Thursday, November 3, 2016

zigzags in the Round

Tree Skirt in quilt-as-you-go

After a false start, here's my fabric do-over! I pulled a hefty pile of happy fabrics from my stash, leaning more towards low volumes than is my habit.  Interestingly, most of these picks are by Denyse Schmidt from various collections, especially Flea Market Fancy, Chicopee and Katie Jump Rope.  Combined with sprinkles of Anna Maria Horner, Friedlander and Cotton & Steel, the color range feels just right.

Tree Skirt in quilt-as-you-go

For this quilt-as-you-go Christmas tree skirt, I started with a 26" x 48" rectangle of Warm & Natural low loft batting.  Before sewing, I drew some lines to get a quick feel for how I would slice the tree skirt segments after making the patchwork.   These lines would also initially guide fabric placement.

Tree Skirt in quilt-as-you-go

Next I sewed 2.5" wide cut fabric strips at a 45 degree angle right on the batting.  Each time I add another strip, I sew through two layers of quilting cotton strips and through the batting itself.  Thus, I'm creating patchwork and quilting it to the batting all in one step, with the quilting lines hidden in the seams.  Quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) is a very durable kind of patchwork, and it's a nice touch that you don't have to add quilting as an end-step!

When I finished covering my big batting rectangle with diagonal stripes, I cut long wedges out of the patchwork.  You can see from my original sketch (below right) how I cut the wedges without any fabric waste!

QAYG Christmas Tree Skirt

I had expected that when put side-by-side to create a circle the wedges would create a zigzag pattern.  But... they didn't.  True confessions:  I'm not very good at visual-spacial manipulation!  Fortunately, I solved the problem by making another patchwork QAYG base with stripes slanting in the opposite direction.  I finished that today and cut it into wedges and...

Tree Skirt in quilt-as-you-go

Tada!  That's what I wanted to see! Alternating wedges from each QAYG base yields a super-fantastic zigzag circular skirt.

And, I think I'm in love...
 

29 comments:

  1. You aren't the only one in love with your skirt...

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  2. Great colours - it'll look fantastic­čśŹ

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  3. lol - that would be so me!
    Works perfectly in my head, bring it to life and - hu?
    Looks great!

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  4. Oh WOW! This is going to be fantastic!!

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  5. Im drooling over all that fabric!! Love love love those denyse schmidt lines. Wonder what would it would look like if you did print with alternate low volume.

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    1. Thanks and good question, Nancy. One of my earlier ideas was to alternate 2" print strips with 1" solid white strips. One thing I'm sure about is that the diagonals are not going to meet up at the seems perfectly. I would have had to introduce several more controls to make that happen, which would have resulted in some fabric waste. So, since the diagonals are not going to meet up, I decided a print/white pattern would possibly be a bad emphasis?

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  6. Very pretty. I couldn't quite picture it in your previous post but now I see the process. Your drawings and the results are so nice. Thanks.

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  7. Well, we didn't catch your visual-spatial mistake, either! I do love how your skirt is turning out, though ... Could you give us a little guidance on your measurements and quilt math?

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    1. And I love the pieced strips, too!

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    2. Yes, I'll share the cutting details after I'm certain it's all worked out. Right now there is still some iffy things about if the wedge angles I've chosen will make too big of an opening. I'm figuring it out as I go!

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  8. Ha, don't you hate it when your zigzag loses its zig! I'm glad you could pull together a big batch of zig to even out your zag and make such a cute tree skirt :)

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  9. This looks great! And the construction is clever made. I also have this problem in visualizing before cutting/constructing:) I wonder if this skirt won't be to busy if you have a tree decorated with all kind of ornaments in different colours. What is your tree decorated like? This is what kept me so far from sewing such skirt for our tree. Best S.

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    1. Well, there's always the chance it will look too busy! I do tend in that direction since I love, love, love patchworks of prints. My tree has many solid colored glass ornaments in round shapes of different sizes. It is about half simple/solid ornaments and half more unique ornaments. I do not have the "every ornament is different" kind of tree.

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    2. So I am looking forward to see the tree in all his glory on the tree skirt on your blog soon :) As a side note, will there be an update how you and your growing bump are before the birth? Thinking a lot of you and how you two are doing :)

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    3. Thanks for asking =) Baby and I are doing very well. Absolutely no signs of trouble! I am scheduled to be induced on 11/22, something I'm sure I'll mention again as the days tick off. I'm excited to be this close!

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    4. Oh that is sooner than I expected, my mind was around december. Now I am excited with you ;)

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  10. Great result! I ll remember this, thanks for showing.
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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  11. So how will you finish this? Are you cutting a backing/lining and then sew and turn and then hand finish somewhere? Your notes say no binding....I have a lot of Christmas fabric scraps to do this, but like you with the spatial issues, I can’t visualize how to finish this. Thanks!

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    1. I think you are imagining just what I have in mind, Pamela. I will add the backing as a last step after joining the wedges to make a skirt shape. When adding the backing I can sew in ties along the back opening so that the skirt can be sewn closed. I'll show some finishing details in future posts!

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  12. Thanks, Rachel! I need to make a tree skirt myself and this is perfect!

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  13. I congratulate you on the honesty and full disclosure:)... This is very much how i accomplish most of my creative work... try once,, not just right.. work it out. I have spent many years (69 to be exact) working this way and nothing makes me happier! I spend a lot of time trying to help others understand this concept:) "There are no mistakes,,, only creative opportunities"..

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  14. I'm still in LOVE with your spiderweb tree skirt and hope to make on someday. Of course I've already got all the fabric;)

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