Monday, July 24, 2017

O Tannenbaum Tutorial

Last week on my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, I showed this Christmas tree hanging I made for my son. I'm blown away by the tremendous response to this post. Thank you!!!

A lot of people requested a tutorial so here it is.
If you are experienced enough at quilting to be interested in quilt blogs, you can probably figure it out from a bare-bones tutorial. I didn't keep a lot of notes and photos as I was making it. In a nutshell, it's all 3-1/2" cut strips and you can use a Tri-Recs ruler (no affiliation).

This wall hanging is about 30" wide by 78" long. You can modify the size by adding or subtracting another tier or two to the overall tree.  Or you can make it smaller by cutting narrower strips and reducing the size of your triangles accordingly.

Cutting: 
All greens and low volume backgrounds are cut from 3-1/2" strips.

Use as many scrappy green prints as possible. My tree has 27 different greens. (Leftovers from FQs were used to piece the back.)

Use low volume prints for the background. I cut WOF strips from about 18 different background fabrics.

Use a Tri-Recs ruler or your preferred method to make the kind of triangles used in Triangle-in-a-Square blocks, also known as Peaky & Spike blocks. The triangles finish at 3" high (cut 3-1/2").
  • From greens, using the Tri ruler, cut triangles from 3-1/2" strips. 189 triangles are used in the tree; you may want to cut extras so you have flexibility to lay out the prints. 
  • From the low volumes, cut 3-1/2" WOF strips. Cut strip lengths as indicated. Where it says pairs below, one piece of the pair is for the left of the tree and the other piece is for the right, so if you want the background to match across, use the same fabric for both pieces in the pair. Where more than one pair is called for, use different fabrics for each pair. Sometimes you can get two pairs, one longer and one shorter, from one strip.  Using the Recs tool, cut a mirror image pair of triangles for each pair of strips except as noted.
    • 2 @ 30-1/2" from different fabrics, no Recs needed
    • 8 @ 14" (4 pairs)   only one pair Recs needed
    • 4 @ 12-1/2" (2 pairs) 
    • 6 @ 11" (3 pairs)
    • 6 @ 9-1/2"(3 pairs) 
    • 6 @ 8" (3 pairs)
    • 6 @ 6-1/2" (3 pairs)
    • 6 @ 5" (3 pairs)
    • 4 @ 3-1/2" (2 pairs)
    • 2 @ 2" (1 pair) 
  • From tree trunk fabric: one 3-1/2" x 9-1/2" piece
Assembly: 
Lay out your triangles and background strips on a design wall, using this graphic as a guide, matching the background at each end of a triangle row. 

Sew triangles into rows. Add the Recs background pieces to each end of the row. Add the rest of the background to each end of the row.  
Join the rows.
Add two whole strips of background fabric to the top. 
Join 3, 14" background strips, stacked; make two. Add the tree trunk piece vertically between these two units. Add this sub assembly to the bottom of the tree. 

Layer, baste, and quilt as desired. I quilted around the triangles in the ditch and about 3/8" apart in the background. 

Square up and trim your quilt. Mine finished at 30" x 77".

Bind as usual. You will need 6, 2-1/2" x WOF strips of fabric for binding. 
Add sleeves to the back, top and bottom, for hanging and to anchor the bottom for stability.

Stitch thread loops for hanging ornaments at the intersections of the triangles. (I omitted the outer points and the very bottom of the bottom row.) I used #8 perle cotton and a very long needle that I could pass within the quilt from one point to the next to hide threads; nothing shows on the back. Take two stitches about 3/8" long across the intersection, then make buttonhole stitches around the thread (like a tailor's thread button loop). 


For the tree topper, find a suitable ornament and determine how it will hang. I added a thread loop at just the right height above the tree for this star to top the tree.

If you'd like to make a case, use some of the leftover green FQs and piece them together, about 20" x 40". Add a contrasting cuff (I used the burrito pillowcase method). Seam the long side together and across the bottom. Then box the bottom. Attach a ribbon to tie the top closed. This case will be both the gift bag and a dust cover to store the Christmas tree wall hanging when not in use.


Thank you for visiting my stop on the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop and coming back today for the tutorial. I hope it's pretty clear.  If you have any questions, leave a comment. If you make a Christmas tree hanging like this, please send me a photo - I'd love to see how yours turns out!


Link ups:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Tips & Tutorials at Quilting Jetgirl
Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

O Tannenbaum

Hello, and welcome to my post on the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog tour hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Thank you, Sarah, for all your hard work in making this fun blog hop happen.

