Oh Holy Night – Week 1

2015 NativityToday we start Oh Holy Night. I’ve loved how mine has turned out and I hope you to will make this wallhanging and let me see what you’ve done. I have meticulously laid this out so each week we’ll cover new parts of the wallhanging. Most of this wallhanging is applique shapes, such as the animals, trees, people and other objects. But the most technical part of this wallhanging is the background and without that you can’t really start this wallhanging. It wouldn’t matter if you made all the shapes first, without the background you have nothing to place them on. Once you get beyond the background, this wallhanging goes together easily and quickly. The shapes are not tedious, they are simple to set in place and there are not tons and tons of little pieces. Today is nothing but a discussion about preparing your background, choosing fabrics, and working with supplies. As a note, some of my links today are affiliate links, you don’t have to feel obligated to use them, as you may find better deals elsewhere. However, they are placed here so you can have an idea of what I use should you have to buy something and so that should you choose to help support this free project in some way, it will help me to continue to offer free projects on my blog. First, I’m going to talk about supplies. There are some necessary supplies you will need. A Design Wall, this will help when your placing your landscape background and the applique shapes. The link for the design wall takes you to a tutorial I’ve created on making one. Freezer Paper, a standard for us quilters. We are in fact so use to using freezer paper I think that when other things come along we don’t give them much consideration. However, of late, I have found that when your creating landscapes in particular, you need something you can see thru. Freezer Paper doesn’t do this for me, so I use Medical Paper, which is a translucent type of paper used in doctor’s offices for us to sit or lay on.

While freezer paper would still be the main use for applique, the tracing papers are nice for creating layouts, or drawing landscapes and will even help us reverse shapes you might cut for your background. We are going to use it for our layout and our landscape background, you can use freezer paper also, but you will probably love the tracing paper more. I added the Swedish link because some people seem to like this paper better than the Medical paper, but it is quite a bit more expensive than the medical paper is, and considering how much they give you in comparison to what you get with the medical paper makes the medical paper an impressive buy. However, it’s best feature is that it washes out without having to be removed when you have it on the inside layers of your appliques. Otherwise, it’s no different from the other papers. Applique Supplies, such as starch, glue stick, fusible web, iron, pins, needles, sewing machine are also needed. I’m going to show you a fun new applique tip during this wallhanging project that I’ve discovered that is fun, superfast and best of all.. Easy!! We’ll talk about that in Week 3’s release. Fabrics For the most part your going to only be using scraps. while a fabric chart for each part will be included, one needs to realize that the fabric chart might say you need 1/4 of a yard, but in reality, you’d really only be using as an example an 8×11 piece of that 1/4 yard of fabric. The pieces that you will need the largest amount of fabric for are the background pieces. For the inner border, you will need: 3/8 yd For the middle border, you will need: 3/4 yd For the outer border, you will need: 1 1/2 yd For the sky fabric, you will need: 7/8 yd if you do one long piece, you will need 1 1/2yd. depending on how the directional part of the print runs, You really want it running lengthwise, because a directional print running widthwise, will not be enough to do one long piece. For the land fabric, you will need: various prints ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 yds. if directional up to 1 1/2 yds. Muslin Background for support of shapes: 1 1/8 yd (if the width is 42/44-inches, you’ll need 1 1/2 yds) or you can piece section as it won’t be seen. So let’s talk about directional prints. Most sky fabrics are directional prints, like a border print, but in this case unlike a border print, sky fabric directional prints are meant to only go one way on the fabric, and placing the directional print in the opposite direction would make clouds, or stars look lopsided. This is not something you’d want to happen. Various prints I chose in my wallhanging are: Blend of Fabric Choices   I didn’t use all of the above prints, but I wanted to show you the varying shades you can choose to work with. The following are the directional prints I chose… Landscape Choice 2   The direction this print runs is widthwise, so to use it, I can’t cut a piece or shape longer than the 42 width of the fabric.I wouldn’t need a piece that long in the first place, but here is what happens if I tried to use the lengthwise side of the print.. Landscape Choice 2 (Lengthwise)   This print would run up and down for hills and that’s not the direction I’d want that to go. I really would prefer to keep the sand swept hilly look that this print offers, so I need to use the widthwise print direction. All of my prints that were directional that I used in fact ran on the widthwise direction with the exception of this one. This is an interesting print, because while it is directional, you can actually use it both ways and get away with it.. This is the lengthwise direction. Landscape Choice 1 (Lengthwise)   The following is the widthwise direction: Landscape Choice 1 (width)   As you can see, it’s going to work both ways. This was actually the print I used most often in my landscape fabrics and I loved the effect it gave. This print is from Elizabeth’s Studio and is called Footprints in the Sand. I think it’s a bit on the “older” side, but it can still be found. In this wallhanging, I will be giving you templates for the land and sky, but in all seriousness, I’m hoping you will just try a different technique known as draw, cut, place, and stitch in place. This is what most landscape artists do and is what truly makes a landscape technique a landscape. It is way easier than it looks and gives a more realistic effect than just using templates. In the wallhanging, I have drawn the templates in 2 and 4 pieces to show you examples of what a template will do versus what drawing your own landscapes will do: First example is the landscape in two pieces:


and what it would look like in 4 pieces


It’s not so noticable in the sky fabric, but in the land, it’s very noticable and their is no guarantee you can cover it with your applique shapes that you’ll add later.

Thus, I will show you how to add landscaping for the entire width of the project.

So you to can achieve this, which I believe is by far better.


While I didn’t do this exact shaping, I simply drew this in EQ to show you how it looks as one entire piece.

The sky piece I’ll leave up to you whether you want to split it or cut one large piece. I chose to cut one large piece, this is the only part of the background that I didn’t use traditional landscaping techniques in.

If you’d like to do some research prior to Week 2’s lesson, here are some sources for landscaping. These should also help you to choose your land fabrics.

You may already have some of these books, or perhaps are taking some of the classes, but these are books I own, use and love, they are also really great sources for learning landscape techniques.

Craftsy Classes You Might Like To Consider:

Free Video Sources Are: Kathy McNeil – Choosing Fabrics


Landscape Quilting Workshop with Nancy Zieman & Natalie Zewell PT1 of 3




Landscape Quilting with Nat ph

Art Quilt Patterns – Tammie Bowser (40 minutes)

Tuscan Landscape with Karen Eckmeier

Another great source is the Interweave Store, home of Quilting Arts and Quilting Arts TV.. There are so many amazing sources, I simply can’t list them all. I am basically going to follow however, Nancy Zieman’s techniques, with the exception that I’ll be doing my applique slightly differently. The machine embroidery your use to seeing me do will be drawing with pens and paints. While I will supply machine embroidery designs, I didn’t do my wallhanging with that technique, I really wanted to showcase using pen and paint to create texture with. I’m going to end this weeks post on Oh Holy Night as it’s really a lot to absorb, but next week, we are going to dig in and really get our hands down and dirty with drawing, placing fabrics, drawing and creating our borders and landscape background. If you choose some fabrics to work with, I’d really love to see them, post them in the Flickr group for all of us to see and be inspired by. Please read the guidelines and features along with the schedule of Oh Holy Night here. I look forward to seeing you then, Marian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *