Paper Pieced Wreath Berry Christmas – Part 2 of 2

I’m back with the second part of my Paper Pieced Log Cabin Christmas Wreath. You can see part 1 here.

Today I will demo the rest of paper piecing the blocks, finishing the top, and machine quilting my mini-quilt to finish.

Here is a refresher of the paper piecing process from last week with a few more detailed pictures. My favorite method of paper piecing uses a straight edge and an add a quarter ruler. Be sure to click the images below for closeups.

Paper Piece 1Paper Piece 2Paper Piece 3

Paper Piece 4
Paper Piece 5


Step 1 – Paper Piece all of your Log Cabin Blocks from Last Week

(You can download the log cabin foundations for free or you can purchase a set of printed foundations on lightweight see-through vellum paper from my store.)

  • Add your next log to a freshly trimmed side.
  • Flip over and sew from the paper side following the  numbered lines in order
  • Press your sewn seam with a wooden seam roller
  • Fold the paper on the next seam number that you will be sewing (use a business card or postcard as a straight edge)
  • Pull back your excess fabric, use the add a quarter inch ruler and trim the excess.
  • When all 16 blocks are sewn, trim from the paper side leaving 1/4″ seams all around

Wreath 1

Wreath 2

Wreath 3

Wreath 5
Wreath 5

Step 2 – Sew The Top

  • Lay out your 16 Log Cabin blocks so that they form a wreath shape.
  • Sew each row into pairs and then the pairs into rows of 4 blocks
  • Finger press your seams open, or press with a wooden seam roller
  • Join the rows to complete the top
  • Once the top is complete, carefully remove all the papers
  • Add the thinner red borders to the sides and top
  • Add the wider green borders around the outside

Log Cabin Wreath

Step 3 – Baste and Quilt

I quilt everything on my regular Bernina home sewing machine and I love it!

Straight QuiltingI use Pinmoors and flat flower pins to baste all of my quilts because they are so easy to remove while machine quilting.

Quilting Loops

Before basting, I marked straight lines around the wreath design with a water soluble pen. Always be sure to test your fabrics for marking removal and to make sure they won’t bleed when they get wet.

I quilted the straight lines with my walking foot. Then I added double loops in the borders and smaller loops in the background with my free-motion foot.

I used matching solid red fabric for the binding. For this quilt, I tried a Sewline glue pen to keep the binding in place on the back while finishing by hand.  It keeps my binding nice and tidy!

Sewline Glue PenYou can see an in-depth binding tutorial here.

Voila! It’s finished!

Log Cabin Wreath, Pieced and Quilted by Christa Wason 18" x 18"

Log Cabin Wreath, Pieced and Quilted by Christa Watson
18″ x 18″

I have tons more ideas of what you can do with these blocks:

  • Use as the center of a larger quilt.
  • Sew a pillow, wall-quilt or table topper
  • Make more blocks for a larger throw sized quilt
  • Turn one block into a Christmas Ornament
  • Make matching placemats

That was fun. Be sure to email me pictures when you make one, too!

Paper Pieced Wreath Berry Christmas – Part 1 of 2

Paper Pieced Log Cabin WreathThis is a Christmas Wreath quilt I designed and made from paper-pieced Log Cabin blocks.

Since I can’t make anything anymore without feeling the need to write a tutorial for it, here you go:

I will demo making the log cabin blocks today. Part 2 covers completing the top and machine quilting.

The finished block size is 3″. The finished mini quilt (or table topper or pillow) is 18″ x 18.”

Step 1 – Gather Your tools and supplies. These are not a necessity, but as with any project, they make the job easier!

  • Rotary Cutter
  • Wooden Seam Roller for pressing
  • Add a Quarter Ruler for neatly trimming while piecing
  • A straight edge surface such as a postcard or piece of template plastic
  • Vellum Tracing Paper to print the foundations on
  • 1/2 yard of red fabric for centers, borders and binding (or scraps to equal that much)
  • 1/4 yard of cream to tan fabric for light half of log cabin blocks (or scraps)
  • 1/2 yard total of assorted green fabric scraps for log wreaths and border
  • FQ of green for outer border
  • Size 90 sewing needles for sewing through paper foundations
  • Small scissor snips for trimming
  • Cotton Thread for piecing
  • Your choice of decorative thread for machine quilting

Step 2 – Cutting all the logs. I prefer to have everything cut out before I begin my sewing. The pieces are cut bigger and will be trimmed later. Although there are 4 sizes of  light logs and 4 sizes of dark logs, I cut only 2 sizes for each. It wastes a tiny bit more fabric, but it’s easier to keep things organized, especially if I change my mind on fabric placement.

