Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tiny Houses Tiny Trees-Big Reveal

Tiny Houses Tiny Trees
Here's the Big Reveal!

This project was just plain fun. Everything from the fabrics, the free-form design where I wasn't looking for anything squared up, and the embellishments all remind me of a winter frolic in a village. I'm sure there were 'rules' I broke with all the bling I put on, but I didn't make it for someone else--just for me, and my family so I didn't hold back. As a friend said, "That Christmas Tree quilt makes people happy."

I'll show you something I planned from the beginning. This is a Doxie Girl in her Ivory Tower, and I squeezed a little pink into the quilt at the same time. I had many family votes to nix the dog, but it makes me smile. Gotta love my Doxies!

Why did I just really bling a few trees? There's a story behind it. Some years ago, if you traveled up and down Interstate 77 between Cambridge and Newcomerstown at Christmas time, there was always one little tree all lit up with brightly colored lights. It stood in the darkness surrounded by other trees, and you just wondered who would take the time to light that little tree. He was a truck driver. Every day when he drove that route, he would stop his truck, and take a freshly charged battery up there to make sure those lights shined all night long. He's gone now, and there's no more tree, but I always wondered why he chose to do that. I was a young adult, but I think it's when I started to understand the magic of Christmas. These little trees are for him.

What I Learned

  • I needed the negative space, the borders, to frame the 3 strips. They make each a uniform size, and it sets each one off so they don't compete.
  • I had to be very strict with my palette. Not every blue, green, or red 'worked', but there are a good variety of each in prints.
  • The border was a toss-up between the red or green-blue-gold stripe. I think the stripe set off the houses nicely.

  • The buttons took me a solid day. There was more time spent sewing them on than in the actual quilting! I found that working on a table was key. I could lay the buttons out I intended to sew on, then sew each on rarely disturbing the rest. Then I didn't have to re-position them all each time. I tried marking them ahead, but it wasn't successful.

  • Knot and start your thread from the back and bring to the front. Make two full rounds through the button holes, and bring back up to the front coming out from the center of the button "behind" it. In other words, do NOT come up through your button holes this time. I wrapped the thread around the button securing with single knot, then once again the same way. I would NOT use this technique on anything except a wall hanging, but they feel quite secure.
  • 505 overspray can leave funky gunk on the quilt top that traps lint and thread on top. Be careful when spraying.
Here's a candid shot of a few of my 6 little helpers yesterday. Whenever one dog would get down, the rest would try to get up the chair beside me. They all wanted to sit in it. Aren't they funny?

It's the Tuesday Night Meet-Up at JoAnn's in New Philadelphia, Ohio tonight. We'll be in the craft room from 6-8:30 p.m.. Come join us if you can. Bring your own electric cord if you're bringing your machine. I'll be demoing machine quilting tonight, and they'll surely be cookies to share.

Come on, Doxie Girls. 
I've got a road trip planned, and need something sewn up to work on today.


legato1958 said...

I love your Tiny Houses Tiny Trees Quilt. It is truly charming and so fun to look at ! And I am so glad that you have buttons and put a little doxie in a window to peek out!

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

Little Black Cat Quilting said...

Came over from Throwback Thursday, I love how whimsical this is! The little trees and the tiny houses go wonderfully together and I really like your color palette. Such a lovely Christmas quilt! :)

JanineMarie said...

It IS a happy quilt. And I love the story of the trucker and how that worked it's way into the quilt.

Tish Stemple said...

Other than just being plain adorable, I love that just about everything in this quilt has a story behind it. You added so many special little touches. That little Doxie girl needed to be in her castle :)

the zen quilter said...

Absolutely fabulous and really, really fun. Love those trees.

Linda said...

Love your quilt. especially the tree block and the story behind it. Love the buttons!

elle said...

and it surely is a FUN quilt!!!

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Oh Julie......this quilt is ADORABLE> I love all your little bits of detail. Thanks for sharing at TUeaday Archives this week. :)

Lara B. said...

Julie, besides being adorable, this quilt looks like it was as fun to make as you described. Very cute!