Decorating with Christmas Quilts and Other Projects

Associate editor Anissa Arnold brings her many years of experience as an interior designer creating custom home decor to her work at The Quilting Company. In addition to the quilt she designed for the November/December 2018 issue of McCall’s Quilting, A Bitty Christmas, we asked her to share some of her best go-to ideas for holiday decorating with a handmade touch, along with some of the different Christmas quilts and other items she’s made for her own home.  


I love the holidays and I am an admitted Christmas “decorating-aholic”. There are so many wonderful ways that you can decorate your home for the holidays, creating a warm and festive feeling in the cold of winter. I try to start my holiday sewing over the summer to give myself plenty of time to leisurely sew and enjoy the process.

A Bitty Christmas, designed by Anissa Arnold, made by the UFOers of Denver, Colorado

A Bitty Christmas, designed by Anissa Arnold, made by the UFOers of Denver, Colorado

Decorating with holiday quilts is the most obvious way. Small quilts can be made and displayed as wall hangings as seen with A Bitty Christmas. Larger quilts can be draped over the back of a sofa, or several quilts can be rolled up and displayed in a basket near the fireplace.

Scatter Some Pillows

One of my favorite things to make for Christmas are hand-embroidered pillows. They are really cute and make great, portable summer projects—I did all of the embroidery for these pillows designed by Bareroots and Crabapple Hill Studio sitting by a river over the summer. When Christmastime rolls around, I scatter these little pillows all around my home to add holiday cheer. I’ve also made a few as gifts for very special friends.

Anissa made these hand-embroidered decorative Christmas pillows designed by Bareroots and Crabapple Hill Studio.

Anissa made these hand-embroidered decorative Christmas pillows designed by Bareroots and Crabapple Hill Studio.

If you’re in the mood for a hand-embroidered project yourself, check out Hoppy Holidays by Wendy Sheppard.

Hoppy Holidays embroidered pillow by Wendy Sheppard

Hoppy Holidays embroidered pillow by Wendy Sheppard

Under the Tree

Christmas tree skirts add a very special touch to your holiday home decorating. Patty Clayton has designed a beautiful, traditional tree skirt, Glitter Blossom, that would be stunning under anyone’s tree. (And there’s a kit available for a limited time to make it even easier for you to have it ready for holiday decorating.)

Glitter Blossom quilted tree skirt by Patty Clayton 

Glitter Blossom quilted tree skirt by Patty Clayton

Christmas critters are another great way to add some warmth and fun to your home around the holidays. Critters can be quite a long-term project so plan on investing some time if you go down this path—but I promise, it will be worth it! Every year, my family gets such great joy when we unpack this sweet reindeer family (made from McCall’s Crafts pattern 4532); they have become a family heirloom and they sit under the tree each year, patiently waiting for Santa‘s arrival.

Anissa’s reindeer family, made from McCalls Crafts pattern 4532, sit atop a tree skirt she made from a Debbie Mumm pattern.

Anissa’s reindeer family, made from McCalls Crafts pattern 4532, sit atop a tree skirt she made from a Debbie Mumm pattern.

Festive Groupings of Small Projects

So, what if you don’t have the time to invest in making holiday quilts, tree skirts or critters? There are many other small holiday decorating projects that you could dive into and finish in time for decorating THIS Christmas. Small objects, such as stuffed Christmas trees and décor in a jar can be made quickly and placed on shelves, mantels, or coffee tables. Double up the fun by placing small items of décor on top of holiday linens such as table toppers and runners to make a festive grouping of holiday cheer.

Create a festive grouping with small decor items, such as these trees designed by Amanda Murphy or the Chocolate Shake pattern by Threads That Bind, all made by Anissa Arnold.

Create a festive grouping with small decor items, such as these trees designed by Amanda Murphy or the Chocolate Shake pattern by Threads That Bind, all made by Anissa Arnold.


For more of Anissa’s ideas and other holiday decor projects, be sure to get your copy of McCall’s Quilting November/December 2018!

Get started on creating your own unique pieces of holiday décor!



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