Thursday, December 4, 2014

Last Minute Sewing

Last month I had the chance to visit American Quilting in Orem, UT.  What a nice shop! Lots LOTS LOTS of great fabric and friendly & helpful staff.  I enjoyed my visit there completely!  So much, in fact, I went back a second time.  

While I was there I picked up this book and this little stack of fabric. The book is Simply Modern Christmas by Cindy Lammon.  It's a great book!  There are a couple more things in it I'd like to make. 

As I was flipping through the book I spotted this, and knew it was exactly what I needed to make!  Hubby's been eager to get a second Christmas tree and, of course, every tree needs a skirt.  Right?

Something kinda funny happened as I was standing at the cutting table waiting for my turn.  The shop was full of customers and people began to chat a bit as quilters often do in this situation.  When asked what my choices were for and I said a Christmas tree skirt there were mixed reactions to my choice of background fabric.  Several people commented that it was a "Great Choice" or "Awesome!" "Wow!  I wouldn't have thought of that!"  But a couple others kinda gave me that raised eyebrows/have you lost your mind look while commenting "Really?" and "Oh!!!"  I thought it was all kind of funny.  I realize this wonderful print from Best. Day. Ever. is an unexpected choice, but that's part of what I love about it!  I debated a lot of more expected and traditional choices, but I kept coming back to this bolt. 

Monday I made the strip sets.  The only part of this project that made me nervous is cutting the strip sets at the 45 degree angle.  About this point in the project I suddenly remembered that I should have hit the fabric with a bit of starch to help control all the bias edges.  Even starch-less the cutting went pretty well and I only had to straighten my edge up one extra time.

Yesterday I cut the background fabric and made the wedge shaped sections.  The pattern directions for this project were really great.  Things were very well illustrated and very clear.  Never any doubt about what to do next or how to do it.  

There's one little spot where I didn't follow the directions exactly.  This spot where the deep red diamond joins up with the two green spotted diamonds needs to match up as perfectly as possible and those bias edges can be really stretchy.  At this intersection I carefully pinned and then basted a couple inches across the spot so I could check how well it matched.  6 of the sections were spot on, but 2 needed to be realigned before the match was right. Well worth the extra few minutes it took to have close to perfect points.

Next came putting the sections together.   The strip sets have opposing seam allowances so this step was really easy and came out looking great!

The center matched up so nicely, it's kind of a shame that it's going to be cut out!
Yesterday was dark dark dreary and drizzly.  Since there was no way I could take this outside for a photo I was struggling to find a spot with bright light.  Ended up here on the edge of my kitchen!  
It was set out all nice and smooth for the photo but in the time it took me to pick up the camera and turn it on a naughty little grey cat ran across it a couple times and was trying to figure out how to get underneath it.  That Daisy is a mischievous little thing.

I'm just so pleased with this!  And so glad I followed my first instinct and went with this background fabric.  I did audition other things, but stuck with my first choice.  My dear Hubby helped me get it layered up and pin basted last night.  Today I'll start on a little bit of quilting.  I'll be keeping it simple with straight lines and my walking foot.  

Are you finding any time for stitching at your house?  I hope so!



Quiltingranny said...

Love it Staci, you did a great job and I love the colors against the background!

Anina said...

I love the background. And the tree skirt. My tree has no skirt right now and I'm starting to panic just a little.

Emily said...

You are/were a genius picking that background fabric - it's great and so much better than the orig picture. That book has been at the top of my wish list since I got a copy at the library!

Leslie can't stop quilting said...

Brilliant choices Staci!!!!

Denise in PA said...

I *love* that background fabric - it's perfect!!

LynCC said...

Nicely done - I love the snowflake design :)

margaret said...

very nice tree skirt and I too like the background it all works very well together

Sarah said...

I think it's lovely. I have the book ordered and it should be here soon. Too often people only want to use solids as backgrounds these days. When I started quilting that wasn't really an option so I like the tone on tone and small prints as backgrounds.