Last Christmas (I gave you my heart…) I decided that the Christmas Tree needed a bit of jazzing up. We have always used a large piece of green felt under the tree which looked ok when the presents were on there but afterwards looked a bit boring and makeshift (which it was!). Due to Miss M’s late December birthday we don’t put any presents under the tree until a few days before Christmas so they are never there for very long and so the boring green felt was always there. About Boxing Day last year I decided I would make a Tree Skirt and as there was bound to be Christmas fabric for on sale after Christmas I would get a head start on it in the New Year and not be making Christmas things in late November/December as I was last year. Yeah right! So fast forward to November 2011…. I’d been looking at tree skirts but realised where we put our tree and arrange the presents I didn’t want a skirt, more a rectangle so I decided to make a quilt! I’ve always been scared of starting this as my main experience has been in dressmaking although I do read lots of quilty blogs. I spent ages looking around at different ideas, I like the quilts usually classified as ‘Modern’ (even though I couldn’t define what that means) and eventually found this Moda quilt and used that as my inspiration.
The biggest problem I found was working out the dimensions I needed, maths not being my strong point I had to try to explain to my husband how seam allowances work and between us we kinda worked out the dimensions…. except we didn’t think about the footprint of our artificial tree! I’d cut all the pieces, sewn the strips and pinned them together before we got the tree out and realised it was too narrow. Therefore I had to extend the strips and after a lot of debate whether to match the strips or not I decided not to.
I cut the coloured pieces 3.5” wide and 11” long, the white totalled 15” and so was cut into 10/5, 6/9, 7/8 inch lengths. I made sure these lengths stayed together and then put the coloured sections in between using the ubiquitous 1/4” seam allowance. This resulted in a width of 35” and a length of 60”.
The backing was plain white with the traditional patterned insert, which I had to do as there wasn’t quite enough white!
Excuse the camera strap in shot!
The wadding was 100% cotton wadding and the only one my local quilting shop sells so I’m not sure if it was the best wadding or not. As you can probably see I quilted it using the stitch-in-the-ditch method which sometimes was in the ditch and sometimes not!
I bound it with 2.5” continuous binding which I sewed 1/4” from the quilt top and then hand sewed it using a ladder stitch which took forever. I thought I would sit down and catch up with a TV drama so I put on the second series of The Killing having watched the American version of the first series unfortunately I forgot that this was the Danish version and had subtitles which makes stitching small ladder stitches AND reading a bit challenging and therefore slow progress. Nevertheless I succeeded in sewing the binding and enjoying the TV programme!
I added a label (which I’ve blanked my surname out) just so Miss M and Miss C can’t pass it off as their work in the future, Miss M has already said it will be a heirloom and passed through the family!
My thoughts on quilting: apart from the whole maths aspect, which is a bit mind blowing for me as this is most defiantly not my strength I found the whole process very therapeutic. There's a beauty in repetitive tasks involved in quilting compared to dress making where every seam seems to be different and I have to keep referring to the instructions and have at many times sat there scratching my head turning pattern pieces round in my hands trying to work out what the hell the instructions are trying to convey. Whereas with quilting, as least with this one, the process was simple and repetitive, first sew the pieces to make strips, press the seams, sew the strips, press the seams, layer the quilt, pin the quilt, quilt the quilt, bind the quilt. I quite enjoyed the process and not quite sure what I was so scared of beforehand so its given me the confidence to make one for myself. Miss C is also eyeing one up as she kept using it as a blanket!
Here's an action shot!