Oh Holy Night – Week 2

2015-stbs-2 half backgrounds 2015-stbs-2 half backgrounds-RrLandscapes are one of my most favorite quilt types. However, I had never made one until I started this Block Of The Week. The artwork itself for the nativity parts do not include a landscaping scene, but in order to place nativity shapes I really felt a landscape was necessary. I didn’t just want to place them in blocks and call it a day. So, while this lesson is what I would call time consuming, it is pretty easy to do. I mentioned last week the sources that could be used for creating your own landscape. This lesson is totally optional and you are free to go whatever route you wish to add your shapes to a quilt or wallhanging. This lesson is image heavy, with approximately 90 images, their is alot to show you in how to do this part of the wallhanging. Two pdf files are included in this lesson to download with, that give you exact shapes like the above images, however, I’m going to show you how to create your own with this lesson. I am by no means an expert, this lesson was just a idea in my mind from all the tutorials, videos, dvds, and books I’ve read on doing landscape techniques. I chose this method because I am most familiar with applique and because I do not like using heat n bond/wonder under as a source for applique. You can however use the same principles in creating your own landscape, just skip the turned edge applique tutorial part of this lesson. You may choose to use a different machine stitching technique also. There are no machine embroidery designs in this lesson. stbs-OHN-w2_01 Reynold’s Freezer Paper to create your shapes with. Medical Tracing Paper to draw your shapes on. Paper Scissors for cutting your papers out with. Fabric Scissors to cut your fabric with. Ironing Pad to iron freezer paper onto fabric. Iron to Iron Freezer Papers, and Fabric. Roxeanne’s Glue Base and/or Elmers Glue Stick for helping place the shapes on the layout. Painters Tape to help put your layout pieces together, and piece shapes together. Rotary Cutting Ruler to help draw lines to work in. Rotary Cutter and/or Replacement Blades (not shown) to cut around your fabric. Sharpie Ultra Fine and Fine markers Flat Pins for pinning Sewing Machine Invisible Thread (I prefer this, but you could use Cotton thread) Needles for your machine or your hand if doing hand applique. Cotton 50wt Thread for your bobbin (I use grey) See Week 1’s lesson for fabrics and amounts. Once you have your supplies, we can get started.. Cut your sky piece at 50-inches x 16-inches (this allows you some wiggle room and extra can be cut off later) Cut a backing piece at 50-inches by 22-inches (to sew your shapes onto) of muslin or a solid color that compliments your fabric choices for your hills. I actually used some Kona white cotton I have hanging around, it’s the only solid fabric I own at the moment. The same goes here, I’ve allowed some wiggle room to be cut later after you add your shapes. Stitch them together to combine the sky and backing fabric into one piece. I didn’t take a picture of this, I have no idea why, but I goofed, however, near the bottom of this lesson you will be able to see what I mean by this because I do have a picture of my “wiggle room” with the shapes stitched on.

Medical Tracing Paper

In my examples below, I used freezer paper so it would show better, but I did actually use tracing paper to draw the shapes on.. The reason we use the tracing paper to start out with is because it allows us to turn it over and redraw the freezer shapes onto the freezer paper so that they are already reversed.


Cut a long piece, and depending on how wide your tracing paper is, there are various widths, 19-inch being the most common, but I have seen 14 and 21-inch width sizes also available. You’ll want your length to be at least 25-inches long. You’ll need 3 of these cut.

In the image above I show the paper taped to my cutting mat, but I did this because my table is small and I can turn the mat around back and forth, if your using a large table, wait to tape it until after you mark your papers.


 From the top of your length, take a ruler and measure at about 3-inches from the top (this is important at the top of your background so please give yourself that 3-inches)

I’m going to note here, that the 3-inches is allowed so that as your drawing, you need to draw over the line even tho that is your sky, you want your shapes to overlap into the sky, so that they look like hills. If you keep your shapes under the line at the top, they will not work when your putting them all together and you’ll have to draw some shapes to cover your backing. I only allowed myself an inch and it was not enough, I ended up redrawing my shapes on the top, so while 3-inches should be enough, if you think you want to take it up to 5-inches, cut your lengths longer at 27-inches even.


With your Sharpie Fine Marker, mark the line at the top.

