I had an "ah ha!" moment over the weekend when I figured out how I could make a quick little Christmas wallhanging to hang at my desk at work. I thought I'd share with you the steps to make this little guy or something similar in case you'd like to adapt it for a project of your own.
Santa was a little quilt-as-you-go project using wool. I don't do much fusible applique, but I'm sure you could do the same thing with fusible or a combination of both--I like the dimension the wool gives it.
First, I picked one block pattern from a larger applique pattern I liked. I figured out how large the applique block would be and then I added 6" to the length and width of the block to allow room for a 3" border. I then cut my backing and batting to that finished size or a little larger so it could be trimmed later.
I cut the background for the applique block to the correct size and centered it on the batting/backing. I used quilt pins to secure the layers.
I cut the wool pieces and laid them out to check placement.
Once I liked where everything was, I repinned the layers with the wool. (Note--for the face, I used regular cotton and fused it in the correct position before pinning the rest.)
Next, I sewed down all the wool pieces, using thread to match the wool so the stitching didn't stand out.
And here's the basic Santa with the pieces all sewn in place.
Next, I needed to add the borders. Because I couldn't trim up the piece since it was already layered, I drew pencil lines where I'd normally have cut. I could then use the pencil line to line up with the raw edge of the border strips. I know the photo's a little "fuzzy" but I wanted to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
The first set of borders were cut 3" by the width of the center block. With "good" side of the fabric down, I lined the edge of the border strip up with the pencil line and sewed the seam, sewing through all layers. I did the same with the opposite border, and I pressed them "open."
I then measured the new length of the block with the borders added and cut the next two border strips. I sewed them as I did the others and pressed them back. Now I had my wallhanging--the center block with borders all around.
Here's what the quilting on the back looked like at that point.
Next, I decided to add a little extra quilting for texture.
After that, I just trimmed up the borders and bound the quilt. After the addition of a couple holly leaves in the corner and some buttons for berries and eyes, the project was done!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did mine! Thanks for stopping in to visit.
ADDENDUM--NOVEMBER 30, 2011: The pattern I used for this applique is a Country Faces pattern called Christmas Sampler. You can find it HERE--really a cute design.