Christmas in July Art Quilt Tutorial
I love to decorate for the holidays, and now is the perfect time for Christmas in July! This PEACE Wall Quilt from Frieda Anderson is the perfect piece to brighten your home in cheery, fun, crisp holiday colors.
This is a piece of art and will never be washed. It is a completely fused art quilt…no need to satin stitch the outline of any of the pieces. The finished quilt will measure 16″ x 16″.
Materials to create a Christmas in July Peace Art Quilt:
- A1 – a fat quarter of red fabric – background fabric
- B 1 – a fat quarter each of dark green and light green fabric – accent fabrics
- C 1 – scrap of blue fabric for tree stems
- D 1 – a fat quarter of fabric for fused binding
- A fat quarter of backing fabric for quilt
- 20″ x 20″ of batting for quilt
- 2 yards of fusible web (I prefer Wonder Under #805)
- Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler (a pinking and wavy decorative blade for a 45mm rotary cutter handle)
- Sharp embroidery scissors
- Mechanical pencil
- Sharpie extra fine marker
- Peace Holiday Wall Hanging Tutorial PDF Pattern
- Peace Lettering for Peace Holiday Wall Hanging
- You will use your decorative blades more if they are in their own handles.
- Turn your rotary mat over to the back side when using a decorative blade as the blade can scar your mat.
- Always cut out fused shapes without release paper on them to get clean crisp edges.
Basic Instructions for Fusing
Before beginning to make your Christmas in July Peace Art Quilt, pre-wash all of your fabrics and steam iron to remove the wrinkles. Apply fusible web to the back of your fabrics with a hot dry iron. Let the fusible web cool and then remove the release paper as you work with each piece of fabric. Keep the release paper intact so that you can reuse it to transfer designs from the pattern to the back of the fused fabric. You will also rebuild some design elements on top of release paper and then put them on the quilt top as a whole unit. If you tear or lose your release paper, you can always use parchment paper to transfer your designs.
To transfer designs from the pattern to the back of the fused fabric, place the release paper over the pattern and trace the shape of the design using either a mechanical pencil or black sharpie marker. Place the marker or pencil side of the drawing against the fused side of the fabric and either a) rub the pencil tracing with your fingernail or b) heat with a hot dry iron the pencil/marker line. The markings should transfer to the fused fabric. Remove the release paper and cut out the design right on or just inside the transferred line with a sharp rotary cutter or a pair of sharp scissors.
I use a pencil when I am working with light colored fabrics so that the pencil line will not show through the fabric. But with dark colored fabrics, you have to use a sharpie marker to be able to see the line. Be sure and cover any exposed fused fabric with an extra piece of release paper when you are using a hot iron so that the fusible does not attach to the iron and your iron stays clean.
Tack fusing is lightly ironing fabric together just enough to heat them to stay together. Don’t press too hard or you will over fuse the fabric.
Fusing the Fabrics
Before you begin, steam press all of your fabrics and batting to remove any wrinkles or creases.
Then turn off the steam and use a hot dry iron to apply the fusible web to the fabric.
Cut your background fabric 17″ x 17″. You do not need to add fusible web to this fabric. Cut out the ¼ circle shape from the paper pattern. Fold your background fabric in half once. And then fold in half again to find the center, crease with a hot dry iron.
Cut out the circle shape from the pattern.
Place the ¼ circle shape in the center of the creased X and mark the outside curve with a chalk pencil.
Mark it four times to create a complete circle in the center of your background fabric. You will use this as a guide to place your design elements on the background fabric.
Next, apply fusible web to the back side of your accent fabrics—two shades of green, and the scrap of blue for tree trunks. To apply the fusible web, use a hot dry iron with the tacky side of the fusible against the back side of the fabric. Let the fabric and fusible web cool, then peel away the release paper (release paper is the paper that the wonder under fusible web sits on). Whenever cutting out a shape, be sure and remove the paper first before cutting.
Keep this release paper intact because you will be using it throughout the process of creating your PEACE quilt top.
Layer the whole batting unit with backing fabric, pressing it together to get a nice smooth sandwich. Set this aside.
Make the center tree design
To make the trees on the PEACE pattern, cut out two 3 ¼” x 17″ strips of fused green fabric with the release paper removed.
Place these strips right sides together on your rotary mat with one fused side facing up and one fused side against the mat. On one long side of the fused green fabric, mark dots with a pencil or marker along the edge every 1 ½”. On the other long side, measure ¾” in from the short side and mark the first dot, then mark dots every 1 ½”. The dots on each side should not parallel but off set each other.
Using a ruler and the pinking blade in your rotary cutter, cut from one dot on one side to the alternating dot on the other side. Work the strip back and forth to create 16 2 ¾” x 3 ¼” triangles. Trim the fat end of each triangle with the pinking blade to finish the tree shapes.
Place all of the trees back on a piece of release paper and tack fuse in place.
Use the wavy blade in your rotary cutter handle to cut blue strips 3″ x ¼” for each tree. Each trunk should be about a quarter inch wide at the bottom and taper to nothing at the top. Place these in the center of each tree ¾” – 1″ down from the top point and fuse in place.
Cut out strips that are about ¼” x 6″ from the darker green fused fabric using a wavy blade in your rotary cutter handle. This will create shapes that look like this. Cut these apart to make the leaves on the trees. Each tree has three leaves, two on one side and one on the other side. Fuse these to the tree shapes.
Free-form cut from the scrap of fused pink or red fabric 48 – ¼” small circles.
Fuse these next to each leaf shape, or when you are finished with the quilt, add red or pink French knots next to each leaf shape.
Use the circle shape that you drew on the background fabric as a guide to place the trees on the background fabric. Start by placing one tree at each crease mark, then fill in three tree shapes between each of the first four trees. The trees are placed alternating them tree top up and tree top down. The first four that are placed on the crease mark are tree top up, just slightly beyond the circle mark, and then place the next one with the tree trunk just beyond the circle mark, etc.. This will make your wreath shape in the center of the background fabric.
Make the letters
Trace each letter onto a piece of release paper with a black extra fine sharpie marker, or use the method below to copy the letters in your scanner/copier.
Cut a piece of release paper for each set of letters that is 8.5 x 11 inches. Place the letter size release paper in your paper bin and copy the letters onto the release paper. Do not touch the ink when it comes out of your printer.
Place the piece of release paper with the letters either printed or traced on it ink side against the fused side of the green fabric you will cut your letters from. Press with a hot dry iron. Let the paper cool and remove the release paper. The ink should transfer to the back of the fused fabric. Use very sharp scissors to cut out each letter.
Place the letters for the word PEACE around the base of the tree wreath forming a smaller wreath shape with the letters under the trees. Once you have all of the shapes arranged the way you like them, fuse them to your background fabric.
Place a clean piece of white fabric over the top of the entire quilt and steam set the design.
Machine Quilting the Christmas in July Art Quilt
Place the quilt top on top of your pre-pressed batting and backing fabric and press together well. I like to use 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive to hold the layers together. You can also place straight pins in each corner.
Using matching or variegated threads, free motion machine quilt a squiggly line up the center of each tree trunk using an embroidery foot on your sewing machine or your BERINA Stitch Regulator foot on your BERNINA Sewing Machine.
Switch thread color and free motion quilt the background to your liking. I have used a stipple stitch done in a light weight thread on the inside of the wreath shape.
For the border area, I switch to a heavier weight thread and quilted a loop and twirl design. I also like to machine quilt my name in the background using a matching thread. If you have never tried this before, use a pencil to write your name and then free motion quilt over the pencil marks.
Press the whole quilt top well with a hot iron. Use a rotary cutter to square up and trim the edges of the quilt to 16″ x 16″.
Finishing the Christmas in July Art Quilt
Finally, we need to bind the quilt to finish it.
Add a hanging sleeve with a loop in the center of a sleeve to hang the finished quilt. Be sure to add a label to your quilt.
Add a fused or sewn binding of your choice.
Fuse web onto the back of the fabric to be used for binding, allowing to cool. Peel off the paper and save the paper. With a regular blade in your rotary cutter, cut 4 lengths of fabric about 1.5″ – 2″ inches longer than needed for the edge of the quilt.
With a decorative blade in your rotary cutter (I keep a separate cutter with the decorative blades on them), and using a ruler as an edge, cut binding at least 1.25 inches wide or wider depending on your preference. Remember, it will be folded in half.
Fold the binding in half along the long edge, then use a creasing tool to press it down. DO NOT USE an IRON at this point.
Position the binding against one edge of the quilt, butting it into the crease. Using a hot dry iron, press into place. Do two edges like this. Press on both sides of the quilt and trim at the ends even with the quilt edge.
With the remaining two edges, position the binding and press it lightly in place just on the top. Place a piece of release paper under the back edge of the binding.
On the back side at the ends, fold over the extra ½” of binding so it is flush with the side of the quilt. Place a small piece of fusible on the top of the fold. Fold the rest of the binding to the back and press in place.
Use decorative threads to top stitch in place on the front of the binding. Stitch down the bottom of the hanging sleeve with a hand whip stitch, and cut a piece of foam core to go inside the sleeve.
Congratulations on your finished Christmas in July Peace Art Quilt!