Snowman Sew Along with All About Christmas: Wk 3 – Sewing your Appliqué Blocks

Welcome

to the last week of our mini

Snowman Sew Along

with All About Christmas quilt &

fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

By this time you have your three snowmen blocks completely fused and are ready to sew. If not, as always continue at your own pace. The only thing we have left to complete these blocks now is to secure the appliqué designs to the background fabrics and add any decorative stitching. There are many stitches and styles you can use to do this and the choice is entirely yours, you’re the maker!

I am most comfortable using one of my (basic Pfaff) machine’s options that is most like a blanket stitch to outline and secure my appliqué pieces to my background fabrics. I started with the large white pieces first. These are a bit stiff since we used an extra layer of interfacing and your appliqué pieces can pull up with handling so be careful to get them well fused. If this happens however, before you are ready to sew simply press over them again to reactivate the fusible glue. If you use this type of stitch you want to lay your needle right beside your appliqué fabric edge close as you can for the running stitches.

I also chose the same color thread that best matched my fabrics or close as I had on hand. I used 50 weight cotton Aurifil. Both of these choices (blanket stitch and same color thread) seam to make up for any imperfections due to my beginner sewing skills. Of course you can go with any style such as free motion or any number of decorative stitching that you like.

I continued by sewing the next largest pieces first red, then yellow, green and so on until I finished stitching around all of the smaller pieces.

For my green, I only had a lime shade but I think this helped to distinguish the tree branches against the two darker fabrics.

Remember! These blocks still have to be quilted so, hold off on any 3-D embellishments like buttons or charms, etc. Which explains the blank look on our snowmen faces. Lol!  I actually have tiny black buttons for his eyes and mouth and can’t wait to see them finished. 😉

We will post our finished blocks on Instagram and Facebook so, if you want to see our updates and the rest of our blocks in this quilt, plus anything new, you can follow us here:

IG – J Wecker Frisch

FB – Joy Studio News

Happy sewing and a sincere thanks for joining our snowman fun!

Below is our block inspiration.

Original watercolor by J Wecker Frisch

 

Snowman Sew Along with All About Christmas: Week 1- Reverse Raw Edge Appliqué Technique

 

Hello Everyone, good news!

All About Christmas fabric has delivered and is in a shop near you. Find a list of retailers in my last blog post here.

This collection is beautiful! It includes the Christmas story from Luke 2 making it VERY Christmas-y and we especially love those details. In addition, the printing quality is wonderful thank you to our fabric partners at Riley Blake Designs.

So, here we go with another little Sew-A-Long. This time it will be a mini. The two items that we will be sharing over the three weeks are,

  1. Our three large snowman blocks (row 4)
  2. Reverse raw edge appliqué blocks (rows 1 & 5)

This week we will be looking at number 2, reverse raw edge fusible appliqué for the ornament blocks. The snowflake blocks are done the same way only much less detail so we will be focusing on row one.

Do you have your pattern and fabric ready? If not, visit this link to find a shop.

Are you ready to sew?! Let’s go! According to the All About Christmas pattern instructions, it is important ‘To Get Started’ by cutting fabrics for the large snowmen blocks FIRST. This assures that you will have the larger fabric cuts set aside when you need them. Follow the cover art for the fabric choices and make cuts according to the pattern instruction page(s) and directional fabrics. If you are new to the technique of reverse raw edge appliqué I highly suggest reading the pattern in it’s entirety before starting or cutting into your fabrics.

Since some of our designs for this quilt were stencil-like with white as the main center image (see the snowflake and ornament rows), we selected this reverse appliqué technique. Often with appliqué we will use a second interfacing product to mask the background fabric from showing through our white however, we found this to be a better option for the ornament and snowflake blocks on this quilt. The photos below will offer a visual aid so-to-speak to support this explanation.

Once you’ve cut your fabric squares for blocks in Rows 1 and 5, you can begin tracing the designs onto your fusible web product according to manufacturers directions. We like Pellon Featherweight Fusible 805. Be sure to trace all of the pieces that make up the inside ornament designs before fusing. You will be using those to help your fabric remain as a continual image. Fuse to wrong side of fabric considering whether your fabric square will be using a directional print and align accordingly.

