Twelve Days: Partridge and Pear Felt Ornaments

A year or two ago I saw the MmmCrafts Twelve Days of Christmas felt ornament series for the first time and was smitten.  The colors!  And detail!  I’m drawn lately to work with felt in my sewing, and these patterns are a great way to do it.  The first in the series are the Partridge and Pear felt ornaments.

I purchased the felt pack for all twelve ornaments from Benzie Designs on Etsy.  The patterns themselves I purchased from MmmCrafts in her Etsy shop.  I was nervous about the embroidery, but the patterns have you use a great product that sticks to the felt so you can embroider right on it, then soaks off in water.  So cool!

I actually started my yellow set back in February, but had a mishap with my felt.  The patterns call for a product from Sulky called Sticky Fabri-Solvy.  I ordered some from Amazon when I couldn’t find any locally.  Then I stitched away and soaked my felt to remove the adhesive paper… and it didn’t dissolve. Instead it was sticky with white clumps and smelled strongly of glue.

This was frustrating, but led to the best customer service experience I’ve had in a long time. I found a phone number and called Sulky headquarters.  Imagine my surprise when someone answered the phone!  She explained that the manufacturer had switched glue products without consulting them.  They have repackaged the product with the correct glue as this Stick’n Stitch you see pictured below.  If you order the Fabri-Solvy directly from Sulky, it is also the correct glue.  But there is still some of the bad stuff out there, and she said they often have problems from sellers on Amazon.  It was very informative.  She asked for my address and mailed me a new package of Stick’n Stitch! I was so impressed.

SO, if you ever need Sulky Fabri-Solvy, just pick up a package of Stick’n Stitch.  It’s the same product but sure to work properly.

A couple of weeks ago I opened my box of felt and began again.  I remade the yellow set of ornaments and decided to make the pink version as well.

I now have these four adorable partridge and pear felt ornaments.  My goal is to finish the entire set before Christmas so I’m adding “2019” to the back of each ornament.  I hope it helps me reach my goal!

Lone Star Christmas Tree Skirt – A New Pattern

Every year I picture a calm, relaxed holiday season with gifts wrapped early, festive decor up weeks in advance, beautiful meals for my family, and plenty of time for holiday themed sewing.  Then life intervenes and I’m scrambling yet again.  This year I’m ahead of schedule on at least one thing: my new lone star Christmas tree skirt, which is also the newest pattern in my Etsy shop.

The tree skirt measures 48″ across, uses seven different fabrics in the star, finishes as an octagon, and is a lot of fun to make.  It follows the same basic principles taught in my lone star block tutorial and is a relatively quick project because it’s just one quilt block.

The pattern includes a coloring sheet to plan your fabric placement and instructions for making the block into a tree skirt.  I enjoyed mixing up some of my Christmas fabrics in mine.  It features prints from Alison Glass, Alexander Henry, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Amy Butler.

I quilted mine with an orange peel pattern in the small diamonds and straight lines in the background.

A lone star Christmas tree skirt will be a beautiful addition to your holiday decor, as well as a great gift.

The pattern is available now in my Etsy shop at the one-time introductory price of $5.00.  Download yours today, and get started on your holiday decor and gifts!

Vintage Summer String Quilt

I promised myself I would finish any patriotic colored projects before Labor Day this year, and there’s nothing like sneaking in right at the deadline!  Today I quilted and bound my Vintage Summer String Quilt.  This might be my oldest WIP – I posted my first blocks here and here back in 2012.  Ouch.  My husband walked through the kitchen just now and congratulated me on getting it done.  Then he asked, “How long ago did you say you started it?  Was it nine months?”  I laughed and said “2012” to which he replied, “There have been an awful lot of world events that took place since you started that quilt!”  

So true, and there have been a lot of personal and family events in that same time!  So, why finish it now?  I pulled my blocks out every year or so to that question.  It felt like a lot of work.  Every time I looked at the fabrics I concluded that I still loved them, so yes, I wanted to finish it.  My vintage summer string quilt is foundation paper pieced, meaning the strips were sewed onto paper, and I followed this pdf for my measurements.  I wrote on the back of each block which block it was in the quilt.

This quilt is not my best work.  This was my first experience with paper piecing.  I bought a random pad of paper at the office supply store simply because it was 11″ wide, and didn’t notice I was buying a slippery, glossy paper that would make accuracy difficult.   I had never heard of my (now favorite) Carol Doak newsprint which is perfect for fpp.  It even comes in legal size which would have been perfect for this project.  So I sewed and my fabric moved and slipped and accuracy was a real challenge.  I put it away, intending to re-do the inaccurate blocks, and when I got it out again a year or two later, I would start in a different place, always writing on the back of the blocks, always with the same challenge, and put it away again.

This year I made the decision to use every block as it was, finish the last few (with glue to help, this time) and sew the quilt top together.  I’m glad I did.  It’s an imperfect quilt with a long journey and many mistakes, but I love it.  The  mismatched seams have nothing to do with usefulness.  Kind of like people, like real life.  Done is better than perfect!

From a distance I enjoy the lights and darks.  It’s interesting how distance softens my mistakes as well; a good life  reminder for me.   I am grateful I located yardage of a two prints a few years ago which I used for the backing.

I also saved a fun red, white and blue stripe for binding, and it looks great.  Lately I’ve hand finished all my bindings but today I opted to finish it by machine.  I quilted it in white thread with straight lines in all the white strips.

My Vintage Summer string quilt is the only string quilt I’ve ever made.  It might be fun to make another in a different style someday.  For today, I’m celebrating a finished quilt, one last day of flags for the summer, and keeping commitments to myself.  That last one especially.  I love keeping a promise I make to myself.

Happy Labor Day!

Jennifer

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