I Wish You a Merry QAL - Block 8

Block 7 - Poinsettia

Hi and welcome to Part 2 of the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along for this week. In case you missed it, Block 7 was also released this week so you’ve got two blocks to make this time. Click here to view my version of Block 7 and to learn where to download the pattern.

Blocks 1 to 6 - I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along

It’s not too late to catch up! You can find everything you need to know about the quilt along (including where to find the patterns for Blocks 1 to 6) here. The block patterns for the quilt along will be offered free through January 15th at 11:59 PM EST, when the quilt along finishes. So get ‘em while they’re hot! <wink>

As you know by now, for my blocks I’m using the Shiny Objects in Holiday Twinkle collection by flaurie & finch for RJR Fabrics.

Block 8 in our quilt along was designed by Olusola @ Alice Samuel's Quilt Co. and it’s called With Love at Christmas (Christmas Presents). Here’s my version.

Block 8 - With Love at Christmas

From the Holiday Twinkle collection, I chose #3022-05 (Red Velvet) and #3026-04 (Red Velvet) for one present, and #3022-07 (Tannenbaum) and #3026-05 (Tannenbaum) for the other. The key to this block in terms of fabric selection is to make sure you choose a light and a dark fabric of the same color for each box. For the background of my block, I chose #3023-07 (Crystal).

I must confess. This one was a tough block to make. The piecing is tricky and you might find it very hard to match up the ribbon seams. One option is to applique the ribbons. That might be the easiest way to go. But I decided I wanted to piece this block so that's what I did, and I think it turned out pretty well.

As a QAL host, I’m here to help you achieve success with this block. My tips mostly concern those of you who also wish to piece this block and not use applique for the ribbon portion. Still, there are some useful tips that apply to all.

  • Read the directions. Twice. Because the block is tricky, I would print out the instructions, read through them a couple of times, and make notes. Being careful is one way to ensure success with this block.
  • Fabric selection is key if you want a 3-D look. As I mentioned earlier,  if you like the 3-D look you should try to find two shades (one light, one dark) of the same color for each box. The pattern provides several options for shading your block (you'll find them at the end of the pattern). I chose to make the side of my box dark, and the top/front light--as if the light source were coming from the right.
  • The cutting instructions might be confusing if you don't read carefully.

For each box, you'll need to cut:

Box top/front
(2) 1-1/2" x 7" rectangles
(2) 2" x 4" rectangles

Box side
(2) 1-1/2" x 8" rectangles

Box ribbon
(1) 1" x 8" rectangle
(2) 1" x 7" rectangles
(1) 1-1/4" x 4" rectangle

If you decide to use the same ribbon for both boxes like I did, then double the ribbon numbers:

Ribbon for two boxes
(2) 1" x 8" rectangles
(4) 1" x 7" rectangles
(2) 1-1/4" x 4" rectangles

For the background, don't double and just use the numbers provided in the pattern:

Background cutting
(4) 3" squares
(2) 3-1/2" x 12-1/2" rectangles

I changed up my block just a bit so my background cutting was different. The original block looks like this:

I decided to offset the boxes, so my block looks like this:

Thus, I cut my background as shown below. I also assembled my block a bit differently, basically sewing together each side, then sewing the sides together.

My Background cutting
(4) 3" squares
(2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles
(2) 4-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles

  • Sew precisely. The first thing you'll be doing is sewing strip sets. Measure these sets and make adjustments (trim or resew) as needed before continuing. This is one of the keys to getting your ribbons to match up. Sets A and B should measure 3" wide, and Set C should measure 4-1/4".
  • Next, you'll cut Set A into two parts--a 3" square and a 3" x 4" rectangle.

    Then you'll sew a flip corner on the bottom of the Set A rectangle. Draw the diagonal line on the back of the background square so you can sew it with precision. As you can see, I like to use my sandboard to help hold the fabric as I mark it so I can draw a clean line.


  • Next, you'll sew another flip corner to the left side of Set B only this time, you'll use the 3" square from Set A and not a Background square. Again, mark the back of the 3" square with a diagonal line so you can sew precisely.
  • Now it's time to cut an insert for the top ribbon. This part is scary, because it involves cutting your nice, precisely sewn strip set B at a diagonal, in order to insert the top ribbon. But it's okay. Really. The tricky part is measuring where to cut.

