The final tutorial in this design series. Just in time for Christmas and quick as a wink you will have this made in plenty of time to go Dashing Through The Snow! There is NO elaborate piecing so let's get to it! Finished size is 14". READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST. (sewing is just like cooking and carpentry, read everything through, know where you are going and measure twice, cut once, there is wisdom in sage advice)
You will need:
1/4 yard - Pellon 805 Wonder - Under
1 fat quarter of a focus fabric or scraps of your choosing ( I used Cynthia Frenette's Retro Christmas for Robert Kaufman Fabrics)
1 fat quarter of background fabric (I used Kona Cotton White)
1 fat quarter of backing fabric (I used a scrap piece that I had from over 20 years ago, the backing is a good place to use up bits. You can even scrap together a backing. No one sees this on a table topper but you)
2 strips of binding fabric cut 2.5" x WOF (Width of Fabric) You will have left over here. ( I used PotLuck by American Jane Patterns Sandy Klop for Moda, I purchased a yard and cut it length wise rather than WOF to enable me to use the portion I wanted, lots of left over)
1 piece of batting 17" square. (I use Warm and Natural Batting)
Contrasting Embroidery Thread and a needle
Scissors, iron, sewing machine, thread.
A Word About Fabric
You may elect to purchase the same fabric I used and you can still find it out there but don't stress over that. Make this yours and use a focus fabric you already have or one of the many that are out right now. Check out the Christmas Fabrics at FatQuarterShop.com Use something you love that fits with your style. It doesn't have to be Christmas themed, maybe you like pretty birds, abstract prints, florals, whatever you like, you can use it.
Print out your pattern piece and after tracing it on to your Pellon Wonder-Under, slide it around your fabric, you can see through it. Do you like the image you see? Is it too big or too little to create a design that you would like? Now remember you will be ironing this on the wrong side of your fabric, what you see will be reversed. Make sure when you are laying out your pattern pieces on the backside of your fabric, that you have the points going in the direction that you want them to be on your finished piece.
It's not the end of the world if you end up with an upside down or backward image from what you wanted, but it's a whole lot more fun if you take your time here and think how they will sit on your finished piece.
Remember last week, we made the California Coffee Tree Potholder? Well, we are going to follow all the steps to create the top square and then we will pick it up again here. So if you do not have those steps, you can find them and the pattern PDF on the blog by clicking the link here: California Coffee Tree Potholder Tutorial
* * *
Okay, you are back! Let's pick up now with a finished square as shown below. You should have already top stitched your design pieces into place using whatever top stitching method you like.
You will need to cut 2 squares of fabric that measure 4" square.
Set your block aside and taking your two 4" squares, cut them in half on the diagonal as shown.
You should have 4 triangles. Take each triangle and fold them in half as shown, make sure to line up your tips and finger press a crease on the fold as shown. This will help up perfectly line up our triangles with our block.
Do the same for your block, folding it in half and finger pressing the fold to create a crease, crease both sides and then fold in the opposite direction and finger press both sides as well. You want a crease in the center of each of the four sides.
Line the crease in your triangle unit up with the crease in your block and pin as shown below. I like to use three pins and I pin them as shown so that I can sew without having to stitch over or remove a pin. Keeps everything perfect. The triangle edge is on the bias so you want to be very careful not to stretch this as you are sewing, pinning will keep it all where it needs to be.
Stitch each triangle unit to the block as shown using a 1/4" seam.
Remove your pins and press open your triangle units as shown below.
Create your "quilt sandwich" by laying down your backing fabric wrong side up, on top of that place your batting and on top of that place your block.
Pin your quilt sandwich together using straight pins or safety pins, what ever you are comfortable with. I put a pin in each design element and in each of the "tips" of the block. You don't need a whole lot, you just want to keep it secure while you do your decorative stitch. Using your embroidery floss, cut a workable length. You want to use 3 of the 6 strands. You can see from my close up here, that my stitches are not perfect! It adds to the charm of the item you are making and it's perfectly okay!!! If you agonize over your stitches, you'll never get it done. Enjoy yourself. You are just adding a little color and texture design element.
Once you have finished your top stitching, trim the excess batting and backing away from your block. I have found that by placing a rotary ruler on the edges, and carefully using my rotary cutter, I can make most of my cuts, nice and clean. You may have to use your scissors to finish the inside corner cuts so you don't cut your block. When you have it all trimmed up, make a tiny cut, about 1/8", in each inside corner of your block. This will help you when you go to bind it.
