November 1, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

Morning everyone! Today is my designated day for the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along, and I designed a sweet little fireplace with festive stockings ready to be filled with goodies :)

I moved from Chicago to New Orleans a few years ago, and while I absolutely love New Orleans, I really start to miss Chicago at Christmas-time every year. I miss the cold, the lights, the ice skating at Grant Park, the Marshall Field's window displays, and eating roasted cinnamon almonds at the Christkindlmarket. I thought making a warm and toasty block would help satisfy my cold weather craving for the time being :)

The block itself is very simple, and most of the detail work is in the appliqueing. Here is a "naked" diagram of what the block looks like...

Here is a list of what you'll need to complete this block:
  • Fusible Web (I use Heat n' Bond) 
  • Background fabric
    • (1) 5.5" x 12.5" piece
    • (1) 2.5" x 12.5" piece
    • (2) 3.5" x 4.5" pieces
    • (2) 1.5" x 3.5" pieces
  • Fireplace fabric
    • (1) 1.5" x 8.5" piece
    • (1) 2.5" x 6.5" piece
    • (2) 1.5" x 2.5" pieces
  • Fireplace interior
    • (1) 2.5" x 4.5" piece
  • Wreath
    • (1) 4.5" x 4.5" green solid
    • Red and mustard yellow scraps (for ornaments)
  • Stockings
    • (3) 2.5" x 2.5" scraps
  • Fire
    • (1) 2.5" x 3.5" mustard yellow solid
To help with placement, I labeled all the block pieces in the diagram so you'll know what goes where.

You will start by assembling pieces 1 thru 6 in numerical order. Start with piece 1, attach pieces 2 and 3 to the sides, and continue working in order until you've attached piece 6.

Grab pieces 7-9. Rather than attaching pieces 8 and 9 at the ends with a straight stitch, you will attach them to piece 7 by mitering the corners. If you need instructions on how to do this, you can find step-by-step instructions with photos on page 4 of this pattern.

Once you've finished sewing together pieces 7-9 in a long, skinny strip, attach it to the top of pieces 1-6. The bottom of your mantle will line up perfectly with the rest of the fireplace, but I stretched mine a hair to give it a little bit of overhang. I thought it would look a little more realistic that way, but it really doesn't matter either way - it's totally a preference thing.

Attach your top 5.5" x 12.5" piece, and then trim up your block on the sides (I had you cut pieces 8 and 9 a little longer than necessary to give you extra fabric to play with when mitering the corners, so once you've sewn together the first three sections, you'll probably have a bit of excess fabric hanging out at the middle section).

Before you attach the final 2.5" x 12.5" bottom piece of the block, you'll need to applique on the fire. Below is a pdf you can print out, and you'll need to cut out the three applique templates to finish the block. For this step, trace Template A onto your 2.5" x 3.5" piece of orange/yellow solid, iron onto fusible web, and then iron onto the correct spot on your block. Find some coordinating thread, and free motion around the edges of the fire to secure in place.

Christmas Block Templates

Once you're finished stitching, sew the remaining 2.5" x 12.5" block piece to the bottom.

Trace the remaining templates (B and C) onto their respective fabrics and iron to your fusible web.

To position the wreath, fold your block in half across the width and finger press the center crease along the top half of your block.

Center the wreath using the crease you just made as a guide. Iron in place, and free motion around the inside and outside edge to secure in place.

To make the ornaments, I ironed my red and mustard scraps to the fusible web, and then cut small circles of different sizes out of them with a fine pair of scissors. Once you've got your ornaments cut out, arrange them how you'd like, iron in place, and stitch to secure.

Repeat the same process to applique your three stockings. Cut, fuse, arrange on your block, iron, and stitch in place.

I plan to try my hand at using free motion to make letters on the stockings later. I didn't want to attempt it before posting this block because I was afraid I'd mess up and mangle it before I had a chance to take pictures, lol!

My goal is to write our family's initials on the three stockings ( a "K", "R", and "W") when I have some free time this weekend :)

(I'm going to see if I can talk the hubs into watching Elf tonight!)

[scribd id=71149721 key=key-ijhi0skpeu9qtnu8pt6 mode=slideshow]


This is just the cutest thing! I love the polka dotted fabric you used for the fireplace. It gives it a very festive look! Thank you so much.

Leslie S. in MN
esclante at comcast dot net

I'm so enjoying all these Christmas blocks. Your block is so sweet and definitely creative. Thank you.

It is just adorable Kaelin! Love how festive your red is and the fireplace looks so cozy. I'm getting excited about Christmas!

Very cute block!!! And oh my gosh, cinnamon-roasted almonds? I may just have to make a trip to Chicago this winter just for those (or google a recipe and stay home to make them - not as much fun, I'm sure).

What a creative block! I love it and will try to piece it asap:)

Cutest block ever! I have mine all cut out and I am just about to start sewing. Will post to Flickr when done. Thanks. Your instructions are very good

Thanks again so much for doing this Kaelin! I went to the Christkindlmart a few years ago, on what was perhaps the coldest day ever, and with all the wind blowing off the lake...I'm not sure if I saw any of the cute things because I was huddled against my grandma the whole time, lol.

Love the mix of paper piecing and applique, very cute

Very cute block. And, WHOA, look at all that Denyse Schmidt green seeds you used up, now I can see why you need 5 yards of each of the reprints from Pink Castle, lol!!

Sooooo cute! Thank you so much (o:
Love the combination paper piecing and appliqué!

molto bello questo blocco ,originale.ciao lory

this is so cute! thanks for sharing the how-to!

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