Well here it is July, and time to finish my Christmas post. My gold overlay Wild Poinsettias is finished and ready for the display at this years' Festival of Trees. Whew! It took a lot of concentration, steady hands, and a more than a few coffee breaks to complete. As I described in Part 1, this is a floral design appliquéd onto a background, then positioned onto the very stiff stabilizer called Peltex. Then the gold overlay netting was basted on, and finally I satin stitched around each piece with a satiny rayon thread to give it some shimmer. The backing was added after the satin stitching was done to hide it all. Of course once it was completed, I added binding and voila! Finished.
Now as you can see, these are close-up photos. The piece is 20 inches square so not very big. And yes, you'll notice all the tiny wrinkles. That was my goof! I put the floral appliqué pieces on the wrong side of the Peltex here. Well, there is no right and wrong side actually. I guess it just depends on what you are using it for. But in my book, I should have put it on the non-fusible side. And actually, you don't need either side to be fusible. It started out very smooth. But, after much finagaling (yep that's a real word), turning, carefully curling the project enough to get it under the presser foot for the satin stitching, the fabric slowly started to become "un-fused". (And no, I'm not sure that's a real word). I am going to attempt to put my pressing sheet back over the whole top and try to re-fuse it back down. Ah, live and learn! And if the pressing doesn't work on the wrinkles, I may just make another one. Yes, I'm a bit particular.
So my other Christmas project I have made for this coming holiday is a Christmas tree skirt. I absolutely love string quilts, and scrappy, but somewhat organized piecing. I was on my way to my daughter's house in DC and looking forward to helping out with her new little baby until a replacement nanny was found. So I needed a project I could take along to work on when he was napping. I gathered a good amount of my Christmas fabric, some thread and my good sewing scissors. (More on the fate of my scissors later)! I needed some kind of pattern to work off of, and of course it needed to be circular. Low and behold, the Internet has instructions on how to cut big circles. I had an old roll of very wide paper and followed the directions, and then I was set with my "wedge", of which I would need 16. I measured up from the bottom of my wedge about 2 inches and made a mark on each side, drew a straight line, and used that as my guide. I then cut my fabric in various widths and sewed them together using my wedge piece of paper as a pattern. Think of the old pattern pieces you had to make in home economics when you were in junior high school. Oh, maybe you didn't have to take home ec, lucky you! There is only one way to measure a cup of milk after all! Anyway, after sewing the strips up the wedge, I sewed the wedges together into my circle.
But wait!! If you decide to make a tree skirt and want to put it on a longarm machine to be quilted, DON'T cut a circular backing. Leave it square or rectangular so the clamps on the side of your favorite longarmer's machine can hold it in place. After it is quilted, you can trim it up and use the scraps for your binding, which, by the way must be on the bias so they can bend around your tree skirt. Anyway, you can see how I quilted it, and knowing me, I had to add a few yo-yo's for good measure. I may go back and add some more so they go all the way up the edge. And underneath the yo-yo's is a sewable hook and loop tape to hold it together once it's under the tree.
As for my scissors, my wonderful husband offered to bring home some of my goods I had accumulated while in DC. My bag with leftover fabric was an easy carry, so off he went. What I forgot to mention was that my good sewing scissors were carefully tucked inside some of the fabric. You can imagine TSA didn't really like the looks of that when they saw it on their screen. And my husband wasn't too crazy about it either. Luckily he was able to put them into his carry-on bag, and go back and check that. Isn't he sweet!!
Well there you go, my Christmas in July posting. Better get started early with your projects because Christmas will sneak up on you! And as always, enjoy Little Sailor Quilting!