisp to me. So I ended up using Kona Ivory, which feels a little worn and vintage. I like the soft cream against the fat quarter fabrics. It lets them stand out, but not too much....if that makes sense. :)

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I went back and forth about which pattern I wanted to use for this. With 12 fat quarters, it ended up being perfect for a throw size Christmas Joy. And it's been a while since I made one, so I was kind of itching to make the pattern again. This design feels very traditional and nostalgic to me. When I think about Christmas decor and the feelings that come along with the season, this pattern feels like "home" to me. Here's a look at the Christmas Joy quilt that's on the cover of the pattern.

I did a mock-up of what it would look like for one FQ per block. Overall, I liked it...but it felt a little "flat" to me. So then, I decided to try something new by switching the Star and Background components within the pattern to give the stars an inverse look. This was really easy to do because the Star and Background pieces in the block are essentially the same exact pieces except the Background will have one additional piece that goes in the center of the block. 

Additionally, I wanted to try adding a mix and match technique. Similar to my Nightingale quilt pattern, I divided the block components into groups. Group one includes the HSTs and Background squares on the 4 corners. Group two includes the 4 inside rectangles. Essentially, from each FQ, you'll cut out enough pieces to create ONE block. Then you'll mix and match the groups until there is an even mixture of colors and textures. It was super fun to create various combinations! 

 

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Recently, I've liked leaving the cornerstones out of patterns but I really felt like this one needed it to add some movement and separation. I toyed around with leaving out the sashing for this quilt, but ultimately I added it back in to make my quilt top a little larger. I did, however use sashing that is 1" smaller than what the pattern calls for. This was just to make a slightly smaller quilt (50" x 66" vs. 54" x 71" in the pattern), but feel free to use the regular size sashing and cornerstones if you wish!

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Have you ever chain pieced your rows? This technique makes things super quick and organized when you are doing repetitive piecing. I made a Reel of this process over on Instagram, which can be found here.

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I sent my quilt top off to Sarah of Stitch Mode Quilts for the long arm quilting. She's done quite a few quilts for me recently and I've really enjoyed working with her! For this quilt, I wanted something sort of classic and festive, so we ended up going with Clamshell Mushroom by Karlee Porter an it worked out perfectly! I didn't even think about it when I was choosing this pantograph, but this also reminds me of little halos ....like for baby Jesus. Now I can't look at it and see anything else!

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I used leftovers from my Kringle FQ bundle to create 2.25" strips for my binding. There is more than enough fabric for this, so it was nice to not need anything else!

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For the backing, I used Unruly Terrace Earth by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. This is one of my favorite prints! 

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There you have it! I hope this gives you a little bit of guidance if you choose to create the pattern in this way. Again, you can't go wrong with the traditional Christmas Joy either...but it's nice to have options, isn't it?

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