Christmas Block-a-thon Block 11

Posted by on 28 September 2020 | 0 Comments

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This month I decided to design an embroidery block - of course, that means it can double as a quilting design as well.

I choose a white on white for the background (the one with little Christmas trees was quite appropriate for the design!) and thought instead of tracing the design onto the fabric that I would print it instead.

block11 printed

Design printing on fabric

The advantage: it was quicker although it does take a bit of prep work so the fabric feeds through the print without getting jammed (I have a whole book on this printing on fabric process - you can get yours here: Printing on Fabric)

The disadvantage: if you miss the line with the stitching, the ink won't come out easily so you need to be accurate. I also discovered later that printing the outside block line wasn't helpful!

For embroidery, you need to stabilize the fabric before stitching. You can do this in various ways - using an iron-on stabilizer, batting and backing fabrics, or placing it in a hoop. I use batting/backing fabric cutting it several inches larger than I needed. (I had a further idea that I will share later)

I selected four thread colors - red, green, yellow, and black...

block11 threads 300

Threads selected and ready to start embroidery

and started with the bows in red.

block11 one bow

First bow embroidered

It didn't take long at all.

block11 bows

Red embroidered bows

Next the yellow star, green tree, and black bucket.

block11 embroidery

Embroidered tree finished

This block is just 4" square however in the templates I have also included a 6" square. You can download the design here:

Christmas Embroidery (letter size)    Christmas Embroidery (A4 size)

The reason for the small 4" square is that I wanted to show you how easy it is to build any block up to make it bigger (and hence the larger batting piece). Building up a block can be easily done by simply adding a border. You can make it 5" by adding a 1/2" (cut at 1") border, 6" by adding a 1" (cut at 1-1/2") border, or even 8" by adding a 2" (cut at 2-1/2") border. Basically what you are doing is knowing what size you want, say 12", taking away the block size you have, say 6" and dividing the remainder in half to make the border width, that will be 3" for this example - remember you need both sides. These measurements are worked out on finished sizes which is how it needs to be calculated, but you must remember to add the seam allowances in for cutting. ie your unfinished block is 12-1/2" and 6-1/2" and therefore your strips for the border need to be cut at 3-1/2" wide.

So, for my 4" square, I'll need a 1" border to make it up to 6" and you know what? I have lots of little scraps including some half-square triangles from my previous block so I figure it would look kind of cool if I cut out lots of little squares and pieced them together. 

block11 scrap border

scraps to make a border

I'll need to cut each scrap to 1-1/2" square.

block11 trimming

Scraps cut to 1-1/2"

This will mean I need 20 little squares to go around the entire block.

block11 scrap border layout

20 x 1-1/2" squares

I can chain stitch them together to speed up the process...

block11 scrap border chain piecing

Chain piecing makes it go faster

...to make four border sections.

block11 scrap border piecing

Four strips of squares

Adding the short sections first and....

block11 top bottom border

Short sections added first

long borders last to complete my little block.

block11

My 6" Christmas block finished

It's rather cute don't you think?

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