On the top of the paper, write, “Top Page 1”

Now, let’s mark the bottom


Using the lengthwise part of your ruler, measure first from the middle of the paper at 21-inches in length, draw a line.


Do the same at the right and left sides of the paper.


Complete the line


and you should now have a line on both the top and bottom of the paper.

Write on the Bottom with the words “Bottom Page 1”

I didn’t do this and wish I had, but add a line on each side also that perhaps is 1-inch from the edge. When you combine the papers, it will be easier to line up if you do it.

Do this for all 3 sheets of tracing paper making sure you add the text and change the page number to the appropriate number.

These lines represent your working area. Your going to draw your shapes within the rectangular area, having the lines marked lets you know where you can stop at.


At this point you can tape your paper onto the table, or the surface your going to use to draw on.


If you have a large table, combine your papers so it’s one long sheet (using the side lines you drew to combine them). Use the Painters Tape to tape the sections together.


Use small pieces to combine, it’s easier to control the paper and allows you to easily fix mistakes instead of using one long piece of tape.

Tape the back side only for the moment, if you tape both sides right now it will be more difficult to remove the tape later.

If you don’t know why Painters tape is recommended it’s because it’s kind of like masking tape, but not masking tape. Painters tape has the ability to stick firmly against the surface you tape it to, and then easily lift it off later without it tearing your papers.  It’s not you can rip it off, but it is easily lifted off of the paper and we use alot of it in this lesson.

I’ll discuss this combining papers together later in this lesson a bit more, but for now we are pretty set to draw now.

Time to get brave, remember, it’s just a pen and some cheap tracing paper, your not going to hurt a thing and you can always start over if your not happy with it.


I started out by trying to mimic what I drew in Electric Quilt, but as I drew I started changing things You want to give yourself some room, don’t make your shapes small, but don’t make them so large that it will overtake in the fabric. Once you see how mine turned out, you will see mine is quite a bit different from what you see above.

If you didn’t combine your papers, your going to have some open shapes left on one side, this is quite alright and really how you want it. One of my shapes extended all the way into page 3, but it’s fat in some parts and skinny in other parts, so it doesn’t look like it doesn’t work out. It’s the only batik in my landscape also.


Remove the tape from the table and paper. It will come off easily, just go slowly.


Combine page 2 onto page 1.


Tape your back side like shown above, on the front tape in the open parts of your shape, making sure to match up the lines on the side. Do not tape the whole piece across.

My image above shows the shapes numbered, please do not do this yet.


If possible, before you tape down the sections, place your paper like your combining it, and draw the extended shapes into the next page.


I’m not sure why I didn’t tape page 2 to page 1, but I think the tape on the back must have been in place so well I wasn’t having any problems drawing. I do know that at some point I did tape these down.


Continue drawing your shapes in.


When you make little pen mistakes, darken your line a bit so you know where your going. Sometimes, I will squiggle out a bad line also, you’ll see these in some of the later drawings.


This is how I’m looking now that page 2 is close to being finished.


This is another view now that it’s finished.

Continue on with page 3 and finish it up.

Once I finished (again no pictures, I’m sorry) I went to page 1 and at the middle of the page, I measured across drawing a dashed line at every 24-inch intervals. My ruler is the Omnigrid 6×24 ruler so I just used the full length of the ruler. You want to measure to a full width length of 48-50 inches. Your wallhanging is 48-inches wide when finished without borders, but you’ll want that wiggle room should you have any issues with the sewing. (I had some backing bunch up, so I was happy to have that wiggle room). Draw a full line at the 48-50 inch mark so you know where you can stop drawing at or within that limitation area.


As I worked I rolled up my paper.


I had some clothespins handy so I used them to hold the tube in place.


If you remember, at the top of this lesson I told you how I didn’t use the “top” lines to their full advantage, let me show you here an example of what happened.


I needed my shapes to be over that “top” line, But they were nearly 3-inches short, and I didn’t even notice the problem until I went to start adding my shapes to my backing and I couldn’t get them to match up. I ended up adding to the bottom of the hanging instead to recoup that 3-inch loss, so please don’t make that same mistake I did, draw over that line. Every shape needs to cover that line. In the end, I’m very happy with my backing, I just wish I’d have realized then what I was doing, it would have saved me some additional work.


