Friday, January 1, 2016

Hive 3 January Tutorial - Holiday Wreaths

Hello and Happy New Year to everyone! I'm Diana from Red Delicious Life and I'm the Hive Mama for Hive 3. Here's a little bit about me before we jump into this month's block. Be sure to include your own answers when you post your January block.

1. Name: Diana, aka Red Delicious - a nickname given to me by my husband
2. Where you live: Orlando Florida
3. Family: My husband and I have a 5 year old son
4. Pets: We have 3 cats. Emma is our lover of finished quilts, Gideon is my free motion quilting inspector, and Oliver is our youngest who thinks he's human and loves to help me with every aspect of sewing.
5. How long have you been quilting? My mother was a seamstress, so I've always known how to sew but didn't start quilting until 2012.
6. What crafts do you do other than quilting? I've been knitting for more than 25 years.
7. Fabric line you want to buy next: I don't have a specific fabric line in mind, but I'm a pushover for Bonnie & Camille fabrics.
8. Preferred quilting method: I love to free motion quilt and would someday like to master long arm quilting.
9. Where we can find you on social media: I'm on instagram, pinterest, and flickr.
10. Favorite book: My favorite classic would be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My favorite contemporary books would be A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Harry Potter Books by JK Rowling, and The Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones) by George RR Martin.
11. Favorite show to binge watch: Right now I'm binge watching The West Wing. I'm only 16 years behind most of the population.

Okay, enough about me. Onto the fun stuff!

January's Block
I thought long and hard on what project to have all of my bee-mates help me with and I realized I really wanted a Christmasy quilt as part of my holiday decorations for next year. I scoured Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs for ideas and I found an adorable wreath block from Popular Patchwork. Here is my variation of it:

Wreath #1 (uses 4 different colored fabrics)

You can check out the original tutorial in the link above, but since I've resized it, please follow the tutorial in this blog post. 

Fabric Selection and Inspiration
I have a lot of holiday fabrics in my stash. Below are some of the ones that I really like. I made my wreaths primarily green with some hints of red but red wreaths will work as well. And don't fret if you don't have holiday fabrics. Anything red or green will be great.

I'd like the background fabric to be from low volume prints (Not sure what I mean by the term low volume? Click here to learn more!). Below is what I've pulled from my stash. I'd prefer those that are predominantly cream, white, and gray. For this project, I'd stay away from stark black and white prints if possible.

Now that you've got an idea of the fabrics to use, let's get to the tutorial on how to make this block.

This block will measure 14.5" (unfinished) and is made up of half square triangle (HST) blocks and quarter square triangle (QST) blocks. If you're comfortable with making these, then you're going to breeze through this. But don't worry if they're new to you -- I'm going to walk you through everything step by step. Also, I've made this precut friendly, using 5-inch charm squares.

What You'll Need:
  • 8 colored 5-inch charm squares - these can be green, red, a combination of both, or a cheery holiday print.  This pattern works best with at least 4 different fabrics, or you can make each charm square a different fabric. It's totally up to you and what you have in your stash. To give you an idea of how the finished wreath will look, the photo at the top (wreath #1) uses 4 different green prints. The finished wreaths at the end of this post (wreaths #2 & #3) use 8. 
  • 8 low volume 5-inch charm (LV) squares - since I have a large stash of low volume charm squares, I used 8 different prints but you can use however many you wish. I like the scrappier look of all the different prints. (cutting note: if you're using yardage instead of charm squares, 4 of your LV squares can be cut to 4" x 4" as these will be the corner blocks.)

Step 1 - Making Half Square Triangles with Colored Prints

We need 3 sets of colored HSTs so choose 6 prints and pair them together, placing right sides together.

On the first pair, draw a line down the diagonal of the square.  Sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.

Cut on the diagonal line (between your stitching) and press both HSTs. I like to press these to one side so that I can nest them later on. Repeat this with the other 2 pairs until you have 3 sets of HSTs like this:

6 colored HSTs

Don't worry about trimming any of the blocks yet. I'll have you do that once we get all the units pieced.

Step 2Making Half Square Triangles with Low Volume prints

Take your 2 remaining colored print charms and pair them each with a low volume charm square. Just like before, draw a line down the diagonal of the square, sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line, cut and press.

4 low volume HSTs

Step 3 - Making the Center of the Wreath

Select 2 of the colored HSTs and pair each of these with a low volume charm square. The HST will be slightly smaller than the low volume charm square, so just center it. You will draw your line diagonally on the colored HST bisecting the seam. Again, sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.

You will make 2 of these

Cut on the diagonal line (between your stitching) and press to the low volume side.

These will become the center of the wreath. Set aside.

The 4 units that will make the wreath center

Step 4 - Making the Quarter Square Triangles 

We will now be pairing up the remaining colored HSTs (4) with the Low Volume HSTs to make QSTs.

Place a colored HST right sides together with a low volume HST, lining up the seams. If you pressed your seams to one side, they should nest up together.

Pin in place and draw a diagonal line bisecting the seam. Sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.

Cut on the line and press seams open to reduce bulk. Repeat this for the other 3 sets.

You should now have 8 QSTs.

Step 5 - Trimming the blocks and putting it all together

All of your block components are now sewn, so the last thing to do is trim them all to 4" square and sew it all together. Here is how I trim my HST and QST blocks down to size. I use a ruler that has a 45 degree diagonal line on it, and lay that on the diagonal of the block and make sure that the 2 inch mark lines up with the center point of the block.

Once all of your blocks are trimmed down to 4" square, lay out your blocks as follows, adding your 4 remaining low volume squares in each of the corners:

I sewed them together in quadrants of 4, pressing all seams open to reduce bulk. Your finished block should measure 14.5" square. It's not necessary for you to trim them to size. I'll take care of it once I have all of the blocks together and am ready to add sashing. Here are my other finished blocks.

Wreath #2 (uses 8 different colored fabrics)

Wreath #3 (uses 8 different colored fabrics)

I can't wait to see what everyone creates, and if you have ANY questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification. I've tried to make this tutorial as clear as possible, even making 3 finished wreaths in the process of testing it.

Happy Sewing!


Gina said...

What a great block to start the year off. I don't have many Christmas fabrics but I'm sure I can come up with something xxx

Lauren said...

I love the block. I have tons of Christmas fabric but I find my low volume fabric to be low. I'll have to search. Can't wait to start

Unknown said...

Thanks for an easy to follow tutorial - happy to be starting and love the idea of a Christmas quilt!