Christmas Block Along - Finishing

Well done! You have made it through 9 weeks of blocks and now you should be ready to put them all together. I have used a plain white to frame the blocks and make them up to a size that is easy to put together. The quilt is made up of five rows.


Although I have written all the finishing in this one post, I wouldn't recommend you try and get al of this done in one go. Pace yourself and enjoy the process.


This is your final layout.

ROW 1 & 5


To the cracker top and bottom add strips of white 2 ¼” x 19 ½”.


To the small stars top and bottom add strips of white 2” x 8 ½”.


To the sides of the cracker add white strips of 2” x 11 ½".


Now sew the three together.


ROW 2 & 4


Sew the bauble and present together and then add the sweet as per the layout on the top picture.


To top and bottom of the bauble/present add 1 5/8” x 12 ¾” white strips.


To the top and bottom of the stocking add 1 ¾” x9 ½” white strips.


To centre the stocking the rows vary slightly. On row 2 add a 2" x 18" strip to the left of the stocking and a 5" x 18" strip to the right. Switch these around for row 4.


On row 2 sew the bauble/present - stocking - snowman.

On row 4 sew snowman - stocking - bauble/present.


ROW 3


To the top and bottom of the trees add a 1½” x 9½” white strips.


To the top and the bottom of the star add 3" x 12½” white strips.


To either edge of the star add 4½” x 17½” white strips.


Sew the three together with the star in the centre.


You now have 5 beautiful rows. Give them all a good press and sew them all together.

The quilt at this point looks a bit skinny so, I have added a white border and then the grey reindeer to either side.

Adding really long borders can be tricky. My tip would be to fold the quilt, and the strip you are adding in half, and pressing a halfway point into the fabric. Match them up at the crease and pin. Then pin the edges and work your way back to the centre. This will make sure you have an even tension and don't end up with wavy parts.


Add 75” x 2” white strips to the long edges.

If you look closely, you can see that I didn't use a full length of the grey fabric and have joined two together. I think you can get away with it using this print and it saves you having to buy more fabric than you need to, although you could use the full length and use the remining to piece the backing.


Add 75” x 5” on the long edges.


QUILTING


The finished quit is 130cm x 190cm. You may be aware that the standard width fabric is 112cm so, you will need to piece your backing or find some extra wide fabric. Since I had a spare stocking block, I thought I would incorporate it on the backing along with the green and some plain grey.


For the wadding I have used Heritage Premium Mid Weight Wadding by Bosal which you can get here.


I always use curved safety pins to baste my layers. It took a lot of patience and smoothing out before I got to the point that I was happy to start pinning.

I have gone with wavy quilting lines on my Janome machine around 2" apart. I used an air erasable pen and ruler to draw a line down the centre of my quilt first. I started there and worked my way out. I used my quilting gauge attachment on my machine to help me keep my rows even.

I saw a post on Instagram from @homemadeemilyjane where she used her overlocker to finish the edges of a quilt before adding the binding. I have never done this before so it certainly isn't necessary but, I thought I would give it a go. If you have an overlocker, give it a go! I was so happy with the result and, it saved me squaring it off because the machine just trimmed it all for me.

I have used plain grey for the binding. I always make my own and for the quilt I cut it straight, not on the bias, since it doesn't need to bend around any curves. You need around 260" of binding.


Add your binding however you like. When I am finishing a special quilt like this for myself, I sew it to the front first and then hand stitch to the back.


My final finishing touch was to add a label. I got a label panel from Figo Fabrics that I have wanted to use myself for ages. You can get one here and pick the right one for you with plenty left for other projects. There are 42 in total but, I thought this was perfect. I used my Janome to add the writing but, you could hand stitch or use a permanent fabric pen to write on it. I love the idea that my quits will be around, long after I have gone by my great grandchildren. The idea of a label with the date on it might not seem relevant now but it will be a piece of my history one day.

That is it. Congratulations on finishing your Christmas quilt! Even if you didn't quite get it done for this Christmas (although well done if you have), you are going to be so proud and happy to bring it out every year from now on. I would love to see all your finished quilts so please tag me in your pictures.

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