Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tree Quilt

Sandra over at mmm!quilts told me this was a squirrel. I didn't think of it while I was making it, but she's right!

It all started with this doodle I made while watching TV (yes a "bad" Christmas movie) a few evenings ago.
The next morning, I grabbed some newsprint and drew a rectangle on it using an old cutting mat as a template. Eyeballing proportions, I drew some wonky-ish horizontal lines and then diagonals, pretty much like my doodle. I had decided to paper foundation piece (or I guess you could say string piece) the quilt, not for precision, but to keep the size contained so that the quilt would fit on my front door. I taped the drawing to my patio door window and traced it in reverse onto another piece of newsprint. That way I could save the pattern in case I ever want to make another similar quilt. Here's my "lightbox" window. A bit dark here. I think it was raining--or even snowing a bit outside. There are lots of scribbles, as I kept changing my mind about the order of piecing while I made notations. Yup, a squirrel. No time for neatness.
I cut my pattern into five horizontal rows. Then I dug into my drawerful of greens, thinking I'd use up some of my ancient stash. (Yeah, right. I barely made a dent.) For each section of the quilt I quickly laid out some fabrics. The only thing I really paid attention to was making sure there was a sprinkling of white in each section--sort of like snow on the branches.
I chose three blues in graduated tints (or is it values) for the sky. That was easy because I have my fabric colors arranged by value. I just grabbed three that were next to each other--and luckily there was enough of each for three rows. And for the white fabric, I chose Kona Snow. Of course!
Sorry, bad lighting and focus here. 
I stitched my five strips, roughly following the lines I had drawn.

Then joined them--and that was that! 

I found a piece of blue print for the back--it's the leftover of a quilt I made many years ago and has some mystery stains, so it works well to cut up for small quilt backs. I quilted abstract bough shapes in each green strip of the tree, wavy "drifts" in the snow and tiny circular loops in the sky to mimic blowing snowflakes. Then I dug into my drawer once more for some red for the binding. I was tempted to add a star or some button ornaments, but in the end I decided to leave it simple so that I can display it throughout the winter.

Here it is on the door again.

And the back, that no one will see. Except here.

And on the driveway in the sun to show the quilting texture. (I love doing dense quilting on tiny projects!)

I tried to get a picture of the front of the house with the quilt on the door, but the time of day wasn't right. I'll try to get one later after I decorate outside.

This was such a fun little project. And I am thrilled that no shopping trip was involved in the making. I was going to treat it with anti-UV spray to resist fading but decided not to. Some of the fabrics are very old (like from the '80s!) and brittle, with very unstable dye. I didn't want to risk bleeding from the greens and red into the light fabrics. So I'll just cross my fingers and hope that I'll get a couple of seasons out of it before it fades too much. I can do that with a no-cost project, I think. And then I can make another. 

Here are some quick stats:
Pattern: My own doodle
Size: 18 1/2 by 24 1/2 inches. I started with an 18 by 24 cutting mat for the pattern, but left extra fabric when sewing so I could add binding width to the size. 
Fabrics: All scraps
Batting: Hobbs Premium 80/20 scrap.
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Aurifil 40 wt. in Pewter (2630) for quilting in tree (seems finer than what I usually use for quilting, but it's what I had available for quilting dark fabrics.); Superior King Tut in White Linen for quilting snow and sky. 
Quilting: Treadle Free-motion
Binding: Cut 2 1/2 inches for about a 3/8 inch width.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 treadle for quilting and binding. 

Okay, one more photo--close up on the driveway:
Forgot to quilt my initials and date, so I embroidered them after it was done.
I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday, Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing for Free Motion MavericksQuilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap and with mmm!quilts for DrEAMi because this is definitely a Drop Everything And Make it quilt. Yup, a squirrel. I'll link up with the parties as they go live. You might have noticed that I have removed the linky buttons from the sidebar on the right. I discovered that a certain photo storage company has defaced my blog with ugly icons covering up some of the link buttons. So I've decided to just remove them all. I'll still be sure to provide links in my posts. That's probably easier for people who link up from apps anyway, but it was fun to promote my favorite linky parties with those buttons. Sigh. Such is digital life.

Have a good week, everybody, and if you live in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! (This quilt won't go up on my door until the day after!)


Ioleen said...

Love your tree. 😍😍. Great job.

Bernie Kringel said...

Janine! Excellent plan and execution. I love this simple tree. My favorite part, if I was forced to pick, is the quilting on the actual tree. But I really like the whole thing. Used up some old scraps and look what came of them. Transformation. :-) Happy Thanksgiving.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

Such a pretty tree! The quilting is beautiful and accents the piece perfectly.

Louise said...

You probably didn't know this was a squirrel, because he's hibernating deep in a nest in your tree this time of year :) Such a darling little door quilt! I zoomed way in to see your "bough" quilting and really like it! So clever the way it fits in each of the dark green strips.

Claire said...

Squirrels are such fun! Love this tree and the quilting. I like dense too, when other people do it, or when a project is small. Claire aka Knitnkwilt

PaulaB quilts said...

Thanks for explaining how you made the tree. It's perfect for all winter. The Quilting really shows the wind and snow. I guess the squirrel must be snuggling deep in its branches.

Sandra Walker said...

Oh Janine, thank you for all the lovey photos, that last one especially, because I could enjoy the bows you quilted and marvel at the tiny swirls for snowflakes in the sky. It is so much fun to see it all done and on your door after seeing it evolve on Instagram. I love King Tut thread, and whoa/wow FMQ on your treadle, now that's some fancy fine eye/hand/foot coordination my friend! Beautiful. Thanks in advance for linking up with my DrEAMi! This is one of quintessential Drop Everything And Make It! quilts. ;-) Happy Thanksgiving from the other side of our river. :-)

Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty said...

This is beautiful! I think off-the-cuff projects like this one are the most fun to do. It's nice to pursue a new idea and see just what comes of it! BTW ... I've never heard of anti-UV spray. Have you used in on other outdoor projects?

Quilting Stories said...

Very beautiful and personal tree, thanks for the explanations! Have a great week-end!

The Joyful Quilter said...

What a fun (and fast) project!! Festive, too!!!

marebear said...

So lovely!

Janice Holton said...

What a great design, Janine! I love it! I admire people who can just make up their own patterns. :)

Kaja said...

What a cool idea - definitely a squirrel!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Very cute tree - great project for little bits of fabric. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Preeti said...

I am glad you shared your process, Janine. It is a lovely tree and to think that you won't have to sweep any needles or worry about electrical sockets is just a cherry on the top!!!

Muv said...

Hello Janine Marie,

Such a gorgeous tree! It looks perfect against the dark green of your door. The quilting of falling snow and snow on the ground is a beautiful peaceful touch.

Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks - your quilt is this week's featured project!

Love, Muv