Tips & Hints
For January we are doing a traditional block called Prairie Queen. It's 1656 in Barbara Brackman's book. Use prints in Christmas colors (red, green, tan, etc.) that contrast with the Moda Swirls Windsor fabric (that's the blue one). Choose your fabrics to give your blocks a rich look. The light fabric should contrast well with your medium and dark prints, your reds should be more towards maroon than an orange red and your greens should be a rich forest/evergreen, not a grassy green. I have shown the blocks in two different colorways on the quilt graphic, but feel free to be creative. Just keep the Light Xmas and Windsor fabrics in the same place as the sample block graphic, for a cohesive look. You will be making TWO blocks for January. The blocks this year are 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" unfinished.
Cutting directions for TWO blocks are below: (you may make the four-patch units using 2" strips instead of cutting squares)
Place a 4" x 4" light Xmas print square right sides together with a 4" x 4" Windsor Swirls square. Draw a line diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. Sew a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the line. Cut on the line and press the seam to the darker fabric. Square up to 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", making sure the seam is exactly lined up with two opposite corners. These are the half square triangle units, which go in the four corners of the block.
Make four-patch units, using either the 2" x 2" squares of the light and medium Xmas print fabrics, or by sewing 2" strips of those fabrics together and sub cutting them at 2" wide. See block graphic above for correct placement. The seams are pressed to the darker fabric for the first seam and the second seam is pressed in the same direction as the previous seams, so there is a tiny four-patch at the center of the back of the block.
Sew a four-patch unit between two half square triangle units. The light Xmas fabric is facing the outer corners and the light Xmas fabric in the four patch is in the upper right and lower left. See block graphic above for correct placement. Press seam toward the half square triangle units or open. Repeat for the third row. Sew a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" dark Xmas print square between two four-patch units. Press seams toward the dark square. Join the three rows, with the row that contains the dark Xmas print square in the middle. Press seams away from the middle row or open.
We are making TWO blocks for January. The blocks are 9 1/2" x 9 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. Be sure you include your Priority stamp and address label along with your blocks. 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 Moda Swirls Windsor and Natural background fabrics, 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.