How’d you do on your first two blocks on our Vintage Christmas quilt along? This is a fun way to use up all those bits of Christmas theme fabric you may have lying around. I chose one harder block this month with lots of pieces, and one simpler to keep us on track.
If you are just joining the quilt along, you’ll need the book. Click on Lori Holt’s Vintage Christmas Book, available at Fat Quarter Shop. It is also available on Amazon – Vintage Christmas Book at Amazon (affiliate links). All the patterns will come from the book. I cannot reprint the patterns as they are copyrighted. But I will give you tips as we go to make it easier for you to avoid problems. To see all the posts, click on Vintage Christmas Quilt Along on the sidebar categories for all the posts and expanded explanations of the reasons for the tips.
Starting with the simpler one to get us going this month, I chose the bell block. I cut fabrics in gold and red as the pattern suggests, but know that you can use whatever you want.
My tip for today is to begin piecing those square-stitch-and-flip block elements from the center of the larger piece. This will prevent the bits from jamming down into your bobbin case. Using leader ender bits will help too. Again, stitch to the outside edge of the line as shown here. ‘Outside’ means to on the side of the line that will be cut off. This gives just enough extra to make the sides straight when the bit is flipped and pressed.
Just to show you the difference, I did this my way on the right side of this element, and stitched right on top of the line on the left side. You can see that little bit makes a difference. The left side is just slightly off, while the right side lines up better with the edge.
Lay out the elements for final construction.
Next, the block which will likely have the most pieces of all the blocks we do, the gingerbread house. Don’t let the number of pieces overwhelm you, just cut them one at a time and label each one as you go.
Carefully reading the instructions, I lay out a few pieces so I could see where I could chain piece.
Isn’t this a cute candy cane print? It will be the windows.
I like this blue candy fabric too, and the roof is a good showcase for it. Hey look, my sidewalk lines up with the door pretty well!
I hope to see your progress in our Facebook group, Friends of From My Carolina Home. Start a new post with your progress pictures.
So, here are the tips for the Vintage Christmas Quilt Along, all together and I’ll add more as each month’s sewing is posted. I’ll also be adding your tips, too.
- Read the entire block pattern carefully before beginning sewing.
- As you cut your pieces out, label them with the letter associated.
- Use a fine line pencil to mark your lines on tiny squares.
- Re-read each step, noting the number of elements to make.
- Lay out the pieces for each step so you can chain sew where possible.
- Use your quarter-inch foot where possible for accuracy.
- Sew slightly to the outside of diagonal lines.
- Be sure to square up your units as you go.
- Press your units with a Wool Press Mat, pressing toward the outside edges.
- Begin sewing in the center of a base piece when adding a square to flip.
- Using just a dab of glue in the corners you cut off will help keep the edges lined up. (Thanks, Elaine!)
For those who do not have the book, if you can borrow one from the library, here is the list of blocks I have decided to make. The candles, tree, bell and gingerbread house have already been done. In the coming months, I plan to do the mitten, train, ice skate, ornament, lights, mug, stocking and candy canes. I’ll decide on the order as I go.
Share your tips in the comments. How is your quilt coming along?