Our youngest daughter, DD#3, loves everything Christmas. I'm sure she would start listening to Christmas carols in July except for people around would her would probably thwap her over the head for starting too early.
This was a kitted project, fabric, pattern and LED lights, available from a vendor at Pacific International Quilt Festival 2013 in San Jose, CA. Their sample didn't have the LED lights inserted, as they "ran out of time before the show". :-) But even without the lights, it was simply spectacular. Even though I tend not to buy kitted projects, this was one I couldn't pass up. So I did not. :-)
What I loved about this project was the layout. Prior to buying it, I had not realized this was a panel print (the Christmas tree and snowflakes immediately above/below it). But later Googling for quilting ideas showed me that MOST people who used the panel print did not have this specific pattern and simply used the panel print as-is.
The piecing is absolutely straightforward; nothing tricky about it at all. I was even pleased that all of the star points were just exactly right. Go me! :-)
As for the quilting. Oy vey .. my downfall every single time. Sometimes a brainstorm will hit me and some times I just sit and stare for days. To be sure, I have a lot of reference books for inspiration, as well as Googling the internet. Sometimes, there is just TOO MUCH inspiration and I become overwhelmed.
But, eventually, I settled down and devised a plan. Mostly, I used Glide "Khaki" thread - this is totally a misnomer. It really looks like a burnished old gold. It is absolutely luscious stuff. My Tin Lizzie has never had a problem with this thread (knock on wood). Where I didn't want the quilting to overly show, I used Superior's So Fine in a matching color. The backing is muslin and the thread used in the bobbin is Superior's Bottom Line.
I wanted the tree itself to be three-dimensional, so I densely quilted the background around the tree in a matching green
Now here's a note about those small snowflakes in the background: they required me to *start and stop* the quilting for each one, since I couldn't stitch to the next one without the gold thread being seen. Each start/stop requires that the tails be tied off and buried. It's a major PITA but I do love my Dear Daughter. :-)
You can still see the chalk marks I made, as guidance, in the sashing.
The star blocks were outline stitched for definition. Holly leaves and nested ovals were stitched in the surrounding areas
The machine embroidery design came from Ginger's "Gone Sewing" and stitched out absolutely beautiful. I love her designs. Unfortunately, it seems that Ginger has problems in keeping her website available, as it has been in existence under several different domain names. At this time, I can't find this design, so I can't link to it for you.
The verbiage doesn't come with the design; you add what you want.
As the final pièce de résistance, there is bling on the wall-hanging!
Originally, mini-LED Christmas lights were to be inserted through buttonholes in the snowflakes, so that you could light up the tree. But other quilters who finished this panel before I did, complained that the wires and battery pack on the back of the wall-hanging made it very bulky and unable to lie flat against the wall. The universal consensus was that, while the lights were conceptually a great idea, practically speaking, it was a disaster.
The wall-hanging was bound in matching green fabric and a hanging sleeve was sewn in with the binding. Dear Daughter will take possession of the wall-hanging, decorative curtain rod and removable Command Strip hooks the next time she makes a personal appearance at the ol' homestead. :-)