Sunday, November 12, 2017

#Christmasiscoming

I don't know if you've noticed, but the Christmas music and commercials offering all of the things you should buy are already out. One even had the nerve to start with carolers singing Jingle Bells and the protagonist saying "Noo...it's only November" and then being convinced it is indeed time to start buying buying buying. I did not fall for that one.

But it is true that people who hand make gifts or like to make their own decorations do have to think about these things early. I don't mind if the fabric store has Christmas fabric in July. There's a good reason for that. And for whatever reason, my mind turned to Christmas about a month ago when I came across this image:
I only ever found this image. I couldn't find the source, who made it, whether it was a pattern or an item for sale. But for whatever reason, when I saw the picture, I really wanted to make this star pattern into a Christmas table topper. (Who can predict when inspiration and motivation will strike at the same time? If you could bottle that, "5 hour energy boost" would go out of business and you would be a millionaire.)

It's not surprising I was attracted to a star made from a sixteen-patch and half square triangles. It seems to be what everything I'm doing right now is made of. And it's scrappy. Need I say more?

One problem was that I had absolutely no Christmas fabric scraps. I don't mind using some non-seasonal fabrics if the colours are right, but none? That doesn't seem right. So I called my sister and asked her to bring what she had and was willing to give me. She saved my butt.

We had fun looking through all the fabrics. I had no problem adding some more reds, and then we went shopping where I picked up a few more fat quarters that I thought would work. (Ok, like 10.) We did a general sort of layout where I decided I could group the flowers/stars by colour instead of doing it completely scrappy.

I also decided that there was no need to do HST for the flying geese border. I cut 2.5x4.5 rectangles instead and sewed them together like you would sew a flying geese unit. It saved a lot of seams and made for a smoother look.

I decided I couldn't do this quilt table topper unless I laid it all out and planned where everything would go. With the restriction of the colour placement I wanted and with a piece this small, you can't sew pieces together and arrange them afterward.
In the picture above you can see the three stages of the stars. The blue is laid out but nothing is sewn. I kind of simulated the triangles that would be sewn. The red has the HSTs sewn but none of the squares are sewn together. And the green has all of the star sewn together. (Isn't it amazing how much difference in the size sewing the seams makes, even with only a 1/4" seam?)

In the border above, the rectangles are folded in half so I could see the colour progression. They look like squares but they're not. :)

Once I had the center together, I couldn't stop and put the border together as well.
It's not sewn to the center yet in this picture. I had to put that off for another day.

Here's a close up of each star:
One of the fabrics my sister brought had very fancy gold trimmed poinsettias. I didn't think they would fit in the design (and hated to cut them up), and then I had the brilliant idea to use them for the center of the stars. I love the effect.

You can see the background is made of a lot of scrappy neutrals. This is something I am learning and having fun experimenting with. I did try to group neutrals with green or red or blue in the area around the corresponding star.
After I had the border sewn on, I layered it with a piece of red damask and pin basted it. I decided not to use any kind of batting. I wanted a very flat table topper.
I've started to quilt it and so far I am pleased with how it's going. There is a ways to go, but I am confident I can get it done by Christmas season.

Linking up with Oh Scrap! on Quilting is more fun than Housework.

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