Yule log

Last year the power company did some tree trimming near the office and they cut some birch branches that I could not let go into the shredder.   I knew that some day I would make them into something.    Today was the day.

I made my version of a Yule Log.

The burning a Yule Log likely started thousands of years ago, most likely in Northern Europe as a winter festival. Each region apparently had its own custom. One Scandinavian Solstice festival was known as Jule which was pronounced Yule. Families would go out into the forest, cut down a huge tree and drag it home, and then set afire. If it was too big for the hearth, they let it hang out into the room! Most cultures seemed to view the Yule log as providing a magical protection over those who burned it.
Some traditions tried to keep the fire burning all year, others for 12 days, which may have been the start of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Keeping a piece of the log and using it to light next year’s Yule log appears to have been a fairly universal tradition. The log’s role was primarily one of bringing prosperity and protection from evil – by keeping the remnant of the log all the year the protection was said to remain across the year.


I don’t have room to but a whole tree in the house so I am making my version with candles.

First I cut some of the birch branches into small logs


I am using tealight candles


I drill a hole in the end of the log with a 1 1/2 inch forstner bit



I bought a wooden base at the craft store


3 log pieces and some greenery berries and a bird are added


It makes a pretty centerpiece and the candles are easy to replace.


I posted pictures of my Christmas Tree before


The pine cones were driving me crazy because I didn’t have enough snow on them so I took them off and added more


Teddy is tired of Christmas decorating


I think we are done now so back to quilting

Happy Decorating



29 thoughts on “Yule log

  1. Ginney says:

    Your candle centerpiece is beautiful Tim! Poor Teddy. Don’t work him so hard.

  2. Martyne says:

    Beautiful Michigan centerpiece Tim. I love it.

  3. Karin Peirce says:

    That is such a nice thing you made with the birch logs. And the tree looks great also, and of course Teddy looks brilliant curled up under it…

  4. katechiconi says:

    Pretty idea; the birch bark is absolutely perfect for this.

  5. Nancy says:

    Oh my! Such original creativity! Your posts have become an absolute favorite ‘not to miss’. It’s ‘what is Tim working on next’.!! We put white birch logs in our glass front woodstove for summer decoration. Those trees are so bendable. Not unusual to see the tops way bent over in bad winter weather.

    • timquilts says:

      Thank you 🙂 My parents had a “decorative” set of birch logs for the fireplace….if they had a fire the birch came out and other logs were burned….I wonder what happened to those logs? they were around for years

      • Kristen says:

        Wait — I thought those birch logs were OUR birch logs that we kept in the “show” fireplace and removed for use of other logs! You had them too? 😉 It was probably a significant portion of mid-century modern households that had the show logs for the summer.

      • timquilts says:

        I wonder how many birch logs were never burned, it really must have been a trend….funny thing is the logs we had came from my grandparents. After my grandmother died and grandfather sold the house my mom brought the logs home to live in our fireplace

  6. Rebecca says:

    That is a great Yule Log idea. I will have to look through our firewood pile to see if I have any birch the right size. I agree with Teddy, decorating can be exhausting!

  7. Kimberly P. says:

    Beautiful!!! You are multi talented and an inspiration to me. As always, thank you for sharing.

  8. Mrs. Plum says:

    Love your centerpiece, Tim!

  9. Patty Gal says:

    You should have some classes for Christmas decorations. These are just beautiful. And your tree is looking very wintry now. Really like. You need to be careful because someone might call animal welfare on you for working Teddy so hard. He’s just a pup, you know (jj)!!!

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks 🙂 I have done holiday centerpiece classes for years….but taking this year off. I imagine I will be back to it next year, I do sort of miss it 9not the organizing part but the fun we have in class)

  10. Jill Buckalew says:

    Great centerpiece Tim. I too, always enjoy your posts. You are inspiring to to get started quilting.

  11. Helen says:

    Oh, beautiful! Love the birches!
    I would buy this arrangement right away!
    Best wishes!

  12. Neame says:

    Keeping traditions alive. Love your version of the Jule log.

  13. Ann says:

    What don’t you do?! Beautiful!


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