When you go to cut out the ornament rounds, be careful not to cut through the outside square itself or those tiny pieces. You can see at the bottom of our ornament photo below where we began poking the scissors through to cut around the perimeter only. This way, when the traced ornament is removed, your background stays completely intact. Then cut your smaller (traced beforehand) pieces and set them aside somewhat in order, or you can number them if that helps.

Once all of your ornament pieces are cut out you are ready to fuse. Sandwich the colored fabric silhouette squares on top of your Riley White squares that will show from underneath. You can place the pattern flipped upside down (since already in reverse) beneath your layered fabrics to use as your placement guide. Or, another method that we like to use, is a tracing paper door, as we call it. The photos below plus this link will explain. Simply put, we trace the block template image(s) onto ordinary tracing paper and pin down on one side of your block to help with accurate placement in the event the paper pattern does not show through your fabric. We also found that using tweezers was the easiest way to then nudge the tiny pieces into place. When you get them where you like, fuse!

Here are our results. Now for the fun part, stitching them down. I will be using thread to match and a blanket style stitch. I find both are somewhat forgiving. You may choose to use any number of decorative stitching to add these details if you prefer over these tiny appliqué pieces. This is where your sewing skills will shine beyond my limited experience so please, send progress photos! And have fun of course 😉

I hope you had fun sewing along with me! If you have any questions about this technique, leave a comment below! See you next week for the BIG snowmen blocks.

Follow and tag me on Instagram @jweckerfrisch

and use #allaboutchristmasfabric to share your photos.

I will be posting progress shots as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow-A-Long, Wk 5

Week 5, The Finish, Part 1.

Since there is a lot of info to cover this last week will be in two parts.

Assuming that everyone has all of their blocks completed and trimmed or will have, it is time to assemble!

To start assembling the quilt portion, I cut five one and a half inch strips of Riley White fabric for the short sashing pieces. Check your pattern for accurate amounts if you want to cut all at once. I inched my way into this process, no pun intended.

From my five I cut eight and a half inch lengths, enough to attach my first couple of horizontal rows of blocks together. Refer to your pattern cover for block placement.

Beginning with block one (top left) lay one of your Riley White strips (1.5″ x 8.5″) on the right side of Block 1, right fabric sides together. Split the difference of the extra half inch between top and bottom of your block to be trimmed later.

Sew together using a quarter inch seam.

Press the seam toward your block.

 

Repeat the steps to connect block one and two together with this same sashing strip. This time lay block two on top of sashing strip lining up at right (see photo), again right fabric sides together, being careful to also line up both blocks top to bottom. You may want to pin in place before sewing.

Continue working this way until you have all of the top row of blocks connected. Then move on to row two!

 

And so on, until you have all of the blocks that connect using the short sashing pieces as shown on the pattern cover art. Seeing it all come together is the most fun for me, agreed?

I will post Part B on Saturday so stay tuned.

Embellish Options.

This festive project is loaded with possibilities to stitch on some fun extras! We plan to add buttons for our snowmen eyes and gingerbread man but remember to do this after your quilt top has been quilted.

Snow Sweet fabrics are from our partner at Riley Blake Designs are available in shops now.

To see more:

Pinterest, Instagram & Facebook,

and please post your progress with #snowalong and/or #snowsweetfabric.

We would enjoy seeing!

 

 

Snow-A-Long, Wk 4 B

Continued

Hello!

Pieced blocks, continued.

How is everyone doing so far?

I am happy to report that our piecing portion of our quilt is complete! Whew!!

A couple of items I should have mentioned earlier, pressing your seams. Always press as you go is highly recommended for a neat job and press the seams toward the darker fabric whenever possible.

And something I learned along the way to get my points closer to each other. Sew on the side that allows you to see your seam and stitch right across that. Who knew, not me. 😉

Below are the last four blocks that I saved until last. They appeared a bit more unfamiliar to me because of the corners which are all similar, and on an angle. However, following the sequence on the Pieced Blocks Guide in the pattern, I could quickly see that there was little to no difference in difficulty and all went smoothly as the others.

I think these are my best blocks to date! Perhaps I’m getting better the more I make.

In each block I did the corner work first. Once that was done, I attached pieces in the same sequence as all of the other blocks from Thursday’s post, horizontal rows. Last I attached the three horizontal rows from top to bottom, to complete.

