I can’t believe I started this festive and fun quilt just a couple of weeks ago. I never dreamed it would be completely finished (with three days left to spare) before Christmas! The design is a variation of my Arrowheads quilt pattern that I debuted in my classes this year. When I taught the class at the Vermont Quilt Festival this past summer, one of my clever students had the idea to turn the arrowheads upside down to make Christmas trees. It was a brilliant idea!
I took the idea one step further and modified the pattern so the base of the trees are traditional trunks instead of the more modern platform bases of the Arrowheads.
A few more modifications to the original design and I had a cute little forest of pieced pines for the border from the leftover bits of fabric. Best of all, these trees are constructed from just 18 – 10″ (Layer Cake) squares, plus some background fabric and a bit of fabric for the trunks.
I just love the variety of fabrics I used from my original Layer Cake of ten inch squares. I used a soft mint green fabric I had on hand in my stash for the background which was the perfect color to compliment the trees.
Thanks to my dear friend, Carolyn Archer of Ohio Star Quilting, (thank you, Carolyn! I couldn’t have done this without your quick turn-around!) she quilted a merry holiday motif in just a matter of days and returned the quilt with time left for me to bind it. But rather than apply my traditional hand stitched binding, I decided to put my new Janome Continental M7 to the test and stitch the binding down by machine.
The binding was sewn by machine on the back side and folded to the front where I applied a little fabric glue to hold the binding in place. (My binding strips were cut WOF at 2.25″ and folded in half wrong sides together before being sewn on the quilt.)
I selected a pretty serpentine stitch on my M7 and changed the default settings just a bit, as shown here in the photo.
I also adjusted the presser foot pressure to -4.
Then I attached the awesome Accufeed Flex foot to apply the binding to the front of the quilt.
What a dream to stitch the binding down by machine! The M7 sews with such precision and such a smooth, beautiful stitch that the binding lays perfectly flat and pretty!
Of course, I had help. And I use that term loosely.
Cheeto was with me every step of the process to ensure the finest quality work. He highly approves of the huge throat space of the M7. And Cheeto is quite a big guy!
Of course, there was time for hide and seek!
And let me just say that the M7 motor is so powerful! I’m sure if you’ve ever tried to sew a binding on by machine you know that most machines hesitate when they get to the intersections where the binding strips are joined together at seams. Right at those intersections, there are 8 layers of fabric PLUS the batting for the presser foot to stitch over. But the M7 didn’t hesitate for a moment and sewed over these seams like a dream. Incredible!
Cheeto finally figured out that if he sat on the left side of the needle, all sewing had to cease. Momentarily, at least. (Look at that smug little face!)
And while I was sewing the last side of my binding, he decided it was time to take a cat nap. This was no time for a snooze!
Just look at that perfectly stitched, secure binding. The first photo shows the front and the second shows the reverse side. Gorgeous!
And best of all? Even with Cheeto’s “help,” the entire process from start to finish took less than one hour! Perfect for the busiest time of this holiday season!
Time for the BIG REVEAL!
This was the Electric Quilt version of the quilt before I ever put rotary cutter to fabric.
And with the help of my Christmas elves, here is the finished quilt:
And a close up….
I have to admit, this is one of my most favorite patterns to construct because of how fun the blocks are to make. These stitch together with absolute ease and are sort of like potato chips. You simply can’t make “just one.”
I’ll be debuting this pattern in class this year. I’ve proposed to teach “PERFECT PINES” at the Vermont Quilt Festival in June and also the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I will definitely keep you posted!
Cheeto and I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays! God bless you all.