Row quilts are always fun to make, but for some reason they seem especially appropriate around the holidays. A multitude of rows give us so many options for plugging in a variety of blocks or appliqué designs to match the season or holiday. Another great aspect of row quilts is that you can easily pull out a single block or several blocks to make smaller items very quickly and easily. This is especially convenient around the holidays when you are looking to whip up some fast, handmade gifts for you friends and family.
We have a couple of great jumping off points to help you get started. McCall’s Quilting Nov/Dec 2018 features two Christmas row quilt patterns, A Bitty Christmas and Christmas Sampler.
Of course Christmas is not the only holiday to make gifts for, Halloween can inspire delightful and spooky gift-giving as well. Quiltmaker Sept/Oct 2018 showcases A Bitty Boo –a wonderful Halloween row quilt pattern with pumpkins, cats, bats, and more spooky bitty blocks that could be made into fabulous Halloween table linens, wall hangings, or trick-or-treat bags.
The fastest and most simple gift-making plan is to choose just one block from the quilt pattern and make it into a mini-wall hanging, table square, candle mat, or hot pad. Construct the block, add batting and backing, quilt and bind it. If you’re feeling a bit jazzy, add some embellishments for some special sparkle. I constructed the bitty tree block from A Bitty Christmas (McCall’s Quilting Nov/Dec 2018) and very quickly made it into a hot pad. How cute would it be to make a friend a little set of holiday hot pads?
If you have a little more time to spend creating and are looking for more challenging gifts to make, you can construct several blocks and join them in a pleasing arrangement to make a table runner, placemats, a wall hanging, an ornament, a pincushion, or a door greeter. Scott Flangan’s Christmas Sampler (McCall’s Quilting Nov/Dec 2018) is another spectacular row quilt pattern that could very easily be used to make some of these gifts. Think about making the ornament row, add borders, quilt, and you have a table runner. Or you could construct the Christmas stocking blocks and join them in a vertical fashion to create a wall hanging – and how about adding some embellishments to those stockings to individualize them? The same could be done with the tree blocks or the wreath blocks – how fun!
Here at the office, we were asked to each make a Christmas ornament. I went back to A Bitty Christmas pattern – Ok, secret disclaimer here…I designed A Bitty Christmas and constructed it with the help of 7 friends in my quilting group, so this is why my personal Christmas gift projects this year all have their beginnings in that quilt. To continue, I chose the bitty star block and made an ornament with it. I sewed 6 bitty stars, joined them into a cube, stuffed the cube with loose batting, and hand sewed it closed with and ribbon ornament hanger caught in the seam. It was a bit challenging due to it’s small size but it turned out adorable. You could make this same ornament using just about any of the blocks from A Bitty Christmas.
Regardless of how much time (or how little time) you have to invest in your gift-making, keep rows quilts in mind as a great starting point. The possibilities really are endless!