Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Guest Blocker to day is Nan with her Gift Block...

Hi!  I'm Nan from Pots and Pins, with my favorite block for you!  Thanks to Samm for letting me join in the tutorial fun!  The clock is ticking, can you hear it?!?  There are only 42 days until Christmas!!  And in the nerve-center that translates to about 5 days of sewing time!  Where does the time go?!?  I like to make my Christmas gifts, and this year, thanks to my friend Helen, I found the perfect gift for almost everyone on my list!  Let me show you...I think you're going to like it and you'll see just how versatile this gift can be!
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 Christmas Gift Blocks - in all sizes and colors - what could be more fun?!?
  
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 Helen is in my quilt group - she is a whiz-bang of a quilter!  Last August she suggested we have a Gift Block exchange and she showed us all how to make this block.  Pictured above are some of the gift blocks I received from my group - adorable, no?  So today, I'm going to show you how to make the gift block...and some things you can do with it! 

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This is a great way to use up your scraps - and if you don't want to make a Christmasy gift block, think how cute this would be made into other colors, say for a birthday in the birthday gal's favorite colors or maybe in reds and pinks for Valentine's Day...your imagination is the limit!  Put on some Christmas music and let's get started!

You will need three colors:  The background fabric, which in this case is white. The "package" color, which is red and the "bow/ribbon" color, which is green. To make the basic block, cut:

4 squares from white background:  2 1/2-inches
2 strips from white background:  1 1/2-inches x 6 1/2-inches
2 squares from green bow/ribbon fabric:  2 1/2-inches
1 strip from green bow/ribbon fabric:  1 1/2-inches by 6 1/2-inches
2 strips from red package fabric:  3-inches x 6 1/2-inches

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  Wow, my fingers look huge! But then, they kind of go with the rest of me!  Sew the strips together to form the base of the block; white to red to green, then the other red and white, see the picture below:
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  SEW easy!  You can't mess this block up - believe me, I've tried!  And now that you've got the base done, let's make the top:
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    Put one white square, right sides together, with one green square and sew diagonally, I just eyeball it but if you HAVE to then you can draw a line corner to corner, and sew on the line.  Clip away the excess.

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  Repeat with remaining green square and another white square, making sure your "bows" are going in the right direction.  Sew your bow squares together.  Sew on the remaining white squares to each side.

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Line up your bow strip with the center of the "ribbon."  Pin in place, (yes, I actually said to pin something!  I do pin, about 3 times a year, unless I can help it!) right sides together, and sew the bow strip to the package strip.  Voila!  Your gift block is now done!   In the picture above you'll see that I opted to add another white strip on the bottom of my block, that's because I decided to use this block to make a hot-pad and I thought a white strip across the bottom would look better - but it is totally optional.

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Let's pretend I have that binding stitched down...My new hot-pads will go perfectly with my new Christmas apron!

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 For the apron I used a restaurant-quality apron from Costco Business, sadly, it is only located in Seattle!  But I know you can order these heavy-duty aprons on-line from many places.  They usually come three to a package for about $8.00 - what a deal!  I just sewed the block pieces together without any of the white background and then top-stitched it onto the apron with a zig-zag stitch...then I got carried away and added new ties and a ruffle at the bottom...seriously, who amongst you would not like to receive an apron and hot-pads for Christmas?!?!  It's a GREAT gift!  Of course, maybe you might take some gift blocks and sew them together around the cuff of a pillow case?  Or how about making a big gift block to use for a new pillow on your sofa?  Think how cute gift blocks framed with a couple of borders would be as placemats?!  Or gift blocks sewn together as a table runner!!!  See?  The possibilities are endless!  But maybe you want to make a quilt with your Christmas blocks...so with permission from my quilting friends, I'm going to show you what they did with their blocks.


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This is Helen's quilt - she is definitely an over-achiever!  Each block is different - different sizes and different colors - and isn't it all just so dang cute?!?

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 This quilt just puts the Merry in Merry Christmas! 
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 Helen's quilt reminds me of Cindy-Lou-Who down in Who-Ville...and I'm sure the Grinch's heart would not be two-sizes too small if he had this quilt to curl up in!  

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  This is Barbara's quilt - all of her blocks are the same size but with different fabrics - they look great with a sashing that ties them all together!  And I adore her border fabric!  Reminds me of the original movie, Miracle on 34th Street - oh how I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas!

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Two different quilts with the same blocks...both would look so great with me curled up under them!  I don't know how I'm going to piece my gift blocks together - maybe with a simple Christmas tree block in between or maybe I'll use them at the bottom of a big Christmas tree as the center of my quilt?
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Now that you have the basic block instructions, you can make any size gift block that you want - just enlarge or decrease the sizes of the pieces - it's YOUR block so it can be any size you want!  Have fun and get busy...that clock is still ticking!

