Have you seen Amanda Jean Nyberg's Mini Christmas Trees? They are so sweet. I saw them when she first posted about them on her blog just before Thanksgiving (11/24/14).
The other day I was sewing some Christmas pillowcases for presents. One of my selvages had an amazing string of 18 gams (the little circles on the selvage showing all the colors needed to print the pattern of the fabric). The gams looked just like Christmas lights to me. I also had a selvage from a Cotton + Steel fabric that whispered "tree branches in the snow".
I used Amanda Jean's idea for using strips to construct a Christmas tree design. I designed my tree by laying out the strips in a configuration that looked good to me. I'd completed my project before I went back to read her blog. I discovered that she has now posted a pattern for her Mini Trees! on Craftsy. I wish I'd had the pattern in hand before I made my mug rug. She has some great tips on keeping the strips straight (mine aren't!) and she was kinder about the strip width than I was!
My strips are so narrow that I kept catching the adjacent seam. I did a lot of un-sewing to release the rows!
To quilt my mug rug, I used the serpentine stitch to make snow on the ground and I quilted the outline of of the tree in navy blue that matches the background fabric. You can see the texture but can only see the outline of the tree branches in good light. I like it--a tree at night.
My finished mug rug is 7 1/2 inches square.
Do you like these strip pieced Mini Trees? Buy Amanda Jean's pattern--you'll be glad you did! She has great instructions to help you make beautiful strips and step-by-step diagrams for assembling each row of her Mini Tree. She also posted a tutorial on her blog yesterday, December 3, 2014, on how to bind tiny things. It's great too!
Using selvages which are stiff and don't iron flat happily was a challenge but I enjoyed sewing my Selvage Christmas Tree. If I make another, I think I'll use the selvages with the gams which looks like Christmas lights but use regular fabrics for all the other strips. I'd also use the tips in Amanda Jean's pattern to help keep those unruly strips straight!