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Thread: Putting LED lights into a quilted wall hanging

  1. #1
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Putting LED lights into a quilted wall hanging

    So in true form I didn't think this out completely before I dived in, but here is what I'm hoping to do ...

    I'm making this: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/quick...iny_Tannenbaum

    I have the tree pieced and am trying to think about the best way to make a modification I wanted to make: mini LED lights in place of the garland you see in the photo.

    Now that I'm really looking at my LED string I'm wondering what the best way is to do this, or if I should just abandon the idea.

    I have a string with 20 lights on it but the lights aren't very close together, so it would probably look best if they were just coming up through the seams in each row so the wire could be looped on the back or inside the quilt sandwich. But then, how would you actually quilt it? I think you would have to quilt first then poke the lights through all three layers, but how the heck would you do that without ruining the top with a bunch of holes?

    So can this even be done with good results? Or maybe I should just buy some of those garlands and give up on the idea?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Becki

  2. #2
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    Can you hand quilt around your wiring? It would look great if you can figure it out.
    Debra

  3. #3
    dd
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    Super Member dd's Avatar
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    If you hand quilted it, you would be able to feel the wires and move them a little to be able to quilt where you needed to. Then you could put it in the sandwich.
    Blessed are the quilters, for they are the piecemakers.

  4. #4
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Hand quilting ... that never even occurred to me. That's a good idea, though I've never hand quilted anything before!

    Another question though, how would you poke the lights up through the seams without wrecking the seams ... now that I've already pieced the thing ... would you just rip that part of the seam and then maybe reinforce on either side?

    Sorry ... still very much a beginner and having a hard time visualizing it. Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    First you need to plan where you want to place your lights. Then in the seam, leave an opening you can fit the light through back stitching on both sides of the opening. Mark these little openings so you won't quilt too close to one or through one. The quilt your quilt. Cut out a tree the same size as the front tree allowing 1/2" seam for all sides. I would make it out of a single piece of fabric. press under 1/4" and top stitch around the out side edge. This leaves a quarter on an inch on all sides for extra bulk of the wires. Stick a pin in the center on a light hole going from the front to the back. On the back of the quilt make a small slit where the pin comes out. Anchor the light in place. Go to the next place and do the same. When you have all the lights in place, place an anchor stitch half way between each light to hold down the wire. Cover the wire tree with your Fabric tree and hand stitch in place. The wires are covered, except for the tail to plug into the scocket, and the back looks pretty and the front is beautifully quilted!

  6. #6
    Senior Member SharonTheriault's Avatar
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    From looking at the picture, the mini lights are not poked through the quilt. They are strung on the top after the quilt is finished. If you look closely you can see the wires. The mini lights would be the best bet and then just do a little tacking stitch, by hand, at each light. It will be adorable.
    Save the Earth!

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  7. #7
    Senior Member SharonTheriault's Avatar
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    Or another option is to put round button holes, through all 3 layers, wherever you want a light. then you can push them through to the front and the wires will be in back. Makes the lights easier to remove without damaging the integrity of the seams or the fabric. Still the mini lights would be the best thing for this option too.
    Save the Earth!

    Itís the only planet with Chocolate.

  8. #8
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    Please post when done - can't wait to see!
    Linda

  9. #9
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    There are tiny LED light strings that run on a battery pack. The ones I've seen are held in place on the back with on O-ring. I followed the link on the page you showed and eventually got to a site that had them for sale. I don't know now where that was but it was pretty easy to find. Good luck.
    Donna in Bellevue
    Donna in Bellevue

  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Cheryl Sleboda wrote an article for the Dec10/Jan11 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine about embellishing with LED electronics. The supply source she gave in the article was http://www.sparkfun.com/ .
    She also sells supplies on her website http://www.muppin.com/shop.htm
    and has videos on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0xrfpc9MBI
    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8_sy...eature=related
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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