I think I'm a pretty good gift giver...the mister?  Not so much.  You see, the mister has Caveman DNA, which allows him to think the giving of a tree-stump-club is a thoughtful gift - not that's he's ever given me one of those but I know he has to fight the urge to do so!  One Christmas he gave me a set of hammers and some packages of picture-hanging screws, beautifully wrapped in an Ace Hardware plastic bag...another year he was ecstatic when I opened his gift card for 6-months worth of car-washes which he had carefully glued to a bottle of Hub-cab cleaner!  The mister needs some guidance when it comes to gift-giving.  Every year, about  two weeks before Christmas I put together a list of exactly what I want - complete with pictures cut out from magazines or store flyers with store directions and hours - and then I MAIL it to him at Global Headquarters where I know he'll open it!  Believe you me, the mister is much happier with a step-by-step gift-giving guide...and so am I!  Plus it cuts down on all the time I used to spend returning his gifts - now I get to spend that time sewing!

 Okay, that's it for today - thanks to Madame Samm for another opportunity to bend your ear!  Thanks, too, to my dear friends Helen Knopf and Barbara Moulton for allowing me to show you their amazing quilts.  One day I hope to be able to make a "Helen Quilt" or a "Barbara Quilt"...that's my goal!  Please give this block a go - it's just so dang darling and versatile!  And in the meantime, come visit me at Pots and Pins where I'm either cooking up something good to eat or sewing my brains out!  Either way it's all good!

63 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Nan! You show some great ways to use this method of block. I'm sure this would be pretty cool as a Christmas tree skirt as well.

    I'm definitely pinteresting this, because I'm looking to possibly (if I have time) to make a Christmas tree skirt and this would be a cool block to incorporate!

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  2. Your hubby isn't the only one. Mine told me this year to just buy what I want... Too bad the budget still can't get me the LONGARM I really Want! I think these will work up nice for the Mug Rug exchange at my Quilt Guild next month or for a secret Santa gift. Thanks for sharing the fun quilts.

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  3. Hi Samm and Nan, thanks for this post, so simple, but it looks great, and SO many uses!

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  4. I love this tutorial, all those gifts...

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  5. Great block - thanks for the easy tute Nan.
    Madame Samm, thanks for the print friendly button - every time I use it I'm so impressed with how easy it is to save these great posts!

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  6. Love the way this block is put together. Thanks for sharing the construction but also for giving us all the neat ideas and pictures.

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  7. Hi Nan thanks so much for sharing and giving us a wonderful idea. I know I think a tablerunner would be awesome along with a trivet. Appreciate you sharing....have a great day.

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  8. So cute! So many possibilities for the wrapped packages. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I am lovin' this block and can see tons of opportunities in which to use it! Thanks Nan!

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  10. Very darling ... I really want to give this one a try. I love your use of it in the apron and the hot-pads -- what a special and pretty hostess gift that would make! Great job!! :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing your cute gift boxes.

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  12. Good Morning Nan..first your block is present in itself..but your caveman always brings a chuckle surely he is not that bad...surely he loves you more than a bag of hammers...didn't he just take you to Paris lol...
    You sew crack me up...you are the present we give to ourselves..you here every month...psst did a pkg ever reach you btw>?

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  13. Beautiful Nan, just Beautiful! Looks easy enough for me. Thanks for sharing your Gift Block, I am looking forward to seeing the finished product!!

    Huggs, Nancy

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  14. Thanks for sharing this cute block/quilt...I love the simplicity of the bow!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  15. that is SO cute, and I just woke up this morning thingking I want to make a christmas present BLOCK! and here it is!! I saved the PDF.

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  16. What a super block. Thank you so very much. This is sure to be a go to for me.

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  17. Really adorable and a super easy to follow tut. Thanks so much. My hubby likes gift idea lists too and this year it is all going be quilting things on it for me. And more socks of course. One can nver have too many pairs of warm socks!

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  18. Nan you have just solved one of my Christmas gift dilemmas! My stitching group (8 of us) always exchanges gifts and that apron would be perfect! blessings, marlene

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  19. LOVE the bows. Not too fussy like other package bows I have seen but you definately know they are presents. Perfect for some quick Christmas gifts. Thank you for sharing. Where does Madame Samm find you wonderful people?

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  20. I love this block!! And it's so easy - thanks for sharing.

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  21. Thanks for the tutorial. This is a great block. I read your blog faithfully and love your mister stories. Thank you Madame Samm for hosting another great guest blogger.

    Ursula

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  22. Oh goodness they are so cute.. they would make the cutest gift as little pot holders for Christmas. I can just see them scattered about my kitchen at Christmas time.. I love it!

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  23. thanks so much to the easy package block tutorial !!! I want to make some , but never get around to making a Christmas quilt ; now , YOU have given me many other ideas !!

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  24. Such cute and cheerful quilts! Thanks for the tutorial for making this simple but lovely quilt block.

