May's Christmas Block
This month's Christmas block I wanted to keep simple and the reason for that is because I wanted to be able to dress it up with alternative ideas. I chose a block with a 6" center so that when we make some 6" blocks later, we could include one as the center for this block. Here is the block....
and here's what I mean...
I can use any 6" pieced block as shown above, or I could add a 6" applique block, or I could even add a 6" embroidery or quilted block. So many possibilities.
So let's get started. Here is what you will need to cut for this block.
- One 6-1/2" square
- Eight 2-1/2" square
- One 2" strip from 1/2 width of fabric (that is a fat quarter or fat eighth or 1/2 the width of a full fold of fabric)
- Four 6-1/2" x 3-1/2" rectangles
- One 2" strip from 1/2 width of fabric
First I will make the little four-patch corners. I need the two 2" strips. I chose my poinsettia print for the contrast fabric and because I wanted a second dark background (so last month's block wasn't lonely), I used green again for this.
Piecing these four-patch blocks is easy, simply put the two strips right side together and sew a 1/4" seam along one long side. Press the seam toward the darkest strip then cut the strip into 2" section. You'll need 8.
Now join them in pairs with matching fabrics in opposite corners. The seam will butt up nicely so no pins are necessary.
I chained stitch these and press the seams to one side. Look how neat the back looks!
The star points are next and also a simple task. We will position the 2-1/2" squares on two corners of each background rectangle. It is easiest to draw a line through the diagonal as a guide for the stitching line, however, you can also fold the square and make a crease instead. I find this a bit difficult to see, I think because my machine light is so bright, but there is a line on my machine bed that can be used as a guide. You might want to check your machine to see if you have one too.
Once all the diagonal lines are sewn, I like to do another little trick to avoid fabric waste and that is to stitch about a 1/3" seam on the outside of the first seam. My Bernina patchwork foot is great for this as the width of the left side will align nicely with the first seam making it the perfect distance.
With two seams sewn, I can cut between them....
then press them....
and I end up with my four patches for my block and an additional eight half-square triangle units to use in another block. I won't trim these now, just leave them until I decide where I will use them. Now it is time to lay out all the pieces. I always like to do this to ensure they are correct and that I have the four-patch corners facing the correct way.
Now all I need to do is sew the pieces into strips and then the strips together to make the block.
PS: You can find the other blocks for this Block-a-thon here: Christmas Block-a-thon
For more information & updates be sure to sign up for our newsletter
You can unsubscribe anytime!