Sunday, July 10, 2011

Christmas Quilt Along - Making the blocks

This blog post is brought to you by:


Anyone who leaves a comment below will be entered to win A Fa La La La La jelly roll by French General for Moda Fabrics




Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted. Only entries on blogger count. As blog posts are linked to Facebook. If you're reading this on Facebook, please join us at www.QubeeQuilts.com to enter.

You may enter up till 10:00 pm CST and at that time I will close off all comments. I will draw the winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, July 13, 2011!

It's certainly nice to see all the action happening over in the flickr group. Everyone is posting photos of the fabric selections they're using and the color combinations are great. I can't wait to see all this fabric get worked up into a little quilt.

Are you following me on twitter yet? Because I'm tweeting about all the fun we're having and special blog posts. Yes, I've thrown in a few other secret blog posts throughout the day, but the only way to know when I've posted something new is to follow me on twitter.

Lets get down to making our block. Before I start if you have your own way of doing something and it not the way I've told you to do it then by all means do it your way. Were here to have fun and the quilting police will not come knocking on your door because you didn't follow my instructions.

Please read all instructions before you begin.

Making our Blocks

I have heard a few of you say I have no fear, but let me tell you I can be a scaredy cat when it comes to riding roller coasters I always crouch down in the seat, hold on to Thomas' arm and have my eyes shut. I hate the first hill, but love the rest of it. I know the first hill is the best part, but I still do it. So with that in mind lets put on our big girl or boy panties and get to making some circles. I'm jumping up and down because I love them so much. They used to scare me.

I'm using Dale Fleming six minute circle and yes, you can make these circles in 6 minutes or less. This is from her Pieced Curves so simple book and Dale did a segment on HGTV showing how to do the six minute circle.

You will need.
  • 2 - 6" squares of freezer paper
  • 16- 6" background squares
  • 16 - 5" charms
  • glue stick
  • Iron
Fuse 2 - 6" squares of freezer paper shiny side down with a dry iron. Draw a 4" circle on the freezer paper with a 1" margin around it. Cut out the circle with paper scissors.

With the shiny side down, using a dry iron fuse 6" background square to the pattern.
Cut out on the inside of the circle, leaving about 1/2" seam allowance. Clip seam allowance to 1/8" from the pattern. Do not clip to closely to the pattern, or you will have a hole on the front of your block. Please note: Picture was taken after I made about 14 circles. That is why there is glue showing

Using your glue stick around the opening of the paper pattern. Then using the tip of your iron for fingers to press and hold the clipped seam over the edge of the pattern. Use dry iron to press seam. Note: the sole plate of the iron never got dirty from the glue, even after I made about 20 circles.

Apply glue on the edges of the clipped seam, You might wish to protect your work surface.

Place 5" charm on background circle then iron dry.


    Peel the fabric from the shiny side of the pattern first, Then using your fingertip on the font side peel the paper away from the seam. Any area that is not tacked down can be re glued to the background fabric. I had to steal the photo as I forgot to take a picture of this step

    Iron again to to create a sharp crease at the folds. The crease is your sewing line. Press this really good. I can't stress this enough. Spray with water and iron on very firm surface.


    Using the open toed or zipper foot sew one thread to the right of the center of the crease. Your clipped seam should be on top, pointing to the right of the needle. Don't pull the fabric too tight. You should see a slight hump in the fabric.

    Trim the circle to about 1/4". Then press seam toward circle to give you a look of hand applique.


    Repeat above steps to make 15 more circles. I used the same 6" pattern for all 16 blocks and didn't have to make a new one each time.

    Helpful Hints:
    • If you're having trouble seeing your stitching line, highlight the circle with a colored pencil after you iron the pattern the background fabric to give you a more defined stitching line. I was able to press mine really good and saw the stitching line.
    • Add more lighting to the left of sewing machine, also helps to see the stitching line.


    Our blocks are over sized and need to be trimmed down to 4 1/2" square. I trimmed 3/8" away from the outer edge of the circle to ensure I didn't cut any of it off. Which give me a small frame all the way around my circle.

    Trim all 16 circles to 4 1/2" square.


    Using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, sew the 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle to either side of your circle blocks.


    Set seams and press towards rectangles.


    Using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, sew the 8 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle to top and bottom of your circles blocks.

    Set seams and press towards rectangles.

