Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Take a walk down Holiday Lane...


Welcome to my blog! 
Today I'm participating in the Holiday Lane blog hop with the lovely Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt. Thanks to our super-organized cheerleader, Pauline from Quilt'n Queen and Jillily
Studio for the great pattern!

Here's a photo of my finished piece; keep reading to read how I'm obsessed with Christmas villages, why my project is flat rather than stuffed, and how to enter the giveaway I'm offering.


When I first saw this blog hop, I knew I needed to be a part of it. My actual (porcelain) Christmas village spans a banquet table each December, complete with little evergreens, a mini nativity scene, and battery-powered street lamps. My high school boyfriend (who had his own collection!) got me started 17 years ago, and I've added to my village pretty much every year since. My favorite piece? A church that plays Silent Night that used to belong to my grandpa. 

My first fabric village was this nativity scene, which I recreated from a Christmas card my family received while I was in college. 
I sort of made this up as I went along, using fusible web and a lot of embroidery floss. I didn't know as much about sewing, and I made the border (cropped out here) out of batting. Hee hee. I just liked the texture...
This pillow still sits on my mom's couch every Christmas season. 

But back to Holiday Lane. You can see now why I wanted to be part of this blog hop. 
I also knew exactly what fabrics I wanted to use: a collection of homespuns and flannels that I'd been hoarding. My style isn't very "country," but there's something about a Christmas village 
that simply begs for homespuns and plaids.

Here are the options I started with: 

I auditioned my fabrics and chose the following:

Here it is pieced and appliqued, ready for some stitching embellishment. 
As I stitched, I decided some of the houses needed extra detail, so I added a few more windows 
and doors. 

Take a look at some of the stitching details up close:
I used some of the fancy stitches on my Janome to buttonhole stitch the outside edges of each house, and a cool icicle-looking stitch on the pine trees. The rest of the stitching was free motion quilting.
 Wavy lines through the snowy roofs, light gray zigzags creating "glare" in the windows,
Windowpanes on the windows, and back and forth stitching on the houses and doors.

Here it is as a pillow:
I made an envelope-style pillow and then a muslin pillow form. The muslin pillow form is too fat; you can't see all the houses. So until I redo that, the "pillow" is a wall hanging!

When I fix the pillow form, I think I'll also add some quilting lines into the red border, as it's too floppy and wrinkly compared to the rest of the piece. 

So there's my story! Time to get my Christmas village out to match my pillow...

Now that you've visited me, make sure to check out the other blog hop participants today. I can't wait to see what other quilters did with this pattern!

Wednesday November 21

What's left? How about the giveaway!?!?
This charm square pack of Kate Spain's Flurry collection for Moda could be yours. Just in time for a last-minute holiday project! 

To enter:
1. Sign up as a follower or to follow my blog by email in the right hand sidebar, and then leave a comment to let me know you did so. (If you're already following, thanks! You're the best! Leave a comment here letting me know that.)
2. For a second entry, click here and like my Facebook page, and then leave a comment here letting me know you did so. 
3. Today is my birthday. So just for fun, in your comment for #1 and/or #2, tell me your favorite kind of birthday cake. I made myself pumpkin Kahlua cheesecake on Sunday. Yum! (And yes, I make my own birthday cake. I enjoy baking; my husband doesn't. I get what I want, which is not a store-bought cake, so I'm happy, which means he's happy too. Win-win!)
4. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 EST on Sunday, November 25. I'll use random number generator to select a winner from the comments on November 26. Check back on the 26th to see if you won!

153 comments:

  1. Your pillow is very pretty and I love the quilting you did to embellish it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My favorite birthday cake is cheesecake with strawberries. Happy Birthday!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday!!! Your project is amazing and I love the way you created the g;are on the windows! I am a happy follower of your blog who loves classic white birthday cake with buttercream frosting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy Birthday! I love your pillow and quilting details :) I'm already a follower, oh and my favorite cake is the All American Chocolate Cake which I'll probably be having next Monday on my and my son's birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful fabric choices for your pillow! Happy Birthday from an email follower. My favorite cake is Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake. Sorry don't do Facebook.
    jbechosend at sbcglobal dot net

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy birthday! I love your fabrics. The pillow looks so elegant. I love Schwarzwäldertorte, no idea what this is calle in english (black forest cake?). I look forward to follow you!
    Greetings from Switzerland
    Martina

    ReplyDelete
  7. Really like your colour combination, thanks for sharing and the chance to win, I am a follower!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like you on facebook, and love strawberry and custard pie as my birthday cake!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its lovely - nice colours and I like the way you have quilted it especially the windows.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your little town , it is so lovely with nice colors. My favorite cake is one with dark chocolate cover, like the Austrian Schwarzwaldtorte.
    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  11. And I am a follower
    Thanks for a great give away

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy Birthday :) Your pillow is lovely - I like the wintery sky instead of the black sky and also the extra windws and doors. I like Barefoot Contessa's chocolate and orange cake for my birthday - so moist, yum!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very Cute.. I love the colors.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful pillow! I love it!
    Greetings from Germany
    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great pillow! I love the colors. I am a follower . And I make my own birthday cake too...chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy birthday, lovely pillow well done,

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ohhh Ellie...I love your story, your pillow is sew filled with obsession lol...it is lovely...hard not to get excited at any sort of village, community...it is where our hearts lie....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ohhh just caught the birthday thing....happy name sake day...to everything you wish for ..that is my wish for you

      Delete
  18. I like your pillow as a wall hanging. What a perfect over the mantle piece. Lovely Christmas village too. Happy happy birthday. I love Carrot cake with loads of cream cheese frosting! :-) I just might have to have a piece to celebrate for you today!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I too love homespuns and flannel...great choice and I especially love the extra detailed stitching!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Have a very happy birthday. My favorite kind of cake is...well, as long as its cake and has peanut butter frosting, I'm good!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm a follower! I'm also a baker and love most anything sweet but my favorite cake is (well they are) Pound Cake, Red Velvet, Butternut, Carrott, and last but certainly not least my mother's coconut...
    HEAVEN on EARTH!
    lisamcgriff at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yay I already follow you :) And happy birthday! My favourite cake was always a Lemon Supreme cake - a fancied up Betty Crcoker lemon cake basically - but with a blob of realy yummy vanilla ice cream - oh yah!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love your pillow/wallhanging. My favorite birthday cake is German Chocolate. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy Birthday! I'm a Facebook follower.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My favorite birthday cake is German chocolate. My husband enjoys cooking and baking so he and the kids make it for me every year.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wonderful pillow! I love all the stitching detail you put into it. The log cabin really does look like logs! My faveorite cake is cherry cheesecake. It's even better to have a leftover slice with my coffee the next morning!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just started following your blog. As for cake, my grandmother passed down a recipe for the most delicious fresh, coconut cake. It takes a lot of work, but is worth it! Your village is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your creative process; it's nice to see how others think through it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love your pillow. I'm a follower and my favourite cake is chocolate :0)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Both your cloth villages are fantastic. My favorite is any cake made by my second daughter b/c she makes the best German chocolate type filling and icing especially her spice cake. Drooling!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love your choice of fabrics - it is a beautiful little village!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love your pillow, very nicely done! Happy Birthday!!! My favorite cake is German Chocolate.... yum!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Homespun makes a beautiful village and is so appropriate!
    (I'm already a follower. My birthday cake will be chocolate fudge or German Chocolate. Happy Birthday to you!)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your pillow is so sweet! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great job, wonderful detail stitched in. Also love your navity scene.

    ReplyDelete
  35. love the glare in the windows, and I think the red border looks fine the way it is. Vivian

    ReplyDelete
  36. First of all, Happy Birthday to you! Secondly, this is a great tutorial. I love how you showed how you auditioned your fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happy Birthday!!
    I'm a new follower and I like chocolate cake!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Fantastic village street, I can see myself walking down that street! Looks great! :)
    My favourite birthday cake is pineapple upside down cake!
    Thank you for the chance!
    I'm a follower, of course :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I just signed up to follow you - I love your pillow! Happy, happy birthday to you - you kahlua cake sounds wonderful. I like turtle cake but unfortunately no one else in the house does :(

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm following you on Facebook! Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving, too!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm a follower, via GFC! My favorite birthday cake is orange, with orange glaze, but I wouldn't turn down a Tiramisu, either. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving. I'm a follower and your pillow is a great addition to your collection.
    Blessings
    Gmama jane

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you for sharing your story- the pillow is beautiful, but as a wall hanging perfect- it will be wonderful to see with your other Christmas village pieces as a backdrop- that is so original and I am so jealous- love the detailed stitiching in the windows!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Happy Birthday! What a fun way to celebrate your birthday by sharing your beautiful pillow with all of us. Your fabrics and stitching are amazing...I love it! Oh, and chocolate cake is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Rosemary B here:
    Good morning and Happy Birthday
    Your pillow wall hanging is just marvelous! I adore the colors and the one you made with the nativity scene is also very beautiful.
    I already follow your blog.
    My favorite cake is vanilla cake with any frosting, preferably lemon or vanilla... or coconut.
    Hubby and I celebrate a week apart in December :-)
    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational and very lovely project.
    Happy thanksgiving too

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love ice cream cakes for my Birthday .. mine is Nov 1st but I celebrate all month..

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am a follower of your blog. I just love the homespuns in this projecy. It really look wonderful. Your first piece from the card is also lovely.

    Happy birthday to you! The cake sounds delicious, but my favorite is a spice cake with penuche icing.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Happy Birthday To You! I love chocolate cake the best.
    I love your Holiday Lane, it's a lovely pillow.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Good morning Ellie and the Happiest Birthday to you! I love how you auditioned your fabrics...I did the exact same and I used home spun fabrics too. The nativity scene is beautiful as is your Holiday Lane pillow. Your FMQ is wonderful, I can only dream. I love how you added the gold border before adding the flange...frames the pillow nicely. Thanks for your commitment and for sharing in the hop. Happy stitching, Pauline

    ReplyDelete
  50. Happy Birthday to you... hope you have an awesome day!
    Love your pillow and want a slice of your pumpkin Kahlua cheesecake... Yum! Thanks for the great giveaway Ü

    ReplyDelete
  51. Very nicely done, I like this. And ♫Happy Birthday♪ ♫ My favorite birthday cake isn't cake, but Lemon pie, no marange(sp) please. I am your newest follower.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Love your pillow.....it looks nice as a wall hanging also?....hope you have a wonderful birthday...my favorite cake is carrot cake with butter cream frosting...

    ReplyDelete
  53. A pillow and a wall hanging...YES! Perfect. My favorite cake, gee, German chocolate. No, Cheesecake, No, Sho Fly Cake, No, Gee, there are soooo many I cannot decide, I like them all. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am a follower. I like ice cream cake or an ice cream roll for a favorite b-day cake. Love your pillow!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I "liked" you on facebook. Nice work on the pillow--chocolate ice-cream cake roll!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Great pillow! I like the 'glare' you added to the windows and the fabric you chose as a background. I'm a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I like you on FB. Happy Birthday! My favourite cake is carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am a new follower...I thought I already followed you; shoot!! Great job on your pillow....I love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Love that you chose homespuns! blessings, marlene

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm a new follower and really love any Chocolate cake for my birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  61. 1. I signed up to follower by email. Love your pillow and sounds like your other village is outstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  62. 2. I went to facebook and 'liked' your page. Happy Birthday, best day of the year is my b'day. Good ole Chocolate cake with ice cream is my favorite. Yours sounds yummy too.

    ReplyDelete
  63. HAPPY TO FOLLOW YOU VIA GFC!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES!
    ANY CHOCOLATE CAKE IS SO FINE!
    LOVE YOUR LITTLE FABRIC HOUSE BLOCKS!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Gorgeous project. I am a new follower of your blog and my favourite cake is angel food with 7 minute frosting. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity on the draw.
    bonnielarson58@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Happy Birthday, Elle! My favorite cake is HOMEMADE German Chocolate with the coconut and pecan frosting!!
    Loved hearing about your Christmas village. I've seen some gorgeous porcelain ones but I really like your idea of expanding into other mediums to create villages.
    I am a new follower of your blog. Sorry, I don't "do" Facebook. :(

    ReplyDelete
  67. Happy Birthday. My favorite cake is homade devils food cake. I follow by GFC. Thanks for chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Great pillow! Definitely agree with Madame Samm's choice on this! My favorite cake is marble. Best of both worlds!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Lovely pillow, I love Lazy Daisy cake with the coconut cream and brown sugar on top! Happy Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I'm a new follower! I love the fabric choices you used for the pillow and all the great quilting on it! Wonderful looking pillow! hulseybg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  71. What a pretty pillow...love the details! My favorite b-day cake is chocolate with raspberry filling and chocolate icing...yummy! Happy Birthday....I'm a new follower :o)

    ReplyDelete
  72. I liked you on facebook!
    hulseybg at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to add my favorite cake...any kind of cheesecake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

      Delete
  73. I am a new follower via email, love your talent! awolk at rogers dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I love ice cream cake, in Canada Dairy Queen is my favourite! Happy Birthday! awolk at rogers dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. What a neat pillow which also makes a wonderful wall hanging! Happy Birthday and my favorite cake is a Red Velvet cake!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I'm a follower and like you on FB!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I love it as a wallhanging....hummmm

    ReplyDelete
  78. Love your pillow...I'm a new follower...Happy Birthday by the way...my fav birthday cake is --- Raspberry Baked Cheesecake..

    ReplyDelete
  79. Love the idea of making your lane into a wall hanging and it is so country. Happy Birthday and I'm with you on making my own cake or birthday treat. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  80. First of all Happy Birthday!!!! Glad you got your favorite cake even if you made it yourself. Your Holiday Lane pillow is great! I love the extra details you added and the special quilting is wonderful!! I hadn't even given my homespuns a thought and yours turned out cute...now I feel sad for mine tucked away in tub...somewhere. :) Have a Happy Birthday and a Happy Thanksgiving!!

    ReplyDelete
  81. I'm a new follower. I like your pillow as a wall hanging. I really like wall hangings and our 3 girls (dogs) seem to love and takeover any pillows I try to decorate with. The quilting on it is fantastic(I'm a beginner at FMQ & hope to get that good)
    thelady(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  82. I liked you on facebook.
    thelady(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Happy Birthday! My favorite Birthday cake is German Chocolate.
    thelady(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  84. Yes I am a follower. I loved your pillow and scene! Happy Birthday. My birthday is on Tuesday. I will be 73. WOW!!!
    I love anything choclate

    ReplyDelete
  85. My favorite birthday cake is always chocolate...I can't help it, I'm just addicted! I love stories that are part of the quilts, thanks for sharing yours, and Happy Birthday!
    I am a follower, btw!

    ReplyDelete
  86. I am a new follower and we share the same birthday.So Happy Birthday to you. I like an ice cream cake from Baskin and Robbins pralines and cream.Yummy.
    Great job on the cushion love it.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I am a follower, my favorite bithday cake is blackberry cobbler. I know it's not cake but that's what I always have for my birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I liked you on FB, it's under Rina Mason

    ReplyDelete
  89. Happy Birthday. I like your version. The sky quilting is great.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Didn't know you were on FB. Liked you. :-) My favorite cake is angel food. That's what I always ask for! I love how your project turned out! I love the Christmas villages. I just can't seem to bring myself to collect them. I think it's the thought of another collection that I can't bear. But I just adore them!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I really like the fabrics you used and the little extras you added.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Happy Birthday! Mine is in a week.

    I'm a new follower. My favorite cake ever is homemade carrot cake, plain, no frosting.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Happy birthday.It`s super cute and also could be a wallhanging!
    I love anything with black chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I am an old follower. I love your Homespun Village! Funny, my decorating taste used to be country when I lived in the city, now that I live in the country...antiques, simple and elegant and quilts!!! A very Happy Birthday to you! My favorite cake is a white cake with milk chocolate frosting.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I love blog hops! It's one of the best ways to find bloggers that inspire my own creativity. I'm a new follower who loves spice cakes with or without icing!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Very cool how you quilted the window panes...great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Happy birthday! Like your pillow as a wall hanging. I'm a new follower. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I liked you on Facebook. My favorite cake is pound cake - any flavor. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Neat way to celebrate your birthday. Hope you have had a great day. Your village and your stitching is lovely. So nice to see what inspired you so many years ago. It must be very special to your mother. A treasure she keeps using. Chocolate is my favorite cake. I just became a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Loved your pillow, thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  101. Fluffy or fat....that's one cute pillow.

    ReplyDelete
  102. i signed up for e-mail and gfc because gfc is had to get latley

    ReplyDelete
  103. happy birthday my birthday is sat. and i am having a birthday giveaway on my blog wont-to-bequilter

    ReplyDelete
  104. I follow, and I like lemon pound cake.
    carrie dot hare at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  105. It would have to be a chocolate cake...chocolate frosting! Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Love your fabric choices and the window quilting!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Great job. You are right, this is sew right up your alley. Happy Birthday. I have never met a cake I did not like.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Happy Birthday!! Your pillow is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!! I'm a follower!!!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Happy birthday to you! My favorite birthday cake is an angel food cake, which my mother always made from scratch.

    Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Lovely idea to use homespuns for your holiday lane... has a sweet homey feel to it.

    Happy Birthday! I have a girlfriend that makes the best chocolate zucchini cake... my favourite. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  111. I am a new follower! I have to have German Chocolate cake for my birthday, and not out of a box. I think that canned coconut-pecan frosting is just nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  112. New follower and looking forward to getting to know you. I love the look of your pillow!

    ReplyDelete
  113. I 'liked' you on facebook. I love ice cream, so a DQ ice cream cake is my fav.

    ReplyDelete
  114. I love how the quilting on the 3rd from left makes it look like a log cabin. I love all the homespun fabrics you chose. Lovely pillow. Thanks for sharing.
    I am a new follower. I love Red Velvet Cake. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    ReplyDelete
  115. I am a new follower. I love any kind of cheesecake except chocolate. Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Sorry I missed your birthday....happy belated...love your pillow. I am a big fan of homespuns. I became your follower and I love German Chocolate Cake. See you on November 26th...that's my day! Happy Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I love the detail on your pillow! It is beautiful. I am now a follower. My favorite cake is carrot cake. Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Fantastic, love your fabrics and your quilting, beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  119. I am a new follower and I will be back often.

    ReplyDelete
  120. I am now following you on Facebook and I loved your story behind the pillow and I like much better flat than as a pillow. Happy Birthday. A good chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting is a good option.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Angel food...sugar free Angel Food :) I love the Wal Mart for having so many sugar free goodies!!!
    Happy B'day!!!
    Thanks for the giveaway
    vickie.van@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  122. Darling job ... I love the myriad of stitches you used to really enhance the finished product! :)

    ReplyDelete
  123. Wonderful work and the homespuns are perfect for this. I am with you on the birthday cake - much better to get what you want than store bought. Works every time at my house. Judy C

    ReplyDelete
  124. I love your colors and LOVE your sky! Happy (belated) birthday -- I will be posting my pillow on my birthday, too! I'm happy for any cake I get, although I don't often get one, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  125. I am a new follower. I love your pillow your personalization of the pillow is wonderful, I especially like the glare on the windows. My favorite birthday cake is carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Happy belated birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  126. I am a new follower. And what a fun pillow you made. My Favorite cake is Strawberry Shortcake

    ReplyDelete
  127. You did a great job with the pillow! Looks great. I love an ice cream cake. :) Happy belated bday!

    ReplyDelete
  128. Your pillow is great, and I love the fabrics you've used.

    ReplyDelete
  129. So sorry I missed you on your birthday! We share the same day! I was on a road trip so I didnt get to blog hop like I wanted to... We got home this afternoon after being on a 16 day trip!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Hi!!! It is very pretty and so is your manger quilt!!!

    ReplyDelete