If any of your friends has any connections to or love of the Scandinavian countries, you can whip up some quick and easy, but still stunning gifts for them with simple appliqué.

Technically, Scandinavia includes Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Add in Iceland and Finland, and you’ll have the Nordic countries. However, there is no need to be too specific as many will love Scandinavian design and patterns. One of the more recognised shapes is that of the Swedish Dala Horse, in Swedish ‘dalahäst’.

The Dala Horse has become a symbol of traditional and authentic Swedish handicraft and it is today one of Sweden’s most popular souvenirs, especially in the 3D wooden form. The name comes from its home county of Dalarna, located in the middle of Sweden.

For quilters, just using the outline of the dalahäst will be enough, everyone will recognise it instantly.

So why not grab the dalahäst template (free in the shop) and some plain-ish kitchen towels. Appliqué the horse on, give it a quick press and you’re done.

For Charity Christmas Fairs I frequently add the dalahäst to toddlers’ dribble bibs, tote bags and aprons.

You could e.g. cut out two horses, sew them partly together, add a ribbon and some toy stuffing in-between before closing the seam completely. Voila, you’ve got a Scandi Christmas tree decoration. Using your imagination, you’ll probably come up with lots of other uses too.

God Jul! (Merry Christmas)