Take your two strips of binding fabric and lets stitch them together to create our binding.
Lay one strip on top of the other as shown. Place a pin in the lower right corner. Using a straight edge, mark a diagonal line as shown. Check yourself here, make sure your fabric is lined up as shown and you are marking the diagonal in the same direction as shown.
Take it to your machine and stitch right on that line. Now back to your cutting mat and trim away 1/4" from your seam line as shown.
Take your binding strip to the iron and press open the seam you just created.
While you are still at the iron, press your binding strip in half length wise as shown below.
Binding Your Table Topper
A few words before we get started on this. You cannot pin this binding into place and then sew. The only pin I use is to start the binding, pinning outside of the stitch line as you see in the photo below. You have to move through one corner at a time. If you will carefully follow these instructions, you will have a lovely finish. Don't be impatient here, take your time. Read through the instructions and look at the photos before you start.
I use a fine point permanent marker to make my marks, you can use a pencil, another type of marker, chalk, what ever you like as long as it DOES NOT bleed into your fabric. The marks will never show. You will need a ruler with a 1/4" marking on it.
I am using my regular presser foot and stitching just a tiny bit outside that 1/4" seam allowance by lining up my edge of my presser foot with the edge of the fabric.
Place your binding strip with the raw edges to the raw edges of your block on the BACK SIDE. Starting at an "outside" tip, take a few stitches to secure your fabric and still allow yourself to make your marks with your ruler as shown below. If you sew all the way to the corner and try to make your marks you will be in trouble. You cannot make your marks for all the corners ahead of time, make them as you reach each corner.
Lay your ruler as shown measuring 1/4" from the edge and make a mark.
Move your ruler to line it up with the next raw edge as shown below and so that it intersects your first mark and make another mark 1/4" from the edge as shown. Make sure that mark crosses your first mark, this will be your needle down pivot point.
Your marks should look something like this below. Stitch to that point and not beyond! Needle down and pick up your presser foot. Straighten out your fabric so that you are lining up your binding with the next edge. This is where that tiny slit will help you maneuver your fabric into position so you are sewing with your binding on a relatively flat straight surface.
Note how I have pulled the first seam, behind my presser foot and lined up my binding with my raw edge to continue out of the inside corner in the photo below.
Whew! You made it through your first inside corner! Congratulations, now we will bind the outside tips. Stitch almost to the tip stopping about 1/4" from the edge. Leave your needle down and turn your piece so that you can back stitch off the edge as shown. Now for the purpose of these photos, I have clipped my thread here. You do not need to do that. If you feel that you can make your corner without clipping the thread, that is just fine. For a beginner, I would clip your thread and follow the instructions below to get a perfect miter.
Laying your block down in front of you, fold that piece of binding straight up as shown below, you should be creating a diagonal fold as shown below.
Now bring that piece straight down, keeping that diagonal fold in place and line your raw edges up with the next side of your block. Place a pin outside of your stitching area to secure your fold and go back to your machine. Start your stitching just about 1/4" in from the back edge and continue stitching your binding to your block. REMEMBER!!! DON'T STITCH ALL THE WAY TO THE INSIDE CORNER, you have to make your marks, so leave yourself room. Repeat these steps until you are all the way around your piece.
When you reach the final tip, smooth open the binding from the back side as shown and only stitch to the edge where they intersect.
Press your binding away from your backing as shown. This will help you make a smooth and even turn on the front.
Bring your binding over the edge sufficient to cover your stitching and pin into place. There is no folding at the inside corners, you will just make sure your binding covers the seam and pin into place. As you are sewing, you will straighten that inside corner, just as you did when you were attaching the binding, and top stitch into place. To make a miter at the tip, just follow the fabric out to the edge with your finger tip and finger press it, then wrapping the next side around, you will bring that fold up and match it to your seam for a perfect miter as shown. Tuck a pin in to secure. Top stitch close to the edge of your binding to secure.
I hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions please let me know, I'm happy to answer.
If you make one, please send me a photo or post it to our Facebook page, I would love to see it!!!
Leave a comment on this post below and I will hold a drawing on December 15th to give away this table topper! Good Luck Quilters!