Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Charlie Brown-ish Christmas tree ...

I believe this represents my first major disappointment in a project ... guess it had to happen ... just wish it hadn't happened on my brother's Christmas present.

Patrick is currently stationed in Iraq and I decided that I was going to make him a Christmas tree to hang on his wall.  I found this fabulous inspiration and then used I'm Just a Guy Who Quilt's tutorial which I found from this photo posted on Flickr.

I have been making Christmas decoration pillows for family holiday presents this year and have been saving the scraps to give this a whirl.  So last night on the way home from work I stopped in to JoAnn's to pick up the 'Steam a Seam 2' that Ryan recommends in his tutorial.  They don't carry it, but I was assured that Heat'nBond would work equally well. 

I then set out to make my circles ...

Next, I laid put a painters-tape border for the tree as a guide for where to place my circles.

I finished it this evening ... and was thrilled!  It was delightful and exactly what I wanted!  Unfortunately ... I didn't take a picture of that ...

I bound it ... and even put some loops on the back for him to hang it with.

The Problem:

As I was binding it ... I noticed the issue.  The circles were starting to come off ... all of them.  Now I can't actually say that the Heat'nBond doesn't really work as well as Ryan's recommended Steam a Seam 2 as I have never actually used the SS2 ... but let's just say that Heat'nBond didn't actually do much 'bonding'. 

That's not the disappointing part.  The disappointing part is my fix.  Ryan's tutorial suggests stitching the circles in place ... so I decided to see if that would fix it.  But my stiching is just not that good bad.  The 1" circles are sometimes cut down to half that size and I just wasn't to spin the fabric and keep the stitching evenly spaced within the cirlces.  I used a seam ripper on the red circles and re-sewed them with red thread to mask the stitching ... it helped a little.

But overall ... I feel like I took really great product and, while I didn't completely ruin it, I am SO less satisfied with the outcome.

If I had the time, I would remake it ... but it still has to go half-way around the world ... and it needs to go in the mail this week.  So I am going to send it as is ... it's not perfect ... but it came from the heart ... with the right intention ... and I want my 'not so baby' brother to have a Christmas tree ... even if it is a little Charlie Brown-ish. 
All the best


  1. I think it looks great. The colors work really well together and the overall look is cool. I understand where you're coming from on your project. Remember, it's something you hand made for your brother. He'll love it because it came from your heart!

  2. I think it looks great - if you feel you need something extra to give it some zing, why not do some stitchery in a bright tread, between the shapes and say a star on top

  3. I think it came out great! Your brother will love it. Did you use your iron to bond the circles to the fabric? I read Ryan's tutorial and it isn't that clear but I know from experience that you need to iron them in place.

  4. I use Heat and Bond all the time and haven't had any problems with it - I hate that you did! But your end result looks lovely and your brother will love it!!

  5. Your brother will love it! Your stitching looks fine to me and since I assume your brother is not a sewer he probably won't even look at the stitching, he'll just feel your love.

  6. Thanks everyone for the lovely thoughts and comments. I did use the iron and at first, everything looked perfectly bonded, but the more I worked with it, the more challenges I had. Ethne, I like the idea ... but am afraid to do anymore stitching at this time ;-). And you guys are right, he's not a sewer, he's a soldier, so I am sure it will pass. But it's just that, "but it looked so much better 5 minutes before I finished it" ;-)

  7. It may not mean much, but I really like the look of your "bad"ly sewn tree. I'm certain it will still be much appreciated. =)


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