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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lovely Little Christmas Trees

Never did I think that I would love to work with jelly rolls, charm packs etc. but recently I have changed my ways!

Jelly rolls, charm packs, etc. are such timesavers. Because the fabric is supposed to be so good, there is no need to wash, dry, iron and then cut like you do with traditional yardage. Instead, you simply open up the package, cut the precut standard size (squares or strips) if your pattern requires it, and wa la! you are ready to sew. You can get a quilt done in record time and with several fabrics that are designed to correspond with each other so your quilt looks fabulous when you are finished.

Needless to say, I'm a convert.

I have been wanting to create Eleanor Burn's Pine Tree quilt for many years but did not relish the idea of cutting all those strips out, after all, there are at least six different sizes for each block and at least 16 blocks for a small quilt! So as soon as I saw my new fav Missouri Quilt Company, having their Christmas clearance/sale last year on these 2 1/2" strips, I thought I would try my hand on them. It was a game changer.

I simply picked out several strips I liked and cut them to the size indicated for each strip and it's corresponding background strips.

The background strips and laid perpendicular to the printed fabric, right sides together. Stitch from the center outward on each strip and don't cut until you've verified it's a triangle shape on the front. It it looks like it is, cut the corner off and press. I suggest assembly line sewing all one side then the next to speed up the process. To do this just lay down all your fabric matches and keep sewing straight!

When you have done it for each layer, I recommend safety pinning them together. Many of these layers are very close in size so its very easy to mix them out. I created one tree that had six layers instead of five!

I did not include the stump although it is part of the pattern. I think it looks more "modern" without it... (and I actually forgot to put it in). I also did not add the star that is an option for this block.

I had some lovely sashing material and debated whether to add sashing between each block but when I finished them all I preferred the trees to be "floating". I added the sashing around the entire center block and then a Christmas red around the sashing. When cutting sashing out of a printed block, remember to cut 1/4" away from the printed border on each side as you will lose this to the seaming when you join this to quilt. If you cut right on the border line, it will cut into your border. I did have some that was not quite perfect as you may see in this close up but overall I'm happy with the effect.

I'm thrilled with the way this turned out. This is going to be a great surprise gift for someone in my family and this year I actually get to see them open it!  Happy Holidays All!

Update: Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to make everyone in my family tree skirts/table toppers for Christmas. They turned out cute I think: