Category Archives: Christmas quilts

Christmas Quilt

Well I decided that there would be no Fun Friday last week and worked on my Christmas quilt.

Block 16

Block 16/16

All of the tree blocks are quilted and I’m practicing some free-motion designs for the border. Here are my practice pieces, starting with poinsettias (used up some pink thread and almost-empty bobbins). I like the poinsettia but not the meandering in-between.

Poinsettia motif

Poinsettia motif

Here are some other designs I’ve started playing with. So far I’m leaning toward the tree/snowflake motifs. The trunk of the trees will come out from the inner seam of the border.

Tagline, practice border quilting, holly, trees/snowflakes

Tagline, practice border quilting, holly, trees/snowflakes

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Practice border quilting, trees/presents

Is this pieced binding not cool? Not.

Pieced binding

Pieced binding

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Well, yes, it’s cool but it’s so not happening. Perhaps if I pressed the seams open (perhaps not). Perhaps if I cut wider strips to begin with (perhaps not). I had to use less than 1/4-inch seam and it tends to stretch funkily–is that even a word. I’ll repurpose this strip-pieced set and go with some Christmas polka dot fabric I have.

Binding fabric

Binding fabric

When I’m not working on the Christmas quilt, I’m spending part of every day weaving in thread ends on Self-Portrait II. I’ll take a break from my pile of Christmas projects as soon as that’s done. I should be able to finish my Christmas tree quilt this week. It’s a busy week–my husband has pre-op for one cataract surgery, I’m teaching a young person to sew, and there will be a new exhibit at Crystal Bridges (American Made Folk Art), which I’ll be previewing on Fun Friday.  All of us local makers are excited. Throw in exercise, cooking, and cleaning and I’ll be ready for another vacation. Till next time, I hope you’re surviving the heat, the floods, the politics, Brexit, and the mayhem and chaos that is our world.

 

 

Christmas in April (and May)

Last week I mentioned that the next quilt on my fix or die list was Tree’s Up! Lights On!  I hated the tiny stipple quilting I had done in two blocks and it was just too much to rip (I had previously ripped out the quilting on at least one block) so I cut out the offending blocks, saved the backing, and then made three new blocks.  I have quite a few unused tree blocks but only liked one for this top.  Oh, and I had to cut into the two center blocks on the bottom row, so that’s why I needed a total of four new blocks.  So I got those blocks sewed, put them into the top and cut new, wider borders.  I wasn’t really happy with the previous batik borders.  This is a really cool pattern but I tried to go all scrappy and the fabrics just didn’t play nicely so I rearranged the fabrics into groups of three, using one fabric for each background, one fabric for the tree tops and one fabric for the tree trunk.  Look up this pattern and you’ll see how it was meant to be, with 10 green fat quarters, 10 white fat quarters and 10 red fat quarters, then mixing all the fabrics up.  You trace the cutting design onto freezer paper and rotary slice, several fabrics at a time.  Sewing it all back together can be tricky in spots and I’m glad I had made my own notes for future reference.  See what the original pattern by Sandy Gervais looks like.

http://www.piecesfrommyheart.net/Trees-Up-Lights-On_p_118.html

Here is the freezer paper pattern before slicing, sewing the trunk to a side piece, and three new trees.

Cutting Layout

Cutting Layout

P1040122

Three new trees

Three new trees

Four new blocks

Four new blocks

And the top sewn back together.

New borders

New borders

So Saturday and Sunday I started piecing a new backing, using fabric from the old backing and leftovers from the new trees, plus three extra trees.

Pieced backing

Pieced backing

That the section on the right matched seams with the center section just happened–that happens sometimes. But wait, I still have more trees.  I’m thinking of making wine bags from the rest of them, or place mats, or something.  Next post I’ll fill you in on the other Christmas projects I’ll be finishing up during the merry month of May.  Can it be–I’ll be ahead of the game as far as Christmas is concerned.  Till then, enjoy the spring weather if you’ve got it.  My dogwood is finally leafing out and it may even bloom this year.  We’ll see.  The first photo was taken on March 7 and the others were taken today.

New dogwood

New dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood

Dogwood