Thursday, July 30, 2020

Christmas in July - Tree Skirts Then and Now

First, a big thanks to Carol @ JustLetMeQuilt for hosting this fun "Christmas in July - Then and Now" Blog Hop!  It's always so delightful to visit virtual friends and make new ones on these hops - thanks for carrying on the tradition!

I remember growing up with a mangy-looking tree skirt that was like batting with glitter on it that we would wad up to look like sparkling snow.

It was about 2009 when I first made a king-size Carpenter's Star and realized that the center star would make a cute tree skirt.  That's when my love for a "Quilted Christmas" began and I made my first tree skirt - pictured above.

The following year, I needed to make another version, because the bolt of wrapping paper I had purchased just happened to be a brighter red and I wanted to coordinate, haha!  So I whipped up this one:

Then I wrote up a pattern and taught some classes.  Click the photo for a little showcase:

A few years later, I made a second version filling in the star points and making less angles to bind.  I've since named this one Peppermint Candy.

Here is yet another version with a different line of fabric:
Peppermint Candy Tree Skirt 
Even made a miniature versions, plus a few matching Little Birdies for the tabletop.

So now, the pattern contains both versions, including the minis, plus a bonus Little Birdie ornament/pincushion pattern.  I've gotten away from matching the wrapping paper to the Christmas decor, lol!  But now we have choices.

Then I tried a new style, but based on the star center.  I like this one too!
Star Weave Tree Skirt 
If you were wondering how to add a binding to odd-angle quilts like these tree skirts, here's a little tutorial:  

And here's how to finish the edge of a tree skirt without binding:

Here's how I machine-quilt a tree skirt that is pre-bound:

And here's a link to one of my favorite posts that includes how to make a batch of Little Birdie ornaments, how I usually quilt my tree skirts. plus a recipe for Soft Ginger Snaps:

Aaaand then, as a project designer for Riley Blake Designs, another cute line of fabrics came up and pretty much dictated how and what to make.  Does this happen to you?  Do fabrics speak to you?  I essentially ended up with a brand new tree skirt.   I love this one too!
Log Cabin Tree Quilted Tree Skirt & Ornaments
And of course, matching ornaments!

Had fun with the quilting on this one.

This tree skirt was made a couple of years ago, but I have seen several new fabrics this season that would work well.  Check out Christmas Traditions, Naughty or Nice, The Christmas Card.  I used yardage, but I think it would be sweet and scrappy with a roll of 2-1/2" strips too!  Maybe that's my next one!

Want to get a head start on Christmas?  Tree skirts make great gifts, too!  Easy to make, quick to finish, fun to decorate with. How about a giveaway?  The winner will have the choice of their favorite tree skirt pattern above and I'll send along some additional Holiday goodies.  (Out of USA winner will receive a digital bundle.)

I'll announce the winner next Thursday.
UPDATE: selected my winners, one in the US, one International!  CONGRATS!!
Be sure to hop by today's lineup for more fun and inspiration!
Quiltscapes << thanks for stopping by!

It's been a fun week - here's the full lineup:  Christmas in July Then & Now
See the PINTEREST page for the full collection of projects and ideas so far!

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Thinking about Christmas - Snow Sweet!

Got my hands on some fun Christmas fabric!  Snow Sweet is a new line by J. Wecker Frisch for Riley Blake Designs.  

I really enjoy Janet's art, and I needed these adorable snowmen to march across my table!  Her "Sweet Snow Folk on Parade" border print was the perfect selection for a Ten-Minute Table Runner (< see tutorial).  Red gingham made a cute border.  

These runners take approximately 1/3 yard of focus print (12" x 42") and 1/2 yard of contrast for the border/backing.  I fussy-cut the snowmen bordered with a stripe on both sides, which came to about 15 inches, so I just made the backing 22 inches wide. That gives about a 1-1/2" border on the outside. I had not used batting before so I thought I'd try it on this runner.  I cut some batting to the right shape, then inserted it into the runner and stitched a few straight lines.  I like the look and it gave some shape and stability.  

These adorable placemat panels are darling too.  Each of these has a place-setting diagram, so the kids (or anyone else) can help to set up a simple or fancy table.  I added a strip of the snowflakes border print to each side, simple quilting, and more gingham print for the bias binding.

