Tips & Hints
For December we are doing a traditional block called Country Farm. It's 2831 in Barbara Brackman's book. Use prints in Christmas colors (red, green, blue, gold) that contrast with the Moda Marble Sweet Green background. I'm showing only two Christmas fabrics used in the blocks, but I did my sample block with two different red prints and two different green prints. Make your blocks the way that looks good to you. You will be making TWO blocks for December.
Cutting directions for TWO blocks are below:
The cutting instructions above will give you pieces that are large enough to foundation piece with. You may cut them a bit larger if you prefer working with larger pieces. I have tested the foundations and the patch sizes, so I know they work. Please remember to print from Adobe Acrobat Reader with Page Scaling set to "None". If you have a version of Reader older than version 8, you can update it by clicking on Help then check for updates. You may want to make a test block before you start on the blocks you will be swapping. Click here for the outside foundation (print four for each block) and here for the inside foundation (print two for each block). Cut the 6" squares into triangles by cutting from corner to opposite corner twice (quarter square triangles). Cut the 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares into triangles by cutting from corner to opposite corner once (half square triangles.)
Start by placing a 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" square over the square marking on the blank side of an outside foundation pattern. Hold the foundation up to the light to make sure the square of fabric is covering the square on the paper and extending at least 1/4" all around. Pin the square of fabric to the foundation in several places. Fold the foundation on the lines where the square has a triangle next to it, using a thin piece of cardboard or thin plastic ruler. Trim the fabric 1/4" from the lines. I use an Add A Quarter ruler. It's perfect for foundation piecing, because of the little lip on the bottom. Add a quarter square triangle of one of the Christmas prints to two adjacent sides of the square. The longest side of the triangle is attached to the square, matching raw edges and sewing on the lines. Lines that will be sewn over don't need to be sewn all the way to the edge, but if it's the last line(s) of stitching, they do need to go all the way to the outside line of the foundation. Press each patch before adding the next one. I like to press first with my thumbnail. Trim the triangle that will join with the Sweet Green triangle as you did the square. This time one of the shorter sides of the Sweet Green triangle will be sewn to the Christmas print triangle. Make three more of these sections, using one Christmas print for two sections and the other Christmas print the the other two sections. You may find it helpful to write which fabrics you are using on each section. Once each section has been pieced and pressed, trim to the outside line.
Using the half square triangles, piece the inside foundations. You will need two for each block. Press and trim to the outside lines. Make sure you sew them so the colors alternate, once you have them joined. Press the seams in the same direction as the ones already in your block. You will have a little four patch in the middle of the block formed from the seam allowances, on the wrong side. Join the sections together. The first outside section will require a partial seam as the final part of the block it will join to is not there at this point. Continue joining the sections and then finish up the partial seam at the end. Press toward the center of the block. Personally, I like to pull off the paper before I join sections, but you may prefer to leave the paper on until your block is completed. Please remove all the paper before mailing. Repeat all steps for the second block.
We are making TWO blocks for December. The blocks are 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished. Do not trim your blocks. Let the winners of the blocks trim them as necessary when they set them into a quilt top. And remember to label your blocks (sticky address label is a good method). Send your blocks to Patty. The blocks should be mailed a week before the end of the month. By now you should have sent your Priority stamp and label to Patty. Priority Mail went up another 20 cents on May 12th, so you might want to send Patty some additional postage if you have not won a set of blocks yet. If your blocks are late, you won't be in the drawing for that month and you'll cause more expense and work for Patty. Another reminder, all blocks should be made with 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabrics that have been washed, dried and pressed. If you are having trouble finding the common Sweet Green Moda Marble background, please email Patty. This is the background fabric we're using this year, in order to have some consistency to the blocks. No other background fabric is acceptable.