Monday, December 17, 2012

Half Dressed

Remember when I set out to make a fabric garland with my go! baby cutter and these plentiful scraps?

monster scraps

Weeeell.... I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I think the garland turned out pretty. I cut many, many, many circles and set pairs back to back with wrong sides together.  Then, I chain pieced them in long strings right down the center of the circles with little bits of just-thread for spacing. 

scrappy garland

See, they rotate this way and that in our (totally real) Christmas tree.  We like!

handmade Christmas

The bad news is two-fold.  One, if you let your thread garland tangle, really bad things can happen.  Try untwisting tangled thread!  Wait, you probably have tried before. So, yeah, you know how that goes. 

half dressed

Two, I um... I'm stopping there. We even have a Christmas party tonight, but I am DONE with cutting little scrappy circles.  I am so done, in fact, that last night I woke in the middle of the night thinking very clear ideas for a new scrap-quilt-along, kind of like Bottled Rainbows, but with a totally new design and approach.  You see, cutting little circles was not all that fulfilling.  Apparently I yearn to actually sew my scraps together.  Go figure.

Christmas is a season not all that friendly to works-in-progress.  It seems we buy gifts for our entire family or stay home.  Make Christmas goodies for all our neighbors or just eat them ourselves.  Decorate with a tree and lights and the whole shebang or bah-humbug the festivities with reserve.  Well, this time I'm going to live it up at half dressed.  My tree shows promise, y'all.  Next year, I'll finish the garland.

25 comments:

  1. I think your tree is beautiful and I love the garland. Can't wait to see what you add to it next year!

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  2. Hilarious. Your tree is pretty and I like the garland.

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  3. it's lovely! I feel you on the tangling though - I threaded felt balls onto nylon thread for my Christmas tree. Nightmare!

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  4. Ugh. Untangling thread? You can have it!! I love your half dressed tree. Sometimes you just have to embrace they you can't have it all nor will you get it all done. I have a 90 % done Christmas quilt that I started last Christmas.....and will probably stay that way until the holidays are over!!!

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  5. Love it! Can you tell me what the modern flower print is in the first picture near the top of your garland? I have a thrifted handmade bag with that print in it and would love to make another. Thanks!

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    1. I don't remember the exact name of that print, but it's sure to be hard to find or impossible to find by now. It was a Michael Miller "Big E" print, I think?

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    2. You're right. I can't find it, but now I know what it is at least. Thanks! LOVE your blog and your willingness to share info.

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  6. I have lots of annoying garlands like that. My trick is to cut out a large piece of cardboard in a fat "I" shape (the letter I, not L, with the serif!) and then wind the whole thing up on that. This way you don't have the stress of detangling and you can unwind as you go around the tree. :)

    I like your garland, and I always do Christmas half-dressed. Because I like to enjoy the holiday and I can't do it otherwise.

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    1. Yep, I already made my "I". I just should have been winding it as I was sewing, since it was between the machine and the tree that I got befuddled. Someone else suggested clear nylon thread doesn't tangle as much. I'll want to try that too!

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  7. Rachel, I missed your post about the garland - it's fantastic! Wow, how good idea and it's so beautiful! I know for us 'it should be sewn' but what if we glue the circles and use a thin cord and yarn to avoid the detangling.
    Your whole tree looks magical and those garlands are super!
    I wish you wonderful Christmas time! x Teje

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  8. Your tree looks just perfect the way it is! I must have 4 different kinds of garland encircling mine and while not perfect, it is perfectly me! BTW, I loved your Christmas tree cards and thoroughly enjoyed making mine - and the recipients have been thrilled. I'm already thinking of something other than a tree for next year - it really was fun - thank you for sharing that (and for everything you share!).

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  9. I made a decorative garland for my wedding using paper circles like this - it was sooo cute! I want to do this one now too. :)

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  10. Hey, living it up at half dressed is hot!! I did the same thing this year when I hosted. Have a fun party, that's what matters the most!!

    BTW, you know what works great? Clear nylon thread, like thin fishing line, from Gutermann. It doesn't tangle as easily. I've sewn many circle garlands out of paper circles, a la Dana from Made. Not frustrating at all.

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    1. And we really did have the best time! Thanks for the clear nylon thread tip. I need to add some of that to my supplies.

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  11. Ooh, I totally hear ya when it comes to the Holidays. I've been overwhelmed with my job, works in progress, etc, etc this year so I opted to NOT put up my tree. I just couldn't fathom bringing up the decorations from the basement and spending like 3 hours putting something up only to take it down a few weeks later.

    I most definately need to get a jump start next year so this doesn't happen again. The good news is that I'll be spending the holidays with a whole bunch of family that has definately gone above and beyond with the decorating, so I won't be without the holiday cheer.

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  12. It's cute! Even if half finished. Next year sounds like a wonderful plan.

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  13. WHat if you got a spool of ribbon, and just sewed your cute little circles along that? It would be much the same effort of chain stitching, but the if you had to untangle it, it might be easier.

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  14. I have a similar felt garland - when it comes time to pack it up after Christmas (now this is the embarrassing part) I use empty toilet paper rolls to wrap them on for storage! I just cut little notches in the top and that's where I'll put the ends (just like those little embroidery cards).

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  15. Hi dear! Did you use something fused to the fabric to keep it stiff? I'm just thinking about our climate {Hawaii} and how the fabric might just flop over and miss Christmas altogether...lol. And if you did a double sided applique fuse, could you just stick some twine in there, iron, and not have to sew anything? Hmmmmm...you've got me thinking. It's a really cute idea...it gives your tree the same warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I snuggle under my favorite scrappy quilt. Love it!

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    1. I can't say that I would be willing to deal with a fusible, but I can see how that would look great and work well with twine. Very smart! I was looking for something uber fast. They do flop here and there, but it doesn't spoil the look for me =)

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  16. Oh, I look forward to the new scrap-quilt-along, I got started too late on the bottled rainbows, so I was all alone, this time I want to join you from the start! And it's a lovely tree.

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    1. I can't wait! I drew up my design last night and it's sooooo enticing to me. Can't wait, can't wait!

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