I’ve been busy at work getting my “Oh Christmas Tree” quilt ready for Christmas giving.  Finishing up the binding is a perfect Sunday effort.  Here’s how the quilting process went.

I had the front done a week ago after adding the 36 wonky stars.  I hadn’t really even thought about the backing so I had a few days of waffling between using a Christmas panel that I had purchased for the Quirky Quilters retreat swap and making a background using the four leftover wonky stars I had.

I decided after the waffling that I wanted the stars to be on the back and I wanted them to be centered and then just white around them.  That’s what I did!

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I quilted the quilt over two days using my domestic sewing machine.   The center of the quilt, the actual tree and surround, I used a running, swirling bubble design.  I love this design because it flows and I can easily turn it to the left or to the right depending on where I see the next open area.

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I continued the swirling bubble in a ‘straight’ line through the first border, the multi-stripe.  After that, my 1/4″ foot became my best friend.  I wanted to stitch 1/4″ inside the wonky star and 1/4″ outside the wonky star.   Setting the edge of my 1/4″ foot again the edge, either inside or outside the star made it a simple project.  Of course, it wasn’t a quick project because there were 36, or about, stars so that means 72 outlines.  I was able to go from inside the star to the outside of the star without breaking thread so each star is a complete unbroken line.   This is a good thing as quilting should be as much one thread continuous as you can make it.

If you follow me on IG, @quilterinmotion, you have seen a number of partial shots of the quilt in progress.  I spent Saturday binding the quilt between the other things I had to do on Saturday — including some snow removal.  For my southern friends and those that know I usually spend my winters in the South, this is the third and largest snowstorm this month.  We got 1-3″ the other two times but this time we got at least 5″.   By the time I was done with the binding, the sun was going down and I couldn’t get a good shot outside.  Elizabeth, of Occasional Piece Quilts, wanted to see my O.C.T. quilt against a snowy background.  So, I will wait for a good sunny day to lay it out in the snow.

Quilting around my stars was a breeze using the wonderful Bernina foot #37, the quarter-inch foot.  If you look back at the featured image at the top of today’s post, you will notice the Bernina foot #37 has lots of notches on both sides of it.  Each one of these marks a quarter inch, either from the front edge or from one notch to another.   Having the notches on both sides of the foot makes it easy to determine when I need to stop and pivot the machine to maintain my quarter-inch distance.

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I thought you might want to see how the 1/4″ makes it easy for me to space my line at a reliable 1/4″.  When you are stitching and pivoting, watching the marks on the 1/4″ gives you the notice of when to pivot your fabric in the next direction.  I have a few photos that I thought would help anyone who wants to quilt inside or outside stars and thinks it’s just to difficult.

When I am heading down into the inner “v” of the star, I watch the 1/4″ notch on other side of my presser foot.  When it reaches the edge of that “v” or valley, it’s time to pivot the quilt completely and head in the other direction.

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How far do you go before you turn to go down the other side of this ray?   I did a trial and error, stitching and pivoting until I figured out exactly how many stitches beyond the tip I had to go.  On my machine, it is eight stitches beyond the tip.  Yours might be different.  Here’s another way I could judge.  When I stitch beyond the tip on the above block, there is a seam line and I can see where the quarter-inch ends and I know it’s time to pivot and stitch.

I use it inside the star as well as outside, allowing the quarter-inch foot to do the work of  keeping my seam steady along the star rays.  Again, watching the notches, sometimes on the opposite of the fabric, allows me to determine when I’ve reached the 1/4″ point to pivot.  You can see in the photo below that it is a reliable tool to use for keeping a 1/4″ distance from the edge of the stars, inside and out!

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If you follow me on IG, @quilterinmotion, you have seen a number of partial shots of the quilt in progress.  I spent Saturday binding the quilt between the other things I had to do on Saturday — including some snow removal.  For my southern friends and those that know I usually spend my winters in the South, this is the third and largest snowstorm this month.  We got 1-3″ the other two times but this time we got at least 5″.

By the time I was done with the binding, the sun was going down and I couldn’t get a good shot outside.  Elizabeth, of OCP, wants to see my Christmas tree quilt against a snowy background.  So, I will wait for a good sunny day to lay it out in the snow.

Until then, I have a few neck warmers to knit. I’m doing it without a pattern, just a mental picture of one I saw at a Christmas fair.  I’m on my fourth one. I will share more about them when I’ve added the adornment.

That is it for today.  It rained during the night so things are slippery this morning and too wet for a photo shoot today.   I’m anxious to show you the finished project.  Maybe tomorrow?

I hope your Christmas shopping is well underway.  I did most of ours in a one-day trip to Keene, NH with our daughter last week plus a few forays into Amazon.com for things I couldn’t find in Keene.  Wrapping is almost done and I’ve had the opportunity to go to a few holiday inspired activities.

Thursday night we went to our grandson’s Christmas concert.  He plays the bass saxophone and had a solo part in one of the songs.  Of course he sounded great!!!  Christmas concerts are a bit different from the ones I used to do when I was teaching.  We did holiday songs but this concert had one holiday medley then the rest was non-Christmas.

Prior to this week, while Dave was still at the hospital in Hanover, we attended a Northern Stage Company presentation of “The Christmas Carol”.  It was well-done and the set was great.  The additional effects of snow and twinkling lights were really enjoyable as well.   This was my first time at the NSC’s new facility and there is not a bad seat in the house.  We were in the third row to the right, thanks to tickets from a very generous friend who invited Jack, Sara and I to attend with her.  Bud stayed to keep Dave company and we enjoyed the getaway from the daily hospital atmosphere.

 

By the way, Dave is doing very well in the rehab center 1.7 miles from the house.  Sara is able to come home and go back in a matter of minutes and we are all able to easily get there to visit with him.  He is walking with the help of a walker and the PT/OT people, practicing sitting and getting himself up again; moving from bed to wheelchair, etc. etc.  He’s doing great!!! He may get home for a Christmas Day visit if he progresses far enough before then.The day before that we attended a Gingerbread House auction.  I have had the photos ready to share with you for two weeks now and just have taken the time to expand the file and put the photos up.  I promise to do that in the days ahead.

Hoping the season finds your stitching on schedule, your shopping behind you and the warmth of family surrounding you.

Marsha