Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hauled Out the Holly

Hi Everyone,

I got really motivated by listening to Christmas music, and got the decorating done!  I will admit that I didn't do quite as much as normal.  At this point, we have no plans to have anyone visit and frankly, all I could think about while getting it out was how I would have to spend as much time putting it away afterwards.  But, now that it is up, I'm happy and enjoying it.  I think having Christmas decorations up really contributes to the festiveness of the season.

I am also finished with my present-making, so I can got into my sewing room and enjoy whatever I am making without feeling any pressure.  I may yet make a few more gifts, but only if I want to--my list is complete.

I had a request to show some of my decorating, so I will show a few photos with each post.  Here are some of the quilts I decorate with each year.  I do really love patriotic holiday decorations and make/buy them whenever I can.

I can't remember if I've shown these before.  I figure if I can't remember sharing, you may not remember seeing them, ha ha.  Anyway, you all may have seen versions of this top tree quilt.  It is a fairly popular paper-pieced tree.  I wish I could take the credit for thinking up the addition of the patriotic fabric, but actually, someone in my bee at the time did.  I made this when I live in El Paso at Fort Bliss and it was probably just after the attack on Sept. 11.  (Remember the patriotic fervor of the time?  I always have it, but since someone else came up with this idea, it must have been that year.)

The next one was also made at Fort Bliss/El Paso.  The guild there had a challenge one year titled "When two holidays collide."  I knew immediately which two holidays I wanted to work with:  Christmas and Flag Day.

The tree pattern was designed by Country Threads and was in a book of Christmas quilts.  I put it on top of the flag.  The border fabric I absolutely love and found two fat quarters of it at a show once.  If I had seen it on the bolt, I probably would have bought the entire thing!  It is Hoffman and consists of flags nestled in holly.  Not only did I combine patriotic and Christmas symbols, but I tried to use patriotic fabric for the Christmas areas, and Christmas fabric for the patriotic elements.

Finally for today, here is my fireplace/mantle area.

 You can see that I have a "tree" think happening here.  I made the tree quilt--it is a Debbie Mumm pattern--back in the 90s.  I began collecting the trees at the same time.  The Santa with animals was a result of living in Alaska.  We didn't get it there, but right after we moved away.  I got it for half-off at an after-Christmas sale one year but I still feel like I spent too much.  I'm afraid that takes away some of the enjoyment. (I've learned an important lesson there, though!)  Can you see our lonely stockings?  It is pretty easy to guess whose is whose.  One belongs to the Army guy and one belongs to the Patriotic Quilter.  My collection of red chairs are fun to use in  holdiay decorating, too.  I got the little rocking chair back in the 90s.  Do you remember Christmas Around the World parties?  Do they still exist?  Anyway, it came from there, but it was a present from my Mom.  The primitive fire extinguisher (bucket) always sits by the fireplace, but it gets greenery for the holidays.
What are you up too?  Is the crush over for you?

Have a great day!


  1. I made that paper piece tree out of neckties. It was a McCalls magazine insert pattern, but don't remember the year, Pre-2000 for sure.

  2. I love your tree collection on the mantel and those cute red chairs - simple but festive. I'm not decorating this year as it is just me and I will be spending Holiday time at my daughter's - who has tons of decorating with the kids.

  3. I've enjoyed this blog! And I appreciate your husband's service and also yours, following him around the globe. I spent 20 yrs, 2 mths and 21 days in the AF and AFReserve, retirng as a LTC. It was an effort spending 17yrs in the reserve while also running a business. My husband spent 10 on active duty and then into the reserve. We are so glad we stayed in, especially when the check shows up. Thank you for your blog efforts. I have one but it has nothing on it.

  4. Your post is an inspiration for me today, as today is the day I am decorating the house for Christmas. I'll follow your lead, and put on some Christmas music to help me along. I like your little red chairs, and the fire bucket.

  5. I love how you've created a shadowbox in the cubby above your fireplace...so much better than sticking a tv up there! As for your lesson learned...money comes and goes...memories are to be treasured forever...your Santa and Bear are exquisite treasures.

  6. Good on you with your sewing!! I've got to the stage where the pressure is off but a lot of our gift giving will be the end of January when my overseas sibling come home...so guess I'll continue thinking about Christmas till then! Nice to see your decorating and quilts - it's interesting to hear the stories behind them all.

  7. Whatever you paid for your Santa and Bear was worth it--so cool and unusual--a great piece of Christmas art! Your little red chairs fit in perfectly too.

  8. Hey, if I put a stocking out it would just be one so at least yours has company! I put out a few snowmen and Santas but think that'll be about it since, like you, I'm not planning on entertaining here and no one would see it. Your decorating looks great!

  9. That must have been some Christmas music! It sure inspired and motivated! Great decorating job...love your little red chairs.

  10. So beautiful JoAnne. Thanks for sharing the pictures of some of your holiday decor. Your patriotism fills my heart...I know you are an Army wife and I am a Navy Mom.

    I'll share with you later...after the holidays, how I originally found your blog and continued to follow...even after I started blogging myself.

  11. I love all your tree patterns, esp the first one. May I ask what pattern you used. I love patriotic quilts and what an awesome touch to the home that wall hanging would be.

  12. I feel kind of the same with Christmas decorating. It feels like a drag to get everything out when it has to go away a month later, but it just doesn't feel like Christmas if you don't have decorations up. Your decorating is lovely.