Monday 1 January 2024

Christmas in July: Let It Snow

 It's New Year's Day, so why am I posting about Christmas in July?

I don't always do a "Christmas in July" project, but this past July, I decided I would. I had a fat quarter bundle of snowflakes and stars fabrics in blues and whites that had been in my stash for several years. Why not see what I could do with that? 
Having designed the Grandmother's Twins quilts (which I will share at a later date), which use 10" blocks set on point to create a "snuggle" size quilt, I chose that layout. 
Then I had to choose the blocks. Why I chose two different blocks is anyone's guess. July seems like a lifetime ago and I really don't remember. Or why I chose Jinny Beyer's book, The Quilter's Album of Blocks and Borders, rather than my BlockBase+ software, is also unclear, though I can probably figure that one out. It's easier to find a 10" block in the book by just going to the 5-patch chapter, whereaas in the software, I would have to open each individual block to see if it was a 10" or not. 
The first block I chose was Here's the Steeple
Not a simple block and I had to draft it myself from the approximately 2" picture in the book and then create my own templates. I was able to use Tri Recs tools for some of the pieces. 
My second block choice was Follow the Leader or Pinwheel Square.
As I had insufficient fabric left from my fat quarter bundle, I had to "borrow" from my stash for the small dark blue triangles and the white half-rectangle triangles. And I had a note in the book where I had already done the calculations for the pieces. 
Neither of these were simple blocks, but I was able to create 3 of the Here's the Steeple block and the remainder were partly finished, plus one of the Follow the Leader blocks with most of the pieces cut out. Then I realized that the local fairs were drawing closer (they're in early August) and I needed to get some projects completed if I wanted to have entries for the fairs. And this project was left idle. For months. 
Once the hubbub of Christmas was over, as the year was drawing to a close, I wanted to complete the quilt I'm making in honour of the coronation of King Charles III. 
I figured it was a good idea to actually finish it in the year that his coronation actually occurred. However, this is not a simple block. 
And I needed 16 of them. I had finished 1 and partially finished a second one. I completed this second one, but it's that square in the middle. There's no easy way of getting it there! It requires several partial seams with small pieces, so not much room to work. And when I looked at the foundation paper piecing option in BlockBase+, there really wasn't an easy solution there either. I would still have to figure out a magic formula for getting that square in the middle. It was kind of discouraging. And then I found out that my local quilt shop was closed during the week between Christmas and New Year's, so I couldn't get backing fabric anyway. There was no way I could finish this quilt in 2023 even if I got the top done.
I have to admit that I was not really reluctant to relinquish this project for some time in the future. Sorry, Charles. Instead, I decided to complete my Christmas in July project. I already had purchased the filler fabric for the alternate squares and setting triangles, plus the backing fabric, a blue fleece with white snowflakes. And because I had already cut out most of the pieces and partially finished several of the blocks, it went quite quickly. 
I chose the Snow Winds pantograph from Urban Elementz for the quilting and Super White Glide thread. 
Perfect for the "snow" theme of this quilt, and I christened it "Let It Snow". 
By the time I was finished, I had already determined to see if I could complete a couple of other snuggle quilts before the end of the year. 
The tops were finished. I had the backing fabric and the binding strips were already cut. I just needed some polyester fibrefil batting, which is what I use when quilting with minky or fleece. I was able to get that at Walmart. But you'll have to wait for later to see if I was able to get those finished or not. 

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