Welcome back for Day 3 of the Merry and Bright Quilt-along! Hope you all had a good weekend and got in some rest because we've got a big week ahead of us!!
Today we'll be making Christmas Tree blocks!
You can make these adorable trees with templates if you like (click here for the templates pdf), but my favorite way to make trees is to paper piece them. It's fast and easy and you end up with nice, sharp points.
For your Christmas Tree blocks, you'll need:
6—assorted print 4½" x 5" rectangles (I chose to make all 6 of my trees green, but feel free to choose whatever colors you like for your trees. If you followed my FQ cutting chart, you've should have two 4½" x 5" rectangles available to use from each of your FQs.)
12—background fabric 1¾" x 2¼" rectangles
12—background fabric 2½" x 5½" rectangles
6—gray print 1¼" x 1½" rectangles ( I thought gray tree trunks worked better for my color palette, but if you'd like to substitute brown for yours, please do so! FYI, this is the last time we'll be using the gray in our piecing.)
You'll also need 6 copies of the foundation pattern for the Christmas Tree blocks. Click here for a pdf of the foundation pattern. It looks like this, but I've set it up with two patterns on the page, so you only have to print 3 copies. Before you get started, make sure that your foundation pattern measures 3½" x 5¼" from darker innermost line to darker innermost line (4" x 5¾ from outside line to outside line). Note: Make sure before you print that you're printing the image at actual size, do not select "fit to page".
Before we get started, here are a few tips for paper piecing:
- When positioning fabric shapes for sewing, it helps to hold the foundation pattern and fabric shapes up to a light source (window, light box, lamp) to check your positioning.
- Shorten your stitch when paper piecing to 18-20 stitches per inch. This helps you to more readily remove the paper from the back of your work when you’re finished.
- Foundation papers specifically designed for paper piecing are great to work with and much easier to remove from your finished work. If you don’t have access to foundation paper and decide to use regular copy paper, just be very careful when removing it from the back of your work to make sure you don’t pull out your stitches.
- Start sewing a couple of stitches before each sewing line and stop a couple of stitches beyond each sewing line.
To paper piece Christmas Tree blocks:
1. Lay your foundation pattern right side down on a flat surface. Position the gray print 1¼" x 1½" rectangle right side up on the blank side of the paper, making sure that it completely covers section A1 and extends at least ¼" beyond all sides of section A1. You can pin the rectangle in place if you like.
2. Position 1 background fabric 1¾" x 2¼" rectangle atop the gray print rectangle with right sides together. The short side of the background fabric should run parallel to the line between sections A1 and A2 and should extend into section A2 by at least ¼". Position the background fabric in such a way that when folded open after sewing on the line between sections A1 and A2, it will completely cover section A2 and extend at least ¼" beyond all edges of the section.
3. Turn your work over holding fabrics in place, and stitch directly on the line between sections A1 and A2.
4. Trim seam allowance to a scant ¼" leaving paper intact.
8. Cover area A5 with a background fabric 2½" x 5½" rectangle.
9. Cover area A6 with a second background fabric 2½" x 5½" rectangle.
10. Flip work over and trim carefully through all layers along outermost line. You can carefully remove the paper from behind the Christmas Tree block now or later, it's up to you. I chose to remove the paper because it prevents the block from adhering to my design wall when I'm laying out the quilt. But if you prefer, you can remove the paper later after we assemble our quilts.
11. Flip back over and admire your sweet little tree!
12. Repeat steps 1-11 (especially step 11!) to make 6 Christmas Tree blocks measuring 4" x 5¾" unfinished.