Monday, July 23, 2018

Christmas in July Blog Hop

Welcome to the 10thday of Christmas in July blog hop.  Special thanks go to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for setting up this blog hop. Instead of sharing 10 lords of leaping I’m sharing a small quilt you can add to your holiday decorations.  And, I have a little give away too. Keep reading.

I’ve been planning on doing a wool wall hanging for years.  I’ve gathered wool and wool felt, patterns, books. When Sarah wanted folks for her blog hop I knew this was the time for me to go wool! Let me introduce you to Noel Santa.
13 x 13" Noel Santa
Here’s a little bit of the process I used for designing Noel Santa. 
Many thanks to my quilting buddy Beth for suggesting a round Santa rather than my weird oval.  I’m not sure when he became just a face but it works!

Mine's on the left, Beth's on the right. 

My final drawing..... maybe. I found that all those "ruffles" on the hat trim didn't work well  when it came to stitching them down.  I've changed that on the pattern. 

There are two wools that people use for applique in their quilting. One is Felted Wool – woven wool is shrunk to form a tight fabric.  The other is Wool Felt – a fabric where the fibers are “laid down” on a wire.  Think of how paper is made or battings.  I used Wool Felt for my project.  Some of my felt was very old and some I bought as felt sheets from Benzie Designs at their Etsy shop. Their felt is between 25 and 35% wool mixed with rayon.  Look for wool and wool felt at regional quilt shows and your local quilt shops. Although you can use craft felt sold at JoAnnes wool felt has a little softer feel and more loft.  Check to see if JoAnnes sells wool felt – I’ve never looked specifically but I think I saw some bolts of it at one time. 

I received directions for handling the wool felt from a previous purchase.  Basically it suggested rinsing the felt in hot water and then drying it in the dryer at a hot temperature.  I don’t squeeze the felt; just gently roll it in a towel, pat out as much water as I can and throw the towel and the felt into the dryer. The felt “fluffs” up a bit in the drier. Remember to separate the dark colors from the light! I have had little color bleed with the newer felt I've bought but older felt might run like crazy  Although this method does a good job of containing the color, don't plan on washing your finished project. 


My original Noel Santa pattern is available on Google Drive as a PDF. 
These directions are also available on Google Drive as a PDF.

FELT: My felt is mostly in sheets and except for the backing white and the green for the letters I used very little of the felt. I  bought 9” x 12” felt rectangles.  There is no reason why you can’t use quilting cotton for this project. You can use the same applique technique I used on the wool. I used the following colors:
Red wool felt
Cherry wool felt
White wool felt (background) 
Flesh wool felt
Green wool felt (letters)

Sashing fabric 5” x 12” appx
Border fabric 7” x 14” appx 
Binding 5” by WOF (I used the same fabric as my sashing fabric.)
Backing Fabric 15” x 15” woven cotton

Other Supplies
Bonsal Splendid Web #345 or your preferred fusible*(see below)
Embroidery floss to match your felt pieces. (I chose to use a light gray instead of white for the beard and mustache so they would show up better against the white background fabric.) 
Thin cotton batting 15” x 15”  (I used a leftover piece of Nature’s Touch 60/40 poly/cotton by Pellon.) 

Cutting directions
Background Felt or Fabric  - 4 pieces 5.5” x 5.5” 
You might prefer to measure your pieces before you cut the following sashing and borders. If yours are different cut to fit your pieces.  This might be more necessary for the up-and-down sashing piece and the borders.  
Sashing – 2 pieces 1” by 5.5”
Sashing – 1 piece 1” by 11” 
Border – 2 pieces 1.5” x 11” 
Border – 2 pieces 1.5” x 13” 
Backing fabric and batting -- use the size listed above. 
Binding  1.5” x 65” 

Trace the pattern pieces on the adhesive.  Trim so only a little excess fusible surrounds the design and then iron on to the wool using the adhesive instructions.  Cut out the pattern on the line. Attach the letters to the background pieces as shown in the picture. I used 3 strands of DMC floss and buttonhole stitched around the letters. (Here’s a good video on how to do of the buttonhole stitch. I always mess up where to start my stitching and this helped me remember!) 

The fusible hasn't been trimmed yet in this picture.
Santa pieces ready to be cut out and applied to the background.
To make the Santa “O” I ironed down the beard piece. Then I ironed down the face making sure it was right next to the top of the beard piece. I then buttonhole stitched the beard.  

