The other day I went to Savers; www.savers.com looking for a mini crock pot and a lamp shade but didn't luck out on my search. However; I did randomly find this awesome pillow and it set off a train reaction. A big problem was that I loved the pillow but there was no matching pillows or decor of the colors at my house. I then happened across two matching pillow cases of an odd greenish yellow shade. Normally I would saw "gross puke" but they seemed to bring out that matching color on the main pillow and they had a vintage appeal to them.
So I picked up the one pillow and the two pillow cases. Then decided I needed a new quilt as I had determined that I could use the pillows to redecorate in my attic/family room. The blanket I had in the room was adequate but a little worn. While strolling the bedding section I came across this fruit punch colored fabric. They actually had a section of loose extra fabric material at Savers which I was surprised to find. This color while I'd normally stay away from went with another color in the main pillow. I then strolled the sheet section and found a Martha Stewart grey/blue flat sheet. I decided on purchasing both and some how making a quilt out of them. The main pillow was 2.99, set of two pillow cases 1.99, flat sheet 4.99, and fruit punch fabric 3.99 + I received an additional 25% off the entire purchase (because it was a Monday and that is their Monday deal). So I got everything for about 10.50 plus tax. Plus it turns out the pillow cases were Crate & Barrel. Great deal!
I had found this Tree quilt on Pinterest and while I will honestly admit I somehow didn't get the "tree part" until after finishing the quilt, what I did notice was the way it looked and the sewing technique. Here's the Pinterest link; http://pinterest.com/pin/383720830720604841/. I went to look for a tutorial but that link just led to another picture of a different tree quilt that looked pretty much the same. I became inspired and set out to use the sewing technique to create but my own design.
First I cut the back fabric then the flat sheet (which ended up being the top of the quilt) with the later being slightly smaller. I had extra of the fruit punch fabric and decided to make circles and then found an old work out t-shirt and cut circles out of that. I layered the two different patterned circles and sewed them together on the machine. I laid them out randomly on the fitted sheet, pinned them on and then using the machine sewed them on. Then I pinned along the entire frame of the quilt making sure both front and back were together. Here came the tedious but fun part. I started with the right side of the quilt and using the machine started sewing vertically starting from top to bottom. I purposely weaved left and right for the look I wanted. I then did this about every 1/2" to 1" width apart. I did this across the entire quilt until I finished. You will need 2 spools of thread. I decided to use yellow for contrast on the front and grey on the back. I went to turn over the edges and machine sew the edging; however after a couple of attempts this did not work because the backing material was more elastic rather than cotton so it caused unevenness and bunching. I ended up pinning the edging and hand stitching it.
All in all this quilt took about 7 hours from start to finish. My suggestions for others trying this quilt for the first time would be to 1. not choose elastic fabric (like I did) and 2. to not make it as big as mine was (which was about the size of a twin quilt)- I would recommend 1/2 to 3/4 of the size I made as a starter. Those vertical lines were a killer because it was so long. It hurt my elbows and arms by the time I was finished because the fabric was heavy to hold up and feed through. This was a really fun, fairly easy, inexpensive and creative redecorating project. Most of all I'm excited to try another quilt like this in the future using a different material and pattern that I design.
Here's the idea from Pinterest.
Here's the front and back of the pillow that piqued my interest and started this project whirling in my head.
Here's one of the two pillow cases after washing them. I used the pillows in the background that were the old pillows and were flattening a bit and stuffed 2 in each pillow case.
Pillow case stuffed with recycled older pillows.
Flat sheet and fabric after washing.
Little circles I sewed together.
Laid out the two fabrics and cut to fit.
Sewed vertical weaving lines through the entire quilt 1" apart.
Finished quilt with edging hand stitched.
It's hard to see all of the lines but this close up is the best i could do. Forgot to rotate so picture it vertically.