A while back, I came across a pattern from OliVen on Craftsy that I absolutely loved. It was for a Christmas tree wall hanging. I thought that they would make terrific Christmas gifts.
Now, I have to admit that I don't actually purchase patterns too often. It's not that I am cheap, per se. And it is certainly not because I think, "Oh, I can just figure this out on my own." It's just that I have so many patterns and tutorials that I have collected that I hate spending money on something that I may never use. But, in this case, the price was so reasonable so I considered the $2 well spent and promised myself I would make these.
Well, fast forward to the rapidly approaching holiday season. I stockpiled the necessary metallic Christmas fabrics and finally sat down to make them.
In the meantime, I had started my blog and thought that these would be great to share. I just didn't want to feature a pattern that had to be purchased. So, I did a search to see if I could find a free version. I came across this one from Shuttermonkey Designs. It is also available for download on Craftsy.
I decided to try them both. So, I cut red and green triangles.
Even though the OliVen pattern calls for slightly smaller triangles, I cut them all to the 6" that the Shuttermonkey tutorial calls for. I used a 60 degree triangle ruler for cutting the pieces. But, if you don't have one, the OliVen pattern has an excellent demonstration of how to cut a whole row of triangles using the 60 degree line on your quilting ruler.
With a red on one side and a green on the other, I sewed the triangles together and then top sewed them with gold thread. For beginners, both tutorials had written instructions and photos showing how to assemble the triangles but I do think that the photos in the OliVen tutorial were a little more detailed.
Next, came the tricky part of folding and stitching the triangles to make the tree pieces. Again, both tutorials have instructions and photos to help with this step and, again, the photos in the OliVen tutorial were a little more detailed.
Following both of the tutorials, I ended up with two different tree pieces.
For the one of the left, I followed the OliVen tutorial. For the one on right, I followed the Shuttermonkey Designs tutorial. Seeing the pieces side by side, I knew that, for me, there was no contest. Although my husband prefers simple lines and simple designs, I prefer more ornate designs - nothing too outrageous but with a little bit of interest to them. The OliVen design fits my tastes perfectly.
So, I abandoned the idea of making a whole tree with the simpler pieces and chose, instead, to make a tree with the more ornate OliVen design and I used the one simple piece I made as the tree trunk. I added some little gold bells that I got from Amazon. And, voila, a Christmas Tree.
So, what's the answer to my question? To buy or not to buy?
Well, if you are even a moderately experienced sewist and like simple lines and designs, the Shuttermonkey Designs tutorial is easy to follow to create a beautiful piece.
If, on the other hand, you are a newbie or are more comfortable with more detailed visuals and like a more ornate design, the OliVen tutorial is likely more suited for you. At just $2, I still think it was a good investment. I am very pleased with how the tree turned out and I am looking forward to making several more for family and friends.
OK, so, off to share this project at Sew Can She's Show Off Saturday.