Friday, January 20, 2017

Maker of Small Things

My quilting hiatus continues! Instead of chipping away at the half-dozen quilt projects I have planned, I’m focusing on smaller, faster-to-finish projects. Earlier this month it was pin cushions. This week, it’s Christmas ornaments.

For the first batch, I started with a mini-charm pack of Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry, sewed up some four patches, and trimmed them down to 3½-inch squares. I decapitated some deer in the process (some squirrels did survive the trimming), but the results are still pretty sweet.

No decapitated deer (or surviving squirrels) pictured here.

Next up: the bonus half-square triangles from this 2015 project. (If you haven’t read the corresponding cautionary tale about bleeding fabrics and how I fixed them in that finished quilt, I recommend reading the story.)



These blocks started out as 2-inch HSTs. Once I sewed them up in four patches, they finished at 3½-inch squares, just like batch 1.

Notice the stack of ornaments waiting to be bound!

The funny thing about this process has been the binding. I was adamant about finishing the binding by machine, as I do for my regular quilt projects. After three ugly attempts, I gave up and opted to tack down the binding by hand. Not only does that technique look better at this scale, but I’m also enjoying the process. Go figure. I don’t foresee changing my approach to binding full-size quilts; I like the durability and look of a machine-attached binding on the throws I make. However, it’s nice to curl up on the couch at the end of the day and work on a project I can hold in my hands.

As with my pin cushions, I made a small project big by planning to sew up a bunch. So far I have finished five and have two dozen more to go!

I am not wedded to the baker’s twine I’ve used to hang the three Juniper Berry ornaments; it’s so twisty that I couldn’t get the ornaments facing the same way for a picture. With another 20-plus to make, though, I figure I have plenty of opportunities to test-drive other options. Maybe gross-grain ribbon next? If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments. : )

This ornament decided to cooperate for a quick picture.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday, the Precut Linky Party, Oh Scrap!, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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13 comments:

  1. That is a great way to use some of those smaller bits of leftover Christmas fabric. I think bits of twine or rolled-edge burlap ribbon would be fun. The kind you would find in the gift wrapping section.

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  2. This is such a great use for those little leftovers (and you are getting such a great head start on next Christmas!)

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  3. Great way to use up your leftovers and scraps. How about braiding the twine so it has less twist and more stability?

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  4. No little HST's going to waste in your house! Impressed with that little, tiny binding by hand no less!

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  5. Yes, I love the Juniper Berry ornaments, so pretty and cute! I love the instant gratification projects. There's a product called Bold Silky Cord, which comes in red, black and off-white that might work with these ornaments. I've used it for drawstring bags and it has a pretty sheen to it.

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  6. I never thought to make minis as ornaments. Great idea.

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  7. Great idea! I will need to remember this if I ever have scraps from Christmas fabric. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

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  8. Your ornaments are so sweet, and a great way to use up those leftover HSTs! Beautiful jelly quilt by the way! Thank you for linking up with my first Pre-cut Linky Party!

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  9. Loving this small sewing! Looks like someone will be ready to go next holiday. I would try a thin grosgrain ribbon next :)

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  10. Very pretty ornaments. What a great way to use up left overs.

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  11. Well, next Christmas should be pretty simple for you with all this sewing done ahead of time :) The ornaments are beautiful. I use ribbon to hang my ornaments.

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  12. These are so cute! Like you I have been doing some handstitching on binding on smaller projects which I have really enjoyed again.

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  13. These are so cute! What about trying jute to hang them? Great job! You have a great head start on the holidays for next year -- er, THIS year!

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