Noel Paper-Pieced Quilt Block

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Noel Paper-Pieced Quilt Block

12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along

Welcome to visitors from the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along. For those of you who don’t know, Craft Buds is one of 12 stops on a fun blog hop where you can quilt along with others to make a modern Christmas quilt using a variety of techniques like applique, foundation piecing and paper piecing.

I’ll show you the latter of these today, and we’ll learn how to make this paper-pieced Noel quilt block. Let’s get started!

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First, you’ll want to print off the template I’ve created. Save a copy to your computer and then print out, so it will print to scale. You might want to print two copies: one to cut up, and one to use as a visual reference. You can even color in the letters of the reference copy with your fabric choices.

Next, gather your fabrics. I’ve chosen two prints and one solid, and you can get away with a fat quarter or less of each. (Note: If you are using a 10-inch layer cake, you’ll want to adjust the measurements on the border, because my pattern uses some 11-inch strips. Use your imagination, and your block will turn out great! You will want to make sure you have at least a quarter yard of the background fabric.)

Other Supplies:

  • freezer paper (from the grocery store)
  • pen or pencil
  • glue stick or double-sided tape
  • clear ruler
  • paper scissors
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter

Start by cutting out the sections of the N-O-E-L letters with your paper scissors (so you don’t dull the blades of your fabric shears). From the paper, you’ll only need to cut out one of each letter, A through I. Set the rest of the paper template aside for reference.

Note: We will not be flipping any of the shapes backwards, so just make sure that your paper templates and the fabric pieces all face the right way when you look at them. How easy is that?! Please ignore the fact that my Noel template is reversed in the first image below. Yours will look normal, spelling Noel from left to right.

Next, tear off a sheet of freezer paper, and put the shiny side down. Use  a very small dot of glue from your glue stick to adhere your paper templates A through I to the dull side of the freezer paper. (I say a small dot because you’ll be ironing with this paper later.) Space them out so you’ll have plenty of room for tracing around each piece. If you don’t have freezer paper, you can still carefully trim your pieces using regular paper templates.

Cut and Trace Templates

Use your clear ruler and pen or pencil to trace a line a quarter inch from each side of your templates. My friend Jennifer likes to use the Add a Quarter ruler for this step. Once you’ve traced each piece, use your paper scissors to cut along the lines you’ve just drawn.

Starting with the letter “N”, take your freezer paper templates for the center section (G, H and I) and iron the shiny surface to the front/patterned side of your fabric. (At this point, you’ll wish you used as little glue as possible. I left the paper on my freezer paper while ironing, and it was fine.) The templates will adhere to your fabric and can be used several times before they lose their stickiness.

Make the Letter N

Cut around each template with your fabric shears. Remove the freezer paper for the fabric pieces you are getting ready to sew, joining G, H, and I. Press your seams open.

Next, you’ll stitch on the left and right sides of the letter “N” (cut from pattern piece A) to the section you just made. From your background fabric, cut out pattern piece B and stitch to the right side of your letter “N” (this is the thin, green strip you see below).

"N" and "O"

Use the same method for creating the letter “O”, always starting with the most complex part of the letter and working outward. Join the letter “O” to your “N” and following the template for letters “E” and “L” to finish the word.

Noel Paper Pieced Block

Press your block, making sure you’ve ironed all the seams open. Trim the top and bottom of your block so all edges are even. Your block will now measure about 4.75 inches x 11 inches. Next, you’ll cut two 3-inch x 11-inch strips from your background fabric and stitch borders to both the top and bottom edges of your “Noel.”

Top and Bottom borders

Cut a 2.5-inch x 11-inch strip from each of your other fabrics (I used the pink and white, as in my letters). Stack one patterned strip on top of the other, and use your ruler to cut a diagonal line down the center of both pieces, as shown.

Cut top and bottom borders

Pair each of your new strips with the opposite color piece that fits and stitch together, pressing open your seams. Add your new “wonky stripes” to both the top and bottom of your block for a fun border.

Trim the top and bottom of your block so it is 12.5 inches tall. Finally, add a 1.5-inch strip of background fabric to each side to widen your block, and trim to 12.5 inches square.

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Not in the market for a Christmas quilt? I this block would look fabulous as a holiday pillow, stocking or hot pad.

If you make this block, you are welcome to add it to the Flickr group for the quilt-along and the Craft Buds Flickr pool. In fact, look at this awesome and modern Christmas quilt by in the making by Marcia, created with the block tutorials posted so far. I’m in love with her color choices!

Get all the tutorials at Sew Sweetness. Also, there’s still time to enter the fabric giveaway from Modern Fabric Studio!

Giveaway: Modern Fabric Studio

Today, I’m excited to introduce a new online fabric shop to you, with a special sale and giveaway for Craft Buds readers at the end of this post.

