Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Finishing up Winter Quilts

I started two wall hangings before Christmas. Since they are both more about winter than Christmas, that makes them....not late! Besides, they're not late if there are no deadlines, but it is better when they are made and finished for the season they represent!

The first wall hanging is a paper piecing project from the book, The Quilter's Home: Winter by Lois Krushina Fletcher, published by Martingale. The project is the "Winter Vacancy" wall hanging. It's made up of two paper pieced blocks. The first is a snow covered birdhouse and the other is a cardinal. It's very winter and lovely.
Winter Vacancy
I just love paper piecing! I like the way it comes so well together. I'm getting better at it and more organised so that I can cut the fabric and iron it on my home-made ironing/cutting table that's right next to my sewing machine.

I still have to work on having my seams not come apart when I remove the paper from my project. I'm experimenting with stitch length. Apparently if your stitch length is shorter, it'll almost cut the paper. The problem with short stitches is obvious if you have to rip out the stitching! I'm not sure what's worse - having seams pull apart or not being able to unsew. At least when you quilt the project, especially if it's a wall hanging that won't go through the wash, the quilting will keep the project together.

This next piece is from a pattern I purchased separately from Martingale. It's Ribbon Wreath Table Topper from the book, Comfort and Joy: 14 Quilts for Christmas by Mary Hickey. I really like its clean lines and the fact that the red around the wreath looks like a ribbon going through the project.

Ribbon Wreath Table Topper
Ribbon Wreath  Wall Hanging
As usual, since I just can't follow a pattern without making changes, there are a couple of things that I would do differently, if I ever make another one. I said that I liked the look of the ribbon going through the project, but it turns out that if you use different red fabrics for the ribbon, that it won't look so much like a ribbon (oops!).

The projects were pieced and sandwiched a while ago, but since I haven't free motion quilted in a few weeks, I just haven't had the energy to finish them. Thank goodness, that's what weekends are for!

What I learned:
  • When I change the fabrics in a project, I should consider if the changes will have an overall effect on the look of the project. Having a variety of reds is nice, but it does look less like a ribbon going through the project.
  • When I made an error on the size of one of the strips, I didn't think it would really make an overall difference. If I had looked at the overall project more closely at that time, I would have noticed that the corners where the red ribbons meet would be changed. It's not a big deal, but if I had taken the time to rip the seams of the strip when I discovered my error, this would have saved me a problem and more ripping out later on! I guess the moral of this story is to take a few minutes to consider the consequences of not fixing a mistake when the mistake (or design change) is discovered.
  • I was very impatient to take a picture of the Ribbon Wreath project but then realized that I haven't added the buttons to the project yet. There are 24 red buttons that look like berries on the wreath. I'll add them this week and post a follow-up picture! 

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