Next, iron down the lips and stitch down.  Go back and stitch down the face.  Remember you don’t have to stitch edges that are covered by other pieces such as the beard/face area that is covered by the mustache. Continue to iron the pieces and stitch in the following order: hat, mustache, hat trim and nose. I then marked eyes using a Frixon pen because I could easily remove it with my iron.  Use the colors of your choice to add Santa’s eyes. I’ve decided if I make him again I might do a more casual eye – maybe a small dark dot either with a button, bead, embroidered or using a Pigma Pen to draw the eye. I embroidered the eyelid with a dark brown, the iris with a medium green and don't forget to put a bit of white in the iris for Santa's twinkle.  I took three small stitches with the white. Last, give Santa's cheeks a little brush of blush. I used my blusher and a Q-Tip. 

Once all four pieces are finished its time to make our little quilt.  Sew the sashing with a quarter inch seam between the N and E and the O and L. Iron the seams toward the sashing. Sew the longer piece on the right side of the N/E unit. Then sew it to the left side of the O/L unit.  Again, iron toward the sashing.

Sew the borders on the 2 sides and then the top and bottom. Iron the seams toward the borders. 

It’s time to sandwich your little quilt.  Tape your backing fabric to a rotary mat to hold it taut while you pin baste your quilt sandwich.  Smooth your thin batting over the backing.  Smooth your quilt top over the batting and backing. Carefully pin in each of the four sections and add a couple of pins in each border.  I only placed one pin in each of the 4 quadrants. 

When I trim quilts, I leave about an 1/8th” beyond the edge of the quilt. This makes sure my binding will be "full," rather than a binding with no batting in it. 

Quilt your little quilt using the thread of your choice. I used a heavier hand quilting thread even though I quilted by machine. I chose to stitch in the ditch on both sides of the sashing and on the border close to the seam.  It doesn’t take much quilting to keep this quilt together! 
My quilting in the ditch shows up like this on the back.  This is enough to hold the piece together.

Stitch the two pieces of binding together with a diagonal seam. I use a single fold binding to eliminate bulk from small hangings. Iron the binding in half lengthwise. Turn one of the sides into the middle and iron. 

I sewed the binding to the right side of the quilt with the extra folded part facing toward the center of the quilt.  When you turn the binding to the back to hand stitch it down you’ll have a crisp fold to sew into.  

To use this quilt on a wire table stand make two tabs as follows:  Cut two pieces of fabric 2.5” x 6.5.” Turn under ¼” along the long sides of both tabs. Top stitch those folded sections.  Pin a tab right sides together and sew a ¼” seam along the cut edge. Turn right-side out. When both are done pin them to the back of your little quilt leaving about 1.5” from each side.  Try the quilt on the rack to make sure your little quilt hangs straight. It’s best to get the top section of each tab correct so your quilt doesn’t “list.”  When you are satisfied, hand stitch the top and bottom sections of each tab to the backing. Remember not to stitch through the quilt!

I added a little label that was framed with the same sashing fabric and sewn inside the binding to finish off my quilt. (I've covered up my label a bit.)  

The last thing I added was a 1/4” pompom for Santa’s hat. I used Aileene’s Original Craft glue. You could also use a button or a piece of white felt instead of the pompom.  I would sew a white felt circle down after I sewed the hat in place.  But I’d sew a button down after I finished the quilt but before adding the tabs. 

*I found that my background wool was much thicker than my newer felt and I had a hard time getting the fusible to hold the pieces well. The pieces are small enough that the buttonhole stitch holds them in place.  On my next small wool project I will try Roxanne’s Basting Glue as that should hold small pieces until they are sewn in place. I've also changed the pattern for the hat trim.  Having lots of wiggles and curves on the little hat trim piece didn't look great with the buttonhole stitch.  I smoothed out the curves.  

I hope you enjoy making your own wool Noel Santa.  If you make one please send me a picture or share your blog link with me. I’d love to see what you make.

Don’t forget to visit the other 10thDay of Christmas bloggers: 
Brenda @ Songbird Designs
Amy @ Sea of Estrogen

Here’s the whole list of bloggers participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop. 

Monday, July 23rd

Brenda @ Songbird Designs

Tuesday, July 24th

Wednesday, July 25th

Saturday, July 14th

Selina @ Selina Quilts

Sunday, July 15th

Monday, July 16th

Jamie @ L'Fair Quilts

Tuesday, July 17th

Sharon @ Vrooman's Quilts

Wednesday, July 18th

Thursday, July 19th

Danice @ Homespun Hannah

Friday, July 20th

Saturday, July 21st

Marian @ Seams To Be Sew

Sunday, July 22nd

Anja @ Anja Quilts
Moira @ Quilted Snail

I’ll be linking with my regular Monday Linky Parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Moving It Forward Monday and Main Crush Monday. If they aren’t active when I post this I’ll add the link when they become active.  Enjoy. 

