Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along - Part 5

It's candy cane day! 
I will tell you--this is the hardest block to sew, but today I'm sharing tips to make it easier! 

If you're just joining in, this is a very loose sew along--see the schedule at the bottom of this post--I'm making four different blocks and then talking about assembly. 
Totally do-able before Christmas!

Need the pattern? Find it here.

I sewed two blocks: one for my red/green/teal wall hanging, and one to use as a mini quilt. I used red, white and green for the mini quilt, and chose a funkier background background to make it more contemporary looking. 

Speaking of candy canes, I saw oreo flavored black and white candy canes at the grocery store the other day. No thanks! 

The most important general tip for this block - for the candy cane, direction matters. As it is noted in the pattern, make sure that when you trace the shape onto muslin, you trace the mirror image of the template. This means that the hook part of your cane will be facing the same way on the pieced section and the background fabric. 

So what makes this block trickier than the others is trying to make the stripes "swirl" on the diagonal like an actual candy cane. Feel free to just sew "straight" (but still wonky!) stripes and not worry about the diagonal angle. 

But if you do want to create a "swirled" candy cane, here are my tips: 

1. "Audition" the placement of each strip before sewing. You'll need extra length on the outer edge of the candy cane; otherwise when you fold an angled strip up, it won't extend past the sketched line, like this: 

2. So test every time before you stitch!

3. Keep increasing the angle as you work up the candy cane stem. When you get to the hook, the stripes will sort of spiral and overlap ALOT, which looks weird but works when you add the background. 

4. Here's what my candy canes looked like when the piecing was complete. 

Happy candy cane sewing! 

These blocks stitch up so quickly - you still have time to make something before the holidays! The pattern comes with templates for five different blocks (ornament, snowman, tree, star and candy cane), as well as two layout options--a four-patch style wall hanging and a table runner.

Purchase the pattern here.

See you back here Thursday for assembly time! 

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Schedule:
Thursday, November 18th - Intro and Fabric Selection

Tuesday, November 23rd - Make a block

Tuesday, November 30th - Make a block

Thursday, December 2nd - Make a block

Tuesday, December 7th - Make a block

Thursday, December 9th - Assembly

Tuesday, December 14th - Alternate options

Thursday, December 16th - Finishing


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