Christmas in July - Part 1

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This month the Island Batik Ambassador theme is Christmas in July. Rich foods, warm snuggly quilts, hot beverages, fires in the fire pit. Those are all things that the Christmas season brings to mind, so it is not at all surprising that, with temperatures of 110°+ I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired to make something Christmas related.

 

Temperature at 6 PM while working on the Christmas Table Runner.

 

The Christmas fabrics we were sent are from the Holiday Happenings line. Now a few of the fabrics in the line don’t really look like Christmas fabric, and they weren’t within the range of what I normally sew with, but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I’ve found that sometimes, when you are stuck on something, moving on and working on something else will get you moving again, so that is what I did. When I wasn’t inspired by Christmas, I moved on to trying to create something new using the Lazy Angle Ruler. During the process of playing I realized I could make a Christmas Tree using the ruler. There was just enough fabric to make a table runner (and a couple extra blocks to play with).

 
 

Normally I would go straight into EQ7, but I wanted to figure out strip widths for the tree without going over my desired size for the tree body. There were a set number of fabrics and I didn’t have the energy to “play” with widths too much. Excel was the answer. It may seem like an unusual quilting tool, but I’ve found it to be very useful, specifically when I’m trying to figure out yardage for multiple size quilts. A table and a couple of quick formulas and I was able to change around the sizes and know if I was within the overall size I wanted. Do you use any unusual tools that you find you can’t live without?

Table example (not actual sizes).

Table example (not actual sizes).

Assembly went quick. It was mostly strip piecing, and once I started the fabrics got me excited. Paired with Sprinkles for the background, the richness of the line came through. The scrappy sashing was an afterthought. It was supposed to be all dark green, but I didn’t have enough to make it work. In the end it worked out better scrappy, because with just the green in EQ it was missing something. The scrappy sashing tied it all together nicely.

The runner is pieced and just needs to be quilted. Come back this weekend to see how I quilt it! Thank you for reading, and I highly recommend taking the time to check out what the other Island Batik Ambassadors made. There is a lot of beautiful creations to read about.