A couple of coordinating prints worked well for backing, so they're reversible!

So cute!  Leftover prints were serged around the edges for some cute coordinating napkins, so now, I guess I'm all ready for Christmas in July!  I think I need to bake some ginger cookies...

Big thanks to Riley Blake Designs for providing the fabrics for today's project tour!  Love them! Look for these fabrics in your local quilt shop or online retailer, available early next month.

Happy Sewing!

P.S.   here's another fun project idea using this line of fabric:
Aaaaand, a "Sweet Snow-Along" hosted by J. Wecker Frisch, coming soon! 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Shades of Summer

Here's a new version of one of my old favorites; Bloomin' Blossoms!  

Bloomin' Posies Lap Quilt, 68" x 68"
featuring Shades of Summer fabric by Heather Peterson for Riley Blake Designs.

These bold, pretty prints really lift my spirits.  

My Bloomin' Blossoms design really seemed to suit the range of fabrics.  These giant posies were designed to get the most out of a fat quarter and showcase the prints.  Partial-seam construction makes the petals blossom before your eyes in no time!  And these big, easy blocks make a good-sized lap quilt to wrap up in or have a picnic on the lawn.

I decided to add alternate applique' blocks to break up the super-sized fat quarter posies.  A couple of clever tools made quick work of the applique'.

A half-inch Clover bias tape maker was just the right tool to get nice, smooth curves.  A little spritz of starch and they held their shape until I could glue them to the quilt.

 Used my favorite technique for applique' -- blanket-stitch by machine.  It was nearly a disaster.

Made an emergency call to my friend Debbie to come and administer (socially distant) CPR to my machine.  Thank heaven for good friends who know stuff.


Next, I decided to make yo-yos for the applique' flowers to give them a little dimension.  Plus they're a little softer than buttons for lounging around on a quilt.  Clover's Yo-Yo makers are another great tool!

Grandbaby helped.

Oh, that face!!  ♥♥

This quilt would have been a sample for a class I was to teach in a couple of weeks.  That retreat was postponed until next June, so I'll have plenty of time to get it quilted by then, I think.  Quilting my own quilts is a luxury these days, especially custom quilting, as my longarm business and my life is as busy as ever!  But, YAY for summer!  We had snow last week, and it seems like it has taken forever for summer to get here!

So, thanks to all my helpers who lent a hand to get this quilt top together!  And a big thanks to Riley Blake Designs for letting me showcase Heather Peterson's lovely Shades of Summer, released this month.  Search online or ask at your local quilt shop.  Many shops are now offering curbside pickup or delivery!  And you can find the Bloomin' Posies pattern at Quiltscapes' Etsy shop.

See more project ideas using these fabrics:
Jessica Dayon - Mama's Garden Quilt - Sunshine Pillow
Sunflower Seams:  Blakely Dress
Be Sew Inspired Etsy Shop Beach Day Doll Embroidery Pattern

Thursday, April 23, 2020

This Quilt Could Be Yours!

U.Q.S.M. Fabric Challenge/Auction 2020:

"Spring in the Meadow"

This quilt features gorgeous "Painted Meadow" fabrics by Robin Pickens for Moda.  Mine is only one of twenty-seven quilts in this year's challenge.  And even though the Utah Quilting & Sewing Marketplace show has been canceled, the annual Fabric Challenge Auction is still happening!

This year's auction will send 100% of the proceeds to the amazing charity, Humanity Sews, formerly known as "Sew Much Hope".  Click the link below to view all of the quilts and place your bid or donate to this lovely cause.
MODA Virtual Charity Auction

Final bidding will end on Friday, May 1st at 7:00pm MST

The sale of this little quilt and a couple dozen other quilts helped to raise over $5000 for the charity, 

Thanks to all those who contributed.  Your purchase will make a difference in people's lives!

I love to take part in this annual challenge and have been participating in one way or another since 2007.  This little quilt was really fun to piece (I have a thing for chickens), and the pattern, Free Range by Sandy Gervais seemed to suit the fabrics perfectly.  I used "Chicken Wire" quilting design, added little dimensional elements, and finished with a fun faux-piped binding. ♥♥

...still not sure if these look like bees or bugs... you decide.