It’s the most wonderful time of the year again!
And bringing you extra quilty fun and good cheer is Quiltmas Spectacular 2021!
This annual quilt along is brought to you by 12 quilt pattern designers each offering you a free modern holiday quilt pattern to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas!!
You can join the quilty fun by signing up here. Hurry – the link to sign up closes on December 31, 2021, at 11:59pm EST.
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
STORY BEHIND THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL QUILT BLOCK
Christmas is my favourite time of year. It just brings me so much joy and happiness and fond memories from my childhood.
I have such vivid and fond memories of the activities and traditions my family had as I was growing. The ones that stand out the most are: wrapping all the presents for my mum and even getting to do the ribbon on mine (gosh, I loved curling ribbon!), shopping for a fresh tree, and loving the fresh pine smell that filled our home over the season, taking out the ornament boxes and being re-united with the one-of-a-kind glass ornaments my mum had been collecting over the years.
For us, tree decorating was an event and ceremony in of itself.
This probably happened sometime in the late afternoon, but living in Montreal where it’s dark by 4 pm, it was always ‘nighttime’ when we decorated the tree. And it always felt extra magical with the Christmas carols playing away in the background and the snow twinkling outside. I remember my mum always had a fresh batch of homemade shortbread cookies ready to eat with tall glasses of cold milk to enjoy while we got the tree all trimmed up.
Just pure magic!
But the ultimate and most important part of this tree decorating tradition was getting to crown the tree with the Christmas Angel. I remember she was blue with white wings and she was the most precious thing to me and I can still feel the excitement of being the one to get to place her on top of the tree.
That’s the feeling I was trying to capture in the Christmas Angel quilt block I designed for Quiltmas Spectacular this year. That’s the feeling and spirit I wish for you and your family this holiday season and I hope that stitching her up brings you that magical feeling too!
Here’s what to expect in the Christmas Angel quilt block pattern:
This is designed as a confident beginner pattern. I say confident merely because there are multiple steps and techniques to tackle. Nothing you can’t handle though 😉
There’s fabric cutting diagrams, so you can visualize how best to cut up your fabric, reducing cutting errors.
The pattern includes detailed step-by-step graphics so you know exactly how things should look at each step of the piecing journey.
Paper templates are 100% to scale so you don’t have to fiddle with printer settings.
Colouring page and swatch guide so you can design and plan your own colourway.
Track your progress at each step of the way with handy checkboxes so you always remember where you left off!
Pattern available for free to Quiltmas Spectacular 2021 Newsletter Subscribers. Sign up he
re. Link to sign up closes December 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST.
TECHNIQUES YOU’LL LEARN
Aside from being super cute, what’s fun about this pattern is that you’ll up your quilty game by tackling several quilt techniques in one block. Here’s a full overview of each of those techniques.
Working with Paper Templates
If you’ve been used to only working with acrylic quilt rulers, you might find it takes you a minute to adjust to quilting with paper templates.
Here are some top tips:
- It’s important to first check the 1” box on each of the template pages to ensure you’ve printed your patterns at the right scale.
- This is key to ensuring your block ends up being the right size 😉
- So, take your time and double-check each of those 1” boxes.
- If the 1” box is smaller/ larger than 1” you want to double-check you’re printing the ‘actual size’ (don’t shrink it, don’t enlarge it, don’t scale it!).
From there, you want to cut your templates out along the black line to keep the integrity of the pattern.
I share more tips and tricks on working with paper patterns in this video tutorial.
Piecing triangles can be a little tricky because you have two long bias edges that like to streeeeeee-tch!
The key to success with these is to handle them delicately and to pop a few pins in to keep things aligned.
You want to avoid pulling on them as that will distort your block and things will get wonky.
Try and limit how much you handle them, which will also help prevent some stretch.
Another key is to press instead of iron your triangles. This is a general quilty best practice to be in. Here’s a tutorial on why that’s important. But suffice to say, pressing will help limit stretching your fabric (while ironing tends to promote the stretch).
