Thursday, September 30, 2021

The First "100 Days" Finish!

Recently, I decided to try participating in Leanne's (of the Devoted Quilter) 100 Days WIPS-B-GONE Challenge.

 It was surprising to see that there are not that many days left to the year and I know I want to get a lot of stuff done before the sun goes down on 2021.  (Hey, that rhymes and yes Elton John is now an ear worm in your head -- your welcome!).

There are projects that I hope to finish, some that I hope to just move along and even some that I hope to start AND finish before this period ends.  Fortunately the first of the finishes has left the gate!

At the beginning of 2020 (way back, in the "before times"), I had decided to try to make projects for Blue & White themed Christmas decorating.  Of course, at the center of such a scheme would have to be a Christmas tree skirt!  The Quilt Muses are always looking out for me and when I went looking for a design, I came across Rachel's Spiderweb Tree Skirt tutorial over at her Stitched In Color blog.  This worked for me on so many levels:  I had always wanted to make a spider web quilt, I was also piecing a scrappy Blue and White BOM at the time so could put the scraps towards this and Accuquilt has a die for the block which would make cutting up the scraps even easier.  I cut scraps and pieced blocks along with the BOM work throughout 2020.  

Block parts die cut.....

Block quarters made!

When plans arose to travel down to my MIL's at the end of November for a two week stay, I decided to take the skirt project with me as one of the things I'd work on while away.  While there, I finished piecing together the top.  

I had also taken the backing fabric and batting with a plan to also quilt it while there.  Unfortunately while there I was busy with the other projects I also took, helped my MIL to organize her sewing room, helped her with her projects and we did other activities.  So layering and quilting the skirt never made the cut and I brought the project back home.  Then we didn't get a tree for Christmas so I didn't bother trying to quilt it up at the end of last year.  

However this year, I was determined to get it done and do a proper display for Christmas!  I finished quilting it on Friday.

This is it sitting on a tree stand.  To the left are the ornaments I bought years ago that have been waiting for me to make a few coordinating quilt projects to go with them.  It will also be a chance to use the blue felt ornaments I finished last year.

However, I also had another reason to get it done last week:  the steering committee of my community garden decided to hold an outdoor "Art Festival" this past Saturday to showcase the talents of some of our members.  We have jewelry and decorative artists, a painter and a sculptor in our midst and I was asked to bring out some of my quilts.  It is an idea I had always wished our garden might do -- a mini version of the kind of shows done at Sisters and Alden Lane.  

One of the quilts I displayed was my "High Strung +2" Christmas quilt and I figured a show of tree skirts would also be good to further demonstrate how versatile quilting is.   I wanted to display both my red and green skirt and this one so needed to get it finished so I could also show the color versatility for this type of project.  

The Blue & White skirt is hanging behind the Red and Green one on the right.

Hence the additional push to get this done!  I'll admit I had made the batting choice last year out of COVID scarcity duress.  It was remnants of a high loft batting I had in stash that was just enough for the skirt with some additional Franken-piecing (and see more tips on that process here and here).  The batting had been leftover from when I needed to fill out a pillow form for a pillow cover I made a while back.  Now that the skirt is done, I think I would have preferred a flatter batting instead.  

Since I was working on a tight deadline and so as not to have to try to pick out and decide on a binding fabric (or make a scrappy binding), I just pillow-turned the quilt layers, thus quickly finishing the edges.  I had plans to then edge stitch around the edges (also closing the opening used for turning), ditch stitch around the blue web blocks and do a simple looped uneven Figure Eight motif using free-motion in the white kite areas.  Yeah, the attempt to do free-motion on high-loft batting was a no go!  Looking at it now, I may try to do some additional stitching in the centers of the webs to define them a little more before I put this out for the holidays. 

But as of right now I'm calling this a finish!  I also think it could use "a little something extra" to punch it up a bit.  I would consider adding beads sewn to the web centers or maybe tassels sewn to the corners or hand sewing a decorative trim to the outer edges.  We'll see if any of that also gets done this year or maybe I'll just leave that for a future project update.  As they say, "finished is better than perfect"!


Vireya said...

You are well on the way to your blue and white Christmas theme. The skirt looks great, covering the tree stand.

The community garden art festival sounds like a good idea. The colourful quilt display must have been attractive to people coming to have a look.

M L said...

What a great way to showcase some of your lovely FO's!

Your blue/white Xmas (earlier post) sent me to Shabby Fabrics for the kit and a few other items. Thank you for more temptations!