Friday, July 27, 2018

Swell Santa

I immediately fell in love with the Moda Swell Christmas Santa kits when they were revealed at market.  I pre-ordered 2 kits and patiently waited for them to be delivered.  (Is it just me or sometimes does the time between market reveals and market arrivals seem forever?!?!) Once the kits arrived I finished what I was working on and started some fun Christmas in July sewing. 


I admit to being warned about the size of that Santa head, but it wasn't until I took it out of the box that I truly appreciated its ginormousness.



 I always prep my jelly roll strips, just a good spraying of starch then an overnight stay on my drying racks.  And yes, the strips do shrink, some more than others, although I have no explanation as to why.  I am jelly rolled challenged and trim my strips down, so a little shrinkage does not bother me.  I am never able to get the required width when sewing untrimmed strips together.  I think the strips are to be lined up and sewn tougher using the outermost pointed edge, which I tend to miss.

So I trimmed my strips to 2 1/4" wide.


This resulted in a finished log cabin block of 12 1/4", the pattern block finished at 14".



Since my blocks were smaller I made my quilt top larger, going with 6 rows of 5 blocks and not the 5 rows of 4 blocks from the pattern.


Before sewing the log cabin blocks together I lined up where I thought I would place the ginormous Santa head.


Then I replaced the pieced log cabin blocks completely covered by the ginormous Santa head with some leftover white fabric.   I just didn't see the point of sewing over such cute pieced blocks.




When it came to appliquéing the ginormous Santa head into place I followed the pattern instructions exactly.  Except I added nonadhesive stabilizer to the back for my machine appliqué stitches.

I took my time and used a large table to pin the ginormous Santa head into place before setting the fusible.  I started pinning from the center and worked my way out.


I was worried about this step in the project but it all worked out perfectly, no wrinkles, just a nice flat Santa head.   If you look closely you can see the remaining pieced blocks showing through Santa.


But once the back was trimmed away he looked perfect.  I trimmed within an 1/2" of the seam.

And here he is, a quilt so nice I made it twice.


This is Lifetime Quilt Number 228 and 229
Each quilt finished at 62" x 74 1/2"
The fabric is Swell Christmas by Urban Chiks
Each quilt has approximately 310 pieces. 


All I had to work with was the two kits, I added no yardage.  And even though I trimmed my strips and made more blocks I had all these strips left over.

One quilt will be donated to my local hospital's annual Festival of Trees fund raiser, the other one a nice Christmas gift for a friend or family member.


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8 comments:

  1. Wow! That's so cute, and you're so smart not to waste those blocks!

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  2. Wow, very cute. I'm sure it will be a great hit at the Festival of Trees fundraiser. We used to have a Festival of Trees near here and I loved it but it was discontinued a few years ago.

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  3. Sure is a big santa and he looks right at home on that top....and wow there are two of them. Way to go Thelma !

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  4. Very nice Thelma and aren't you happy to have Christmas projects ready to give? Love this pattern! Happy Sewing!

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  5. Pretty sweet! Good job thinking ahead. Every year I say I’m going to start early, but I never do! You aren’t the only one who is jelly roll challenged! I’m precuts challenged and avoid them entirely!

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  6. I have this kit, too, and I agree - it is a GINORMOUS Santa head, lol! I'm glad you made yours first so I can incorporate your tips and tricks to get a fantastic finish. I, too, thought it was a waste to use pieced blocks behind Santa. I hope your quilt earns a lot for that fundraiser.

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  7. If I'm understanding, the pattern called for you to cover pieced blocks? That just seems wasteful. Great idea you had for using white fabric. Darling finishes.

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