Our gallery.

Row 1, block 2.

Row 4, block 3.

Row 6, block 1.

Row 7, block 6.

Trimming.

Trim each to eight inches, square for your seven and a half finish size blocks. In most cases ours only needed a smidgen cut off to clean up and even each block.

Again, voila!!

I feel quite accomplished or should I say quilt, and I hope you do too.

Again, share, share, share:

When posting photos use #snowalong and #snowsweetfabric in your social media so we can find/see your progress.

Let us know if you post on Pinterest as well and we’ll add to our board.

We’re loving the Snow Sweet fabrics from Riley Blake Designs!

Aren’t they beautiful?!

See you Thursday when this quilt will come together.

Snow-A-Long, Wk 4

Wow, week four already!

So, this is the part of the Snow-A-Long where it gets tricky for me,

PIECED BLOCKS.

I not an expert when it comes to constructing pieced blocks. On the contrary, I am a novice. I began learning two years ago and have limited experience. I cannot offer tips on how to get these blocks perfect or precise. The best way I can instruct you in this segment is to show how we did it in a picture is worth a thousand words quilt block how to gallery, from a watercolor artist perspective rather than a quilter’s. It worked fairly well for us so no matter what your level of piecing skills is, I am confident that you can do this too.

First, using your two Pieced Blocks Guide sheets included in your pattern and the cover art for color, cut all of your fabrics according to the specified sizes in each of the 7.5″ (finish size) blocks. Our approach was block by block although, some of you experienced quilters may want to cut multiple blocks of the black and white fabrics, all at one time. The blocks are all two color classics so we found the majority were fairly simple to construct.

Once all of our fabric was cut we laid out each block’s pieces on pre-stretched artist canvases that we had on hand to use as our mini design boards. I hope to make some proper ones in the near future but these were just the right size and served our purpose.

We also labeled each board by row and block number with post-its. This helped us to keep everything organized until we were ready to sew. It will also help you to spot any mistakes that may have occurred during cutting too, as was the case in our first attempt! Can you spot them?

For our post photography we used these cool vintage price labels to show the quilt rows (top #) and blocks (bottom #).

I began with the blocks that were easiest for me to see how they could be assembled in horizontal rows but you can start with any of the blocks that you like. The design boards allow you to arrange the various pieces in advance to see how you think they look best. I tried wherever possible to have my text facing up and the pieces that were sideways, to be facing in the same direction.

Row 2, Block 6

We attached all of the half square triangles, B and C cuts together with a 1/4″ seam, shown in the first photo. Working from left to right we attached the top left two units together forming a horizontal, half square triangle double. Then we attached the two below those in the same way. After that, all four half square triangles were sewn together forming the top left corner unit of four half square triangles. Follow the same for the remaining three corners.

Attach the two top corner units to each side of your D cuts, and then bottom the same way. Attach the horizontal D cuts with center cut C. You will have three rows. Pin to match seams and working top to bottom attach all three rows together to complete the block.

Row 3, Block 1.

I started in the upper left corner making the small half square triangle by attaching E to B with a 1/4″ seam. Then added both of the dark triangles E to two sides of that unit forming a larger, 4 piece triangle. Again and throughout the quilt construction, we tried to maintain 1/4″ seams. To complete the corner unit I then sewed to the large white cut triangle A in the same way you made your first small, half square triangle. I repeated the steps for the remaining three corner units.

Then working from left to right attach top two corner units to D and repeat for the bottom corners. You will then have three horizontal rows. Last we pinned in place to attach all three rows together.

More of our picture is worth a thousand words quilt block gallery:

You can see that we followed a similar sequence for each of the remaining blocks. I attached all of the small half square triangles first as I moved from block to block.

I do not know the technical terms for block assembly so please excuse me quilters and please, interject your vast knowledge from experience in the comments! We would all love to learn more!

Once again, this Snow-A-Long features fabric from Riley Blake Designs, Snow Sweet, Riley White and Painters Palette.

I have not included every block in this post but will add the remaining four in a follow up post.

I imagine that most of you following are able to quilt circles around me but I read somewhere once, “finished is better than perfect.” Jenny Doan I believe said that and I found it encouraging.

So, keep going!

And post photos with #snowalong and #snowsweetfabric in your social media so we can find/see your progress.