Each day for 12 days in July, the 14th through the 25th, bloggers are sharing their Christmas ideas and projects. If you need inspiration for gifts, or motivation to get going on a holiday project of your own, check out all the posts each day. The complete list of bloggers is at Sarah's post here. Today's featured bloggers are Kate at Smiles From Kate, and myself.

I had extra motivation to get going on a Christmas project here: My son requested something special. He and his housemates live in a very small house. There simply isn't room in their home for a Christmas tree, live or artificial, nor is it practical with three cats and a two-year-old. So he requested a life-size hanging of a Christmas tree that they can hang real ornaments on.
It was originally made to fit on the back of a door. Then my son decided it would be safer hanging on a wall, so the ornaments wouldn't get jostled when the door is opened, or crushed between the open door and the wall.

Good call. Even with industrial strength magnets here, the weight of the tree with just these few glass ornaments is pulling the hanging all the way to the floor. I added sleeves top and bottom to the back so he can hang it on a wall, and it won't move.

The tree was easy to make with triangles and lots of green fabrics, with a variety of low volumes for the background.

I quilted it in the ditch around the triangles, and added dense straight line quilting in the background.

Then I stitched thread loops at the intersections of the triangles, for the ornaments to hook into.

I'm pleased with how it turned out and how well it works for hanging the ornaments.


It's a German tradition to hang a pickle hidden in the Christmas tree. Here it's not so hidden....

I still need to find a tree-topper that will work, and add a way to attach it. My plan is to give this to my son at Thanksgiving, and by then the stores will have plenty of potential toppers to choose from. I may find a 3-D star, cut it so the back is flat and back it with felt, and add a white thread loop at the proper height for hanging it. 

This is a long post with a lot going on, so I'm not going to include a tutorial here. If you want a tutorial, let me know in the comments, and I'll post one soon.

Speaking of comments, let me tell you about the give-away. For each comment you leave on any blogger's 12 Days of Christmas in July post, Sarah will enter you in the drawing to win. She has thirteen prizes to give away, all Tula Pink's Holiday Homies line from Free Spirit. Sarah will tally all the comments through Wednesday July 26th, and draw winners. Six design rolls, six layer cakes, and the grand prize, a fat quarter bundle. Give-away details here. Visit the participating blogs each day and leave a comment! If you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address in the comment.

Thanks for stopping by my 12 Days of Christmas in July post. There's lot's of time left to get projects and gifts completed before Christmas - good luck with yours!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

STLMQG Quilt Show

The St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild's quilt show "This is Modern" was held this past weekend, and it far exceeded my expectations. Over 150 quilts were on exhibit, and the work was stunning.



Show categories included Improvisation, Modern Traditionalism, Piecing, Negative Space, Minimalist Design, Bee quilts, Handwork, Applique, and small quilts and non-quilt items made in the modern style.

While I tried to get as many photos as possible, my time was limited and in the long aisles I wasn't able to get acceptable photos.  My apologies to members whose work isn't shown here, or if I've inadvertently put something in the wrong category.

Improvisation




Piecing





Modern Traditionalism




Negative Space


Minimalist Design


Bee Quilts


Huge  thank you  to the show committee and all the volunteers. You put on an outstanding show and it seemed like you had the logistics exceptionally well organized. Well done! 





Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Finish, Flannel

I mentioned awhile back that my husband requested a flannel quilt. He specified flannel on the back too, and wool batting. He thinks his cotton quilt feels cold.

I've been saving his flannel shirts that are too worn out to wear anymore, and back in April I picked up a few cuts of flannel fabrics in Paducah. At camp, I made blocks.

Now the blocks are a finished flimsy. It measures about 60 x 84. (It's raining here today, so we'll have to make do with indoor photos for now.)

Many of the fabrics are favorite shirts that I'm happy to repurpose. The light red plaid is particularly special due to its longevity and the memories attached to it. DH always looked good in the large scale olive ombre plaid, too. It's interesting, the bought flannels all read solid-ish from a distance and the repurposed shirts are all obvious patterns.

I've also been able to get the backing pieced. I used the backs of all the shirts plus the light plaid. I'll get outdoor photos of the whole backing later, but here it is indoors for now.

This quilt needs to be finished by mid November for DH's birthday. I'm going to ask a long-armer friend if she'll layer and baste it for me. Due to how much these fabrics ravel and fray, I want to quilt it with a serpentine zig-zag over every seam to reinforce them. 1/4" seam allowances are just too narrow for fabrics that ravel so much. If I ever make a flannel quilt again, I'll recalculate the patches so I can use 1/2" seam allowances. I did use 1/2" seam allowances on the backing, so I'm not concerned about those seams pulling apart.

This quilt will never be a work of art. It's intended to be a utility quilt, nice and cozy with flannel and wool to meet the specifications. If nothing else, it'll definitely be warm!

Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Friday Finish at Crazy Mom Quilts

PS - Yes, visible in the photos is the puppy gate that keeps Murphy out of the dining room. I should have folded it up out of sight....

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

STLMQG Quilt Show

If you're anywhere near the St Louis MO area, I hope you'll check out the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild's first ever Quilt Show this weekend. I know I'm excited to see it. I'll be volunteering Sunday afternoon so please stop by and say "Hi."

St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild presents
THIS IS MODERN

Quilt Show
July 15th & 16th, 2017



St. Peter Parish Center
215 North Clay Ave.
Kirkwood,   MO  63122

$5
(5 and under are free)

Saturday, July 15th  10am - 5pm
Sunday, July 16th  Noon - 4pm

See over 150 modern quilts made by members of the 
St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild

Monday, July 10, 2017

Little Loops

Not much visually interesting to show...
I'm sewing the loops on the Christmas tree hanging. 
These are where the hooks for the ornaments can be hung. 
49 done, 55 to go. 



Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Lure of the Dollar Fat Quarters

A local fabric shop has periodic sales in which they offer fat quarters for $1.  Yes, $1.  And these are first quality designer quilt fabrics, not big-box pre-packaged poor quality FQs. My friend who works at the shop says they've been cutting and folding FQs for weeks.

You know me, I can't resist a bargain. 28 FQs later, my stash has grown a bit this week. And I don't regret a single one.

I don't have much in the way of patriotic colors so I searched for good reds and dark blues. The blues were surprisingly hard to find. Warm browns can sometimes mix nicely with patriotic colors so I grabbed a few rich ones, too.

What I found in abundance were a lot of neutrals. Some cool-cast, some warm, and some medium value instead of pale, but all very useful stash additions. (I actually picked up doubles of some of them, but only one of each is shown here.)

Not all of my new FQs have selvages with info, but the ones that do include Robert Kaufman (4), Andover Fabrics (6), Paintbrush Studio (2) and Carolyn Friedlander, Denise Schmidt, Jo Morton, and Red Rooster Fabrics.

So for $30 with tax plus a gallon of gas, I added 7 yards to my stash this week. Used this week, 3/4 yard for binding and sleeves for the Christmas Tree project. With my new additions I'm about at the break-even point for the year, but there's still plenty of month left before I tally the totals, so maybe I can use some more.


Linking up with Quilt Paint Create and Molli Sparkles

Friday, July 7, 2017

Show Ribbon

One of my must-do deadline projects this month is to make an award ribbon for my guild's upcoming show. The ribbons are due at our meeting on the 18th. My task is to make the green "Viewers' Choice" ribbon.

Mission accomplished.

We make these kinds of ribbons for each biennial show. The ribbon coordinator provides the CD, the colored streamers, and the printed ribbon. The maker builds the award around the CD, attaches the ribbons and the backing, and signs it.

After a false start, this ended up taking me two whole afternoons to make. I used a 3" printed Pineapple block and paper pieced it. I had a wonderful green ombre gradiant fabric in my stash which I used for the ruffle and the dark parts of the pineapple piecing. If I say so myself, I think it came out pretty good. I hope the recipient likes it.


Linking up with Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sashing for Solstice Blocks

One of my goals for June was to come up with a plan for my Solstice blocks. Here are all the blocks, and I plan to use 20 of them.

This is my planned layout. I've used this kind of sashing before for blocks that don't all match and I like how it unifies them.

I had nothing in my stash that would work for the dark stripes in the sashing. The light center strip will be the same pale green that's used for the background in most of the blocks.

Since I already have three different dark purples in the blocks, I thought it would be better to use a green for the sashing. I took all the blocks to the fabric store and auditioned several greens. I thought I found a good one.

Greens, especially olive greens, are tricky. The store has natural daylight and fluorescent light, and I thought the color looked okay. Then I got it home and had second thoughts.

In the first photo below, the lighting is natural daylight plus my Ott Light which simulates natural daylight. The color looks okay.

In this photo below, the lighting is from overhead incandescent light. Much warmer. All the colors look a bit warmer, even the purples, but the olive flares so much it looks almost brownish.

Yuck. I really don't like this fabric for the sashing after all.

I should have known; olives are notorious for color inconstancy, i.e. flare. I should have remembered this from my working days and checked it out before buying anything.

Maybe I can find something else that will coordinate with these blocks. I'll have to keep looking. And I'll have to find another use for the 2-1/2 yards of this olive I bought, since I bought enough for the sashing and the binding.



Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts