Patterns and tutorials

A Hanukkah Quilt Festival of Lights aka Candles Burn Bright

I spend a few minutes (usually less than 15) on Instagram most days. I connect with many other quilters and am amazed by their creativity and talent. I also hear of some interesting opportunities. This year, around the middle of March, I saw a post from Golden Peak Media, the parent company that publishes Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, Quick and Easy Quilts, and more. They were looking for Hanukkah quilt designs, and their deadline was less than 48 hours away. I happened to have a free evening and I decided to play around with EQ8 and see what I could create. I ended up with the design above, which I submitted.

I was beyond surprised when I got an e-mail less than a week later letting me know that they wanted to publish my quilt in Quiltmaker! I got the e-mail the day after my birthday, and it was a fantastic birthday present.

The wonderful editor sent me a digital catalog of Andover Hanukkah fabrics I could use for the design. After playing around a little and exploring different options with the fabric, I came up with this design.

This pattern includes many symbols of the holiday, including the Star of David, flames, spinning dreidels and gold pieces or geld. For this version, I used a different method to form the gold pieces, and changed the background of the spinners so the background “ribbons” stop at the edge of the gold pieces. (You can see where I missed one on the picture above).

I received all of the material from Andover. And Hobbs agreed to supply the batting for the project. I started making blocks and sent many “in progress” photos to the editor. Here are a few of them.

Of course, I had to keep the project and the pictures secret. I had one major issue. I made all 36 candle blocks and then realized that I cut the white background squares too narrow. I had to ask for more fabric, then seam rip 72 seams. Unfortunately, the fabric got lost in shipping. I did everything else I could on the quilt and then started hunting for the right shade of Andover Century Solids for the background. I started looking at Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg and to my great surprise, their website said it was in stock. I was surprised because I had not seen Andover Century Solids at the store. I went in and asked Marianne, the owner, where I could find the fabric, as it was not with the other solids. She first said that they did not have it, then she remembered that they ordered one bolt to test it when they were deciding on which solids to carry. She had just enough for me to remake the blocks.

Once I got past that challenge, it was fun. I particularly enjoyed figuring out the quilting patterns. Here is my photo of the finished quilt before I sent it off:

And here are a couple of pictures from the November/December 2022 Quiltmaker Magazine. I had named the quilt “Festival of Lights” but Quiltmaker calls it “Candles Burn Bright”.

Before I could even get a print copy from Golden Peak Media, I went to visit Capital Quilts to take the quilt in for display, and they had copies for sale, so I had to get one!

I even designed a table runner version, and I am teaching a class on it at Capital Quilts in November. Here’s the table runner version.

It uses the same Star of David and candle paper piecing, with an adjusted background and borders. I can’t wait to share my paper piecing techniques.

This has been a wonderful experience. The folks at Golden Peak have been wonderfully supportive. And I cannot thank Marianne at Capital Quilts enough for letting me teach this class and share my excitement over this publication!

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