I posted pretty much this same spiel on my personal blog, A Home Grown Journal, back in the first part of December. But in case any of you quilters missed it, I thought I'd give it a little more exposure (Show and Tell?) here. This is where it belongs anyway, but I wasn't able to be posting on both blogs at that time.
My daughter, Chicken Mama, had asked me to make her a wall hanging for the Christmas season to hang on the door of her office in town. She had an open house on December 4th so that was my deadline for getting it done. I made it. Just barely. Finished up the night before at 5:30 p.m.
It was a pattern she picked out . . . and one I didn't have a lot of fun doing. (I'm not really complaining, I could have told her to pick out something else.) She's always been particularly fond of watercolor quilts, and I'm not. This had a lot of iron-on applique, and I prefer hand applique. But I digress.
Let's get on with it. (And stop your whining, Mama Pea.)
Here are some pictures so you can see the whole process of making the wall hanging.
First I laid out all the 2" squares on my design wall, stood back and took a good look. Changed some squares. Squinted my eyes and studied it again. Some squares needed to be changed and rearranged, but I quickly realized that I could stand there and make changes until the cows came home if I didn't say "good enough" and step away from it. Next step was to start sewing the squares together. The size of the thing sure did shrink right down when I started putting the squares together with quarter inch seams.
Okay, all squares sewn together and ready for the applique on top of the background. The plain blocks in the center are just muslin "plugs" because the applique will completely cover that area.
A big, green evergreen tree was cut out and went on first. That was easy.
Then started the painstakingly s-l-o-w process of fussy cutting out all the decorations for the tree, putting them on bonding material, cutting them out again and then bonding them to the tree. Doesn't look like that much now that it's done, but believe you me, it took days.
Chicken Mama asked that I put a "Welcome" block on the bottom of the piece so I constructed that to fit as part of the wall hanging.
After the tree was fully decorated, there were wrapped gifts to make and arrange under the tree.
Here's a detail of the applique on the tree. Darn good thing all the individual pieces were just bonded on with heat; I would never have lived through traditional applique sewing them on by hand. You can see they were too detailed to do by machine.
And here is the finished piece. Dear daughter was pleased with it and I was, too, when it was done. They say it's important for us to work outside our comfort zone now and then to keep the creativity flowing. I was outside of my comfort zone for the better part of this one!