Wednesday, January 7, 2015

December Day Tree Table Topper

Starting off the New Year, I focused on two of my 2015 goals - reduce my number of kits and get some FMQ skills under my belt on my new HQ Sweet Sixteen longarm. I tackled a small kit first since the holidays and traveling leave me tuckered out. Ironically, this small kit did not even make it into my list of kits to work on, but sometimes I find if I work on Christmas stuff right after Christmas then I have it ready for the next yuletide season, plus I have a handmade item to gift if I need to.
This kit is a small 26½" square table topper of an RJR fabric line called Thimbleberries December Day with a pattern by Debbie Beaves. Here are the prints in the typical muted golds, greens, and reds characteristic of Thimbleberries.

The kit is a medallion style pattern and here is the central tree section. Each tree block measures 6" square finished.

When making the tops of the trees I used the pieces cut off from the corners of those four flying geese blocks to sew up into eight HSTs. This is not helping my other 2015 goal of scrap management. The corner pieces cut off from the lower boughs could have been made into HSTs also but at 1¼" on a side before seam allowance this was too small a scrap even for a miser like me. I tossed those small ones. Yay, scrap management!

I sewed the eight HST's into two pinwheels. One of the HSTs I goofed and trimmed twice on the same two sides so one of the pinwheels is less than perfect in the center and outer corner. I was about to cut into the remaining fabric to make a better one and (sanely) stopped myself. These are scraps for gosh sake!

Here is the 26½" square topper ready for quilting and binding. I have a thing for piano key borders. As an effort toward scrap management I am thinking of piecing the back from leftovers. (Good thing I did not use up fabric some to remake that pinwheel.) I have not yet decided a quilting pattern but, since the topper is square, I am considering one big spiral that will read sort of like concentric circles. It is a modern type pattern on a classic type quilt so I think the juxtaposition may be unexpected but work anyway. I may stop the spiral short of the pieced border though and do that in lines that parallel the seaming to accent the piano key aspect. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. I will sleep on it.

This kit dates back to the era when I had an ongoing love affair with Thimbleberries patterns and their trademark color palette. I lusted over the large Thimbleberries Hometown Christmas Kit but discovered it after kit stock had been sold out in most stores. I did manage to buy the four volumes of the 2004 copyrighted pattern book for the quilt, intending to gather the fabrics or close resemblances to them myself. My husband, a googling whiz, found the kit for me on e-bay in a quilt shop several states away and bought it for me as a surprise. Here is the quilt I made. It placed third in our county fair.

I chose not to add the appliqued seasonal holly leaves and berries along the gold pieced border and hence I leave it on the guest room bed year round. It was a blast to do, with the excellent piecing directions and every block different. I may just make another in a brighter colorway. I have two copies of that set of four pattern books since another set of four came with the kit my husband purchased for me. I am lucky I have a daughter who also quilts.

The last time I posted my projects list was December 3, 2014.  Here are my stats since then. I figure giving my stats once a month is frequent enough.

Completed projects since December 3, 2014 (5):
    1. Baby Surprise Jacket  (December 8, 2014 post)
    2. Knitted Christmas Stocking for Autumn (December 10, 2014 post)
    3. Knitted Christmas Stocking for Vivian (December 17, 2014 post)
    4. Baby Sign Book  (December 26, 2014 post)
    5. Rope window seat cushions (January 6, 2015 post)
    Ongoing projects (4):
    1. December Table Topper (today, January 7, 2015 post)
    2. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post) - need to back, quilt, and bind
    3. Overlapping square wall hanging - paired with thread, awaiting FMQ
    4. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - packed away... again ... may abandon 
    New projects since December 3, 2014 (3):
    1. Knitted Christmas Stocking for Vivian
    2. Baby Sign Book
    3. December Table Topper
    I am hooking up to today's Freshly Pieced post for WIP Wednesday.


    1. Oh wow, your sampler quilt is amazing! I love sampler quilts so much. They are by far my favorite to make. So much variety that you never get bored. You have gotten a lot done since December! --Torina

      1. Thank you, Torina. It was fun to make. It almost made me a bit sad when I finished piecing the last block.

    2. I love visiting that quilt every time when we come home - and I had the same reaction - "wow: did mom make that topper from scraps of the guest bed quilt?" too bad that given their different functions, they're not likely to be displayed in the same room together!

      1. They could be displayed together in the same room. Maybe that topper can be hung on the wall to cover the peeling red paint where the shelving was removed...