Saturday, January 16, 2016

Holiday Wreath Tutorial

Here is a tutorial that I created for the 2016 Stash Bee (hive 3) but I wanted to host it somewhere here on my own blog as well. I originally found this block from Popular Patchwork but I changed the size. Enjoy!

Holiday Wreath Tutorial


This block will measure 14.5" (unfinished) and is made up of half square triangle (HST) blocks and hourglass blocks (sometimes referred to as quarter square triangle (QST) blocks). If you're comfortable with making these, then you're going to breeze through this. But don't worry if they're new to you -- I'm going to walk you through everything step by step. Also, I've made this precut friendly, using 5-inch charm squares.


What You'll Need:
  • 8 colored 5-inch charm squares - these can be green, red, a combination of both, or a cheery holiday print.  This pattern works best with at least 4 different fabrics, or you can make each charm square a different fabric. 
  • 8 background 5-inch charm squares - I have a large stash of low volume charm squares so that is what I used for mine. Cutting note: if you're using yardage instead of charm squares, 4 of your background squares can be cut to 4" x 4" as these will be the corner blocks.



Step 1 - Making Half Square Triangles with Colored Prints

We need 3 sets of colored HSTs so choose 6 prints and pair them together, placing right sides together.

On the first pair, draw a line down the diagonal of the square.  Sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.



Cut on the diagonal line (between your stitching) and press both HSTs. I like to press these to one side so that I can nest them later on. Repeat this with the other 2 pairs until you have 3 sets of HSTs like this:


Don't worry about trimming any of the blocks yet. I'll have you do that once we get all the units pieced.


Step 2 - Making Half Square Triangles with background fabric

Take your 2 remaining colored print charms and pair them each with a background 5" charm square. Just like before, draw a line down the diagonal of the square, sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line, cut and press.



Step 3 - Making the Center of the Wreath


Select 2 of the colored HSTs and pair each of these with a background charm square. The HST will be slightly smaller than the background charm square, so just center it. You will draw your line diagonally on the colored HST bisecting the seam. Again, sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.


Cut on the diagonal line (between your stitching) and press to the background side.

These will become the center of the wreath. Set aside.

The 4 units that will make the center wreath.

Step 4 - Making the Hourglass Blocks 

We will now be pairing up the remaining colored HSTs (4) with the background HSTs to make hourglass blocks.

Place a colored HST right sides together with a background HST, lining up the seams. If you pressed your seams to one side, they should nest up together.

Pin in place and draw a diagonal line bisecting the seam. Sew a 1/4 inch on either side of the line.


Cut on the line and press seams open to reduce bulk. Repeat this for the other 3 sets.

You should now have 8 hourglass blocks.



Step 5 - Trimming the blocks and putting it all together


All of your block components are now sewn, so the last thing to do is trim them all to 4" square and sew it all together. Here is how I trim my blocks down to size. I use a ruler that has a 45 degree diagonal line on it, and lay that on the diagonal of the block and make sure that the 2 inch mark lines up with the center point of the block.


Once all of your blocks are trimmed down to 4" square, lay out your blocks as follows, adding your 4 remaining background squares in each of the corners:


I sewed them together in quadrants of 4, pressing all seams open to reduce bulk. Your finished block should measure 14.5" square. Here are a few other finished blocks in which I used 8 different colored fabrics for an even scrappier look.



I think this block can be used for a variety of different holiday projects - placemats, a table runner, a wall hanging, or some cute pillows. Oh, and maybe a quilt. :)

Happy Sewing!


10 comments:

  1. It really was a fun block to make, and I think all the ones I've seen so far look really cool

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  2. This is a great tutorial and I had fun making one for you!

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  3. thanks for the tutorial have pinned you too!

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  4. Great tutorial, very clear and good pictures. I especially liked the little tips you added.

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  5. Great tutorial with great pointers! Also loving those low volumes, I cant wait to see what you get back.

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  6. I was taught that hourglass block technique on a retreat when making my dad's shirt quilt. What a lightbulb moment that was! So good to see you sharing it with others.

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  7. Excellent tutorial! Your instructions are very clear as well as your pics!

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  8. Oh I love this! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Great tutorial, and block, thanks for sharing!

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