This is a big week because we get two new I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long blocks! The first is this lovely pieced poinsettia. You can find the second block here. If you're wondering what we're up to, you can find all of the quilt along information and links to past blocks on my quilt along page.
I'm not sure how poinsettias came to be associated with Christmas, but I always enjoy seeing the fresh flowers in the winter. This block was designed by Sandy Maxfield of SandyStar Designs. You can find her post with the pattern here. Remember - all of the quilt along blocks will be free until January 16, 2018, so you don't wait too long to download them.
I really enjoyed the simple piecing and symmetry in this block. Sandy even made all of the pieces a bit oversized so we can trim them down as we go.
When trimming both the half square triangles and the split triangles, you want to line up your ruler's 45 degree line with the center seam of the unit. For the split triangles, you also want to make sure the 1 3/4 inch mark is right in the center where all three pieces come together, and the 3 1/2 inch mark is where the leaf and background fabrics meet in the corner.
This block is made of four identical sections that are rotated to create the flower. Whenever a block is designed this way, I find it easiest to work in quadrants. I sewed all of my pieces into four patches that look like this:
Press your first two seams in opposite directions so the center will nest. Sew the center seam of the quadrant, then spin the seams. Spinning the seams will reduce bulk and ensure that all of your seams nest when you sew the quadrants together.
If you're not familiar with spinning seams, check out this quick video tutorial by Adrianne Reid. She demonstrates with regular four patches, but the principle is exactly the same here.
Rotate the quadrants to create the poinsettia and sew them together. Sew the quadrants into two pairs to make the two halves of the block. Make sure you spin the seams where the quadrants meet before sewing the block halves together. That will ensure that everything nests for the final seam. Sew the final seam, then spin again. Every seam on the back of your block will be spun, and all of your points will lay nice and flat!
For the center of the flower, I decided that a 1 inch diameter circle would be just about right. To get a perfect circle the right size, I pulled out my button jar. I measured buttons on my cutting mat until I found one with a one inch diameter. Then I traced around it to draw a circle on my fusible web (HeatnBond Lite).
Circles are always the hardest shape to peel the paper from after fusing. I like to score the paper with a pin and fold along the score line. This makes the paper release so much more easily.
I lined up the 1/2 inch lines on my ruler with the center seams of the block to ensure my circle was perfectly centered before I fused it. And my block was finished! I really like how it came out.
I don't know about you, but I just love seeing other people's takes on a block. There are 10 other ladies hosting this quilt along, and they have all made their own versions of the poinsettia. Check them out and be inspired.
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
It's prize time! The first prize for this block is The 4"x5" Quilt-Block Anthology signed by author Carol Hopkins and donated by Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts. The next prize is a pdf pattern of your choice by my friend Jennifer Fulton of Inquiring Quilter.
Entering the giveaway is easy! Just post your finished poinsettia block by 11:59 pm Eastern on Monday, October 23, 2017. You can share your block in our Facebook group, on Instagram with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal, or by joining the linkup on Sandy's post. I can't wait to see what you make!
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!