As promised, here is the second block being released this week. This time it's Christmas presents! If you missed the first block, you can find it here. For links to all of the past blocks and quilt along information, check out my quilt along page.
One of the best parts of Christmas is giving gifts to loved ones. That's why I just love that this block is named, "With Love at Christmas." It was designed by Sola Ajisafe of Alice Samuel's Quilt Co. You can find her post with the pattern right here. Remember, all of the blocks are free until January 16, so you'll want to go ahead and download it now.
Tips and Tricks
I have quite a lot of tips for this block to make it go as smoothly as possible for you. First up, I chain pieced whenever possible. Since we're making two presents, it was easy to chain piece the components, and that saved me quite a bit of time.
This block is made of lots of narrow strips, so you want to be extra careful when pressing so you don't distort them. For the top and side of the box, I pressed all of my seams one direction (this will allow for nesting later). For the front of the box, I pressed both seams away from the ribbon.
I took this picture after cutting the "side of box" strip set into two pieces, but it still shows the directions for pressing.
I wanted to make sure the ribbon was perfectly centered when I trimmed the strip set for the front of the box. To do that, I lined up the 1 5/8" line and the 2 3/8" line with the edges of the ribbon.
I always like to draw a diagonal line on the back of my squares when I'm going to make a stitch and flip corner. I was away from home when I made this block, and I didn't have my Sewline ceramic pencil handy. Fortunately, a regular mechanical pencil works just as well.
The first thing I stitch and flipped was the side of the box to the top of the box. I laid the top of the box with all of the seams going up, and the side of the box with all of the seams going down. I carefully nested the seams together before sewing just to the outside of the drawn line.
The nesting seams allowed my points to come out nice and crisp where the ribbons meet! Sewing just to the outside of the drawn line made sure there was enough fabric to completely cover the bottom rectangle after flipping the square over.
When adding the background to the bottom side of box piece, it's important to pay attention to which way the seams are going. In this picture, the seams are all pointing down, and I'm going to be flipping the background over the bottom right corner. This will allow the seams to nest when I sew the top and bottom portions of the box together. Once again, I've sewn just to the outside of the drawn line so I don't come up short when I flip the corner over.
When I joined the bottom and top halves of the boxes together, I pressed one present towards the top, and the other towards the bottom. This way the seams would nest when I joined the presents to each other.
For the top ribbon, I tried both piecing and applique. I found I was much more satisfied with the results when I appliqued, so that's what I went with for this block. I cut two peices of HeatnBond Lite at 7/8" by 6 7/8". This gave me a little bit of wiggle room when fusing it to the top ribbon.
I trimmed the ribbons to 1/2", being careful to make sure the cut piece was completely covered with my fusible web. With the ribbon pieces flipped upside down, I used the 45 degree line on my ruler to trim the top. Once again, I made sure to cut off the unfused fabric.
Next, I lined up the cut edge of the ribbon with the ribbon on the front of the box. It's a little hard to see since my top and side of box fabrics are the same, but I lined up the 1" line on my ruler with the seam between the top and side of the box. This way I knew my ribbon was straight before I trimmed it even with the top of the box.
After trimming, I removed the fusible web and took the block to the ironing board. Once again, I lined up the bottom of the ribbon with the front ribbon, and the 1" line of my ruler with the seam between the top and side of the box. I was extra careful to make sure the ribbon was straight before fusing it in place.
Note - If I had had parchment paper handy, I would have placed it under the present and fused the ribbon in place before trimming it to the right length. That would have been less fiddly since I would have only needed to line up the ribbon once. Sans parchment paper, lining it up twice worked well, and I'm thrilled with how precisely the top ribbon came out.
All that's left is the last few seams! I pressed the seam between the presents towards the one on the right, then I pressed the final seams towards the background fabric.
And the block is finished! I really like the blue and purple together. I had a hard time choosing my ribbon fabrics, but the bright colors really make it pop.
My Fellow Hosts
As always, I am joined by 10 fabulous ladies who are also sharing their blocks and tips. Be sure to check them out!
Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting <---- That's me!
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece
We have some more fabulous prizes for this block. First up is an elegant pair of scissors from Warm Crochet. If you've never heard of them, you'll definitely want to check them out. They're the prettiest scissors I've seen! Next is a pdf pattern of your choice from the lovely Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting JETgirl.
To be eligible to win, post your block by 11:59 pm Eastern time on Monday, October 23. You can share your block in our Facebook group, on Instagram with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal, or by joining the linkup on Sola's post. I can't wait to see what you make!
Even if you don't win this time, you can still get a discount on Warm Crochet's scissors. Use the coupon code ChristmasQAL at checkout for 10% off.
We also have a fabulous grand prize package. Here's a look at the wonderful sponsors we have lined up for that. To be eligible to win the grand prize, post a completed quilt top that includes all 12 blocks by 11:59pm Eastern Time on January 15, 2018. The final block will be released on December 5, so you'll have plenty of time. It doesn't even have to be quilted!