I'm so excited to reveal the very first block for I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long today! If you haven't heard of the quilt along, my introduction post will tell you everything you need to know. I also set up a quilt along page that has all of the links you could possibly want. I'll be adding to that page as we go along.
On to today's block. I just love this one! You can make it like I did, with a big crystal at the top of the snowflake, or you can rotate it so a small crystal is at the top. Both styles are equally beautiful. I will be describing my approach in the tips to follow, but you can adjust if you want to make the rotated version.
The snowflake pattern is by Vanda Chittenden of Quilt In Piece. Click here for her blog post and tutorial. Remember, all of the block patterns for the quilt along are free until January 16, 2018.
I have a slew of tips to help you out with this block, especially if fusible applique is new to you. First, make sure your pattern printed to scale. Once you've confirmed that, you're ready to start tracing on the paper side of your fusible web (I used HeatnBond Lite).
It really helps to trace with a pencil so you can erase any mistakes. I used a ruler to ensure I kept a straight edge on the crystals, and I carefully traced around the circles freehand. I labeled each piece as I went.
I was able to fit all of my pieces on a sheet of fusible that was approximately 8" by 10 1/2". It's important for the fabric to be larger than the fusible web, so I cut my white fabric at 8 1/2" by 11". Since circle C is made from the background fabric, I made sure to trace it in a corner so I could easily remove it before fusing. A 3" square of background fabric was plenty for that circle.
Once I had fused the fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric, it was time to cut out the pieces. I found that it was much easier to cut the pieces precisely if I roughly cut between them first. That way I wasn't fighting the fabric as I went around the corners.
Once your pieces are cut, it's time to remove the paper. This can be difficult, especially on the circles. It really helps if you use a pin to score the paper. Then you can fold along the scored line and easily pull it back.
I prepared my background fabric by folding the square in half vertically, horizontally, and on both diagonals, then carefully pressing each fold. This really helps to line things up. I also folded my white circle in half two directions, but don't press this! If you do, it will fuse to itself. I just folded it with my fingers to get enough of a crease to line it up with the background.
I laid down all of my pieces before I fused any of them. This allowed me to fuss and get my placement perfect. I started by placing the circles, then the small crystals. The pressed lines in my background block made it easy to keep the crystals evenly spaced around the circles.
When I added the large crystals, I lined up the top and bottom points directly on the creases.
Once all of the pieces were in position, I carefully pressed to fuse them to the background. It's important to just press the iron down on top of the fabric without sliding it back and forth. If you slide the iron, your pieces will shift.
And here is my finished block! I still need to secure the pieces with stitching. My plan is to quilt just inside the edges. If that's not your quilting plan, you will want to stitch the edges now. The most popular stitches for fusible applique are a blanket stitch, or a small zigzag stitch.
My Fellow Hosts
I am just one of 11 fabulous ladies that are hosting this quilt along! Each of us has posted our own snowflake blocks along with any tips or tricks we have to share.
Here's a sneak peak of just one of the many great blocks made by my fellow quilt along hosts. Don't you just love those Christmas trees!? Click here to see how April made this amazing fussy cut snowflake.
I highly encourage you to check out all of the hosts' posts. Each of our snowflakes is unique, and it might give you some fresh ideas of what you would like to do for your own. Here's the full list with links to their posts:
Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting <---- That's me!
Dianne at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece
And now for the prizes! To be eligible to win, you just have to share your completed snowflake before the next block is released. The official deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm Eastern Time on August 14, 2017. Enter by sharing your block in our Facebook group, on Instagram with the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal, or by joining the linkup on Vanda's post.
I can't wait to see your snowflakes! In the meantime, I would love to hear what you think of the block, and what colors you're thinking about using. I'm also here to answer any questions you might have. I always try to respond to each comment personally, as long as you provide your email address when you submit it.