For me, the first step in quilting a new pattern is always to practise it on paper before I even think about approaching the machine. I have a huge long roll of tracing paper that I like to use for practising my quilting designs. I practised the pattern below for a couple hours (the image is slightly grainy because tracing paper doesn't seem to like being photographed!). Mom even brought me in some ivy from the garden so I could try and copy it more accurately!
Then came the actual quilting! We loaded the quilt onto the frame, and then auditioned some threads to see which ones we would use first.
We ended up using King Tut #988 Oasis for the garland. The King Tut creates a beautifully bold line, and we really wanted the quilting to stand out. In the image below, you can see the end of the garland. this is actually two layers of thread - I used Twist, and then King Tut #988. The berries were done using Magnifico.
Next was the Christmas trees themselves! I used King Tut again (this time #981 Cobra) for the branches. It was a very striking effect, and I like how every tree is slightly different - almost like real life!
Between the Christmas trees, I used Fantastico #5170 Pixie Dust to create curls that looked a little bit like swirling snow. This thread was beautiful to use, and it wasn't a thread that I would have immediately thought to use with a white background. On the cone it looks a lot more colourful! It blended beautifully, leaving behind a wonderful, snowy texture.
The final quilt looked a LOT like the original Christmas card that mom based her piecing on. We like the quilted version better though!