    Block should measure 8 1/2" square. Square up if needed



    Repeat for all 16 squares. You will have 8 red blocks and 8 black blocks.



    With a line drawn on the wrong side of the 3 1/2" squares, position the green squares on the red 8 1/2" squares as shown.

    Stitch on the drawn line.


    Set seams, press green square back upon it's self to ensure square is alined correctly, then trim to 1/4"



    Block should measure 8 1/2" square. Square up if needed

    Repeat for the 8 red blocks.

    Remember, to take some time and check out our sponsors web sites. If it was not for them I could not bring you this quilt along.

    See you back here at 12:00pm (CST) where I will teach how we put it all together.


    Don't forget that you must post your finished photo to the flickr group before the end of the day on Monday, July 11, 2011 (midnight CST) to be eligible for a grand prize drawing of a $100 gift certificate courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop

    Until next time,

    40 comments:

    1. Neat way to do the circles! I haven't seen that before. Thanks for the great tutorial!
      Sandy A

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    2. Wait....where's the serger?

      That is a nice way to do circles. :)

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    3. Fa-la-la-la-la me! Start sewing after church!

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    4. I'll have to do this sometime as I've always wanted to make circles easily without real appliqueing!

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    5. Thanks for this...great pics and instructions!

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    6. Those are really sweet blocks! Now if only I could get a circle to be all nice and smooth and even....

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    7. Oh, that´s a great tutorial! Thank you!

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    8. Interesting. I'm not going to time myself making the circles though :)

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    9. This is such a neat way to make circles! Off I go to try it! Thanks!

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    10. Have to run to the store for freezer paper. How fun! I've never used it before but it sounds easy enough. :-)

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    11. I've always had trouble with circles, I like this method I'm going to give it a try. Thank you

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    12. Never seen it done that way before, will have to give it a try.

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    13. Jelly Rolls make me so happy! Wow,love that circle cutting, unique

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    14. This is a new technique for me in doing circles. Good thing I have all day to work on it. :)

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    15. I like how you made those circles. I have always hand appliqued them. I am going to try this technique. Thanks.

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    16. Love French General.....and love the circle tutorial!

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    17. Thanks for the tutorial on making circles this way. I'm going to give it a try.

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    18. I am really confused by the pic with the green and hearts. The green is the circle, correct? Then wouldn't the heart fabric be wrong side up?

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    19. I just cannot wrap myself around this and my tries have been horrible. Made new centers and did up my blocks - will make 3-D flowers to add as part of the quilting.

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    20. Very cool way to make circles! Thanks for the tutorial.

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    21. Like the circle tutorial. Thanks for a chance to win a jelly.

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    22. This is a great way to piece circles. I can't wait to try it. Take care and God bless, Cory

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    23. Wow< once you get the hang of it, these are quick and very staisfying, thanks Charlie!

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    24. I'm very scared of circles, thank you for the step by step. I like the use of freezer paper it seems like it would stabilize the fabric so the circles don't stretch out of shape while piecing.

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    25. Pieced circles--hmmm--did I mention I really like raw edge applique?

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    26. I've been looking for a better way to do circles - thanks so much!

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    27. Circles intimidate me. Maybe if I do one this way I will just get over it.

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    28. Okay, these circles are cool, but not working for me. Can you come over and give me a personal tute? I'm only a couple of hours away. ;o) Just kidding of course. I'm going to do raw-edge applique via this tutorial: http://www.cluckclucksew.com/2009/12/raw-edge-circle-quilt-tutorial.html

      using a walking foot. Hope they come out as nice as yours!

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    29. I LOVE Fa-la-la-la-la! Thanks for the chance to win. I'm looking forward to trying circles for the first time with your tutorial!

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    30. Going to give these a try hopefully the turn out as nice as yours!!

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    31. This is a really clear tutorial of these blocks! Thanks - looking forward to trying them out (unfortunately after all the rest of you!) Thanks :)

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    32. Wow...circles scare me, but thanks for the tute.

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    33. I just bought my first roll of freezer paper today and now I have a project to go with it! Thank you!

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    34. I like your method for getting that nice circular block. Very nice tutorial. Kathie L in Allentown

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    35. Way cool...can't wait to try that.

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    36. Thanks for sharing the tutorial... Never try the circular block before, probably will give a try..
      Thanks...

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