May's Christmas Block

Posted by on 25 May 2020 | 0 Comments

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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....

block5

May's Christmas block

and here's what I mean...

block5 alternative

Alternative center

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.

block5 with poinsettia

May's Christmas block with poinsettia

So let's get started. Here is what you will need to cut for this block.

Star Fabric: 

  • One 6-1/2" square
  • Eight 2-1/2" square

Background Fabric:

  • 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

Contrast Fabric:

  • 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.

block5 1four patch strips

four patch corner strips

Now join them in pairs with matching fabrics in opposite corners. The seam will butt up nicely so no pins are necessary.

block5 2butting seams

Seams will but together nicely when pressed correctly

I chained stitch these and press the seams to one side. Look how neat the back looks!

block5 3four patch units

four-patch corners complete

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.

block5 4corner triangles

Mark on machine helps to sew the diagonal seam

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.

block5 5double stitching

Double stitching the seam

With two seams sewn, I can cut between them....

block5 7cutting2

Trimming off the corners

then press them.... 

block5 8extra units

Additional half square triangles made

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.

block5 9layout

Block pieces laid out ready for construction

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

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