I know quilting curves can seem super scary and intimidating, but I promise my steps will have you celebrating piecing your first curve with success!!
Just like with triangles, you want to be gentle when aligning your fabric to piece your semi-circle. No tugging, no pulling, no stretching!
And, of course, the pattern has additional graphics to help you out 😊
Learning piecing methods to make your quilting sessions more efficient is so fun! Strip piecing is one of those genius quilt techniques that can save you oodles of time.
The pattern incorporates strip piecing to reduce some of the tiny piecing. This not only helps increase how quickly you can piece her up, but it also helps increase your accuracy, which is a double win!
The longer your seam is to stitch, the greater the chance your seam will be a little wonky.
It happens to the best of us.
The skinnier your strip, the more this wonk will show.
Use this pattern to practice stitching longer seams to increase your accuracy. A tip here is to look ahead to where you want to stitch and not at your needle. This is the same concept as when you’re driving.
Snowballing a quilt block is such a fun and easy technique to create new shapes without the need for itty bitty piecing.
You’re going to love this one!
Working with Different Angles
Learning to work with different angles is so important for your quilt journey. It means your repertoire of quilt designs increases – woot woot!
The Christmas Angel quilt block has you working with 30˚, 45˚, and 60˚ angles, which will set you up nicely for understanding the different stitching approaches you need to tackle each of those angles.
That sounds like a lot, but the pattern walks you through each of these easy quilt techniques step-by-step with the accompanying visuals so you know what the block should look like mid-construction 😉
Stumped on what to do with just a block?
Here’s some inspiration for 3 different quilt layouts to get your creative juices going!
First up is the simple quilted placemat. These are great to customize and make for friends as a last-minute gift idea this holiday season. All you need is a block and some fabric on either side to bring her up to the size you want. Easy peasy!
QUILTED TABLE RUNNER
You know by now that quilted table runners are a fave of mine to make and gift. They show off beautifully and don’t require a tonne of your time. To me, that’s a win-win!
And the most obvious is to make a quilt – ha!
This would make for a super sweet holiday quilt for your family to snuggle in at Christmas. My 8 -year olf self would have felt extra loved to be gifted such a sweet quilt. Honestly, this would warm anyone’s heart to be on the receiving end of a Christmas Angel Quilt.
Perfect opportunity to use up a fat quarter bundle you’ve got in your stash just waiting to be sliced into!
This year the Quiltmas Elves have partnered with Art Gallery Fabrics to bring you holiday-themed quilt blocks featuring their Cozy and Magical collection paired with Pure Solids. Here’s what I decided to feature in my Christmas Angel quilt block:
- Christmas Angel Quilt Block Pattern
- *Cozy & Magical Fat Quarter Bundle –
- *Night Sea
- *50wt Aurifil Thread in White for piecing
- *Rotary Cutter
- *Marking Tool
- Ironing Board
- *Sewing Machine
QUILTMAST SPECTACULAR 2021
This year’s group of quilt pattern designers is truly beyond talented and the blocks they’ve designed are modern, adorable and full of holiday vibes sure to get you in the holiday spirit!
- Day 1 Nordic Gnome by Fran from Cotton and Joy
- Day 2 Christmas Angel by Shannon from Shannon Fraser Designs (Hi! That’s me 😉)
- Day 3 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 4 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 5 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 6 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 7 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 8 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 9 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 10 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 11 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
- Day 12 Quiltmas Elf to be revealed
For more holiday inspiration, check out:
- Holiday Modern Aztec Table Runner
- Holiday Shattered Star Quilt
- Jolly Jelly Quilt Block
- Jolly Jelly Table Runner
I can’t wait to see your Christmas Angel quilt block!
Be sure to sign up here to access this free pattern and all other 11 modern quilt patterns before they disappear on December 31, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.
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