Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Comfort & Joy Fabric Tour: Log Cabin Tree Christmas Ensemble

It's never too early to start thinking Christmas!

 Log Cabin Tree Tree Skirt & Ornaments by Deonn Stott & Debbie Proctor
featuring  Comfort & Joy fabrics by Dani Mogstad for Riley Blake Designs

I am happy to be participating in this fun blog tour - and even happier to have collaborated with my quilting friend Debbie for this project.

When thinking of what we could make with these sweet fabrics, Debbie showed me a tree skirt her mother had made for her, a Diamond Log Cabin Tree Skirt by Eleanor Burns, circa 1988.

Her mother had made both the tree skirt and a tablecloth, then used the scraps to make little matching log cabin ornaments.

She even signed them, which, now that "Grandma Gardner" is gone, makes these a treasure for her family.  So sweet.

I loved the idea of the log cabin-style project, because it could feature more of these adorable prints. Then the thought occurred to me to try a tree-shaped log cabin configuration, starting with a triangle instead of a square for the center.  

I checked my AccuQuilt dies and sure enough, there was an equilateral triangle die in my collection, #55429.  Yay!  Perfectly trimmed corners, notches for the centers, and you can cut 6 layers at the same time.  Debbie had a die cut with mini triangles which we used for the mini tree ornaments, plus some strip cutters which made quick work of cutting our strips.  Traditionally, a log cabin quilt block begins with a red square to signify hearth and home, so... red triangles became the center of our trees.

It's a 60-degree triangle, and as most rulers have that marking, it's an easy triangle to rotary cut as well.  Decide how tall you want the triangle and cut a strip 1/2 inch wider.  Then, just line up the 60-degree mark along an edge to make the first cut.

Turn the ruler around to find the next angle, then repeat.

After a couple of experimental trees, we liked the look of a "half" log cabin, just adding strips to either side of the center triangle, trimming with that 60-degree angle as you go.  

We also decided that with these prints, we could give a little dimension to the tree with the light prints on one side and medium prints on the other.  Debbie made all the blocks.

Finally, after taking family surveys of our background choices, the modern, clean look won out and we went with Riley Blake Swiss Dot tone on tone White:  
RED:  3  vs   WHITE:  5
(We didn't count Debbie's two sons' votes, because they are both color blind!)  The red seemed to look better in pictures, but the white really does look best in person!

Once the quilt top was made, it was time for quilting!  I quilted branches in to the tree, switching direction at the center seamlines.  

Maybe it's a little clearer in this picture of the back.  A little woodgrain in the tree trunk...

Then I couldn't help it, I had to quilt some little gifts under the trees... I think these would be super cute if done as applique'!


Then some easy swirls between the trees.  To me, it looks like a big snowflake and the swirls could be, well, snow? snowballs?  At any rate, it will eventually get covered up with presents anyway, right?

To me, the toughest part of the whole project is making myself cut a slice and center hole so the tree skirt can fit around a tree!  Whew!



All that's left is to bind the edges.  We used red snowflakes for the outer binding, and more white Swiss Dot for the sliced edges, and applied all of it by machine.

Bias binding around the center hole with long enough ties to tie around the trunk.

Then, like Grandma Gardner, we used scraps from the tree skirt to make little matching ornaments.  (Stay tuned or subscribe to the blog for the full tutorial in a few days.)


All set for Christmas!  And just so Debbie and I don't have to draw straws, of course we'll have to make another one ~ It went together so fast, it will be a breeze!  Now we are kinda giggling about calling it a "Tree Tree Skirt".  If you have any other suggestions, let us know!

Big thanks to the folks at Riley Blake Designs for sponsoring this project, and thanks to you for stopping by!  You can find the fabrics at Pine Needles in the store and online.  For more inspiration to put you in the Holiday spirit, visit these blogs both from last week and in weeks ahead.

9 comments:

  1. Wow! This is gorgeous! Your quilting is amazing!

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  2. The tree skirt is so pretty! Beautiful fabric.

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  3. I love this! Thanks for the tutorial too! How wide did you cut the strips for the trees?
    Thank you again!

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  4. Your tree skirt is so cute and so are the ornaments! Love them!

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  5. That is just gorgeous. Every part of it is perfect - the idea, fabrics, quilting and construction.

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  6. What a wonderful tree skirt with such cute matching ornaments. Good job! Would you mind if I shared you tutorial on my blog when you get it done?

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  7. what an amazing tree skirt and so good you shared how you made it . Good to see a blog from you as not seen one for a while now, though I too have been negletful on mine though check everyone else`s daily

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  8. This tree skirt is sooo cute!! And your quilting just takes it over the top! Love everything about it :)
    Amanda

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  9. Your tree skirt is gorgeous and the quilting you did is amazing!

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So glad you stopped by for a visit!

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