Christmas Quilt – block 1

A few weekes ago I decided to join a QAL at Springleaf Studios. Each month we create one block. It is actually the same block each month. I didn’t have the right fabric, but I ran into a quilter’s Christmas stash at a second hand market. YAY!

Once I had the fabrics I only had to wait for the instructions on SpringLeaf Studios’ blog!

The Poinsettia block is made up of 16 drunkard’s Path blocks that are trimmed down to create the leaves.

I started with selecting and cutting my fabrics. I starched all of the fabrics at least twice, once on each side. I wanted it stiff.

Anne from Springleaf Studios has written several posts for this Quilt Along. I studied her instructions and took most of them on board. I have made two changes, though. Firstly how to put the Drunkard’s Path blocks together and secondly how to press the seams of the Poinsettia block.



I decided not to use pins for assembling the Drunkard’s Path blocks. I used my Sewline glue stick for this. I had seen this tip somewhere online and thought I had saved the link… well I didn’t and I can’t find it anymore. Oops! I did find something similar at this blog where the glue stick is used for an apple core block.

As you can see in the picture I pressed both pieces of fabric in half, as instructed by Anne of Springleaf Studios. The folds nest very nicely if you press them in the opposite way: so the big piece is folded right sides together, and the small piece is folded wrong sides together.)

I applied the glue on the outer rim of the biggest piece. I then placed the smaller piece of fabric in the centre crease.  ( It will look odd, but trust me!) Using the tip of my hot iron I slowly nudged the fabric along the curve. One side at a time. Pay special attention at the end of the block. You want it as straight as possible!

I did try to stay as closely to the edge as I could. No pins necessary!

Than I sewed along the edge. Slowly!

Once in a while the fabric would create a crease in front of the needle.

Lift up the presser foot, nudge the fabric out of the way and continue!

From this moment on, I followed Anne’s instructions on pressing the seams and trimming the blocks.



When it came to assembling the poinsettia block I changed tactics again.

Each of the quarters  of the poinsettia is the same in lay out. ( Lay out your blocks like this every time!)

I started with piecing two pieces together: tops and bottoms! I did NOT follow the instructions for opening the seams.

Than I pieced left to right.

Again, I did NOT open up the seams, but I did do this:

See the centre of the unit where the seams “twirl”? I had to remove some stitches to coherse the fabric to behave like this.

Four of these units make the poinsettia block . Each time I “twirled” the corners.

Where ever I could “twirl” the corners, I did.

When I go and make more blocks, they will all nest nicely as the seams are pressed in opposite directions. I just have to pay attention that I know which blocks are going where so I don’t accidentally put two of the same fabrics next to each other. The blocks can be turned though, so I am not too worried!

About 90% of the fabric has been cut and sorted. I only need to grab next months bag and start glueing and sewing!

Maybe I will start on March’s block next week already!


p.s. Linking up with:

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Finish it Up Fridayat Crazy Mom Quilts


13 thoughts on “Christmas Quilt – block 1

  1. Looks very complicated and technical, but I love the results. You are as bad as I am. I never follow the directions in a recipe (even for the first time) and you do not follow quilting instructions. Conclusion: WE MUST KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING!

  2. This is going to be a wonderfully flamboyant quilt! I like the idea that you coerced the fabrics into doing what you wanted, and I’m with you, pressing flat and opening just the junctions is much neater.

  3. What a beautiful quilt. Thanks for explaining your methods. I am sewing a drunkards path by hand. This looks lots faster, but at least I enjoy the handwork.

  4. Have you considered using the Curve Master foot? No pining or marking the centre of each piece. Wonderful Youtube clips available to watch.

    • Hi Helen,
      I have heared about it. I decided to see if I like curved piecing or not, before buying a new foot for my machine. I am not sure if I want to keep my current machine or upgrade to a newer model. Playing it safe here.
      Thank you for the tip. Once I decide on what machine to have, I will look into that special foot!

  5. Hi Esther, thanks for sharing the quilt along. I have made some quilts and pillow covers with different DP designs, but this block is my favorite! Your Christmas quilt will be wonderful. Barbora

  6. Thank you for the tutorial, Esther. I’m plucking up courage to make drunkards path blocks on the machine. I’d like to join this QALg too, but I’m not sure I should take on any more; ik heb al zo veel hooi op mijn vork! Now going to take a look!

  7. I’m glad you found a way that works for you. I too pressed the units differently the first time but decided they worked better for me when pressed open. Are you ready for sewing up March’s block? Be sure to post it on Instagram when it’s done. #drunkardspathquiltalong. I’m still figuring IG out but it’s fun. I’ll be sewing mine at the next open sew in my guild later in the month. Great to have things all ready to go for things like that. Then I just need to sew.

    • Hi anne,
      How lovely of you to come to my blog for a visit! So far I am happy with how the seams are working out. I will be working on the March block next weekend. Today I will for on finishing my newest paper piecing pattern “An Easter Parade”. I am looking forward to that!
      Have a great Sunday!

  8. Hi Esther. I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to link to your pressing method in my next QAL post which I’ll publish tomorrow (March 11) if you don’t mind. I think it’s nice to give people other options.

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