Not the forest but the tree

Earlier this year I was able to toddle around the countryside quite a bit and explore new quilt shops. My quilt-pusher friend Ms. M — the one who introduced me to this obsession hobby– told me about a lovely shop in Mentor, Ohio called Quilts and Sew Forth. In April, my sisters and I hosted a wedding shower for my nephew in Columbus, OH, so I planned an overnight trip from Western NY to include a stay in Mentor. What a lovely town it is!

I stayed in a Best Western hotel very close to the shop. The hotel was getting ready for a re-creation of a Lincoln/Douglas debate + dinner for later in the weekend. It sounded like fun. Mentor is historic because it was once the home of James A. Garfield, civil war general and 20th president of the United States. He campaigned from his front porch in Mentor and won the presidency. Sounds charming, doesn’t it?

Anyway, back to quilting.

I met Monique the owner of Quilts and Sew forth as soon as I walked in the door and she was just delightful. She spent a couple of hours helping me select fabric and developing a pattern for me using her EQ software. That right there  was some serious customer service!

While I was wandering around her shop, I found a cute paper piecing pattern for “A Little Bit Shorter Tall Tree” by Cindi Edgerton. I was enchanted — and knowing my stash of green fabric and my obsession with Christmas decorations– I snatched it up. I’ve been itching to start on this beauty since April and the time has finally come.

Here’s my current WIP.

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A Little Bit Shorter Tall Tree. Now what? BTW– Pay no attention to the squidgy circles on the lower right –they are part of a secret other Christmas project!

Besides the unique shape of the finished product (17″x41″), I was attracted to this pattern by the possibility of making decorations for it from old costume jewelry. But — now that it’s coming together, I’m wondering whether or not to go full-on Christmas with this. I’m kind of liking it as is. What if I leave off the Christmas stand, add a little more white space and then change the border from Christmas red/green to something more subtle (a gold metallic) and go for a more woodland look?

Perhaps I have enough Christmas decorations after all…..?

Long Term Hexie Relationship

In a previous blog I mentioned my “To Go” project involved hexies.  I have a serious long term relationship with this project.  When I say long term, I can’t actually remember when I started it, but it might have been eight (I’ll say it again) eight years ago or more!

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I originally wanted to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt, but after starting the project I scaled back my ambition.  I think I will make a wall hanging instead!  I love all the small, bright prints in these fabrics and I made all the flower centers yellow for consistency.

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When I started this project, I wanted to be purist about English Paper Piecing and use recycled paper for the templates (note photo below).  This quickly created a problem because I had to cut out a lot of hexies from paper AND my hexie cutting accuracy was not the best!  It didn’t take me long to buy a jumbo pack of 1 inch hexie templates.

I like the purchased hexie templates because they are made from a card stock weight paper and they don’t bend as easily as the paper templates I made.  They also travel very nicely!

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Here is one of my favorite blocks!

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I have 13 blocks total and only one more block needs the white hexies surrounding the feature print.

The next phase of this project is to come up with the right color fabric (maybe even a print) to join all these blocks together.  I was thinking a 30’s green might be nice but now that I’ve photographed the blocks on a dark background, I might just break tradition and use a solid, dark color to join them.

What color should I use to join my blocks?  Let me know what you think!