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  25. The imagination could go wild with this one block, Nan - I see lots of variations and thank you for sharing. Judy C

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  26. Love that block. thanks for sharing. All the quilts are great too.
    Husbands are funny when it comes to gift giving.

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  27. I love this block -- there are so many ways that it can be used! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

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  28. Thanks for sharing! The block is so festive - think I'll make some presents today! ~Jeanne

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  29. Great pictures, instructions, and Christmas gift ideas, Nan!
    Thank you for sharing :D

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  30. You are wonderful! Your blocks are beautiful, your instructions very clear, your pictures inspirational, and I'm ready to start making christmas present blocks! Thanks for sharing!
    PS...love how you let hubby know what's on your wish list!
    And thanks to Madame Samm for hosting this November Block Party!

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  31. I love this block! And you're right - so easy! I'm headed for a Guild retreat today - maybe I'll bring some scraps and make one up - and show the others who attend! Could be I'll start an exchange! YEAH!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  32. OH...I have some great scraps that will be perfect for some of these delightful blocks. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Hugs...

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  33. Wonderful block!! Love the quilt!

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  34. Thanks for the kind words! Thanks CJ for suggesting a Christmas Block Tree Skirt! My tree might look better this year with "gifts" under it! Ya'll have a great day! xo, Nan

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  35. So easy to sew and a nice block, I like it!
    Gun, Sweden

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  36. Thanks for sharing the beautiful quilts, and the great tutorial. I love the idea of the presents. Maybe someday!

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  37. Sew cute! It would make a cute garden flag, too.

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  38. Great post! Love the apron idea.

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  39. great block and tutorial i thought it was going to be too hard, but you made it nice and easy! Thank you

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  40. Great block! Thanks for the very timely tutorial!

    Jennifer :)

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  41. Beautiful blocks! Thanks for sharing!

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  42. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial! i love it!

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  43. You're right....DANG CUTE it is. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  44. Nan, I just love it when you post! Not only do I smile but you always have great ideas!! I see a table-runner for my sister in the works!! Thank you!

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  45. I really love your block. It's so easy and looks beautiful. It would be nice for birthdays, but I'm so in the mood for Christmas fun. Thanks.

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  46. Polts and Pins is one of my favorite blogs to follow. Her recipes are wonderfully written and always make me drool. I appreciate her Dang Meter a lot.

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  47. What a great idea and even better block. I have tons of Christmas fabric and this would be a stash blaster!
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

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  48. Nan, this block is a gem! You are so right about it's versatility! I can't wait to get this block on my list of to makes! I really really love Helen's quilt...that one really speaks to me of a jolly Christmas.

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  49. It's such a beautiful block. Love it

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  50. Thank you so much for sharing, Nan. I picked up a fq pack of Flurry on the weekend (35% off WOOHOO!) and was waiting to find the perfect way of using it.....I've found it!

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  51. Oh Nan, you make me smile. Great tut, and such an easy pattern. I see a mug rug or two in the making.

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  52. What an enjoyable post. Love the Christmas quilts.

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  53. Thanks for the nice tutorial on the present block and the inspiration photos.

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  54. These are such sweet presents. Love the jaunty bow!

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  55. This looks like a fast fun block and so festive. I want to make several and put them into a long narrow wallhanging for the door on my sewing room. Thank you!

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  56. As usual, you crack me up!! My Mister and YOur mister must be twins in the gift giving dept. They mean well or so I tell myself but I make my own list up as well. I'm thinking I'll use this block for a table runner. I'm really into table runners as of late. great post as always, Nan.
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  57. GREAT tutorial, thanks Rebecca!! And thank you Madame Samm!!
    Gathering some coordinating fabric to get going on a great project with this. :)
    Christina in Cleveland

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  58. Thanks for the nice tutorial, I was playing in my studio yesterday and made 7 hot-pads in no time. I have a wall hanging is mind, and who nows, maybe it would be enough time for a new lap quilt for Christmas.

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  59. Very cute. I will make this block. Does it finish at 8 inches? I don't seem to find the block size. Thanks.

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  60. What an amazingly creative and practical way of jazzing up just about anything! I love the gift idea of an in itself!

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  61. I love this quilt. I have a huge collection of Christmas fabrics that I have been wanting to make some type of gift box quilt with and I think I just found the one I'm going to do. Thanks for sharing.

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  62. JoJo (Dublin, Ireland)December 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Absolutely gorgeous ! Can't wait to try this block. Could you possibly share the pattern for Helen's quilt layout (what size are the pieces within each of her blocks as well as the overall layout and piecing involved). I'm a newbie quilter an absolutely adore that quilt, but don't know how to modify your initial block instructions to make Helen's version. Am happy to pay Helen for her pattern. I love it!
    Thanks JoJo (Dublin, Ireland)

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