December CQJP – You Light Up My Life

The last CQJP block design, that of December, came easy for me.  How could you have a Journal Crazy Quilt without December’s block being about Christmas?  However, Christmas is rather low key in Cactus Gardens without any family there.  And even though we are not with them at Christmas, the family is much in our thoughts.

I decided to design a Christmas tree with the family portraits as the ornaments.

A couple of years ago, I designed a paper pieced pine tree for a quilting project.  With some small modifications, it would become the basic pattern for the tree.

Original pattern, set on diagonal:

pine tree

After modifying:

pine tree2_edited4

I had decided to use a tatted angel for the top of the tree, so there had to be another background strip added at the top to provide room.  I chose 3 different green prints for the tree itself, and a lighter green print as a background.


In order to incorporate my white-on-white fabric common to all the blocks, I added two packages under the tree.  The embroidery stitches for the month (TAST) were Knotted Cable Chain, Berry Stitch, and Buttonhole Eyelet.

I used the first as red garlands on the tree, and the others as as the bows on the packages. 

After finding an appropriate photo for each family member, I cropped them into circles using Photoshop Elements, then grouped them together and printed them on Tailor Print ‘n’ Press Transfer paper.

family photos

It took a while to appliqué each of the photos, but I was pleased with the block when finished.

You Light Up My Life (December)

All of the blocks for 2013 CQJP are now complete.  I’m not sure how I will set them together, or whether they will become a wallhanging or a quilt for the bed.  I have thoroughly enjoyed both the CQJP and TAST challenges, and have learned a lot from each.  This is a photo of the blocks together, pinned to a green covered bulletin board in our rec hall.  Keep in mind, they were designed to be 3 columns wide by 4 rows tall.  The bulletin board’s size would not permit me to display them that way.

2013-03-05 - AZ, Yuma - Cactus Gardens Quilt and Art Show -001


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