Friday, February 5, 2016

ugly christmas sweaters?

Do you like a fun little projects where you sew the same thing along with other patchworkers or sewist? I think it is a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the Sew A-Long (SAL) with Quiet Play two years ago when Kristy had her Sew Kitschy SAL. I enjoyed using fussy cut prints to fit into the 10" blocks she created everything around the kitchen. Well, I have been itching for another SAL or Quilt A-Long (QAL) with exactly the same drive, anticipation, and challenges. Lorna, at Sew Fresh Quilts has delivered!

First of all, I wanted to participate in Lorna's SAL, the ugly Christmas sweaters. I missed her fabulous Dog Gone Cute and Elephant Parade SALs and didn't want to miss another one of her cute quilts!! She is absolutely amazing when it comes to the cutest patterns and quilts. I downloaded her lovely printable diagram and started brainstorming. Then I realized that the center blocks were six inches. I might just have an quick and easy way to fulfill the SAL and use some of my stash.

I remembered I had bought this fabulous panel from Henry Glass a couple of years ago. I actually loved it so much, I bought a second one. I knew I wanted to make some kind of Christmas quilt with it, but didn't quite have a plan.

Holiday Frost Panel by Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass Pattern 9511P
I thought about writing a blog post about what you could do with these fabulous panels and made one star block to show you can make blocks with the fussing cut prints. I also made a "Kirschkernkissen" or cherry seed sack for warming (in the microwave) and applying to your aching muscles or a sore tummy. I thought both were cute but I put the fabrics away for another day. I forgot about the blog post too.

Friendship Star Block and Kirschkernkissen made with Panel

When I realized these panels were just over 6.5 inches, I decided I could use them for the sweater motifs. These would work perfectly for the center blocks in Lorna's sweaters and look pretty cool actually. I wouldn't have to make the new blocks! This would be a perfect fit to use up the panel, make a Christmas quilt (my first ever) and participate in the #uglychristmassweaterssal. 

I pulled some fabrics I bought at Quilt et Textilkunst in Munich last year right before Christmas. I just loved the red/gray/and turquoise mix. The other fabrics are from Wilmington Fabrics, two being from Debbie Mumm. I made my first sweater using these fabrics that went perfectly well with the Henry Glass panel and coordinating prints. The directions were super easy to follow too. Lorna does a very well job at writing easy-to-read directions that even I can follow! My first block took about one and a half hours to make. Finished!

My First Ugly Christmas Sweaters SAL Block

I immediately had to make a second block, because they were just too cute and went so fast. And no, it didn't take as long as the first one. But I couldn't stop! These were getting cuter and cuter. Since I didn't have a lot of the original Debbie Mumm fabric - maybe 30 cm, I realized the Henry Glass fabric was a perfect match to the original red I was using. I pulled out the gray and everything was just falling into place. And the best part about all came from my stash!! Yes, I am sewing my stash off!

Two days later, I have a total of six sweaters! My blue turquoise fabric is getting a little tight, but I know where I found it if I need to buy more. I can get it right here in Germany in Munich. So, here are my six ugly Christmas sweaters. Aren't they just so cute!!?? I would like to come up with three other variations of the original sweater with changing neck, cuffs and bottom just to change it up a bit. Do you have any ideas?

Six Blocks Made

I think that is it for now. I have to join life again and back to the really important stuff. (I was getting just a little bit obsessed there!) The kids have Faschingsferien next week, so there will probably be NO SEWING for me. That's okay. The end of next week finishes with a long sewing weekend in a monastery with my patchwork group and quilty friends. 

If you are looking for a fun and easy Sew A-Long, I highly recommend Lorna's Ugly Christmas Sweaters SAL. It is sew much fun! Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, can you think of other ways to use a fabric panel? Please share with us.


  1. Your fussy-cut versions of these little sweaters are so adorable! I love what you have done to make this design unique. You are going to have the cutest Christmas quilt ever!

  2. These are gorgeous! I just love the idea of using a panel, there are so many paths a person can take with that idea. Thank you for sharing!
    brandizzle7133 at gmail dot com

  3. Dear Karen,
    love how the blocks turned out, wonderful idea.

  4. Your blocks are so beautiful - not ugly at all :-) I love them!
    Well, with the Faschingsferien there won't be a lot of sewing around here as well... But you are lucky with the sewing weekend coming soon! Have a lot of fun!

  5. What a really great way to use up the panel fabric. It's worked wonderfully in your sweaters. Have you thought of maybe doing an all grey sweater featuring just the panel on the front and then perhaps a single band of red for the cuffs and bottom band? I'm sure however you decide to work the last few blocks they will look great. Hope you had a great retreat with your friends and enjoy the holidays.

  6. I really like working some nice fussy cutting into a project, and Cori Dantini's fabrics are my favorite for this! If I were you, I'd run down to your LQS and pick up more of your background fabric... not that you run out! It looks like it is a really great one to use in a lot of Christmas projects. Really cute sweaters!


    P.S I tried to write you back on your last comment, but it ended up getting sent back to me : (

  7. I love it when you are able to add your own spice/twist on things. Well done, a stroke of genius if you ask me.


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