Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Talk about a long term project...











I finally finished that Christmas quilt I have been working on for several years! I think it's been four years since I purchased the fabric for it. Last year I actually layered and pinned it, but never got around to quilting it, so this year that was a priority for me. I actually finished it Thanksgiving weekend, but due to the abduction of my camera wasn't able to take pictures. (My camera went to Portland in my daughters purse by accident!)
That is where a cell phone can come in handy. These pictures aren't the greatest, but at least I can share what I accomplished!
This is the applique that I did on the corners. That was two years ago! I used batiks to make the lovely holly leaves and berries. To make the berries nice and round I stacked freezer paper for the templates and used spray starch painted on the seam allowances to turn them under nice and tight (a great trick gleaned from watching Simply Quilts!). I've tried basting and pulling the seam allowances around a mylar template, and also tried using a metal washer, but the seam allowances just didn't stay in place as well as they do when you use a touch of starch.
This is the aplique after quilting. I did a fairly small meander in the white, and went around the holly berries. I think after I take this quilt down I will add veins in the holly leaves and perhaps some beading to give it a little sparkle.

The outer border gave me the most trouble, mostly because the pattern in the book had a very cool continuous line leaf pattern that I really wanted to use, but I had already layered the quilt. So, I ended up biting the bullet and making a stencil for the pattern. It took me longer to make the stencil and do the marking than it did to do the quilting, but it was well worth the effort. I used my heat tool with a stencil tip, but wasn't too thrilled with how it worked. There were a lot of burned plastic lumps left on the template and it chewed up my blue pen something awful. But I did get the results I wanted and I suppose in the end that is what was most important. Next time I'll use my light table and mark before I baste! In the black border with holly leaves I free motioned my own holly leaf design which really worked out well! I used a gold toned thread after using a metallic in the center and not being impressed with that. The non metallic gold tone looks just as good.

All in all a job well done, if not a timely job. I am happy with the quilt and it's beautiful hanging over the mantle! Now it's on to other quilts that are begging to be finished, one of which will be the strip robin. It needs to be hung in my husbands office!

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