Merry Christmas with Gretel

I had fun shooting pictures of my Gretel fabric collection at Christmas. Even though it wasn’t designed as a Christmas line specifically, the collection feels like Christmas to me for so many reasons.

First of all, Gretel totally needs a Gingerbread House, right? There is no Hansel this year, though I have been asked if there is a Hansel collection in the works. Not at the moment, but it’s fun to wonder what that would look like…

I can’t claim credit for this gingerbread house. My photo helper, Erika loaned me her mom’s gingerbread house for the photo. (Which, looks much cuter than any that we make at our house. Plus, our gingerbread houses usually have pieces missing or bites taken within a few days…)

There’s another reason Gretel has a little bit of a sentimental feel for me at Christmas. About 50 years ago, my mom went on a study abroad semester to Europe. While she was on that experience she visited Germany and Salzburg, Austria where she bought two matching red and green dirndls for her nieces. (Dirndls are the traditional folk dress from the Austrian/Bavarian region of Europe.)

Six years later my mom had two little girls of her own who wore those dirndls for Christmas. Yep! That’s me on the right. Since that time many other siblings, and grandchildren have worn those timeless dresses, including my own girlies when they were little.

(Our hand-knit stocking tradition is also still going strong. I still use that same stocking from this photo.)

So when I created my booth for Quilt Market last spring, I knew I needed a dirndl in my booth.  My friend Erika made this one for me using the Burda 9509 pattern.

My mom also brought back German Christmas ornaments from that time 50 years ago as well as subsequent trips. And then I married a boy who was born in Germany and lived there again as a teenager while his dad was stationed there with the US Army both times. So we’ve started collecting German ornaments ourselves. There will always been a little bit of a German connection for us at Christmas. (It’s one of my bucket list goals to visit a real German Christkindl Markt one day!)

Fraulein Quilt Pattern by Amy Smart

I’m excited to share a lot more projects and ideas made with Gretel after the new year. If you missed it, you can also check out my latest new pattern made with Gretel, called Fraulein, here.

Gretel is available in your favorite local quilt shop now. If you can’t find it locally, you can find it online at Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop, Lady Belle Fabrics, and the Fat Quarter Shop

I hope you’re getting some time for that last minute sewing. I finished my pillowcases for the year and I think my sewing time is wrapped up for now. Time now for actual gift-wrapping, delivering, and all of the last-minute hoopla. Next week is my favorite week of the season – once the running around is done, just hanging out with family.

Good luck with all of the last minute sewing. Remember, if the Grinch could do it, so can you.

One last question: Are you signed up to receive my newsletter? I’ll send out Christmas newsletter tomorrow (Saturday) with my annual Christmas gift. So if you’re not subscribed, you just might want to do that. (You can sign up here.)

Just sayin’.


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  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    This fabric collection is so cute. I love it so much.
    I have four grand girlies now. They neeeeed dresses

    Yes, we made gingerbread houses and they did not look this good either, mainly bc we are also nibblers. I believe every day that house sits out, it gets dusty, so it is best to make it, take a pile of pictures and then have a nibble fest.
    That really explains the meaning behind “Take a picture, it’ll last longerrrrrr”

    Happy Merry Christmas Amy to you and your whole fam.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    My family has the same stockings. I just knit one for my cousin’s wife to welcome her to the family.

    • Reply
      December 22, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      I love finding other people with that same stocking in their family!

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    December 21, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Lovely collection and photos (as usual). I have a dirndl right here that my grandparents brought from Austria, I believe, when I was quite small (4 or 5). When my brother and I were cleaning out my mom’s condo last month, we found my dirndl and his lederhosen (tho’ they are not leather). They came back to Ohio with us! I’d share a photo here if I could. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Such a lovely post! I love the German ornament and your Gretal line! Have a wonderful Holiday!

  • Reply
    Christine Sherman
    December 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    So beautiful, a must have!

  • Reply
    Katharina Schwarz
    December 22, 2018 at 1:36 am

    The Dirndl is so beautiful, I like the Fabric Collection! Have a good Christmas Time. Many Greetings from Bavaria.

  • Reply
    Opett Barbara
    December 22, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Very Merry Christmas to you and Yours Amy xx/oo

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 6:28 am

    There is a wonderful outdoor German market in the town of Mifflinburg in central Pennsylvania. It is always the weekend of the third Saturday in December and attracts thousands of visitors who enjoy authentic German foods and crafts. There’s lots to do in the surrounding area and nothing requires a passport!

  • Reply
    Sandra Hamer
    December 22, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Lovely fabric,wishing I could just scoop it up through the tablet it’s so lucsious,love all the German things,,do you have dishes? Sandra Hamer in Lansing Michigan

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Happy Holidays Amy! I loved hearing about the traditions in your background and what your new Gretal line means for you! I love that line and Fraulein is nice too! I also have a German background.

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Love the fabric collection, but the story behind it is even better ;). I do hope you get to visit Germany some time. We used to go at Christmas and I have wonderful memories of the little town and the hotel at the top of the hill where we would stay, as well as all the walks in woods with all the snow on the branches. :). Enjoy your time with your family…that’s what I’m doing as well. <3

  • Reply
    Cindy Oelkers
    December 22, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and photos. Love all your beautiful quilts.
    Merry Christmas.

  • Reply
    Jenny Coyle
    December 23, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Super pretty fabrics – I am sure they will be popular. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you, Jenny!

  • Reply
    Marie Spanos
    December 23, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Merry Christmas and a Happy.Heatlthy New Year 2019 to you, Amy and Family and all subscribers everywhere.
    Amy, I am retiring from quilting 2019/ end of year, donating all material and tools and UFQ. Will be crafting, still.?

  • Reply
    December 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I have the same stocking my grandmother knitted for me-the one on the right. Unfortunately, mine had a large candle let go and it poured all over it like lava. I have tried everything so just use it for decoration now Merry Christmas, Susan

    • Reply
      December 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Oh sad! (my son just did that to a table runner I’d made, so I can only imagine the damage to a knitted stocking!) Mine has a big scorch mark from getting too close to the first one year, so it’s mostly decorative too. But glad they can still be around as a memento!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Beautiful fabrics, wonderful post! My father’s family emigrated from Altenbach in 1851, two brothers came. Someday, I’d like to go. My father was stationed in Frankfort in 1954-57, and went to see Altenbach, finding many Beckenbachs and Eisenhowers- Eisenhauers still there. =) It’s a beautiful country.

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