Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wreath Follow-Up

My last post explained most of the surface details about making the Frienzies Wreaths. Today, I will delve in a little deeper and provide more of the construction process.

First, one remaining tidbit that should have been included in the previous post. This stars used to form this wreath are known as Friendship Stars. This is an obvious reason why I chose to make these wreaths for my friends. Why did it never occur to me to include that essential detail in the first post? I will plead sleepiness. I wrote the post late the night before and scheduled it for early the next morning. Not firing on all cylinders after a late night of Christmastime festivities with the Frienzies, I suppose.

Back  in the middle of November I posted my first mention of these wreaths; it is a veiled hint at what I planned to do because several Frienzies are regular readers. I couldn't spoil my surprise by revealing too much. Here is the post I am referring to. I used Thangles to make the Shoo-Fly block at our Veterans' Day sewing at Sherrie's. When I got home, I made the first set of stars for the wreaths.

The instructions from the website indicated that I needed 3" stars, so I used the package for 3" stars. Well, that wasn't right. I should have used the 2.5" package, as I needed to make the distinction between finished and unfinished. Consequently, I had a lot of trimming to do.

That's a lot of fabric to be throwing away, doggone it! At least I didn't make the first set too small. No way to fix that; look on the bright side, right?

My first set of stars, trimmed to the correct size. Whew. It was at this point I realized how big this project was going to be. I needed 8 different sets of red stars, one for each Frienzie. I really had to get myself in gear, let me tell you.

I began cranking out HSTs like a madwoman - the nice part was I didn't have to worry about stretching those triangles because the Thangles kept everything pretty well in check. Above are piles for making two more sets of stars. I needed 8 stars out of each fabric. There would be 8 wreaths total, and each star has 4 HSTs. (That's a lot of math for this English teacher!) I was getting a bit panicked when the enormity of this endeavor gradually hit me. What made it even more daunting was that I only had a month to get them all done.

 Above is one star laid out. When I had all the parts made, I placed all the stars of the same fabric in a stack and built the wreath block accordingly. It was at this point that I was figuring out how to most expeditiously construct these blocks. In the interest of time management, my desire was to do as much assembly line sewing as possible.

In the photo above the 3 top rows are sewn together.  When they are attached, they become the top one-third of the block. The bottom third is exactly like this, just turned upside down. Take a look:

The center third was easy because of the 8" plain square in the middle.

We sew because we love doing it, but it's hard to keep that in mind when a deadline is fast approaching. I tried really hard to make myself enjoy the process of constructing these, especially because they were for my dearest friends. I played lots of Christmas music while I stitched, and kept my heart focused on the giving, not on the deadline. (I believe this is called mind over matter.)

When I finally got to the quilting part of the process, I used two of my very ancient Thimbleberries fabrics for backing and machine quilted around each of the 8 stars. I also quilted a star in the center block.

At some point in the quilting of all these table toppers/wall hangings, I had to search for more black thread. I found the spool pictured above in my grandmother's sewing kit. At 15 cents a spool, I wonder how old it is? It had never been used; the paper hasn't been poked on a spindle, and the end of the thread was still tucked under the label.

I mentioned in the last post that there were some boo-boos, and that the most egregious of these were on the very first one I quilted; that's the one I kept for myself which currently adorns my counter top. And it looks mighty fine. *smile*

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Lara B. said...

Friendship Stars are a favorite of mine Jayne and I love your idea of using them to make wreaths for your friends. Very sweet! You have a fun and interesting way of using words, as well as quilt blocks, LOL.

thank you for your sweet comment on BuzzinBumble! (I'm thanking you here because it came to me as "no-reply") If I am "no-reply too, well at least we know how to find each other. :)

Lotta Dahl said...

I haven't tried quilting anything really, but this is cute. Makes me want to try it one of these days!

France Nadeau ❅ inspiration imagination creation said...

Oh, that's a lot of math for sure. Triangles have a way for making things difficult, I find. lol But they're usually worth the trouble. And in this particular case, totally worth it. Your stars are gorgeous against the beige background. What a beautiful gift!

France Nadeau ❅ inspiration imagination creation said...

And thank you for participating to my first Fabric, Thread and Yarn link party. I'm so glad you came!