A little note on cutting pieces to fit – measure the finished size of your pieces and add 3/4  inch to this measurement (more if working with triangles). The units used for paper piecing have the extra 3/4 inch added in already.

Fabric cuts are based on 20-22″ long strips for working with fat quarters.

From the red fabric cut (if you cut very carefully you can get it all from just one fq):Red Fabric

  • 16 – 1.75″ squares for centers
  • 4 – 1.25 ” x 16″ strips for inner borders (to trim down later)
  • 4 – 2 .25″ strips for binding (2 strips if using 42″ wide fabric)

From assorted white, cream, or tan scraps, cut 10 – 1.25″ wide Cream Fabricstrips. Cross-cut into:

  • 32 – 1.25″ x 2.25″ rectangles
  • 32 – 1.25 x 3.25″ rectangles

From assorted green scraps, cut 12 – 1.25″ wide strips. Cross-cut into: Green Fabric

  • 32 – 1.25″ x 2.75″ rectangles
  • 32 – 1.25″ x 3.75″ rectangles

From green border fabric, cut 4 – 2.25″ x 22″ strips (trim later)

Step 3 – Printing the Paper Foundations

You can download the paper pieced log cabin block pattern by clicking the image below. There are 4 per page, so you would need to print 4 pages for a total of 16 blocks. Be sure to set your printer to print the PDF at actual size, not print to fit.

Paper Pieced Log Cabin Blocks

You can print on copy paper but it is much easier to see what you are doing if you use see-through paper (vellum) instead. Cut apart your paper foundations leaving a seam allowance all around. It is printed in grey-scale so you can tell which side of the block is light and which is dark. The blocks are printed as a mirror image for this technique.

Step 4 – Sewing the Paper Pieced Log Cabins

There are a lot of pictures for this next section so I have shrunk them down in order. Just click on any picture to enlarge so you can see the details.

Line up your red square so that the BACK of the fabric touches the BACK of the paper. (Kind of tricky with solids – I know!) With right sides together, line up your first short white log on top of the red square, with about 1/4 inch overlapping your sewing line.

This first two pictures show the back side. You will be sewing from the front.

Log Cabin 1

Log Cabin 2

Log Cabin 3

You can see a shadow where the fabric is sticking out far enough for the seam allowance.

Remember to start and end 1/8 to 1/4 inch before and after the line. Use a smaller stitch length and a larger needle. Sew on the line between A1 and A2.

Log Cabin 4

Log Cabin 5

Log Cabin 6Log Cabin 7

Remove the block from the machine and clip threads. Use a wooden seam roller to press the newly sewn piece to the side. Flip the block back over to the front and using a straight edge (like a business card), fold over the paper on the next sewing line (between A1 & A3).

Log Cabin 8

Log Cabin 9Log Cabin 10Log Cabin 11

The excess seam will be exposed. (You may need to tug the fabric from the paper a bit to get it to lie flat.) To trim it neatly, use the add-a-quarter ruler to create a ridge on top of your block, paper, and straight edge. Trim off the excess. Flip the block over and add your next light log along the newly trimmed edge. Sewing on the printed side, sew the next seam.

Log Cabin 12

Log Cabin 14Log Cabin 15Continue sewing in this manner until all of your logs have been added. Remember to Sew, then Press, then Trim each seam.

Once the block is complete you can trim off the excess leaving 1/4″ seam allowances.

Make your first block completely to test your process. Once you are satisfied with the results,  Repeat to make a total of 16 blocks. You can sew all of the same steps at the same time to speed up the process. When you are done with the blocks, you may remove all the foundations, or keep them on until your complete your top.