And since we love to highlight craftepreneurs, I chatted with Modern Fabric Studio owner Amanda Norton to get the scoop on how she started her handmade business.

Amanda Modern Fabric Studio

Amanda, what’s your sewing story?

I have always been into crafting, but I started sewing only a few years ago. One day I came home from work. It was snowing and I knew I wouldn’t be going to work the next day. I went and bought a sewing machine that night and locked myself up in my apartment and taught myself how to sew! I have been LOVING it ever since!

What made you decide to start up Modern Fabric Studio?

I fell in love with the designer fabrics I sewed with, and I have always wanted to own my own company. So, in short, that is how Modern Fabric Studio started!

What fabrics or designers are you loving right now?

My favorite designer is Anna Maria Horner. She was the first designer I started sewing with so I’m in love with all her fabrics! I’m also loving Tina Givens’ new line, Lilliput Fields. The fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! And of course I love Amy Butler’s new line, Lark!

Amy Butler Lark

What do you do when you are not busy creating or running the business?

I live with my boyfriend and our 5 month Chocolate Lab puppy, Hooper. I actually have a full time job in addition to Modern Fabric Studio, so I can definitely say life is a bit busy at times! I love to sew and I love crafting. I am a “Do-It-Yourself-er” at heart!

Modern Fabric Studio

Sale!

Just in time for the season of thanks, Modern Fabric Studio is hosting a Thanksgiving Sale starting today, where you can get 15% off all Anna Maria Horner, Valori Wells and Etsuko Furuya / Echino fabrics through November 27th.
  • Amanda is also offering free shipping for orders of $35 or more for the duration of her sale!
  • Plus, get an extra 10% off your purchase with the coupon code craftbuds.
Valori Wells Wildfield in Cherry

Valori Wells Wildfield: Now 15% off

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard!

LouLouThi Voile

LouLouThi Voile: now 15% off!

 

Giveaway!

Amanda is offering one Craft Buds reader $25 shop credit to spend on anything in the shop. And with her ultra-affordable Sale Fabrics (designer cotton prints starting at $5 per yard and designer voile starting at just $8 per yard) that’s a whole lotta fabric to love . . .

To enter:

  1. Stop by Modern Fabric Studio and leave a comment telling us what you’d like to buy with your shop credit.
  2. Subscribe to Modern Fabric Studio’s newsletter and leave a comment.
  3. Like Modern Fabric Studio on Facebook and leave a comment.

That’s 3 chances to win! This giveaway is open worldwide, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Saturday, November 19.

Free Pattern Features: Fall Printables

Ready for some fast, easy and free decorations for fall and Thanksgiving? I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite printables from around the web.

At The Letter 4 is this whimsical tree illustration.

Love Fall Printable from The Letter 4

 

Pink Ink Doodle shares this fall subway art.

Fall Subway Art at Pink Ink Doodle

 

At The Creative Paige you can find this Fall is Here printable in vertical or horizontal formats.

Fall is Here from The Creative Paige

 

This printable from It’s a Crafty Life just made me smile!

Happy Fall Y'all from It's a Crafty Life

 

And lastly, Kind Over Matter has a huge list of all sorts of Thanksgiving printables. Enjoy!

Free Thanksgiving Printables at Kind Over Matter

 

If you’re feeling lucky, don’t forget to check out our weekly list of crafty and handmade giveaways!

Review: The Colette Sewing Handbook + Winners

Colette Sewing Handbook Cover

After interviewing Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns fame, I was so excited to get the chance to review her new book. The Colette Sewing Handbook (F+W Media) is both a project book and teaching tool for sewists, meaning it does include 5 sewing patterns that the reader can make and feel proud of. However, the basis of this book is actually on explaining the techniques needed to sew clothing with a great look and fit. This includes how to choose fabrics, read and alter patterns, how to care for garments and so forth. Quick, someone give this book to Project Runway winner Anya!

Colette Sewing Handbook excerpt

As a self-taught sewist that mostly works with quilting cottons, I was excited to read about how I should actually be sewing things. For instance, did you know that pressing a garment is different than ironing? I didn’t! I was also intrigued by the concept of ripping fabric from the bolt instead of cutting, which is actually the preferred method to get a “trued up” (even) edge. I also learned the many ways to transfer a pattern from the original to the fabric, using markers and chalk pens (and why each one is useful).

Colette Sewing Techniques

The book also reviews some techniques I use regularly, like gathering, hand-stitching and inserting facings into a garment. Still, no matter how many times you’ve installed a zipper, you might find yourself referring to this book’s helpful step-by-step photos as a reminder.

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Types

Did I mention that the whole book is just really pretty? I’m going to bookmark the pages on fabric selection, because I know this will come in handy time and time again. Sarai details the qualities of fabric (What fibers is it made from? Woven or knit? How does it drape or reflect light?) and explains which fabrics are better for which project. Brilliant!

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Drape

Overall, Sarai encourages sewists not to rush into their projects, but to take time selecting fabric that is right for the garment, pre-washing and ironing the fabric, prepping and altering the pattern and making a muslin (inexpensive trial run) of the garment. All of this comes before cutting into your pretty fabric. This technique helps you to get a great fitting dress that you’ll actually want to wear, which saves money and time in the long run. And once you’ve altered the pattern to fit your body, you might want to make the “Truffle Dress” in six different colors. I do.

Colette Sewing Handbook Truffle Dress

Techniques aside, one thing I took away from this book is the desire to think thoughtfully about my wardrobe.  Sarai’s patterns have a cute, vintage-infused style that can be personalized with fabric choice and thoughtful details (like including or omitting a bow or fancy hem, which she gives the reader full permission to do). She encourages sewists to find their personal style and use clothing as self-expression. If you have a fabulous fitting garment in a fabric that complements your skin tone, you’re going to feel great in your clothing.

Colette Meringue Skirt

For my first project from the book, I’ve decided to conquer the “Meringue Skirt.” So far, I have gone through Sarai’s tips and selected my fabric: a textured, matte, wool-based gabardine. (Can you tell that my sewing vocabulary has increased tenfold since reading this book?) I’ve also cut the pattern pieces and adjusted for length (since I’m shorter than the model). Next, I’ll be ready to make my muslin and check the fit before starting on the skirt. Although I am pretty thrifty and don’t like to “waste” fabric, I liked Sarai’s explanation of making a wearable muslin. This means I might use a fabric that I’m not in love with, but it echoes my actual fabric choice, so I could still potentially wear the skirt if it fits.

The Colette Sewing Handbook is an invaluable tool for the sewist that wants to learn more about making garments. Although I probably won’t make all of these patterns for myself, I am definitely excited to sew two of the five, and I could see myself making more than one of each.

Winners

Out of 261 comments, the winner of The Colette Sewing Handbook is #101, Margie! We’ve sent you an e-mail with more info. If you didn’t win, why don’t you join my by signing up for the free webinar Thursday all about choosing fabrics? Participants will also get a discount on the book.

Free Webinar
Out of 636 comments, the lucky winner of the Epic Letterpress Combo Kit chosen by random.org was #90, Jessie Prince! Congratulations and Mary has sent you an e-mail with more information.

For everyone else make sure you check out the Lifestyle Crafts blog where they’re doing some amazing giveaways! This week you can enter to win a dream craft workspace worth $800 just by following their blog. For additional entries you can tweet or blog about the giveaway (and don’t forget to mention that Craft Buds sent you!).

Crafty Kitchen: Turkey Cookies

There are lots of turkey cookie recipes out there, but I wanted to come up with one that was easy and didn’t involve and baking so kids could easily be involved. To make these cute little guys, you’ll just need the following ingredients: Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butter cookies, candy corn, M&Ms, red jelly beans, white frosting, and a handful of chocolate chips (optional)

To get started, press 7 candy corns into the white filling around one side of an Oreo. Then pipe on white frosting on the Nutter Butter for the turkey face and a glob on the Oreo to attach the turkey body.

For the face, press 2 M&Ms in for the eyes, break a candy corn in half and press in with the pointy side up, then press in the red jelly belly below. Then place the Nutter Butter on top of the Oreo.

The turkeys have kind of a blank stare, so if you’d like you can melt a tablespoon of chocolate chips and use a toothpick to draw on the pupils of the eyes.

To finish them off, I piped on a tiny dot of white in each pupil (also optional). Now you have  more Thanksgiving turkeys to eat!

Additional notes: I used homemade buttercream frosting in a piping bag with a round tip, but you could use some of the ready to use frosting in a can or tube from the grocery store (the kind that comes with different tips like Betty Crocker decorating icing). Also, buttercream frosting can be frozen when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap so when you have some leftover, save it for projects like this!

 

Linked up to the Ladybird Ln Turkey Daze Showoff Party with lots of turkey inspired links!

Fresh Picks for Sunday, 11.6.11

There a chill in the air, and we’re loving these cool-weather crafts. Warm up with fall colors and cozy accessories for yourself and your home. Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaways!

Love Your Veggies: Who can resist this friendly fall scene? Download the free embroidery patterns at Wild Olive.

Cover Up: Jeni blogs a cute scarf tutorial at In Color Order. Warm your neck with some pom-pom fringe!

Candy Corn Bars

Fall Kitchen: Thank goodness not all candy disappears from stores after Halloween. Three cheers for these delicious-looking candy corn bars from Sweet Peas and Bumblebees.

Draft Catcher

Catch My Draft? The cover of this smart draft stopper is removeable and machine-washable. Get the tute at Mauby’s.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
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