We can now start numbering our shapes.

I did not worry about order here, I just numbered my shapes, and their is no reason to worry about an order either, you will see why soon.


Try to spread out your entire paper when it’s done, look for any mistakes. As you can see, I squiggled some lines out, and redrew some others. I didn’t want mine to look uniform if you can really use that word, I really wanted the shapes to vary in size and shape, but still maintain a hill appearance. I knew it worked when my husband figured out what I’d drawn.


When you get to pages 2 and 3 any overlapping pieces that were part of the previous page should also be numbered. This is because when you cut these apart later (with your freezer paper templates) you will need to put them back together and you’ll want to know what shapes match up. I forgot a few of these and I ended up having to compare the shapes, so be sure you get them all. Look for those smaller ones, that’s what gobbled me up. 🙂


Turn your tracing paper over. The above image is my freezer paper and as you can see, it shows the shapes pretty well.


This is my actual tracing paper front example.


On the reverse side of the tracing paper, while you can see well, You need to be able to see it good enough to trace over again. So test it please. Take a piece of freezer paper and look how well you can see it, I could see it, but not well enough to see all the lines, so I retraced over the lines on the reverse side of the tracing paper and renumbered them with the numbers I’d put on the front.  It goes pretty fast to retrace it, so don’t worry if you need to do it to.

We need to be able to see this so we can draw the reverse shapes onto the freezer paper. If your thinking, well I could have just used the freezer paper in the first place and not used the tracing paper, it’s entirely possible your eye site is better than mine and you could see well enough to trace two copies. You’d need a 2nd copy to gain the reverse side. You have to have some kind of layout to lay your shapes on after you cut them out, (thus we have our original drawing as the layout) and this is the reason we used tracing paper as our first choice instead of freezer paper. If you do a lot of applique, you will understand why we need the two pieces of paper, one for our actual reversed shapes, the other to layout on after we iron our shapes onto fabric, cut them out and then like a puzzle we put them all back together again.

So now, we need to make our template shapes. To do so, we are basically going to use the same routine we did with our first 3 pages, but we can save a bit of time because we are tracing now.

Lay the reverse tracing paper down on your table and tape it in place. I worked 1 page at a time because I don’t have the space to layout the entire surface. It’s also a bit easier to continue on because you will have to move your tracing paper at some point to move onto page 2 unless you can lay it all out on a big surface like a dining room table. If I had a dining room table I would have used it to. 🙂

Place your page 1 of your freezer paper over the tracing paper and tape it in place.


Match the lines and redraw your top, bottom and sides. Start tracing over your shapes.

Label them with the numbers, making sure to get each shape, do all 3 pages.

We are now ready to start the next phase of this landscape.

Page 2

5 thoughts on “Oh Holy Night – Week 2

  1. Your gift to your readers of these wonderful tutorials and patterns is amazing. The time you spend documenting and photographing your process has to be significant. Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you so much Sue… While I didn’t stitch out this weeks row, the time spent even creating rows and getting them ready has been significant, but I wouldn’t do it unless I loved doing it. I also love sharing my patterns, and that’s why 95% of all my patterns have always been free first, then go up for sale later. 🙂

  2. Is there any way the directions for this wallhanging to be made more printer friendly? I am not savy on the computer and don’t know how to save this to make it. I would very much love to make this for Christmas. Thanks for your time and sharing of your talents with us.

    1. Sally,

      I’m not sure if your asking if the directions like the “how to” make your own landscape or if the pdfs are the problem. I am going to go with the idea that you want to print the instructions for these pages I’ve written on making your own landscapes. What you can try to do is, go to the print line in your browser, and do a print preview versus print itself, see if your pc has an option to print to pdf, thus you can save the pdf to your computer and then print correctly from that. You will have to print to pdf both pages.

      If your browser doesn’t offer a pdf feature in the print preview, consider installing print to pdf software such as Cute PDF or PDF Fill. I have my pdf printer software set as my default printer and I change to my printer when I need to print something out.

      After I get friday’s pattern out, I will try to work up a tutorial on how to print to pdf from your browser also that I hope will help.

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