Oh yes, there is a giveaway!  I made a fold up fabric box and a matching 9" zippered pouch.  If you are a no reply make sure you leave an email address. (I've already had several no reply bloggers who have not left an address.) Duplicate entries will be eliminated.  I'll be drawing the winner's name in the evening on Wednesday, July 25.  I'm willing to send this internationally so if you live outside of USA add your comments too. I use the box for threads especially when I'm sewing away from home.  And my pouch is taken with me holding whatever small supplies I need.  (No, the tools and pencil aren't part of the prize!) 

This drawing is now closed.  Congratulations to Karen who quilts at Tu-Na Quilts

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


  1. Love this project - thanks for sharing.

  2. Great tutorial on working with the wool felt! And the little quilt is cute. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Love how it spells Noel with Santa. A tutorial that I will read again.

  4. Liking small projects I can finish in a day. Thanks

  5. Your mini quilt is very cute Bonnie and it looks so nice hanging on your table. I bought a wool coaster kit a few weeks ago - that's my first experience using wool. I might like to explore that a bit more. Thanks for all the info you provided, it's so helpful! Also, thanks for sharing your post on Main Crush Monday!

  6. Love your wall hanging and thank-you for sharing.

  7. A lovely mini panel and a great giveaway

  8. thanks for sharing today. your santa quilt is wonderful. i have not worked with wool yet. thanks for the tutorial. such a pretty and fun give a way. thanks for the chance.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  9. A mini Christmas wool felt kit is on my bucket list now. Thanks for sharing.

  10. This is a great project for Christmas! Who doesn't love a little Santa!?!

  11. What fun you must have had creating that little quilt. LOVE the way you made your tabs and thanks for offering a giveaway for the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop!!

  12. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  13. I have a small supply of wool felt a friend gave me, but I haven't ventured into it...always afraid I'll make mistakes. Your project has me interested in getting it out and forging away! The look of felt is so luxurious!

  14. thank you for the tutorial and giveaway. Wool applique is my next thing to learn.
    Pam Schwarze

  15. I'm trying to design my own patterns more. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Your wall hanging is very cute! Thanks for sharing.

  17. An adorable mini just right for a little space to fill for Christmas decorating.

  18. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.netJuly 23, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    darling mini! Love your give away also.

  19. I really enjoy working with wool and need to do more of it! Cute NOEL!

  20. This is a wonderful project, thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Fun project, and so nice to share. It's fun to finally put your wool applique goals to work!

  22. Love your project. I haven't worked in wool in ages. This project could give me the push to go back and give it another try. Thank also for the opportunity to win that great thread catcher and pouch.

  23. What a cute Santa face. This is a great idea.

  24. Very cute. I love to applique, but have never used wool before. Thank you for sharing.

  25. What a great project, Bonnie! Your little Santa is so cute! Thanks for the great tutorial and all your hard work!

  26. Sounds like you are hooked on wool and on your way to getting the rest of us hooked, too. Thanks for the tutorial and the giveaway. Susan

  27. Your Santa hanging is so cute! I love the round little Santa face. Thanks so much for easy to download pattern and directions. You are really thoughtful! Thanks for the giveaway, too, because I think both of those would be great for retreats or sewing at a friend's house. dezertsuz at gmail

  28. Very cute. This blog hop has been so much fun!

  29. Very cute wall hanging! Thanks for sharing!

  30. All very nice. Love Santa hangings.

  31. The Santa hanging is adorable. Thank you for the tutorial as well.

  32. Oh that is cute - looks easy enough too, if I can get my brain to stop racing from each nifty project to the next! Enter me, please! Thanks!

  33. You've done a lot of work for your Christmas in July project and it looks great.

  34. Your project is great, Bonnie! I've never used wool either, but I will one day! I did purchase a little wool wall hanging kit with owls for my granddaughter, but as yet, have not tackled that project!

  35. Looks like an easy enough project. Or is that the tutorial is so well done. Thanks! Please enter me in the giveaway. I love your little box and the fabric is so cute. Thanks again. ;^)

  36. Bonnie, that is such a cute project. Thank you for sharing. .

  37. What a cute little Santa project. Great job!

  38. Your project is so cute! A fun and creative project to decorate for Christmas. Thank you for sharing and participating in the blog hop!


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