She suggests quilters get together to share tips, insights, tutorials, or holiday traditions. I thought I would share my latest Christmas finish and a little bit about gifting traditions in my family.
I just finished this little wallhanging last night. It is paper pieced (or foundation pieced, is there a difference?) with some fun embellishments. I really enjoyed putting it together and I definitely want to do more paper piecing in the future.
|The little train, now with wheels!|
|Tree with its lights.|
I really have very few Christmas decorations in my house because I have just started living on my own - this is my first year with my own Christmas tree! So I decided my goal will be to do one new decoration a year, no need to rush through making a bunch of things. Last year I made a chickadee wallhanging, which is more wintry than Christmas-specific, and this year I have this new wallhanging!
Here are some tips and insights I learned while making this wallhanging:
1. When paper piecing, save all of your trimmings. This wallhanging involved so many tiny pieces that I often dug through my trash can to find a leftover that I had trimmed off of a previous seam so as to not waste fabric.
2. Most people already do this, but definitely set up a little ironing station at your sewing machine so you don't have to get up to press every seam open. I had a little mini iron and mini ironing board handy for this purpose.
3. I wanted to put ribbons on the presents, but didn't want to go through the pain of stitching such tiny ribbon down. I actually did stitch down such thin ribbon on a previous quilt and it was a HUGE pain. I ended up finding this stuff:
|Here is an in-progress shot of fusing the ribbon on.|
4. Quilting! You can't see it in the photos, but I used a holly design in the border. I really like the design because it's easy and doesn't involve travelling, so I wanted to share it with you. It is based on Leah Day's "Prickly Holly" filler. I drew a little sketch to show how they can go in a line for a nice border stitch:
The Bottom Line thread by Superior, you really have to! It's awesome. I bought one grey spool as a tester and now use it in my bobbin thread for practically everything. I never have tension problems, the color blends in with everything and never shows on the top of the quilt, and I've actually had even fewer tensions problems with this thread than with using the same thread on top and bottom together! I am in love! On a side note, the Superior Threads website had tons of information for quilters. They have flowcharts for what type of thread to use for what purpose, and for every thread on their side they give suggestions for tension and needle settings. Oh, and their "Thread Therapy" instructional dvd is free for two more days.
Okay those are all of the tips in insights about my Christmas wallhanging. Hopefully you will find them helpful. :)
I wanted to share a little background about gifts in my family. Growing up we always made handmade gifts for family. Every year, grandparents would get a homemade article of Christmas decor. Most of the photos of us working on them weren't taken with digital cameras, but I did find one on my computer:
Now that I'm grown up I'm carrying on the tradition of homemade gifts, but I figured everybody has a lifetime supply of Christmas decorations, so now for Christmas everybody gifts something they can use year-round. Two years ago it was little wine vests:
Last year it was chickadee wallhangings:
And this year I decided that I really hated making five of the same thing, so everybody is getting something a little bit different!
I would love to hear about your Christmas traditions, and don't forget to visit the other quilters on today's Quilter's Christmas Party.