You will need:
A selection of Christmas fabric or fabrics in Christmas colours of red and green
Cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter
Scissors, pins and thread, pinking shears are optional but really useful
Pastry cutters or artistic ability (which I am sadly lacking), pencil, greaseproof paper
Ribbon or hairy twine (if you are going rustic)
A walking foot
Iron and Ironing Board ... yes, they are back
Choose shapes and designs which are clean and not too complex, hence the heart, mittens, Christmas trees and stockings... but you could use snowmen and gingerbread men (but we are going to be using these shapes to create a garland in a couple of weeks). If you feel confident in your sketching skills, the draw them directly onto the greaseproof or dressmaker's tissue, otherwise trace around the pastry or cookie cutter shapes. Set them aside until we have constructed the strips.
You need to cut your strips to the same length but vary the width, don't go thinner than an inch as we are going to use the quilter's classic 1/4" seam allowance... frankly less than 1/2" showing will look like a line of dental floss or what was referred to by my old friend Clint as a greyhound skirt. If you are using fat quarters use the longest side, usually the 22" side.
Sew the strips together using the 1/4" seam allowance, then iron your work from the back, do not iron the seams open, iron them closed all in the same direction. Then turn your work so that the front is showing and press again, stretch the work slightly to draw out any excess fabric that may have become trapped.
Place the sewn strips on top of the batting, and pin into place using the longest pins you can find, but leave a good allowance of batting up to an inch around the sewn strips.
Fit your walking foot to your machine... don't worry if you do not have a walking foot, you can still do this but the walking foot will give you a better finish as it ensures that the different textures and thicknesses of fabric will feed through at the same pace.
Sew in the ditch... don't know where it is? Remember how we ironed the seams in one direction, you are going to be sewing about an 1/8" away from the seam line through just one layer of fabric and batting, not the three, that is your quilting ditch. Use a contrasting thread to emphasise your stitching, sew along the ditch of every strip. When you have completed this, trim away the excess batting.
Pin your pattern pieces onto the quilted fabric, it looks great if the strips match up (yep, sometimes I can get a bit anal about lining up, although you don't have to do this) so remember to reverse it when you cut our the second piece. Or if you want to be economical, use a plain piece of fabric instead of your quilting as it will not be seen.
Trim any excess seams and ease the curves by either nipping little triangles around the curves or using pinking shears to achieve this. Turn the shapes right side out. Use a cool iron to press them into shape - do not use a hot or cotton temperature iron as this will melt/bond the batting.
With your stockings and mittens, turn under the raw edges and press them into place... for the mittens, join a pair together with one piece of ribbon, tucked into the open seam and pin it together so they look just like the mittens tied into your coat that you could never lose, no matter how hard you tried, they will sit happily over a branch. For the stockings a loop, pinned at the outside edge of your stockings. Now sew around your decoration, 1/8" from the edge.
You could make little present shaped decs in squares or rectangle, even I can draw a square or a rectangle (well nearly) by running sewing ribbon in a cross over the square and popping a ribbon in the centre.
And now, a little later than usual, we are actually hopping over to Handmade Monday on a Monday... go look at what is happening in the Craft World :)