My Christmas ornament collection would not be complete without a Scandinavian Woven Heart. This is a tradition in which a paper heart basket is woven and hung on the tree filled with sweet treats. I found a tutorial for making paper ones here. I played around a bit to get them to work for my Christmas ornaments, and while it looks complicated, they actually went together pretty quickly after I figured out the best way to make them.
(I am now whipping them out in about an hour!)
This is what I came up with for our fifth Christmas ornament in this series:
You will need to be familiar with cutting on the 1/8 inch lines of your ruler for these. In order to keep my 3" finished size I had to work with 1/8 increments. My eyes are getting older so an extra light on my cutting table does help me see the smaller marks as well as a little help from my progressive lenses too, LOL.
I played with a second colorway that looks closer to the folded paper baskets I have made in the past. You have to have a good red and white print to keep the heart from getting lost on the white background if you go this route. I did a little fussy cutting so that I ended up with red along the curved edges to help it show against my white background. I also reversed the red and white squares in the nine-patch.
So let's get started. I used a strip piecing method to make the little nine-patch unit.
The first step is to strip piece the A and B strips together to make two different strip sets.
From these strip sets I make 1 1/8" cuts. For my first cut I trimmed it oversize to get a nice straight edge on both sides then trimmed it to size.
Now here is the neat trick: these units get put together to make the nine-patch. Much easier that trying to piece tiny squares! Just lock those seams together and away we go.
Front and back of my nine-patch.
On to the appliqué. I tried a couple of different methods to get the curved part of the heart. Needle turn appliqué works well if you are comfortable with that, but I stuck with my fusible appliqué method to really make this a quick and easy project. Trace the pattern onto the back of the fusible web ( I like to use Heat N Bond lite) I then place the patterns onto my fabric-on the wrong side, and press according the directions for the fusible I am using. Once cooled I cut them out on the lines.
I found a little stablizer on the back of my D rectangles really helped. I placed a piece of Pellon fusible interfacing for light to medium weight fabrics on the back and fused into place before adding my appliqué pieces. If you leave an iron on the appliqué for too long it becomes stiff, so by adding the interfacing first I avoided that problem.
On the front of the appliqué background fabric (D rectangle) I made marks for the 1/4 Inch seam allowance, this will help me to place the appliqué correctly.
I place the appliqué so that the bottom lines up with the edge of the fabric and the sides line up with the two marks I made on the background fabric. Once I am happy with my placement I fuse into place.
I went over this with a zig zag stitch...Lining up the the right side of the stitch with the edge of the appliqué
This is how my zigzag stitch came out. I wanted something that did not stand out too much and this fit the bill quite nicely.
Now it is just a matter of sewing all the parts together to make the block.
I did find it necessary to place a pin at the seams. I am not sure if the bulkiness of the pieces were giving me trouble, but that seam just did not want to line up without the pin in place. (After three attempts and time spent with my seam ripper I went with the pin!)
For video tutorials of my quilting process go to my Tutorials Page. After layering the quilt sandwich I machine quilted across the nine-patch section. SInce I am starting on the edge I do not worry about pulling the threads up or starting with my tiny stitches as this will be in the seam when the binding is put on. I did finish off each row with the tiny stithes however.
I saved the seam at the bottom of the appliqué for last so that I could go over it all at one time. So here I am getting started...
I pivot at the corner and quilt down the next side...
When I get to the end I pivot again and will go back over the quilting stitches here until I get to the start of the appliqué.
Pivoting again, I turn to go around the appliqué now.
After working my way around both appliqués I just sew right off the edge to finish.
TutorialsIn order for the heart shape to come out correctly I make sure that I leave a 1/4" seam allowance beyond the appliqué. I will be using a 1/4" seam allowance to sew my binding on and this will give me a perfect finish to the woven heart ornament. To see how to add the binding watch my video tutorial.
I hope you have fun giving this one a try. Let me know in the comments how it goes!
Before I say goodbye for this week I have a few photos to share from my Facebook Sew Along group. Here are some of the ornaments being made:
And Monday (Dec. 3rd) we get to meet the next block in my current BOM-I wonder what the snowmen will be up to this time? Until then, here are a few of the past blocks that have been shared this month for you to enjoy.
I hope you are having as much fun with these as I am! Every week I look forward to making another of these mini quilts. I love that they go to gether so quickly too-they make for a quick gift when you get invited over for dinner unexpectedly.
