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I've found small wall quilts are a great way to experiment with new techniques, as well as trying out different combinations of textures and techniques to see how they look together. Putting them on a wall quilt leaves me with a nice project when I'm finished playing in lieu of little samples that might normally be pushed aside and forgotten.
I used the Fiskars Woodland Tree Shape Template as a stencil for my appliques on this wall quilt, cutting 16 hearts from a variety of fabrics.
I wanted smaller leaves on my tree than the template provides so I used the bird wing as a leaf stencil, cutting them from an old wool sweater. I then crocheted around the perimeter of each leaf. If you don't crochet, you can add a blanket stitch, or any stitch you like. The wool was thick and made getting even stitches difficult but gave me a rustic look I really liked and blended in well with the finished look I had in mind.
The tree is also cut from an old wool sweater. Due to the thickness of the material and the fuzzy texture which a pen wouldn't write on, I created a paper pattern using the template. When doing this, be sure to use lots of pins to prevent the pattern from shifting during cutting.
Using the 18" x 24" Cutting Mat, the 45 mm Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter, and the 3.5" x 18" Acrylic Ruler, I cut the base materials for the quilt.
I cut the front to 14" x 16" knowing I wanted to use the raw edges of the fabric.
I cut the back panel 15" x 17" and folded and pressed all the edges in 1/2" so I would have a nice finished edge on the back.
I sandwiched quilt batting, cut slightly smaller than the back panel and cheese cloth cut to 16" x 18".
The panel in the center of the quilt is an 8" x 8" square.
The blue horizontal strip is 3.5" x 16".
After cutting all the fabric pieces, I laid the out on the front panel.. I wanted a rustic look so I just eyeballed the placement of all the pieces. I pinned the fabric panels in place and adhered the hearts with fusible web.
Next, I stitched all the pieces in place.
I hand stitched the tree trunk to the front panel using random french knots and seed stitches. I attached the leaves with a back stitch.
Finally, I sandwiched the quilt batting and cheese cloth between the front and back panels and hand stitched using a back stitch all the way around the quilt. This could be done by machine to save time.
And with the finished project, I have a sampler with 2 new techniques (the crocheted leaves and the cheesecloth layer) that I can hang in my sewing room to remind me to try them on other projects in the future.
14" x 16" and 15" x 17" cuts of fabric for front and back panels
3.5" x 16" and 8" x 8" cuts of fabric for decorative panels
fabric scraps for appliques
wool felt for appliques
crochet thread and hook (optional)
embroidery floss and needle