    Cut by measuring from the diagonal seam caused by that flip corner you just added. Measure exactly 1-1/4" and cut like I did here.
  • Sew the ribbon piece to the edge you just cut. That part is pretty easy since the ribbon you're sewing on is a whole lot bigger than you need. This allows you to put enough of the ribbon on either side of the unit so when you press it back, it sticks out on both sides of the box. Me, I just centered the Set B piece on the ribbon. You'll trim it up nice and neat after you get the whole top of the box sewn back together.

The tricky part here is figuring out how to get the two parts of the horizontal ribbon to match up when sewing that top part of the box together. I decided to mark the edges of the horizontal ribbon on the newly inserted vertical ribbon. As you can see, I simply extended the lines of the horizontal ribbon. I also marked the seam allowance even though that doesn't appear here in the photo.

Next, I marked the quarter-inch seam on the other piece.

Gifts 4C.jpg

Then I matched up the two seam allowances and the two edges of the horizontal ribbon, pinned, and sewed. When I opened it up, the horizontal ribbon matched up beautifully. Here's a photo I took when piecing the green gift box--maybe it explains where I pinned? I hope so.

  • Finally, you've got to get the top and bottom parts of two ribbons to match up. Yeah. Tricky. First, I cut and sewed only one box at a time, so what I learned on the red box I could use to improve the results on the green box. I didn't seem to have any problem matching up the left ribbon on the box (top and bottom), but on the right I did. So for the green box, I measured from the seam to make sure the right ribbon would match up, and ended up resewing the bottom portion of the box to get that right ribbon to end up exactly where I needed it to.

    You'll notice that I once again marked the seam allowances at the ribbon edges. That was so I could match up exactly where the upper and lower parts of each ribbon would connect once I sewed them together.

Well that's it! Have fun. I think I might add applique bows to my block. I ran out of time before this post or I would have done it, but I think that would be a nice touch.

Drop by Olusola's blog to get your free block pattern. Also, don’t forget to visit the other quilt along hosts to see their versions of this block.

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Becca at Pretty Piney
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Diane at Cwilt
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts
Sandy at SandyStar Designs
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilt in Piece

Be sure to enter the giveaway!

By the way, there are two blocks this week, and two separate giveaways. To enter the With Love at Christmas (Christmas Presents) block giveaway, you must make the block and post it in one of these three places by Monday, October 23rd at 11:59 PM EST.

If you post your With Love at Christmas block by the deadline, you might win this wonderful prize package— a pair of scissors from Warm Crochet plus a PDF pattern of your choice from Yvonne @ Quilting JETGirl.

Special offer from Warm Crochet!

This block comes with a special offer for everyone! Warm Crochet is offering 10% everything in their shop for all quilt along participants! The code is ChristmasQAL and it expires January 15th, 2018 when the quilt along ends.

Don't forget there are two blocks!

Don't forget! There are two block patterns in the quilt along this week. Click here to view my version of Block 7 - Poinsettia and to learn where to download it. Also, since there are two blocks this time there are also two giveaways, so don’t forget to enter both to be eligible for both prize packages.

Block 8 - With Love at Christmas and Block 7 - Poinsettia

Block 8 - With Love at Christmas and Block 7 - Poinsettia

Don't forget about the Grand Prize!

We have a fabulous grand prize package, so I encourage you to jump in now, make Block 7 and 8 and post them, then go back and make the other blocks. There are many people who are catching up too so you'll have lots of company. If you need inspiration, I highly recommend our Facebook group.

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you must post a completed quilt top that includes all 12 blocks by 11:59 PM EST January 15, 2018. Your top doesn't need to be quilted to enter for the grand prize, but it must include one of every block. Look at this incredible package of prizes--thread, fabric, batting, patterns and more!

When is the next block?

On Tuesday, October 24th, be sure to come back here for the next block in our quilt along! You can follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d like a reminder when the next block is posted. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along or would like to see the complete schedule, click the I Wish You a Merry QAL tab above.

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