Jingle Bells! Batman Smells! Robin laid an egg. . .
It is roughly 1 million degrees outside, my kiddo just started school, and summer storms are raging through every night. Seems like a perfect time to start thinking Christmas. I blame Hallmark and their July Ornament release. Speaking of ornaments – did you get yours? I did, the Beetlejuice is super fantastic!
And… we’re back on track… I made this rather last minute for a Christmas gift last year. It didn’t get the binding until recently, so you get to see it now. In July. When it is hot and no has even considered the fat man, zombie or otherwise.
Warning: If you ask me to make something – you better be specific. My requirements for this project were “Something blue with snowflakes and snowmen”. Well let’s see what we have here –
Blue, Check. Snowflakes, Check. Snowmen, Check. Screaming rolling heads and zombie Santa? Well, the recipient didn’t tell me NOT to include those things.
I didn’t keep many notes or progress pictures, but I can give the gist of how it was made. The hardest part was figuring out how to make a circle big enough. I put a square of fabric on my design wall, pinned a sharpie to the middle tied to a string that reached the edge of the square on all four sides and violia! A circle! I also drew a circle in the middle and a straight line from that center circle to the outside. I did not cut on these lines until all of the decoration, applique, and quilting were complete.
The snowflakes and zombie snowman are machine embroidery designs from Urban Threads. I meant the Santa to be a “label” of sorts and my name/date are hovering around him. He turned out be a nice surprise and has really become more of a player than intended.
The snowmen are raw edge applique. They are all super simple shapes. To create the snowmen, I stacked three circle objects right on top of the tree skirt between my sharpie circles in the snowman shape (I think I used a paper plate and two round rulers). I put a piece of tracing paper over them and traced along their outside edges. This gave me a nice snowman shape with the correct proportions and layout. All three snowmen are based off of the same template. The headless ones just have a divot where the head would be.
I doodled out a single branch shape and traced some straight and some reverse. I placed them in random places on the snowmen and varied the width of the fingers from one to the next. There’s enough variation that I don’t think it is immediately obvious they are all pretty much the same.
The black lines around the appliques are raw edge with a straight stitch and as time goes on they will fray. I do hope to see them when they start looking really rough. I added buttons for the eyes and, well, buttons. The snow has some metallic thread quilting and the blue is a simple stipple. The back of this skirt is plain muslin. I saw no reason to be fancy with a back you’re not intended to see.
For the binding, I used the double fold bias tape you pick up at JoAnn or other big box store. It worked ok though I’m really glad I basted it from the back before doing the top stitch on the front. That inner circle is a little tough and has a fair amount of bunching. I’m certain if I would not have done that extra basting stitch, it would have been a hot mess rather than a mini-mess.
I gotta be honest with you – I kind of love this thing. I think I’ll hold to it long enough to get a picture of it under a tree (and I’ll add it here) before giving it up and letting it go to its forever home. While I’m being honest –I totally think I’m funny as shit for making cartoon zombie snowmen when I’m pretty sure the recipient intended something more traditional (think wool and blanket stitch), I’m fairly confident the recipient can appreciate the humor. I promise, I wouldn’t do this to someone’s grandmother – or would I?
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