Free Stuff

Merry Medallion Quilt – Free Christmas (in July) Quilt-Along!

Yay! Christmas in July is almost upon us again, and I’m ready with loads of Very Merry Projects!

Throughout July, I’ll be posting full instructions for a jolly, surprisingly simple, Christmas quilt. I call it the Merry Medallion Quilt!

Merry Medallion Quilt design by Julie Zaichuk-Ryan

HO HO HO!

I designed this because, coming up to the holidays last year, I had a chat with some folks who said they’d have to start months ahead if they ever hoped to get a Christmas quilt done in time for the holidays – and I totally know how it is! I originally planned to make this quilt last year, but started thinking about it way too late, and really, rushing to finish by a holiday deadline (when we all have so many holiday and gift crafts going on already) just isn’t festive at all, is it?

And thus was born the Merry Medallion / Christmas In July Quilt-Along! I wanted to make a second holiday quilt for the house anyway (what on earth is cozier than tucking under holly jolly quilts to watch your favorite Christmas movies?!) and figured I might as well make it possible for you all to join along! I designed this quilt specifically to be easy to put together in an organized, week-by-week fashion, with very simple shapes and techniques, over the five weeks of July – I guarantee you a finished quilt top by the end of the month. That leaves you five more months to quilt and bind it at your leisure for a finished quilt by Christmas!

We will be making a 60″ x 60″ lap / throw-sized quilt. This design is perfect for an experienced quilter who wants a relaxing, stress-free project, or a newer quilter looking for the next step up. And I’ve designed it to be fat-quarter friendly, for the most part, so go dig in your stash and gather the following:


Merry Medallion Fabric Requirements:

finished size: 60″ x 60″

– 5 red fat quarters
– 4 green fat quarters
– 8 low volume / background fat quarters (white in the diagram above)
– 3 low volume / background 1/2-meter/yd cuts (for the long borders between rounds)
– 1 mid-volume* fat quarter or 3 7″x7″ scraps (for border corners, where red dots are shown in the diagram above)

* I may have just made up the term ‘mid-volume’ – I mean a fabric that will give a slight contrast to the border fabrics, but not compete with the red and green in the other rounds.

An important note about red and green fabric requirements: This is a scrappy design, meant to give you a scrappy look even in the center star, but even so, the amounts listed are the minimum requirement. I will provide cutting diagrams to ensure that these amounts will be enough, but I think this design will be even cuter with more prints in the mix! It’s a scrap-happy design, so feel free to gather up all of your red and green scraps or just add more fat quarters to the pile for fun!

To finish the quilt later, you’ll also need:
– 3 1/2 meters/yds backing fabric
– 1/2 meter/yd binding fabric
– Batting (amount dependent on width)


Here’s my initial fabric pull, a happy mix of novelty Christmas fabrics and regular prints – you’ll see my two ‘mid-volume’ possibilities at the bottom left there:

Merry Medallion Fabric Choices

If you’d like to play with color layout and go your own way on fabrics / colors, I’ve made you this handy-dandy coloring sheet to doodle on:

Download Merry Medallion Coloring Sheet Here

We’ll start cutting fabric on the 3rd of July, and I’ll post a new tutorial every following Friday in July. Please join in, I really love sewing with you guys! And if you have any questions, ask away – I’m here to help!

Oh, and if you want to play along, but think my quilt design is stupid, or you have other Christmas crafts to be getting on with, join us anyway! Let’s band together to banish December stress and have fun with Christmas crafting! No matter which project(s) you work on, tag photos on IG with #xmasinjulyalong and/or #merrymedallionqal to join in the festive fun!

Fat Quarters Project Kit Winner! Is it YOU?!?!?

Folks, it’s time to pick a winner! Oh, the suspense is killing me!!!

Winner FQ Book Project Kit

#13, c’mon down!

Comment #13 was by Robin Wilkinson, who, as it happens, is a regular reader of my silly ‘ole blog – and she’s an orange peel quilt-alonger! How cool is that?! In response to my question, Robin said:

Recently I set out to wash and refold all my 2 yds or less fabric stash. I have them arranged by color and I was shocked when I finished just the brown stack (not my fave by far) and found that it contained 20 yards! Between inheirited fabric and gifted fabric and bought fabric, I estimate about 400 yards. Please don’t tell my husband!!

Woohoo, that sounds like a fabric-y treasure trove! But don’t worry, we won’t tell – your secret is safe with us. :)

Keep an eye on your email, Robin – I’ll be in touch shortly to get your prize to you! And thanks to all of you for playing along and seeing the humor in our craft-materials addiction. I promise I’ll show you my own fairly small, but beloved, stash very soon!

Ohmygosh, I’m in a Book! Plus, Giveaway: Fat Quarters by Lark Crafts Project Kit!

Fat Quarters - Lark Crafts - Giveaway!

HOLY CRAP, GUYS – LOOKIT! I’M IN A BOOK!!!

Fat Quarters - Lark Crafts - Giveaway!

Out in the world, in bookstores and everything, is a book with my name in it. DUDE. That’s amazing. I know for a lot of my fellow peeps in this book, it’s old hat, but this is my first contribution ever and I’m so, so excited!

This lovely book is Lark Crafts“Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas” — a book to celebrate those little pieces of quilting fabric we just can’t seem to resist. Yummmm, fabric pretties! There’s a ton of wonderful projects in this book, all designed to make great use of your FQ stash, by some seriously badass crafters: my lovely friends Carina and Nicole, the talented
Kaye Prince from Miss Print, Amy Friend from During Quiet Time, Ruth Singer – and so many more. Tons of loveliness!

Fat Quarters - Lark Crafts - Giveaway!

My project is a mini-quilt – or table setting / large mug rug – with a row of sweet little appliquéd hearts and contrast hand-stitching. It uses just three fat quarters, is infinitely customizable (a little extra embroidery, anyone?! That would be so cute!), and is a perfect showcase project for those absolute favorite fabrics hoarded in your stash.

“Fat Quarters” is out today in the States and on May 7th in the UK (available to pre-order via Amazon.co.uk) – but available right here on my little blog today as just one part of my spectacular Holy-Crap-I’m-in-a-Book-Giveaway!

Fat Quarters - Lark Crafts - Giveaway!

Lark Crafts was kind enough to offer up a copy of “Fat Quarters”, which I’ve paired with a kit to make my project, for one lucky winner! That means everything above: a copy of “Fat Quarters”, three designer fat quarters*, a piece of Wonder Under fusible web, and three balls of DMC Perle Cotton – you only need two colors of perle cotton for this project, but I chose fabrics that will work well no matter how you arrange them, so I’ve included threads that do the same. You’ll only need sewing thread and a scrap of batting to make my “All My Heart Mini-Quilt”!

This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere, because that’s how I roll, and will be chosen by random number generator. No hoops for extra entries, just leave one comment answering the following:

How big is your fabric stash – no, really?? It’s ok, we’re all friends here, we won’t tell anyone. And if not fabric, what other craft material do you stash most? What item in your stash can you not bear to use or part with?

That’s it! I’ll close the giveaway on March 27th (end of next week) and announce a winner over that weekend – go go go!

*Fabrics from: Winter Wonderland by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda, Bloomsbury Park for Liberty Lifestyle, and Shape of Spring by Eloise Renouf for Cloud9 Fabrics.

Quick Christmas Gifts + 20% Off Knitting Patterns

Little Dorrit & Co. will share another new Christmas-themed embroidery pattern with you next week (and it’s a darn cutie!) but until then, here’s a little reminder of my already-existing holiday-themed tutorials!

Whip up a few Liberty fabric heart ornaments – a very classy and quick gift!

Liberty Hearts Ornament Tutorial

Use up Christmas scraps (or just red and green bits, like I did) and make an adorable wreath ornament (this one’s my favorite!):

Scrappy Wreath Tutorial

And lastly, combine a little stitching and patchwork (why the heck not!) and make yourself a Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug. Or just use the provided 1960s-style embroidery pattern and stitch in on the holiday project of your choice!

Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!

Also, don’t forget to check out my knitting patterns via Ravelry, which make great gifts, if I do say so myself:

Knitting Pattern Sale for Christmas in July!

I’ve just added an automatic 20% off discount to all of the knitting patterns in my Ravelry shop, which will be applied at checkout! This discount will be good until the end of July – it didn’t seem fair to celebrate Christmas in July with only the embroiderers. :)

(And of course the embroidery discount is still going strong – 20% off Little Dorrit & Co. embroidery patterns with the code CHRISTMASINJULY at checkout!)

HO HO HO!

The Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial!

The Little Elves - Little Dorrit & Co. Embroidery Pattern - In the shop now!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m often unsure what to do with embroideries once they’re finished! I love making them into useful or decorative items, which is why we try to share ideas for turning your Little Dorrit & Co. embroideries into finished objects. If you’ve grabbed yourself our new Little Elves embroidery pattern, here’s how to turn it into an easy holiday wall hanging. After all, there’s a lot of embroidery in there – it should be a feature!

THE LITTLE ELVES WALL HANGING TUTORIAL

Finished size: 19″ square
1/4″ seams throughout
Press seams outward (away from embroidery)

Here’s what you need:

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

  • Finished Little Elves embroidery
  • Fat quarter for border around embroidery (we used an unbranded red pindot print)
  • Fat quarter for backing (we used Kona Mint)
  • Fat quarter for binding (we used a print from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence)
  • A piece of batting, about 20″ square
  • Standard (machine) sewing tools: thread, scissors, rotary cutter, etc.
  • Thread for hand-stitched quilting (optional – we used DMC Perle No. 8, color 321)
  • Curved basting pins (optional)
  • Wooden dowel for hanging, about 17-18″ long

(Before we start, I want to point out that my tutorial for our Night Before Christmas pillow is basically interchangeable with this one up to a point, but for slightly different measurements. They even have the same finished size – so you can always make the Little Elves into a pillow, or the Night Before Christmas into a wall hanging! Use the fabric cutting measurements for the embroidery you’ve done, but follow the instructions for whichever finished object you prefer!)

Here’s what to cut:

  • Trim finished embroidery to 14″ square, with design centered
  • From your border fabric: 2 strips 14″ x 3″ and 2 strips 19″ x 3″
  • 2 pieces 3″ x 5″ (for hanging tabs – from scraps or leftover from trimming border pieces!)
  • about 80″-85″ worth of binding strips, 2.25″ wide (if you cut from the shorter end of your FQ, cut 3 strips)

All we need to do to make the top of this mini-quilt is sew the border strips to the embroidery. Sew the shorter strips to the top and bottom, press the seams away from the embroidery, then do the same with the longer strips on each side:

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

Done! Now make a quilt sandwich with your backing fabric (right side down), then batting, then the mini-quilt top you just finished (right side up). Make sure everything is nice and smooth and secure layers with curved basting pins or whatever basting method you prefer.

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

You might prefer to do a little machine quilting, but I stitched ours by hand. I used DMC Perle Cotton No. 8, in color 321 – a cheerful, Christmassy red.

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

I simply went around either side of the border’s seam in a fairly large running running stitch. Yum – I do enjoy large stitches.

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

Trim away excess backing and batting to square up your finished sandwich.

Now we’ll make a pair of hanging tabs for the back of the quilt. (Please forgive that ours is shown hung with washi tape above! There’s no well-lit good-hanging spot in this crazy house!) Take your 3″ x 5″ pieces and fold them with 3″ sides together, wrong sides together. Sew along the 3″ side:

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

Then turn right-side-out and press with the seam in the middle of one side. Fold again, raw edges together (and seam sandwiched in the middle) and press.

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

Pin each tab, raw edges aligned with the top edge of the quilt, about 3″ from each side:

Little Elves Wall Hanging Tutorial

Baste in place (less than 1/4″ from edge, so the basting stitches will be hidden by your binding). Now time for binding!

I will send you over to another tutorial for the binding, because I’ve already shown my binding method in my Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!
Go over there and bind away!

To hang your quilt, hand-stitch the folded edge of each tab down the same as you did your binding, then slide your dowel inside the tabs. Rest the dowel on a couple of nails or hooks and that’s it! Enjoy your Little Elves wall hanging through the holiday season!

The Little Elves - Little Dorrit & Co. Embroidery Pattern - In the shop now!

(Did this tutorial make you want to get your Christmas stitch on? Save 20% on Little Dorrit & Co. embroidery patterns through July with the code CHRISTMASINJULY.)

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