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Christmas Once a Month: February

My February project for Christmas Once a Month is a framed “Christmas Joy” quilt!

joy on white pic

The ribbon wreath in the “JOY” really packs a punch and it is so easy to make! I have to tell you how this all started.  This might get long so I won’t feel bad if you skip ahead to the instructions.  A few years ago I attended a “Tea Party” at my local scrapbooking store.  The hostess was KT Hom and among many things, she demonstrated how to do ribbon weaving.  She even had a YouTube video showing the technique so that us slow learners could get some additional “tutoring” at home.

I was so inspired by the whole tea party concept that I began hosting my own quilting tea parties at The Granary Quilt Shop.  I would come up with a minimum of 15 ideas to present during the tea party and they ranged from sewing tips, to party decorations and a few quilting projects.  I hosted two Christmas Tea Parties specifically geared toward gift ideas, recipes and decor.  These were popular but a lot of work for me!  I had the thought, “I should start a blog and use that to share my ideas to a wider audience”.  A seed was planted and after a year of thinking about it procrastinating, well, here I am!

Sorry; I’m not often so wordy, but that really is how I started blogging. 🙂

Any how, back to Christmas and my current project to share with you.  This little quilt fits inside a 7″ x 14″ frame, but you could also finish it as you would a regular quilt.


  • Scraps of light fabric for background
  • Scraps of green fabric for letters
  • 1/8 yard fabric for border
  • 2 yards of 1/4″ grosgrain ribbon
  • Fusible Fleece
  • 1 fat quarter of muslin
  • Fabric glue
  • 7″ x 14″ picture frame
  • White foam core board cut to fit inside frame
  • Scor-Tape or E-6000 Glue


Make the background.  You will be making 12 half square triangle (hst) units. Using the light fabric scraps, cut (12) 3″ squares.  Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of six of them. With right sides together, sew two together by stitching 1/4″ from each side of the drawn line.

HST prep

Cut in half on drawn line and press to one side.  Trim to 2 1/2″ square.  Make 12 half square triangle units.

Arrange as shown below so that you create three “square in a square” units from the hst’s.  I also made sure that the seam allowances were opposing each other so that they would nest when sewn together.

Joy hst's arranged

Sew the hst’s into pairs and then sew the pairs into quadrants to form the square in a square units. These should measure 4 1/2″ square.

joy hst's sewn in pairs Joy hst's sewn in quads

Sew the quadrants together creating the background.  This should measure 4 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.

Joy hst background done

I thought I wanted the middle “square” to be dark because I originally was going to use a cream ribbon wreath.  That changed once I tried it, so I switched the middle patch to a light one.  My trusty seam ripper is always ready!

joy plan b photo

Add the borders:  I made my borders with mitered corners.  You don’t need to do yours that way, but I’m giving instructions for mitered ones.  Cut (2) 2 1/2″ wide strips from border fabric.  Sub cut them into (2) 2 1/2″ x 12″ rectangles and (2) 2 1/2″ x 20″ rectangles.  These will be extra long which is necessary for this technique.

joy border strips cut

Centering the border strips on each side of the background, attach the border by starting 1/4″ in from the corner, backstitch and continue stitching until 1/4″ before the end.  Backstitch at the end as well.

joy border strip 1 pinnedjoy border strip 3 pinnedjoy border inside corner viewRepeat for remaining sides.

There are several ways to create the miter and the following is what works for me.  Take one of the corners of the quilt and fold it right sides together at a 45 degree angle.  Your border strips should line up along the top edge.

joy border folding corner arrowsWith a ruler, place the 45 degree line on the raw edge of the borders and the edge of the ruler at the place where the stitching converges at the corner.  Draw a line from corner to outside edge of border.  Pin.

joy border being marked arrows

Stitch along drawn line starting at the inside corner and sewing to the outside edge.  Back stitch at the beginning and end.

joy border sewn on blue line

Open up the seam and check to make sure that it lays flat.  Sometimes you may get a little pucker at the inside corner (because you stitched into the corner too much) or you may get a gap (because you stitched away from the corner too much).  Adjust if necessary.

joy border sewn before pressOnce it’s flat, you can trim the excess seam allowance and press it open.

joy border trimmed joy border corner pressedRepeat on all four corners.  I love the way this looks and it’s perfect for a picture frame!

joy borders finishedPrepare the applique letters:  Trace the letters from the JOY Letters pdf file onto the paper side of fusible webbing.  Make sure to print the file with no scaling or resizing selected on the printer.  The letters have already been reversed for fusible applique.  Rough cut around the fusible and press onto the wrong side of applique fabric.  Cut out on drawn line.  Peel paper away from the applique shape and press onto the background fabric.  Stitch in place.  I used a very narrow zig zag stitch.

Joy Letter Applique Steps

Make the ribbon wreath:  Just like that.  No, seriously, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel when someone else has already done a fabulous job of creating a tutorial for this.  KT Hom has a YouTube video that demonstrates ribbon weaving really well.  I hope you take a look at it and give it a try.  It it such a beautiful addition to this project.

You can find KT’s video here:  Ribbon Weaving

A few notes to add:  Once you have made your ribbon, it will look like this before you shape it into the wreath (my original cream version):

ribbon wreath beforeIt sort of looks like a big, fat worm!  In the video, KT has you secure the ends with a glue dot and then join the ends with another glue dot.  This is fine when used in a card, but I prefer to stitch mine together:

joy ribbon wreath being stitched Ribbon collageAnd lastly, I added a small bow and hand stitched it in place.  Before you add the ribbon wreath to your quilt, you need to quilt the project first.

Quilt:  I used fusible fleece for this part.  You could always use a traditional batting.  For fusible fleece, cut it 1/4″ smaller than the quilt – theoretically 9 1/4″ x 12 1/4″.  Fuse onto the wrong side of quilt top following manufacturer’s instructions.  Add a layer of muslin to the back.   I used a little basting spray to secure it in place.

joy layersQuilt through all three layers.  I used a walking foot to stitch in the ditch along the outside border seam and I marked a grid in the border and stitched that too.  Then I free motion quilted the background heavily so that the applique “popped”.

joy letters stitched

Add the ribbon wreath:  The easiest way to secure the ribbon wreath is to use a permanent glue such as Liquid Stitch.  I used a generous amount on the back of my wreath and placed it in the center of the two letters.  Give it a good amount of pressure with your hand to really make it stick.  Allow it to dry for a few minutes.  Trust me, it is stuck!

joy liquid stitch

Insert into the frame:  Remove the glass and cardboard backing from the frame.  Cut the foam core board by using the cardboard back as a template and trace it onto the foam core.  Cut with an exacto knife (or an old rotary cutter blade).

Joy Quilt Framed at The Crafty QuilterCenter the quilt onto the foam core board.  Wrap the edges of the quilt onto the back of the board.  Before securing, check to make sure it still fits inside the frame and that it’s centered. I used Scor-Tape to secure in place.  You could also use a heavy-duty glue such as E-6000.  Don’t worry too much about how the corners look.  They will be a little bit bulky, but they are hidden inside the frame.

You can replace the cardboard backing over the back, but I just used the paper insert because it was thinner.

And you’re done!

Christmas JOY Quilt at The Crafty Quilter

 JOY quilt at the Crafty Quilter

And now you can keep the momentum going and use your ribbon weaving skills to make some Christmas cards!  Here’s what mine looks like:

Ribbon Wreath Christmas Card at The Crafty Quilter

Slightly non-traditional colors, but I love the softness of it!  I glued the wreath onto the card using E-6000 glue as KT suggests.

ribbon wreath back

I stamped my card first with a large, lacey doilie stamp first.  Then I added some pearls to the edges.

Ribbon Wreath Christmas Card at The Crafty Quilter

Next, I added a paper “ribbon” to the bottom with the words “Merry Christmas” stamped in a matching color and some more pearls.

Ribbon Wreath Christmas Card at The Crafty Quilter

There you go.  Something to practice throughout the year and once you get the hang of ribbon weaving, you can do it in front of the television and start mass producing!

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  1. You J Y Christmas is very very Beautiful, je ne parle pas bien anglais mais je vais essayer de le faire, je m’inscris à ta newletter
    Bizz à toi

  2. Hi, I just made your Joy framed piece and love it, but can’t find the right sized frame. Do you remember where you purchased it? Thanks for the great pattern. It’s for.my wonderful neighbor, whose name is Joy! She happens to be my Secret Cousin in my quilt guild!

  3. I just found your blog through Freebies for Crafters. I love the woven ribbon wreath. Thanks for sharing it. I like your blog and I am signing up to follow it via email.

  4. Hello. I just found your site today and love the ideas you have.
    I have one question. Is there any way to print the instruction files without them being so many pages?
    I tried to print the Winter Seeds Table Topper pattern and it is 41 pages. Is there a more condensed version available.

    Love, Love the ribbon weaving and cant’ wait to try.

  5. I think your work is fabulous and I hope to try these soon. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial.

  6. Julie, I love this! And your tutorial is excellent. I’m a beginning quilter, but I think I might be able to do this. Something to put on my “to do” list for 2014. You’ve got a great blog. I’m following you on Pinterest. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Helloooo Julie! I just saw this quilt and ribbon wreath on Pinterest and was led to this blog post. I am thrilled to see how you used the ribbon weaving for this wonderful JOY project and your impressive card! Your beautiful blog and creative talents inspire me and I’m so thankful that our paths crossed. I’m wishing you lots of holiday joy and much happiness =)

  8. I love your website and all of your projects. Thanks for sharing with everyone!
    Where did you get your white frame? I’m overseas and it hard to find a 7 x 14 frame. I may wait until I get home or improvise.

  9. More inspiration! Christmas every month! You are talking my language!

    A stunning quilt project and OMG I have fallen for the wreath! Thank you for the detailed and beautiful tutorials.

  10. Julie thank you for putting all this information together and sharing it with all of us. This looks like so much fun to make. It’s really something… Just beautiful…

  11. Christmas “Joy” is wonderful! I pinned it to my Christmas Board! The woven wreaths really do add that extra punch. Delightful and so pretty. The card is beautiful too! Thanks for stopping by my blog and complimenting on my finished quilt! Love meeting new quilters 🙂

  12. This ribbon wreath project is just beautiful! I started out being ‘curious’ , and at the end of your post, you’ve convinced me to make one for my holidays! Your tutorial is excellent. Thanks for sharing and showing such a beautiful way to make this tiny quilt and ribbon wreath!!


  13. I am astonished! So much to love here, and all of it is new to me. I’ve never seen ribbon weaving before, and the card and framed project are both brilliant! Another winning post…I’m off to Pinterest now, to pin these!

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