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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Things I do for My Sisters...Family Tree!!!

I got this fun little email from my baby sister a few weeks ago. She is planning on making a quilt for her mother in law for Christmas and wants to put this cute fabric tree in the center of it...

So what made it fun? She asked me to figure out an easier way to make it!
Gotta love those sisters, right?
{Kidding Carley-I really had fun doing this!}

So what did I do to make it "easier"...

Honestly, it wasn't bad at all. A little time consuming, but not hard.
I started by using satin ribbon for my tree trunk instead of flannel. I didn't want to mess with the un-hemmed edge, and well, I didn't want to hem them to begin with. I also thought that it would hold  up better in the wash.

I made my ruffles by sewing a running stitch down the center of the ribbon. I gathered it as I went, laying it out on my fabric until I had the length I wanted for each branch.

I cut the ends of my ribbon into a narrowing point and then burned the edges to prevent fraying.
I also used the funky forked end of the ribbon to create another set of branches.

I kept pinning the "branches" together until I liked the look of my tree, then went back and sewed the ruffles into place with my sewing machine.

Then came the fun part..flowers and leaves!
The large flowers represent a member of my family, the smaller ones just fun little accents, but could be used to represent grandchildren if you've got them.
Again, I just used ribbon and rolled/glued and then stitched to keep them together.
 I used felt for the leaves but if it's going on a quilt (hint, hint) I would make little fabric ones instead.

Everything was stitched into place and then I went back and sewed in the beads. I didn't do the little name tags, pretty sure they wouldn't make it through the wash...
but do need to come up with some way to add names...any ideas? Please share!

Last I stitched in the lettering. I printed out the saying I wanted, in a font I liked and then traced it onto my fabric.
I used embroidery floss and a back stitch to finish it.
And ta-dah!!! I just grew a tree.

So details... the frame I put this in is a 16x24.
I used an entire spool of brown satin ribbon that I picked up at Walmart for $2.97-
I think it was 10 yds?
My tree is on a piece of canvas, so it wasn't easy to sew through, but it is very durable, and I like it for framing not for quilting.
I sprayed my tree with liquid starch and ironed it after it was sewn into place to help the ruffles lay a little flatter. It also helped to close up any little "gaps" between the ribbons in the trunk.
All in all this was probably a 5-6 hr project. (Not to bad!)

After thoughts...If your family is big enough, some grass and a few growing flowers would be cute. I would hand stitch the grass and stems.
I'm thinking of adding a little heart to the trunk with the initials J + W.
Like it was carved into the trunk...like when you were little and that was cute, okay it would still be cute now.
And how about a little bird or two (love birds?) in the tree.
Yeah, I'm totally excited at the thought of one day, far from now, adding to my little tree...

Anyway, {Carley} it wasn't bad, you can totally do this, and if you need help, you know where I live!
Happy Crafting.


Maureen said...

That is adorable!

Unknown said...

This is beautiful and such a great idea! Good luck on American Crafter!

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