I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long: Block 1

It is kick-off time for the I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long! Are you ready? Block 1 is an absolutely beautiful appliqué snowflake pattern designed by Vanda Chittenden. You can find the pattern and tutorial on her blog Quilt in Piece. If you are new to the QAL take a look at this post for all the background information. It is not too late to join in! I really loved making my version of this block.

Fabric Choice

I am pulling fabrics as I make each of the QAL blocks, making up the plan as I go along because that is how I roll. Originally I thought I would make a white snowflake on the blue fabric, but I worried that the dark background would shadow through the white so I switched it up. Snowflakes can be blue, right? There is no wrong way to approach fabric choices in this QAL -- do what makes you happy!

My Tips for the Block

I have never done fusible appliqué before. I know, where have I been! So first I appliquéd a few test shapes just to make sure I understood the process. Vanda's instructions were easy to follow and made me feel confident. Below is what I learned about fusible appliqué. I would love to see additional hints and questions in the comments.
  • I didn't have any appliqué paper (or really even know what appliqué paper is) but I found some Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 at my local quilt shop that worked well. There are other brands out there and they are all basically a fusible web of glue with paper on both sides of the glue layer.
  • Match the thread color to the appliqué piece, not the background fabric.
  • Hold the thread tails at the start of stitching to avoid thread nests on the back.
  • I stitched down the appliqué pieces with a small zig zag stitch close to the edge. I used 1.0 length and 1.0 width on my machine, but you probably don't need to go quite that small.
  • Go slow, particularly around circles and when coming up to a corner.
  • Make sure you pivot on corners with the needle on the outside of the zig zag.
  • Vanda gave instructions for quilt-as-you-go, which is a smart strategy, but I am going to wait to quilt the whole quilt top.
I like the way raw edge appliqué leaves the outlines of the shapes a little bit fuzzy. It gives a different kind of texture than traditional needle turn appliqué.

Enter the Prize Giveaway

The prize bundle for Block 1 is a fabulous Aurifil thread box and a PDF pattern from designer Vanda Chittenden of Quilt in Piece. Wow! To be entered in the prize drawing just post a picture of your finished Block 1 in one of three places:
  1. Facebook Group
  2. Instagram with hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal
  3. Or link up your post of your finished block with the linky party on the designer's blog Quilt in Piece.
You must post your block in one of these locations by midnight EST on Monday August 14. Good luck and I'm looking forward to seeing what you make!

Blocks and More Tips From Other QAL Hosts

Visit the other QAL hosts to see more versions of the block and read their tips. ~ Sandy