Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Christmas in July Block 5-Kelsey Creates

Flocking Trees

Hey this is Kelsey from Kelsey Creates! Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my very favorite Christmas activities. This quilt block uses a simple and fundamental quilt unit, flying geese, to create a modern interpretation of decorated Christmas trees. There are many ways to create flying geese, but for this tutorial I chose what I view to be the simplest method for beginning quilters.

Feel free to substitute any other method if you desire, there is nothing magical about the this particular method, but I believe it is the most straightforward.

1. Prepare your fabric. Pressing your fabric before you begin cutting is crucial to accurate piecing. If you take the time to press your fabric before you begin, your cutting will be more accurate, and you will have more accurate flying geese with nice pointy points.

2. Cut your fabric. Each flying geese unit is made up of three pieces of fabric - two squares in the background fabric, and one rectangle for the foreground. The diagram below displays the dimensions and quantity to cut for all of the pieces needed in this block.

3. Take each of your 22 2.5” x 2.5” squares, and draw a line from one corner to the other, using either a water soluble pen if available, or lightly in pencil if not. Try to get it precisely on the corners.

4. Take one of the 2.5” x 4.5” rectangles and one of the 2.5” x 2.5” squares, and align the square on the left side of the rectangle, right sides together. The diagonal line you drew should be on top, running from the bottom left corner up to the top-middle of the rectangle.

Repeat this for the remaining 10 2.5” x 4.5” rectangles.

5. Sew along the outside of the line, towards the corner where the two pieces of fabric overlap. By sewing to just the outside of the line instead of right on the line, you account for the slight amount of fabric that gets taken up in the seam itself, and in turn have a more accurate flying geese unit. See the picture below for how this should look when you are done.

Repeat this for the remaining 10 units.

6. Take your quilting ruler, and trim to ¼” from the seam you just sewed.

Now your block should look like this:

Repeat this for the remaining 10 units.

7. Now you need to press open your seam. I recommend pressing away from the middle, towards the corner of your block, like so:

Repeat this for the remaining 10 units.

8. Now we are going to repeat this on the other side of the flying geese units. Take one 2.5” x 2.5” square and line it up on the right side of the unit, with the line you drew going from the bottom right up to the top middle.

Repeat this for the other 10 units.

9. Sew on the outside of the line, trim, and press all 11 units, just like you did on the left side. When you are finished, the back of your unit should look like this:

and the front of the unit should look like this:

Notice that the top point is ¼” from the top of the block. This is the seam allowance so that when you sew all of your geese together, you don’t lose the point inside the seam.

10. Now you have all 11 flying geese units complete, and can lay out all of the pieces in their final arrangement.

11. Start by sewing together your columns of geese. For each unit that you add, made sure the point of the previous unit meets the bottom edge of the new unit, right sides together, so that they all end up going in the same direction.

Try to sew your seam so that it goes right through the point where the two angled seams meet.

12. Once your two columns of geese are sewn, add the large 4.5” x 6.5” rectangle to the top of the shorter column.

13. Press the seams on the left column downward, and press the seams on the right column upwards. Having the seams go in opposite directions makes it easier to sew the two columns together and have all of the points meet accurately.

14. Put the two columns together, rights sides together. At each place where the sides of two geese meet, try to align the seams as best as you can, and place a pin along side them. Lots of pinning in this step will make sure your geese line up side by side.

15. Sew the two columns together, press, and you have your completed block!

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Beulah said...

Curious. What are the finished measurements for this block?

beulahcdot [at] yahoo [dot] com

Libby said...


Marcia W. said...

This is a cute block - like the red and green of the "trees".

Emily said...

I have an unhealthy fear of triangles, but I'm going to conquer that fear with this block. Thanks for the instructions :)