Christmas in July

When it’s one of the hottest summers on record, and your hobby involves layering warm fabric and batting, what is a quilter to do? Make a Christmas quilt, of course!

I’ve been playing with a brand new line of Christmas fabric from Riley Blake Designs called Winterberry. It’s a gorgeous modern take on Christmas, especially because I focussed primarily on the red, white and black prints from the collection. I’ve never really been one to gush over the “hand” of quilt cotton but I must say this fabric is so buttery soft! Here’s a peek at my fabric pull:

Winterberry

I didn’t have a solid plan figured out for this wintery quilt but I like to always try something new with each quilt I make, and I knew I wanted to try strip piecing. I cut up my half-yard cuts of fabric into strips, taking extra care to cut the gingham along the straight edges of the plaid.

Winterberry

Once I had my strips sliced up, I decided I wanted my design to be based on equilateral triangles. I got to work piecing my strips together, then slicing them up into perfect triangles. I made 6 triangles from each grouping of 3 fabrics.

Winterberry

The next step in this design-as-you-go quilt design was figuring out how I wanted to lay the triangles out to create an overall design. This was actually the hardest part of the whole quilt. I tried so many iterations of the directions of the triangles, playing with the layout, both loving and hating the negative space that was created depending on how the triangles were placed. My husband (who also has a background in design) provided his two cents too, and gave me some great ideas. In the end, I came up with a fun zig-zag layout that shows off the fabric really well and reminds me of garland on a Christmas tree.

Winterberry
Quilt swirl of my finished quilt top.

Next up… binding! I chose the green gingham print for my binding to give this very modern Christmas quilt a touch of green. I was EXTREMELY careful cutting my binding along the straight lines of the plaid so that it would have a nice clean effect once it’s sewn onto the quilt.

Winterberry
The most perfect gingham binding that ever there was.

And voila! My Christmas in July quilt is finished!

Winterberry
My finished Christmas in July quilt!

We have a crazy-tall pine tree in our front yard, perfect for photographing a Christmas quilt. (Let’s pretend there’s a perfect fresh layer of powdery white snow and warm boots covering those summer bare feet!)

I used Le Cream Swiss Dot Black for my backing. It is one of my all-time favourite basics, it practically goes with everything.

Winterberry
Winterberry