Sunday, September 15, 2013

Christmas Cactus Inspirations

This intricate applique block has been around for more than a century.
Because it brings to mind a favorite seasonal "evergreen" indoor plant that many of us associate with the Christmas and holiday season, you may be hoping to include this shape in your quilting projects or paper crafting this coming winter.
This rendition is now available from SnapDragon Snippets 
through the Silhouette America online store.

Blossoms are circles instead of the ovals and teardrops of the pattern.

Here is a sample pillow project that uses the Christmas Cactus as the center panel.

In this sampler quilt, the cactus is a featured block.

Part of the cut file from the online store is this quarter pattern.
This can be used as a tracing template to create a hand-stitched,
needle-turned hand applique quilt block.
Traditionally, this kind of four corner-symmetrical block is constructed along
the lines of a Hawaiian quilt. That is, the foundation block (to which the applique will be attached and stitched in place) is carefully folded into quarters and creased, the quarter pattern positioned with side edges aligned exactly with the layered folds of the center panel. 
The quarter pattern  shape is then carefully cut through all layers, with a seam allowances added beyond the design line of the cactus shape. The shape is carefully unfolded, 
centered on the "X" corner-to-corner creases of the prepared center panel block fabric, 
pinnedand then basted thorough in place.
The edge is finished by turning under the edge approx. 1/8" inch 
(the seam allowance added during cutting) and applique stitching the edge all around.

Cactus applique block from a sampler quilt

The cut file design, teamed with Silhouette's ability to cut this kind of intricate pattern from
fusing-backed (Silhouette calls this "fabric interfacing") fabric will make this
block possible to quickly reproduce for machine over-edge applique.
Include it as a fabric holiday project such as a pillow or pillow pair,
 a mini wall quilt with borders added, etc.
Or, use the template as described above, to actually begin a traditional, hand appliqued sampler block!

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