Christmas Block-a-thon - Block 1

Posted by on 10 December 2019 | 5 Comments

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I know it is a bit late for thinking about making a Christmas quilt, but I figured if I started now, then I might have it done by 2020. You see, I just love Anita's Christmas quilt and the great thing about it is you can make blocks as you like then later put it all together. That's what I am planning on doing.

So today I decided to select a standard quilt block and use Christmas fabrics to make it into a Christmas block. I haven't done much patchwork lately so this will be a nice change. First up, I needed to find a block. The pattern suggests 8-12" blocks so I think I'll start with a 12" block. I chose to look in my EQ8 program's library.

I found a block called "French Silk Pie" and printed out a copy of the cutting instructions. However, I construct my blocks a little different than the EQ instructions mainly because I don't like sewing seams on the bias. Instead, I find it easier to cut squares and make half square triangles or corner sections. I'll show you want I mean as I go.

block1 cutting instructions

EQ rotary cutting instructions for a 12" square

First up, I'll select some fabrics and then begin cutting. 

block1 cut sections

Pieces cut

That's....

  • TWELVE 2-1/2" red squares 
  • EIGHT 2-1/2" white squares
  • FOUR 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" white rectangles 
  • FOUR 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" print rectangles 
  • ONE 4-1/2" print square
  • FOUR 4-1/2" cream squares

I'm going to start with the corner units first. To make those, I'm going to add 2 white squares to 1 red square and press the seams toward the white squares. In the photo below you can see the first white square added on the left and the second one being added on the right.

block1 adding white squares

Unit 1, Step 1

The four corner units will look like this...

block1 first section of unit1

First step completed

Next, I'll add the cream squares, one to each corner unit. I've drawn a diagonal line on the back and you can easily see where the red section is. The diagonal line should go right through the intersecting seams.

block1 second section of unit1

Can you see where the red square is located and the drawn line?

After it's sewn along the diagonal line and pressed, it will look like this? The extra bits on the back can be trimmed back leaving 1/4" seam allowance. (BTW I never throw these excess bits away, I save them for something else)

block1 unit1

Unit 1 complete

The rest of the red squares will be stitched to the white rectangles as you would make flying geese. Start with drawing a diagonal line through the red square and positioning it on one side of the rectangle - 3 sides of the square should be even with one end of the rectangle. After it is sewn and pressed, lift up the top flat and trim back the two under sections leaving 1/4" seam allowance.

block1 unit2a

First square added and trimmed

After one square is added and trimmed, the second square can be added to the opposite end. Make sure your drawn line is heading in the right direction!

block1 unit2b

2nd square ready to be stitched

 With these units made, I like to lay all the pieces out, just so I know they will be sewn up correctly.

block1 sections auditioned

All sections positioned correctly

....But it is also fun to play and move around the sections to see what other arrangements I can create.

block1 audition1

Alternative 1

block1 audition2

Alternative 2

block1 audition3

Alternative 3

Enough playing around. It's time to add the print rectangle to the flying goose unit. It's best to check they are correct before stitching!

block1 unit2 with rectangle

Unit 2 complete

And now that all sections are equal to 4-1/2" square, I can join them in rows pressing the seams in the center row toward the center square and the two outside rows in the opposite direction. This makes the next step super easy!

block1 rows

Ready to join the rows!

I can finally stitch the rows together to make my block. One final press and here we have it.

block1

First Christmas Block

 

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Comments

  • Love the look of this...good for me to start very early!!

    Posted by Marcella , 11/01/2020 12:42pm (2 months ago)

  • Definitely hoping to do this Chris! I'd like a new Christmas quilt too.

    Posted by Ruth, 30/12/2019 10:04pm (2 months ago)

  • I hope this will continue all year with Christmas block patterns I decided that in 2020 I would make a Christmas something each month and this would really help get me in the mood to do this. Thanks

    Posted by Chris Welch, 30/12/2019 9:56pm (2 months ago)

  • This sounds fun to do all year. Maybe I will have a finished project by Christmas next year

    Posted by Kirsten Carpenter, 20/12/2019 1:19pm (2 months ago)

  • This is beautiful and love the center medallion.

    Posted by Terry Johnson, 17/12/2019 8:05am (2 months ago)

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