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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas sewing’

First, I am so glad you have been enjoying my “Stitch Your Life” posts.  I’ve heard from many who are taking the plunge into first sewing projects!  Hurray!  There’s a new tab up top so that you can easily reference the whole series.  If you have any requests for future posts, I’d love to hear them.

Now on to the goodies!  My sweet sponsor Ruth of Sew Love Fabrics & Sew Love Christmas, is giving one of my readers this complete 1/2 yard set of Christmas Spice by Michael Miller!

Christmas Spice Fabric Giveaway!

Isn’t it fun!  That’s a total of 4 lovely yards and more than enough to get you off to a running start on Christmas sewing this year!  This is the same line I’m using to make my spiderweb Christmas tree skirt.  I love that it includes red and green, but in less traditional tones.  And the addition of pink and teal just makes me smile!

Enter to Win!

For your chance to win, comment here telling us what you would make with Christmas Spice!

For a second entry, blog about this giveaway and make a second comment to record your entry.

Enter now through noon (EST) Thursday, August 19th.  Winner will be announced Thursday afternoon!

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Slow, but steady.  That’s my approach.  Here’s what I have so far laid out at random…

Work in Progress

Piecing in the spiderweb block style is surprisingly time consuming!  I’ve gained a new admiration to those who have completed a large spiderweb quilt.  Good thing my Christmas tree skirt only requires 14 finished blocks!  I’m pacing myself at 1 block per night (that’s 4 triangles).  After the piecing, the pressing/trimming of that 1 block takes the entire 45 minutes of a show.  Well, at least it comes at a good time when I’m short on handwork!

I have to say that I believe I’ll continue to favor quick-piece projects.  Notice how the 2 large quilts I’ve made have large pieces. 

Colorbrick.
Colorbrick Quilt

Fairytale Patchwork.
Fairytale Quilt Top from the grass

 

I love the rush of beginning a project.  I feel satisfied and happy by completing them.  The in-between part?  Well, it’s kind of blah sometimes!

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Ok…. YES!  You all so absolutely knew I was starting a Christmas tree skirt.   Great minds think alike, right?  Well, with no suspension left, let’s get to work.

tree skirt piecing

I promptly slashed about 5 inches of each fabric, end to end, to make this pile of strips, ranging from 1-2″ wide. In the morning, the sun fell on it in such a lovely way. Who knew a pile of scraps could beckon me so?

But, when I pieced my very first triangle, I immediately started having second thoughts about that teal. Even though the Christmas spice prints have a tad of teal in them, the solid strip just stood out so much from all of the other warm shades.

I was set on proceeding sans teal, until it came to me in the shower (ah, for clear shower thoughts)… the teal is my only dark value. Remember those value quilts? Sew Katie Did suggests that if you’re not happy with your color choices, pay attention to value.  Now, I do want my skirt to have a range of values.  To me, that makes a quilt seem happy, full-of-life and also gender-neutral.  So here goes:

new fabrics

I added 2 black and white prints and a darker green textured fabric.  See how friendly they are with that teal?  I think they tip the overall warm/cool balance and help with depth of value.  Now, here’s the result:

a beginning

So, do you think that it works?  Please say yes!  Sometimes I think it looks a little nutso, but I remind myself that our Christmas decor has the personality of those multi-color vintage Christmas lights.  Not very subtle. And, hey, this is very merry, right?

In other news, Aria has discovered that she can actually, truly help me with this project by deciding on the order of strips for piecing.  I laid down a few rules (or the child would have chosen all prints!) and she was off.  I’ve really been sewing a lot of what she lays out, so this is a true collaborate effort.  Good memories, I’m sure!

helping mama arrange strips

I have a confession:  Aria is disappointed that none of these fabrics are designed by Anna Maria Horner.  She also hopes to meet the designer when we go to Nashville this month.  I suppose that reveals the depths of my affections for Ms. Horner (blush).  When we were working together today, Aria was shocked to discover that Anna Maria Horner makes solid fabrics.  Imagine THAT!  Perhaps that legitimizes my insistence on so many solid fabrics in this project to my little artist-to-be.

just a little mess

P.S.  The table, is just a little messy.

