I'm the Guest Poster (similar to a poser) over at Sew We Quilt/Stash Manicure today so be sure to click on over to read my post. I'm sharing my Gift Block tutorial over there, as well as here, because as you know, the clock is ticking!! Can you hear it?!? There are only 42 days until Christmas!! And in the nerve-center that translates to about 5 days of sewing time! I like to make my Christmas gifts, and this year, thanks to my friend Helen, I found the perfect gift for almost everyone on my list! Let me show you...I think you're going to like it and you'll see just how versatile this gift can be!
Helen is in my quilt group - she is a whiz-bang of a quilter! Last August she suggested we have a Gift Block exchange - and pictured above are some of the gift blocks I received from my group - adorable, no? So today, I'm going to show you how to make the gift block...and some things you can do with it!
This is a great way to use up your scrap stash - and if you don't want to make a Christmasy gift block, think how cute this would be made into other colors, say for a birthday in the birthday gal's favorite colors or maybe in reds and pinks for Valentine's Day...your imagination is the limit! Put on some Christmas music and let's get started!
You will need three colors: background, which in this case is white. The "package" color, which is red and the "bow/ribbon" color, which is green. To make the basic block, cut:
4 squares from white background: 2 1/2-inches
2 strips from white background: 1 1/2-inches x 6 1/2-inches
2 squares from green bow/ribbon fabric: 2 1/2-inches
1 strip from green bow/ribbon fabric: 1 1/2-inches by 6 1/2-inches
Wow, my fingers look huge! But then, they kind of go with the rest of me! You are now going to sew the strips together to form the base of the block; white to red to green, then the other red and white, see the picture below:
SEW easy! You can't mess this block up - believe me, I've tried! And now that you've got the base done, let's make the top:
Put one white square, right sides together, with one green square and sew diagonally, I just eyeball it but if you HAVE to then you can draw a line corner to corner, then sew on the line. Clip away the excess. Repeat with remaining green square and another white square, making sure your "bows" are going in the right direction. Sew your bow squares together. Sew on the remaining white squares to each side.
Line up your bow strip with the center of the "ribbon." Pin in place, (yes, I actually said to pin something! I do pin, about 3 times a year, unless I can help it!) right sides together, and sew the bow strip to the package strip. Voila! Your gift block is now done! In the picture above you'll see that I opted to add another strip on the bottom of my block, that's because I decided to use this block to make a hot-pad and I thought a white strip across the bottom would look better - but it is totally optional.
For the apron I used a restaurant-quality apron from Costco Business, which is only located in Seattle! But I know you can order these heavy-duty aprons on-line from many places. They usually come three to a package for about $8.00 - what a deal! I just sewed together the block without any of the white background and then top-stitched it onto the apron with a zig-zag stitch...then I got carried away and added new ties and a ruffle at the bottom...seriously, who amongst you would not like to receive an apron and hot-pads for Christmas?!?! It's a GREAT gift! Of course, maybe you'll make some gift blocks and sew them around the cuff of a pillow case?! Or maybe you'll make a table runner by sewing the gift blocks together in a long row?! Or maybe you'll make a big gift block and turn it into a pillow for your sofa? Or how about a gift block with a few colorful borders that becomes a placemat?! The possibilities are endless!! And IF you want to make a quilt with your Christmas blocks, I have two to show you that will surely inspire and motivate you!
This is Helen's quilt - she is definitely an over-achiever! Each block is different - differnt sizes and different colors - and isn't it all just so dang cute?!? This quilt just puts the Merry in Merry Christmas!
This is Barbara's quilt - all of her blocks are the same size but with different fabrics - they look great with a sashing that ties them all together! And I adore her border fabric! Reminds me of the original movie, Miracle on 34th Street, oh how I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas!
Two different quilts with the same blocks...both would look so great with me snuggled up under them! I don't know how I'm going to piece my gift blocks together - maybe with a simple Christmas tree block in between or maybe I'll use them at the bottom of a big Christmas tree block as the center of a quilt?
Now that you have the basic block instructions, you can make any size gift block that you want - just enlarge or decrease the sizes of the pieces - it's YOUR block so it can be any size you want! Have fun and get busy...that clock is still ticking!
Thanks Helen and Barbara for letting me share your quilts!