Block 5: Snow Much Fun!

Participating in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along is SNOW MUCH FUN!
Block #5 is an adorable snowman designed by Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting.

Every year, I taught an integrated instructional Snowman Unit; and my first graders loved it. The unit started with the viewing and reading of my favorite of all time…The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. We made snowmen out of socks, read every snowman book I could find, drew snowmen, and wrote poems and stories about snowmen.

So, this morning,  when I saw  that Block #5 was a snowman, I did a happy dance.
It took me a while to choose the fabrics. My husband and my sister both chose the fabrics that were the favorite of all my choices.
I have concerns about the white with green polka-dot fabric that I chose for the snowman’s body. One of the dots bled a bit when I ironed the seam.
I will use  Shout Color Catcher when I wash the quilt, and hopefully it will not run.

Since I wanted my snowman to have character, I added reading glasses.
He is a scholarly snowman who loves to read books.
His name is Professor Frost.
He is holding two of the many snowmen books I used to read to my students.

The two books are: Snowmen at Christmas  and Snowmen All Year by Caroline Buehner.

Part of the fun of participating in this QAL is the mystery and not knowing what comes next.
It is also so enjoyable to see the different interpretations of the block that are posted by other participants.
With each block, I can see that I am learning something new and refining skills.
This snowman block has some small pieces, and I can see that my cutting is more accurate.
Also, I noticed that I am improving in sewing a quarter inch seam.
Sherry Sish provided excellent directions.
Abbie, of  Sparkle On, gave a good tip about adding to the width of the side pieces in order to facilitate squaring the block at 12.5″ x 12.5″. I also tried to follow her lead on reading the whole directions thoroughly before starting. This is a step I usually skim over. Thanks, Abbie!

Now I am ready for Block #6.
Is it a Gift pattern on the block?
Maybe a Stocking pattern…
Oh, is it a Wreath pattern or maybe a Bell?

I designed some of my own pattern blocks that I might try out if these items are not included in the QAL.

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Blocks 3 and 4 : #iwishyouamerryqal

First, on a sad note, my friend’s home in Rockport was totaled.
Her son went down to evaluate and he said it was worse than they imagined.
We will be meeting with her on Saturday to give her some support.

On a happier note, I finished Block 4, “Christmas Memories” designed by Jennifer Fulton, of Inquiring Quilter.
These ornaments she designed do bring back memories of my childhood Christmas trees.
What I enjoy about this quilt along, is that I am learning new helpful tidbits and new skills.
Jennifer mentions in her directions, that stabilizing the applique with pull away Pellon, helps prevent the applique from puckering. I wish I had known that when I made the Snowflake block. I used Pellon Stitch-N-Tear Lite.
It made all the difference. Funny thing is, I had some of this Pellon in my embroidery storage bin.
I knew it was good for embroidery but did not think of using it to applique.

It took me longer than it should have to choose my fabrics for this block. The ornament shapes are just like the ones my mom had, and I wanted to get as close as possible to the colors of the old ornaments we had when I was young.
In a previous post, I had mentioned that my mom loved to decorate every inch of her house for Christmas.
My dad always said that he knew if he stood still for a minute, he would soon have garland and ribbons on him.
Mom had a collection of items to decorate for a Victorian Christmas.
She had a Blue and Silver Christmas, and her original set of old ornaments.
This was her Red, Green, and Gold Christmas.
It just so happened that I chose red, green, and gold for my color palette.

This block also gave me the opportunity to practice on my applique skills.
I hope I do not regret using the gold metallic thread for the appliques.
The thread jammed in my bobbin a few times, turning my hair a bit grayer.

My Clover Seam Roller came in handy for pressing down the applique.

At first, I wasn’t so sure about the tree and cone fabric.
But it fits in with the other three blocks.

I might have to redo the puckering Snowflake.

 Here’s a shout out to Abbie, from Sparkle On.
Thanks again, for letting me know about this QAL.

 

Paper Piecing

Joining the #iwishyouamerryquiltalong was a good decision on my part.
This second block has prompted me to learn how to paper piece.
I am truly directionally challenged.
Backward, forward, turn, crease, fold…yikes!
I learn with visuals, and I studied many tutorials.
April Adams  sent me some links that helped me.
Abbie, from Sparkle On, also sent me some  helpful links and words of encouragement.
The piecing seemed simple enough, but it took me making two or three of the blocks before I got the hang of it.

Now, I am trying to decide what fabric to use for the other blocks.

Gold and White Snowflakes or Christmas Plaid

Any input is welcomed . 

This will have to wait until Friday.
Tomorrow is a traveling day.