christmas in july…errrr august…and first giveaway!

as a new blogger, i was very excited to join my first blog hop…not just to gain exposure and traffic to my blog, but to get to read and learn from many other talented bloggers as well. and let me just tell ya, these ladies have done more than impress me these last few days!  luckily for me, quite some time ago, i read on a fellow wordpresser’s page that she had joined a blog hop. i quickly investigated, and was able to join in the fun as well. carol, from “just let me quilt,” has been an amazing hostess and cheerleader for us all. welcome to the very last day! (save the best for last right? i kid, i kid)

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oh yeah! so i suppose i should tell you that it is a christmas in july themed blog hop 🙂 we had the whole month of july to work on our projects, and now, we get the chance to share them with you. i’ve never really been a fan of the color red…which stinks, because my two favorite sports teams are red (cincinnati reds, and iu hoosiers) oops, lol. anywho, the reason i’m telling you this is because we were supposed to use either christmas fabric or colors, but i knew i wanted to stick more with green. i also wanted to do something that could be displayed year long, or at least all winter long, and not just at christmas. i don’t remember exactly what term i used for my search, but i quickly fell in love with this “lovely little forest quilt” on purl soho’s website “purl bee.” you can find the complete directions i used if you click on the link 🙂

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remember, i am still pretty new to quilting, so this project fit all my criteria…it was christmas themed, and it was small enough that i could not only handle it, but handle it in the time frame i was given. luckily, i was assigned one of the later dates. i was worried i wouldn’t be able to finish in time, but i did. well, not quite, but i am getting ahead of myself. first things first, i figured out how many trees i would need total, and decided how many i wanted of each color. i did all my cutting first, which was a huge help.

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here are the two browns i thought looked “woodsy” enough to use for the trunks…

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you can also tell that i decided to go with a background that wasn’t just plain white. i wanted it to look kind of “snowy.” however, my end result doesn’t look quite as “soft” or “pillowy” as the example, so if i made another, i might just stick with a solid cream color. here is the first completed tree. i surprisingly didn’t worry too much about the tree point not being exact, and after constructing just a few more, i pretty much had it down to a science.

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here are most of them chain stitched together. i don’t exactly know why i took this picture, i just loved them so much…aren’t they so cute?! they even go from light to dark. i thought it looked cool i guess.

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i’ve been told that if you are good at what you do, whether that be cross stitch or quilting, the back of your piece should look as good as the front. i pressed all the seams open, and i think they looked pretty darn good if i do say so myself!

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sorry, this was just another picture of me having too much fun with my little lovely forest 🙂 tee hee hee

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i used the example to lay out all my trees from light to dark as they did. i also used it as a guide on how many trees vs. plain background pieces to use in each row.

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probably the best basting job i’ve ever done…but that’s probably because it’s pretty narrow. it only ends up being about 27″ x 15″

awhile back i purchased some corduroy and flannel to make stockings, but never got around to it. i stole one of the pieces of flannel that i thought complemented this well to use as the backing. i didn’t take a picture, because it’s white, with very light green plaid, so it’s hard to see. just know that it’s very warm and cozy 🙂

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although on the example they chose to do simple “stitch in the ditch” quilting, so you don’t see the lines at all, i wanted to go a different route. i wanted to really play up the tall, vertical feel of the piece, so i used a narrow linear pattern. i’m really pleased with how it turned out. i used white thread, so it doesn’t interfere with the background, but does show subtly through the trees. love it!

here’s where things go south…i absolutely STINK at binding 😥 it is really just not my forte. usually, the perfectionist in me would never stand for posting an incomplete project…especially when i will hopefully have tons of new readers, and hopefully a few new followers as well 😉 but then, i swallowed my pride and decided, what better time than this?! maybe i can use all that new exposure and traffic i was excited about earlier as an opportunity to ask for help. i have tried everything! the only real success i’ve had is by using an extra inch of the backing fabric folded over, as the binding. however, i like when the binding is a different color that pops and creates a nice border to the quilt.

as you can see, i was successful in making my own bias tape, using some leftover fabric from the trees. unintentionally, i even managed to line it up light to dark. however, the problem arose when i had just a smidge too much, and didn’t know the proper way to go about fixing it. i didn’t want to cut too much off and not have enough left to join it back together/miter the corner, etc. i also know it probably would have been better to join it on a side or anywhere else rather than a corner. but at this point i didn’t want to have to rip the seam all the way around, from the rest that i was already able to complete. help! i want to be able to complete this, and even add the cute hanging tabs so i can display it this christmas, but i’m honestly stuck and don’t know what do next. here’s where YOU come in…

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in exchange for your help, i am offering to make my own green charm pack from all the cool fabrics i bought for these trees. in order to be eligible to win, please:

1.  become a follower of my blog

2.  share any helpful hints/advice/tutorials/tricks/etc. when it comes to binding a quilt/mitering corners

3.  and just for fun, tell me your favorite thing that is green 🙂

i will pick a winner by sunday evening, and announce it on my blog. please make sure i have some way to contact you (preferably email address), just so i can get your preferred mailing address and send you your goodies 🙂 can’t wait to see what you all think! although i wasn’t 100% successful, i am still happy with my project and do intend to complete it.

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don’t forget to check out the other bloggers, and show them some love too!
August 9 (THAT’S TODAY!)
Wips & Tuts <—- *THAT’S ME!!* 🙂
and if you want to check out some of the previous posts, you can find them all here:
July 31
August 1
August 2
August 5
August 6
August 7
August 8

Just Sew Quilter

last night on pinterest i saw a larger scale version of this quilt…it also had some very cute gnomes hidden among the trees. ummmm, yes please! if i make this again, i will definitely include some of those 🙂
thanks again to carol for hosting and organizing this event!
thanks again to all of the other participants for inspiring me.
thanks again to you for taking time to see what i’ve been up to, and also for sharing your knowledge with me! even though i’m a teacher, at times i am still just a student 🙂
i am anxious to hear your thoughts on the project i chose, and also excited to get some insight into this whole binding thing. bleh
❤ xtina