Friday, November 30, 2018

Cozy Cabin with Christmas Lights

Hi.  I'm SEW excited to share this!  I love being an Island Batik Ambassador, and love the fabric they provide for these challenges.  This is something I've wanted to make for a few years.  The timing, fabric and embroidery machine finally happened!

Our challenge this month is Cozy Cabins, and I love Log Cabin blocks.  

I'm a HUGE fan of Hallmark movies.  I think it's good for Mom, too.  They are uplifting, positive, and fun, and she seems to enjoy the fun and music.  It's Christmas movie time, and although this is inspired by an older movie, I'm also in the mood to sew Christmas quilts.  So, I grabbed my pack of Alpine Jingle and some Sprinkles and set to work.  

Filmed in 2013, the movie Let It Snow shows Candace Cameron-Bure waking up under a Log Cabin quilt that has applique in the Barn raising Setting.  I looked for a photo of the quilt, but I guess you'll just have to watch it again. It's on this weekend.  I think the quilt had poinsettia or holly for the applique.  I wanted something different.  I wanted Christmas Lights.  I grabbed the new Quilt In A Day book 40 Fabulous Years for the Log Cabin blocks, but they use 1 1/2" strips, and I didn't want to cut the strips smaller.  The older Log Cabin in a Day book uses 2 1/2" strips, as does the new 6th Edition Log Cabin, which happened to arrive in the mail as I was finishing the blocks. LOL. Timing.  Yes, the assembly could have come from this new book, but I've made a number of Log Cabin quilts, and just went scrappy.  

I searched online for the perfect size applique light, and couldn't find one.  I recently got an embroidery machine, and I'm learning a lot about it, but don't own the program to digitize my own drawings, yet.  I drew out the design, and figured the number of lights, and how to do the wire, but wanted to use the Pfaff Creative 1.5, not do hand guided stitching.  I contacted QuiltShopGal, aka Darlene, knowing she occasionally does digitizing for her own use.  At first she didn't think she could, so I also contacted Marian at Seams to be Sew, whom I met last summer doing the Row by Row shops in Colorado.  She offered one version, but Darlene also did one, and I picked Darlene's.  

So, here's the top.  At least so far.  I'll explain...

I want to add the outer border, but it may need something in the corners. I haven't decided what, yet. 

Each bulb is about 4 3/4 long, and the black "wire" is Clover Quick Bias Tape.  

So, here's how to make your own version.  
1.  Get a strip pack and some yardage.  I did the 16 block Wall Hanging size, because I could get it out of 1 pack, plus an extra strip or 2 of the different gold, which is Border 2.  Get yardage for the creamy side.  And the book.   And border yardage.  Island Batik provided mine.

Make 16 blocks that are "scrappy" looking, trying to mix up all the fabrics in the block.  
Not like this one. 

I did actually leave this block as is.  I don't think you'll be able to find it easily.  
The house elf who sewed this has been sacked, lol.

2.  Sew the blocks in the Barn Raising setting, with the Sprinkles forming a diamond. 

(The 2 stitch-outs of the bulb are modeling the placement)

3.  Pick Island Batik scraps for the lightbulbs.  I picked 6 colors for 12 bulbs, 2 of each color, and since I like Multi-colored lights, I went with that.  Yes, purple, too.  Just because I wanted it.  Apply fusible web on the back, and trace the shape of the bulb.  Pick a green strip for the base of the bulb and apply fusible web and trace the bulb base shape, leaving a little extra at the top.  Carefully cut out the shapes.  A template for the shapes will be included with the program download.  

4.  Decide on a basic placement and order, and load the embroidery program into your machine.  I'll provide a link to the file soon.  Get the hoop loaded with the quilt top, and the stabilizer, and one of the bulbs pinned into place, so you can adjust the placement on the machine to where you want it.  Be prepared to shift the location, and flip as necessary.  You really do want the bulk of the quilt to go to the left of the machine.  I also did a basting line (which is an option on my machine, not included in the file) to define the space, and to make sure the stabilizer and quilt would not shift.

5.  Stitch out Step 1 and 3, for placement lines. I skipped 2, which is the tack-down for the base.  If you don't want to precut the shapes, you can do the tack down, then trim really close, then iron.  If you cut out the shapes first, remove the paper backing and carefully iron the base shape first, then the bulb.  The bulb overlaps the base. 

Place and press carefully.

If you're using a light colored bulb, and the base shows through, trim it before pressing, or put an extra layer of interfacing under the bulb.  I trimmed the base to about 1/8th inch over the placement line. 

Step 4 of the stitching is the hold-down line for the bulb.  Make sure you don't have too much over the edge of this stitching, or trim as needed.  Change the thread for the base color, and it will sew the satin stitch zig zag for the base.  Change the  color for the bulb, and stitch the bulb.  If you wish to change the thread for the accent, you can, but I didn't.  I did change to a lighter green for the accent on the base.  

6.  Move on to the next bulb, varying the angle and direction as you wish.  

7.  Decide on placement for the "wire".  I made a loop and played until I liked how it looked, then ironed it.  After the wire is placed, you'll need to sew it down.  You can either sew down both edges, or do a wide zig-zig over the whole thing (my choice).  

So, what about the borders?  I have the red and gold on, and the sizes are based on the fabric I had remaining, 1 1/2" and 4".  I have this great green for the outer, but think I need something for the corners.  I plan a 6" finished border, which makes the top about 82" square. 

 Do I put 6" Log Cabin blocks?  Or do I put another light bulb?  
Here's a mock-up in EQ8.  

Vote and let me know in the comments!  I would love to have this quilted before Christmas.  I know some of what I want to quilt, but need to decide more.  I think I'll have to do outlines around the bulb and wires, and maybe swirls around them, but want feathers in the "dark" part of the blocks.  

HUGE thanks and hugs to Darlene and Marian for the help with digitizing.  

Thanks to Island Batik for the fabric, and to Aurifil thread for providing some of the colors needed, within the Island Batik Ambassador box.  I have a good collection as well.  

As soon as I can finalize the file for the applique, I'll let you know.  So far, it's only in VP3, but I may be able to change it.  I'm a newbie, so please give me time (or tell me how). 

Thanks for visiting.  I can't wait to get this done. 


Pamela said...

I like the mini log cabin blocks for the corners. Super cute quilt!

Connie Kauffman said...

Log cabin

Barb said... the lights...

QuiltShopGal said...

I really love your design. You did an awesome job and I hope you can get it finished before Christmas too! Not sure I understand what you are trying to do with the applique/VP3, but let me know if I can help.

JJ said...

I used Alpine Jingle for my log cabin and it is always fun to see the same line made up differently. Cute

Sally said...

Love the connection to Christmas movie, ME! The colors, the lights, the movement...just makes this such a happy quilt! Great design!

Emily said...

This is so great! I love the addition of the Christmas lights! My vote is the log cabins in the corners.