Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Countdown is On!

Last year I didn't decorate for the holidays until just a few days prior to Christmas, and then I ended up leaving everything up until the Superbowl because I wanted to enjoy it once it was up. 

This year, I got myself together and put everything up today. We just have a tree, some lights on our banister, and then stocking holders with some knicknacks on the alcove area in our entry way but it looks nice. 

After spending the majority of the morning working on decorating around 2pm I checked the status of my Missouri Quilt order from Monday which has all the goods for my to be Christmas skirt. I was so excited when I saw it was out for delivery, and by 3pm I had everything in my hands! 

Two Dear Claus Charm Packs for the Quilt Top of the Xmas Tree Skirt, 1 Yard Fabric which was intended for the border or backing of skirt, but may be used for something else, a fusion pen that erases with heat!, and a Fruits and Veggie Charm Pack that was 75 cents. 
I rewatched the Missouri Quilt Co. video on the Adorable Xmas Tree Skirt  prior to getting the mail so I could take my notes and be sure that I could start right away when I got my new stuff.

My first item of business was sorting the charm pack there were 4 snow flake patterns, 3 snowman patterns, 5 ornament patterns (3 versions of one type, 2 versions of a second type), 2 stripes block patterns, and 2 merry Christmas music patterns. I had multiples of each of these as each pack came with 42 charms (5by5inch squares). The video shows the tree skirt being made with 81 charms, but the show a second smaller one made with 64 charms that I liked the size of better so I went that route. 

I wanted a pretty random pattern so I laid out 4 rows across (8 charms in each row), then I I built the rest of the rows but building upward (essentially making columns of 8). Once that was complete I had to sew each row together, then I had to sew row one to row two, and so on until all 8 rows were connected. (By the way, in anticipation of starting this project I finally re-organized my stuff so I could utilize the dining room table for showing stuff off and planning!)

Sorry For the Blur, I take these with my phone. Here is the original sew of all the charms in to 8 rows of 8. 

Close Up so you can hopefully see some of the cute fabrics
The next step after getting all the charms together was cutting the corners so it has a more traditional rounded shape. As instructed by the video I went one and a half squares in on each corner and cut straight across leaving a quarter inch of the first square still intact. The reason for these square corners is the great border technique the video teaches, it makes it very easy to complete the corners in borders. 

Quilt Top Cut Down in all Four Corners

Clearer picture of the fabrics. 
Once I finished this portion I took the yard of fabric I had purchased with the charms (which is from the same line provided by Moda) and placed it next to the skirt to see what it would look like. Unfortunetly it is just too busy and bright to serve as the outside border so either tomorrow or Monday I'll be headed out to find a border fabric. I thought I might use it as backing instead, but I only have a yard and once I put a border on the skirt it will need more than a yard I'm pretty sure. 

So until I go get fabric this project is on hold, but I still had 20 some odd charms and a whole yard of pretty fabric so I decided to see what type of patterns I could find that I might want to do. I ended up finding a bunch of fun things that I saved for the future, but didn't find anything that scream use xmas fabric for this. So I watched the Craftsy, Block of the Month May 2012 video which goes over non-traditional log-cabin patterns. One of the patterns was a totally "wonky" log cabin which looked like a lot of fun because it was all about using scraps, and I have a good amount of scraps from the xmas fabrics. 

I decided to give it ago, and you'll have to watch the video to understand how it's made, but my final product turned out pretty well. The only thing that didn't go as planned is I ended up cutting my block down to 11.5 inches round because one side was too short to be 12.5 inches. 

Crazy Wonky Log Cabin Block
All in all quite the productive day. 

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