These are a couple of photos that were shared on my Facebook Sew Along Page this week.
Pinwheels are so easy to make using the No-Waste method of making Flying Geese. Even though these are the smallest Flying Geese I have ever made, they were no problem. (Yes I used my new 3/4" x 1 1/4" Bloc Loc ruler!) I will show you how to trim these with a regular ruler as well. To get a pdf of the pattern click on HERE.
I love this method of making Flying Geese. I was pretty skeptical when I did it the first time, wondering how on earth this was going to turn into Flying Geese. But it works out beautifully.
Begin by laying two small squares on top of the large square, right sides together, and draw a diagonal line down the middle.
Sew 1/4" from each side of the drawn line. I prefer to have the top square facing so that the point is going away from my needle.
Cut apart on the drawn line and press towards the smaller triangles.
Draw a diagonal line on the back of the remaining small squares and lay them right sides together onto the unit just made.
Once again sew 1/4" from each side of the line.
Cut apart on the line and press-voilà! We have Flying Geese units.
To trim these with a regular ruler you need to line up the 1" mark on your ruler with the point of the "goose." You also need to make sure you have 1/4" above that point for seam allowance. At the bottom of the goose you need the 1 1/4" mark to land on the diagonal seam lines-both sides. (On the left side this will be where the 2" line crosses as well. Trim the first two sides.
Rotate the unit and line up the 1" mark the same way at the point of the goose. Now the 2" mark and the 1 1/4" marks are along the edges you just trimmed. The diagonal line of your ruler is also laying on the seam. Trim these two sides.
With the Bloc Loc ruler I do not have to do any math to figure out the middle, or worry about where my various points of the ruler need to be. These rulers have a groove that lock into place at the seam. I just trim the first two sides...
rotate the whole thing and trim the last two sides.
And I have perfectly trimmed Flying Geese ready for the next step.
I made a little video demonstration using both rulers:
Next I moved on to joining the Flying Geese units with my A rectangles. I sewed these with the Flying Geese on top so I could keep an eye on that point where I want my needle to land as I sew over it. With this perfect trim giving me a 1/4" seam allowance I am pretty condident that when I sew this 1/4" seam my needle will land right at the point of those intersecting seams. That is the sweet spot that gives me a perfect point when I press it open.
To join these together to make my block I match up those diagonal seams.
For my final seam I fanned it open. If I just press it one direction like usual I will end up with a very bulky middle to my block. By opening up the seam in this way the center lays quite flat. Before you press use your fingers to force one seam up and the other side down-they will naturally want to go a certain direction so let the seam decide which side goes which way. You will know you have acheived a fanned seam when you see the little pinwheel appear at the intersecting seams.
That's it...now on to the quilting and binding. If you are new to these blocks you will find my tutorials on quilting and binding these mini quilts helpful too. They can be found on my Tutorials Page
Join me next Friday for another Nordic Christmas ornament...until then
Before we jump into the new block for this week let me announce the winner of the tiny
Bloc Loc Ruler....
Jeannette Ashleigh, who commented "6 inch Block for me. Now to try tiny tiny!!!" in answer to the question about the smallest block you have ever made. Congratulations Jeannette! I will be contacting you to find out where to send your ruler. I know you will enjoy this ruler in some future ornaments I have in mind.
Now onto our new ornament. This week's block is the Friendship Star. It goes together very quickly with its simple piecing. I did two versions of this, one with a different red in the center square and one where all of my red fabrics are the same. Click on the photo to get a copy of my pattern.
I started by making Half-square Triangles just like we did for the Churn Dash ornament
in week 2. Draw a line down the back of the B squares and sew 1/4" from each side
Line up the diagonal line of your ruler with the seam line and trim.
The only tricky part of this block is when you sew the rows together. Just take your time, sewing slowly over the seams. I aim right for the place where the two previous seams come to a point. If I sew to the left of that point I will lose the point of my star on the front side. (see arrow in photo below.)
As I mentioned, I tried out two versions of this one.
Last week I made a couple of video tutorials showing how I quilt and bind these.
I am including them here again for you.
I have enjoyed seeing all the little blocks that are being made and shared on my Facebook Sew Along Page. Here are a few that have given me permission to share with you.
Have you gotten brave and given these little guys a try yet? If so, share your success story in the comments to let others know that they CAN do these. And if you share a photo on my facebook page your little block can be featured here next week...so until next time...
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