November 16, 2013

Stonehendge Tree Panel- Not Merry!

I finished one of the Stonehendge Light-Up Christmas tree panels yesterday. This is one of three I had, (had being the key word) ---planned to do.  I'm hoping some of my blog readers can offer me encouragement and some better ideas about these panels as right now I'm not Cheery-Merry over this project!

The quilting went well. That's not the issue. I cut off the top and bottom snow flake fabric that bordered the panel as there isn't much of it to be of any use, and not enough lights to light up the larger snow flakes.

I used silver metallic thread to free motion quilt the panel. I have never used metallic thread on "Polly", but she handled it well.  If ("if" is the other key word)---I do the other two panels, I won't spend a lot of time outlining the snowflakes though---it's just not worth it because no one can really notice the quilting on this fabric. It's too busy. A simple meander will do.

The problems started after I finished the quilting, and it has to do with the Lights that come with the panel.

First, there are probably not enough lights for all the stars motifs in the panel. That said it's more about the "Wires" that protrude all over the back of the quilt once you attempt to hang it on the wall. They are stiff wires and criss cross the back of the panel. Attempting to have it hang flat on a wall is almost useless.  I resorted to taping some of the wires against the backing fabric in an effort to reduce the bumps and bulges on the front of the quilt panel the wires created. What a mess.

I created eyelet buttonholes on the sewing machine and used a punch afterwards to make the holes in the fabric eyelets and pushed the little lights into the fabric. Then another problem arose.  The light tips are larger than the actual lights which are approx. 1/4 on an inch long. So the entire light wants to go squeeze through the holes and droop down on the front of the panel. Not attractive.  I wrapped tape around each shaft of the lights so that helped.  Now only the light tip shows on the front of the panel. 

Should I proceed---? oh well you should know the whole story. 
The panel looks pretty in the day time lit up.  

At night, turn on the lights and that is all you can see. Lights. Not the quilted panel. The fabric is so dark it recedes into the darkness of the room. 

 I took these pictures this a.m. so you won't see that effect. But, trust me. All you will see is the lights at night. Not the tree, not the quilting. 

 Lit up in the daylight hours. It's O.K.
Better yet with no lights on.

I have a red panel and a green panel to complete. Not sure it's worth it. Maybe no lights is better.?


Dogwood Lane Rambles said...

What a disappointment :( It seems like a good idea but I can see the problem once night falls so it it just wouldn't be worth it to me. The panels in themselves are very pretty without the lights so why not use them and let them 'shine' on their own?

Alberta said...

Thanks for your honest thoughts on this. I had tried to order this panel but it was back ordered to the point I wasn't going to wait and got something else for this Christmas. I am sorry you had so many frustrations.

Cindy Quilts said...

I agree with Patricia. The panel is very pretty without the lights; I would do without them. Also, your beautiful quilting will be easier seen.

Little House Creations said...

Hi Angie - I agree 100% with everything you have said here! I bought two kits - thinking they would be great for my mom and MIL to hang. I only have one done, and will not be using the other panel in the same way. I think I'll make a wall hanging with some additional fabric - but not with the lights. I really don't think Northcott should be selling these at all. They can't hang close to a wall, the lights are too long and bright, and on and on. Thanks for posting this - I was thinking it was just me. I will post on my blog as well with some pics in the next couple of days . . . it seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much now! Take care, Bev

Purple Pam said...

Wow! What trouble that was. No lights on the other two, if you make them. Your quilting will be enough. I definitely do not like all the wires on the back.

Purple Pam said...

I forgot - Happy Thanksgiving.

Roslyn said...

I am currently quilting the expanded version of this I added pieced star alternately with unpieced blocks.

I am planning to also make eyelet holes on the DSM but I understand what you are saying about the bumpiness of the lights. We have some "ribbon" LED lighting left from our kitchen renovation so I might look at using that instead, it is flat.

Debra said...

Yours is beautiful. A guild member showed hers at our meeting. Unfortunately, she expressed the same sentiment; said she would never make another one.