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Sequined Christmas Trees

Since these ornaments have been my most popular design and since holiday season is almost here, I think I should write about the Sequined Christmas Trees.

After I made arrangements with I had a deadline - a certain number of patterns by a certain date.  I had some patterns already but I still had to come up a few new patterns. 

I decided on Christmas Ornaments.  After all, Christmas is a popular stitching time and I figured I could whip out some ornaments rather quickly.  Wrong!  Designing smaller patterns is easier and quicker than designing bigger patterns ... up to a point.  At a certain size, the smaller patterns become harder.  There is less space to work with and, since there is less stitching, every stitch is important.

My first attempts where pathetic.  The trees didn't look right.  The stitch placement was awkard with no places to hide the threads (I was stitching on perforated paper and you can't have threads running across the back).  When I got to the sequins they covered a lot of the stitches.  They will NOT be pictured in this blog.

I ended up having to determine how many graph paper squares a sequin covered.  I'd design a branch, place the sequins, design another branch.  It was slow working in this fashion, but the finished tree looked much better.

Next came the fun part - embellishing!  I went through my supplies and found ribbon, beads, lace and rick-rack and fun coming up with a different look for each ornament.


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The ABC's of Cross Stitch Alphabets

Alphabets are quite popular on cross stitch samplers and there are many decisions to be made when choosing an alphabet.  Upper case or lower case is one decision.  It seems that upper case is most popular.  Using lower case causes all sorts of compications.  Extra space is needed for j, k, l, p and the other letters that extend above or below the main line. 

Another important decision is even or odd.  The alphabet above is odd.  That is, it is and odd number of stitches high, in this case 7.  Notice the B and D.  Both are symmetryical.

This is an even alphabet that is 6 stitches high.  Notice that the B and D are no longer symmetrical.  I prefer odd alphabets.  I've been known to change the size of a sampler to mak an even alphabet into an odd alphabet.

Both of these samplers are in a traditional font.  But it is easy to re-arrange the stitches to create different looks for you alphabet.  Here is an elegant alphabet that is only 7 stitches high:

Each letter takes up more space and gi…


A few weeks ago I was at the Local Quilt store basting my bright sampler.

It's been ready to go for a while.  I've been working on a baby quilt and it's now done.  It's been a while since I've quilted so I'm glad I had a quilt to warm up on.
Next I need to pull a folding table out of the garage and re-arrange my quilting space.  This quilt will have a lot more drag than the baby quilt.
I've also been looking at pictures of similar quilts looking for quilting pattern inspiration.  I'm thinking of taking the easy way out and use wavy lines like this quilt.
I should start quilting next weekend!

The last 2 blocks and the tops are done!

I needed 2 more blocks to finish the gray version of the quilt.  I ended up making simple 9 patch/half square triangle blocks.  One is the yellow block in the lower left.

Here it is closer up.  When I made the half square triangles I had the red fabric going the wrong way so you are seeing the backside of the fabric.  So the red in the triangles is a little lighter than the red in the center.  It wasn't worth redoing.

The other corner has a blue block and I managed to get the front of all the fabrics showing.
So, here's what it looks like almost complete.

And here's the blue version of the quilt.

I've got the backing and the batting for the gray quilt (the backing is in the washer now) and I'm working on the thread to use for quilting and how to quilt it.
They are too big for me to free-motion quilt.  I don't have the space.  As it is, quilting with the walking foot will be a challenge.  These tops deserve some fancier quilting.  But, first I have some basting…