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Hurray for starting new projects!  Isn’t it such fun?  Here are the fabrics I’ve gathered for my next big(ish) project.

Fabric for a new project

I purchased 3 Christmas prints from Sew Love Christmas, another Etsy store from Ruth of Sew Love Fabrics.  They are from Michael Miller’s Christmas Spice collection, in slightly “off” tones of olive green, tomato red, pink and teal.  Amazing – A Christmas fabric that fits in with my home!

I decided to mix in quite a few solids after seeing this stunning quilt by Dirt Road Quilts.  Honestly, I’ve never worked with this many solids and I wonder how it’ll all work out.   Added a little Amy Butler wallflower for good measure.

Spiderweb beginnings

Now I’ve cut fourteen 14″ blocks and divided each into 4 triangles.  I’m in the process of marking the triangles to prep my first go at spiderweb blocks.  But, I’m not making a quilt.  Can you guess what it’s to be?

I’ll admit, I’m just a leeeetle excited about this one!

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Here they are folks, all in a row. So fun to make. So much about COLOR!

All in a row

I think I saved making Brandon’s for last because there were… well, rules. No flower prints, no extravagant “froo-froo” embroidery, only manly shades of green to be permitted. I did sneak in a few sparkly silver snowflakes, because the forest scene was just toooooo simple. Actually, I embroidered those while we watched a show together. He kept glancing back at my stitches with a funny look on his fact, so I stopped myself at three!

Last one... all done.

I was so relieved when the little loopy thing came together on the first try again. Apparently, I am learning folks! Oh, and I think my embroidery in the Dauphin script improved as time went by. Sometime I’m going to have to show you my first attempt at embroidering this script. I-yi-yi!

Embroidery in "Dauphin"

So that’s it. Our patchwork Christmas stockings are done and packed away now for a few months, which gives me some time to figure out how I’m going to hang them over our mantle.

Color play.

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Last night I finished another patchwork Christmas stocking.  Here’s the little gingerbread boy.

Liam's stocking

And, drumroll please…., when I sewed the little hangy loopy thing, I got it right the FIRST time.  Oh, yes, it’s the little things :).

stockings threeOne more to do and we’ll be complete.

But, tonight I don’t feel like sewing.  I feel like reading.  I browsed at the library for at least 30 minutes today trying to find the right book.  Nothing.  Now, after doing some looking online, I have 2 good ones on request.

So, I guess it’s the couch for me tonight.  I’ll be posting an update on the hand quilting soon!

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By Hand

Pretty Pearl Cotton

I’ve been having withdrawals from my sewing machine lately… it seems that all of my current projects are by hand.  The upside is that I get to work with loads of color in thread, like these beauties in Perle Cotton, size 8.

I always have a big project and a small project going at the same time.  It’s nice to have options, you know?  My small project is those Christmas stockings… Christmas in July!  Each stocking will feature an embroidery work on linen and stripey piecing in the focus color, inspired by these stockings by Meringue Designs.  The other night I stitched up my first Christmas stocking with the only embroidery patch I had done (which happens to be the one for my stocking).    I so enjoyed the fast and rather haphazard piecing.  Small projects are such instant gratification!  So, I got this far when I realized I couldn’t finish… because I still have to embroider my name before I stitch up the seams.

Christmas Stocking in Progress

My big project (the Fairytale Patchwork quilt) is stuck in hand-quilting limbo.  Since I had so much trouble machine quilting, I ripped out my messy lines and settled on decorative hand quilting.  Just today I finished gathering supplies (after oh-so-much running around town!).   Here we are all ready for the first stitch!

All ready to quilt!

Ok, less typing, more stitching.

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