Christmas in July

Merry Medallion Quilt Week 1: Cutting Fabric

Ok, is everybody ready? Unfortunately, this quilt project kind of starts with a whimper, not a bang, because we have to spend the first week cutting fabric. Lots and lots of cutting! Because you want all the prints all mixed up, there’s no good way around cutting everything at the start, which is, admittedly, a little anticlimactic. On the other hand, most of the cutting will be done and the rest is all sewing fun, fun, fun!

Merry Medallion Cut Fabrics

To make it simpler for you, I’ve made cutting diagrams for each color of fabric, and a checklist, which you can download and print below. This should be totally straight-forward, but shout if you have any questions. Now, please keep in mind that these diagrams are what you need to cut if you have the minimum fabric requirements – if you want to add more fabrics or scraps, use the checklist to divide each piece type by the number of fabrics you have. Does that make sense?

Download Merry Medallion Cutting Diagrams and Checklist Here

So this week’s assignment is to cut all of your red, green, and low volume fat quarters – in the end, you should have an array of squares and rectangles like you see above. Don’t worry about the mid-volume fat quarter or the low volume half-meter cuts yet, we’ll do that last tiny bit of cutting when we need them.

Download the PDF above and get your rotary cutter all warmed up – and see you back here next Friday to start sewing!

Christmas In July-along Starts Today!

Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!

Ho Ho Ho! On this most-heat-wavest of days, I welcome you to Christmas in July at button button! This was Mom’s idea last year and it was a great one – whether you’re joining in the Merry Medallion quilt-along or stitching up some Christmas patterns from Little Dorrit & Co. — or working on something not designed by me at all :) — I hope you’ll join in the festive summer fun!

Over the last handful of years, I’ve really turned into a Christmas Grump – grouchy and resenting the whole thing, just counting the days until it went away. Until I realized that my grinchy outlook started right around when I started making tons of stuff during the holiday season – gifts for friends and family, gifts from friends and family to others, decorations, quilts, new patterns … the holidays went from being a cozy, flannel bubble to a sleepless panic. Ho Ho Ho?

Mom’s idea was to use Christmas in July to get a head start – to minimize December’s to-do list, leaving more time around the actual holidays for snuggling under quilts and drinking hot chocolate. And it’s fun to do these projects together, when we can just enjoy them and not be freaking out about how many days left until Christmas! So no matter what projects or gifts you’re working on, join in! Whatever you want to be done for this year’s holiday season – pull it out and let’s craft together this month!

If anyone out there is with me, be sure to share your projects in the comments or tag photos with #xmasinjulyalong so we can all cheer each other on!

(The photo above is detail from my free Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!)

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


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!

Christmas in July Quilt-Along Teaser!

Who’s up for another quilt-along??? Where our last one was long and involved – this one will be quick and carefree. Seriously, I offer an all fun, money-back guarantee!


I’m just finishing up the details on a very merry red-and-green design, created specifically for simple week-by-week instructions and quick construction. I promise you, if you sew-along, you will have a finished Christmas quilt top by the end of July. That gives you four to five months to quilt and bind it so that you can have a cozy, festive quilt in plenty of time for the holiday snuggling!

I have to admit, I’m slightly worried that no one will quilt-along with me and I’ll be playing with my pretty Christmas fabrics all by myself, so c’mon, join me – it’ll be so fun!!

I’ll post the full design and fabric requirements next week!

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