Tuesday, 13 December 2016

49 Country Quilting Projects

As I mentioned in my previous post, 50 Country Quilting Projects, I hope to complete every project in this book.  On Sunday, December 11th, I completed the first one. It was the Patchwork & Lace Christmas Tree Skirt, found on page 130, small project, easy rating.
I have 3 white Christmas trees in my home. One is full-sized, decorated in purple, for which I made the purple quilted Christmas tree skirt as described in Getting Ready for Christmas. I also have two 4' white trees. The first is a fibre-optic tree, which I decorated in red. Because it is fibre optic, it has a large base for the workings of the fibre optics, so not something requiring a tree skirt. Unless I used it like a doily, under the base. I may do that some day. The other is a regular, pre-lit tree that I hope to decorate in blue. Unfortunately, blue must not be a popular Christmas colour this year as I was unable to find any blue decorations appropriate for a smaller tree and not costing a small fortune or in a container with decorations of other colours that I don't want. A good opportunity to make my own decorations since I both crochet and quilt. I decided to start with a tree skirt and try out this pattern. However, it makes a 40" tree skirt, much too big, in my opinion, for a 4' tree. And I don't need another full-sized tree skirt since I am crocheting one for my green tree. So I scaled it down and eliminated the last row of triangles.
This quilt is what's called a biscuit quilt. You cut a piece of muslin (in this case a 6" 60-degree triangle) and then cut a bigger piece of the fabric you're using (a 7" triangle). You sew the 7" triangle to the 6" triangle on two sides, adding a pleat on each side to take in the extra length. You then stuff it lightly with polyester stuffing and stitch the third side closed, once again incorporating the pleat. Do this for the required number of "biscuits" and then start stitching them together.

This larger triangle is made up of 4 triangle biscuits. I made up 6 of these larger triangles and stitched them together, added eyelet lace, a ruffle and backing, layered it right sides together, and stitched the edges, leaving an opening for turning. I then turned it right side out and hand stitched the opening.
It's about 2' across, just about the perfect size for a 4' tree. It's a little bit funky for a Christmas trees skirt. But it's growing on me.
Now I need to make some decorations. And for that, of course, I needed some new fabric.
And for those of you who think I may be cheating on my challenge to complete every project in this book by not making this tree skirt the full size, I will definitely more than make up for that with upcoming projects. There are only 3 patchwork ornaments in this book and I'm hoping to make 2 of each of those, plus others as my goal is to make 24 total patchwork ornaments.
The excitement today was that I got a parcel in the mail. I have one of those community mail boxes that has special boxes for the parcels. I opened the parcel box and the parcel just about filled the box. It took me about 5 minutes to get it out. I had to jiggle it to get it out of the opening. I couldn't reach in behind the parcel to give it a shove from behind as my arm wouldn't fit over the parcel, especially not with my bulky winter coat on. I tried hooking the parcel with my key, but it barely budged the parcel. I tried taking my glove off and sliding my finger under the edge of the box top, but still barely moved the parcel. I finally tried pulling off some of the packing tape and giving it a tug, but that just tilted the parcel up from the back without pulling it through the opening. By this time my ungloved hand was getting quite cold as the wind chill factor was about -22C. So I put the glove back on my left hand, ungloved the right and peeled off some of the packing tape that ran to the bottom of the box. I then grabbed both pieces of tape and - SUCCESS - was finally able to get the parcel out of the mailbox. And it was certainly worth it. It was my order from the Stuff Your Stocking event at Sew Sisters. What an awesome parcel!

What a lot of goodies I got, including a surprise package with $60 worth of quilting supplies that I only paid $15 for.
I got some terrific deals! I am definitely planning on taking part in this event again next year.