Trees, Baubles & Presents: A Christmas Quilt
It's that time of the year again! Here's another Christmas quilt that I made using a combination of traditional piecing, curved piecing and foundation paper piecing. Free templates included!
I designed this Christmas quilt with mainly one objective - to feature the beautiful snowy forest animal prints as much as possible while keeping the quilt blocks interesting.
And this is the only reason the baubles are inset circles instead of the easier-to-piece octagons. It's the only way to keep the background fabric (the snowy forest animal prints) whole, without having to applique! I took this as my opportunity to learn sewing inset circles and boy, am I glad I did!
I found this video by Modern Quilt Studio really good in teaching how to sew inset circles. I have watched it many times for over a year, and had always wondered if it really was as easy at Bill Kerr made it look. Now that I have tried it, I wished I had done it sooner! It really IS easy so long as you keep the circles larger than 6 inches. And I have read so many other quilters talking about the exact same experience being surprised by how easy it is and how the skill opens up so many design possibilities.
DESIGN & DIMENSIONS
All dimensions below are finished dimensions, unless otherwise indicated.
Click below to download the FPP template for the ribbon part of the block.
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HOW TO SEW THE TREE BLOCKS
STEP 1.1: Draw and cut out a triangle template from card stock (or cereal box), using the following dimensions:
The base of the trees are 11" finished, and height of the trees are 11.5" finished. Draw this triangle first on the card stock, before using your ruler to add an offset of 0.25" all around the triangle. This offset is the seam allowance. Cut out the template along the offset line.
STEP 1.2: Sew sets of 1" and 2.5" strips (the top and bottom strip should be 1.25" wide each because of unsewn seam allowances), and from these strip sets, cut out the triangles using the triangle template that you made above.
Note! If any of your fabric is directional, your trees will have upside-down prints. If you want all the prints to be right-side up, you can only cut your triangles on one orientation (not the upside-down orientation) i.e. there will be more wastage.
STEP 1.3: Sew the white background fabrics around the triangle to form the top part of the tree block, which should measure 13" (H) x 18.5 (W)" including seam allowance. The bottom part of the tree block is the ribbon, which you will sew next using the FPP template provided in the download link above.
STEP 1.4: To complete the tree block, simply join the top part and bottom (ribbon) part together.
HOW TO SEW THE BAUBLE BLOCKS
All seam allowance is 0.25".
STEP 2.1: Cut out a 17" x 18.5" rectangle from the background fabric. Then, draw a 4" line down the middle from the top of the rectangle, and then draw a series of lines as shown below.
STEP 2.2: Cut along the red dotted lines as follows:
STEP 2.3: Cut a 1.5" x 4" strip of green fabric (for the bauble string) and sew one side of it to one of the open edges on the background fabric, right-sides together, as follows:
STEP 2.4: Sew the other side of the green strip to the other open edge of the background fabric, right-sides together, as follows:
STEP 2.5: Open up all the fabrics and press. You should have the green bauble string sewn onto the background fabric as shown below:
STEP 2.6: Measure 3.25" from the top edge and draw a horizontal line (a short line will do, as this is only a marking).
STEP 2.7: Cut a 3.5" x 2" rectangle from the yellow fabric (for bauble cap), and place is right side down aligned centered above the horizontal line drawn in the previous step. Then, sew it onto the background fabric along the red dotted line as follows:
STEP 2.8: Fold the 2 vertical seam allowances on both sides of the yellow fabric onto its wrong side, and fold the entire flap down along the horizontal sewn line. Then, top stitch along both the vertical folded edges of the yellow fabric.
STEP 2.9: Measure 1" down from the top edge of the yellow fabric, and mark with a short horizontal line.
STEP 2.10: Draw and cut out an 11" diameter circle from card stock or cereal box. Center the circle template on the background fabric, with its top aligned with the drawn line in the previous step, and trace and cut out the circle as shown below.
Now, put aside the background fabric. It's time to make strip sets for the bauble.
STEP 2.11: Make another circle template, this time with 12" diameter. Then, sew sets red and white strips (for the baubles) with the following dimensions:
STEP 2.12: From the strip sets, cut out the 12" diameter circles using the 12" diameter circle template. Make sure to center the circle from top and bottom.
STEP 2.13: Set in the 12" diameter circle from Step 2.12 into the 11" hole in the background fabric from Step 2.10. See the tutorial from Modern Quilt Studio on how to sew set in circles (link is provided near the start of this post).
STEP 2.14: To complete the bauble block, sew a 2" x 18.5" strip to the top of the background fabric.
COMPLETE THE QUILT TOP
To complete the quilt top, simply sew the tree blocks and bauble blocks together according to the layout shown in the overall design near the start of this post. Then, add white borders, and the quilt top is ready for adding batting and backing, basting, quilting, and binding.
I quilted mine with meandering quilting using silver thread.