December 2002

December 2002 Block

Christmas Chain

Tips & Hints

For December we're doing Christmas fabrics with a white-on-white print background. We will use four different Christmas fabrics and a gold print. There are lots of great Christmas fabrics out there. I used Christmas batiks in my graphics. As usual this year, it is a 9" block (9 1/2" unfinished.) We will be making THREE blocks for December.

Below is a table with the cutting information for EACH block.

51 1/2" x 1 1/2"Gold Print
43 1/2" x 3 1/2"White-on-white Print
81 1/2" x 1 1/2"White-on-white Print
82" x 2"White-on-white Print
51 1/2" x 1 1/2"Xmas Print 1
22" x 2"Xmas Print 1
51 1/2" x 1 1/2"Xmas Print 2
22" x 2"Xmas Print 2
51 1/2" x 1 1/2"Xmas Print 3
22" x 2"Xmas Print 3
51 1/2" x 1 1/2"Xmas Print 4
22" x 2"Xmas Print 4

For each block: Make a 1/4 snowball unit by placing the corner of a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" gold print square even with one corner of a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" white-on-white square, right sides together. Draw a light pencil line from corner to opposite corner on the wrong side of the gold square. Sew along the line. Press gold square toward the corner. Trim. (You may trim only the seam allowance of the gold square if you prefer.) Repeat three more times for a total of four. See scans below.


Place a 2" x 2" Xmas Print 1 square right sides together with a 2" x 2" White-on-white square. These will be for your half-square triangle units. Draw a light line diagonally from one corner to the opposite one on the wrong side of the lighter fabric. Sew a scant 1/4" seam on either side of the line. Cut on the line and press the units toward the darker fabric. Trim carefully to 1 1/2" x 1 1/2", making sure that the seam runs exactly from corner to corner. (I use the Bias Square tool for this.) Repeat. You will have four half-square triangle units. Repeat with the other three Xmas Prints.

Sew a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square of Xmas Fabric 1 between two half-square triangle units made from the same fabric, matching block graphic. Press seams away from the half square triangle units. Repeat. Sew a 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" white-on-white square between two Xmas Fabric 1 squares. Press seams away from the white-on-white square. Sew this unit between the two previous units, matching seams. Press seams away from the white-on-white square. This is a chain unit. Repeat the previous instructions for the remaining Xmas Fabrics 2-4. Your resulting units should measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" and should look like the scan below. If they are too big or too small, they will not match correctly with the 1/4 snowball units. Measure your seams to be sure they are a scant 1/4".

Now for the center nine-patch. Sew the remaining squares of Xmas print (one of each 1-4), the remaining white-on-white squares and the gold square together to make a nine-patch. Press all seams toward the darker fabric. Your unit should look like the scan below.

Sew a chain unit of two different Xmas prints on either side of the nine-patch unit. Press toward the nine-patch unit. This will be the middle row. Sew one of the remaining Xmas Fabric chain units between two 1/4 snowball units, making sure the gold triangles are in the outside corners. Press toward the snowball units. This is the top row. Repeat with the last chain unit.

Sew the rows together, matching all seams. The seams should all be opposing, which will make them match up easily. Make sure all gold triangles are in the outer corners. Press seams away from the middle row.

Your block should measure 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" (unfinished). Click here to see a scan of the front of the test block I made. Click here to see the back. For those of you who prefer templates click here. There is no foundation pattern as this pattern does not lend itself to foundation piecing.

Remember to label your blocks with at least your name (city, state, and email address are optional) on the BACK of your block. When you put your address label on the envelope, remember to stick one on each block. This is a continuing problem. You may label your blocks by whatever means you like, but please do label them.

If you have questions or comments, post a note on the MSN Club or email Squirrel (Patty) or AzPatch (Margo). You will be making THREE blocks for December. Please do NOT trim your blocks. Blocks will be due to Patty by December 28th. Patty and I will be getting together to open "squishies" January 4th, so please get your blocks to her at least a week before then. If you can't get the blocks to Patty before the winners are picked, please email me for the addresses of the winners so you can mail the blocks to them directly.

If you have Electric Quilt 5, the zipped file is available for download here.

December 2002 Quilt