Friday, July 3, 2009

Figgy Pudding: Contemporary Christmas Quilt (Part 2)

Courthouse Block Assembly

A different print is used each round of a block.

Pre-cut all pieces as specified in the pattern.

The block is assembled from the center toward the outside. Use accurate 1/4" seams, and press all seams flat immediately after sewing. Then, press the seam allowances away from the center square.

Align the center block with (2) matching small strips.

Right sides together, add the edge strips to the center block. Press seams away from the center block.

Then, add the top and bottom matching strips, to create a "square in a square" effect.

Continue building each block, first by adding (2) side pieces, then by adding the top and bottom strips.

Repeat, with the final set of strips.

Finished block size: 15 1/2" x 15 1/2". Repeat, to make (8) unique blocks.

Then, using this assembly diagram found on page (4) of the pattern, combine your courthouse step blocks with the large & small tree units. In is easiest to assemble the rows of blocks from top to bottom, creating 4 columns, rather than trying to assemble from left to right.

Depending upon how efficiently you cut your background fabric, you might have some extra fabric to enlarge the width of the outer borders, if you wish. You'll need at least (7) strips, but to be safe, you should probably cut (8) strips. When you enlarge the border width, you need to remember the larger finished perimeter will require more strips.

Measure your background fabric in inches, and divide the measurement by (8). For example, if you have 48" of background fabric left, then 48" divided by 8 equals 6" . So, if you wish, you can use a 6" outer border rather than the 3 1/2" shown in the pattern.

Regarding the final borders, be sure you measure YOUR quilt top, and cut the borders to match your size, rather than relying on the pattern measurements. To accomplish this, measure the CENTER of the quilt top from top to bottom, and cut the side borders to this length. Pin in place, stitch, then press toward the final border. Then, measure the CENTER of the quilt top from side to side, and cut the top & bottom borders to length. Pin in place, stitch, then press toward the final border.

Tada! Your quilt top is complete.

Quilt as desired (either on your own sewing machine), or have your top professionally quilted by a long-arm quilter.

In a future blog entry, I'll show you how to make a double-fold binding.