120-Minute Gift: Cinnamon Spice Tree Skirt/Table Topper

Hi there, it’s Cathy Victor from “Me and My Mum Quilting”, and I’m pleased to be bringing you my second Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  The great thing about this pattern is its versatility, you could swap out any 9″(9-patch) blocks for those that I’ve chosen.  Also you can make two tree skirts or table toppers from each layer cake.

So grab your favorite holiday layer cake and let’s get started…I am using the Blackbird Designs collection “Cinnamon Spice.”

As always I love to hear from you with your comments, questions and pictures.  You can find me at {Me and My Mum Quilting}

1 Cinnamon Spice Layer Cake (2700LC)
3/4 yd red fabric (2700-12)
1-1/2 yd Bella Solid (9900-60) {This includes enough for the table topper backing.}
Backing: 1 yd (2705-12)
Binding: 1/2 yd (2706-12)This is enough for both.

Decorative Buttons

For the tree skirt you need the following:

4 layer cake squares (a)
1 LC square (b)

2 LC squares (c)
2 LC squares (d)
1 LC square (g) middle square

4 LC squares (e)
4 LC squares (f)
Approx. 1/4 yd of yardage

approx 1/2 yd of yardage

Cutting Instructions

Lay out the 4 (a) green squares and cut as follows:

Cut two {2} 2″ x 10″ strips from the bottom of the square

From the remaining piece, cut two {2} 2 5/8″ strips.

Subcut the previous 2 5/8″ strips into four {4} 2 5/8″ squares. Set aside the cut pieces until later; the leftover piece is not needed.

Next…from the Green square (b), cut two {2} 2 5/8″ strips…..

Subcut into four {4} 2 5/8″ squares. The rest of the fabric is not needed.

The Beige (c) blocks are for your hourglass blocks. From each of your two Beige (c) squares…cut from two {2} 4 1/4″ squares. The rest you do not need.

From your two Beige (d) squares…..Cut from each Beige (d) square three {3} 2 5/8″ strips.

Subcut into a total of 18: 2 5/8″ squares (9 of each fabric. You only need 16 so 2 are scrap. You do not need the rest of the fabric.

Go ahead and grab your 4 Red (e) squares…From the Red (e) squares, cut two {2}: 2 3/8″ strips.

Subcut into 8: 2 3/8″ squares (for each print). You will have a total of 32 squares. (8 in 4 different patterns.) You will not need the rest of the fabric.

The Red (f) squares are for the flying geese blocks and bricks. From your 4 Red (f) squares…cut a 2″x10″ strip from the bottom.

Then, from the remaining piece of each square, cut three {3} 2″ x 8″ strips.
There is a approx 4″ x 8″ piece leftover that you will not need.

Cut the bottom (2″ x 10″) strip and one of the 2″ x 8″ strip into four {4} 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles (bricks). Do this for all 4 prints for a total of 16 bricks. Set aside the remaining 2″ x 8″ strips until later. The rest you will not use.

Now grab the Red yardage. Cut two {2} 3 1/2″ strips. Subcut into four {4} 3 1/2″ x 10 5/8″ rectangles and four {4} 3 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles. (I cut out an extra 4 for the table topper, but if you aren’t making it don’t bother.)

From the White yardage, cut two {2} 2″ strips, one {1} 3 1/2″ strip, one {1} 3 3/4″ strip, and three {3} 2 3/8″ strips.

Subcut the 2″ strips into 9″ lengths.

Subcut the 3 1/2″ strip into sixteen {16} 2″ x 3 1/2″ bricks.

Subcut the 3 3/4″ strip into four {4} 3 3/4″ x 5 5/8″ rectangles.

Subcut the 2 3/8″ strips(3) into forty {40} 2 3/8″ squares.

Grab your remaining layer cake square (g) and cut it to: 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″.

Assembling the Blocks 

So the first blocks to assemble are the flying geese blocks. Grab the 2″ x 3 1/2″ white bricks and the red bricks and strips that you cut from (f) LC squares. Also set aside the white 2″ strips and the green 2″ strips from (a). They will be coming up shortly.

The following pictures show how the blocks progress from beginning to completion….
You should now cut your red 2″ x 8″ strips into 2″ squares. You need 8 squares for each block and there are 4 blocks to make this tree skirt. That makes for 32 red squares all together.

Draw a diagonal line from corner to opposite corner. This is your sew line.

Place the red square on top of the white brick, and sew along the diagonal line, cut off the corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam. Press toward the red fabric. Place a matching red square on the opposite corner so that the line creates a point with the other red corner and sew. Cut off the corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam and press toward the red. You now have a flying geese block that measures 2″ x 3 1/2″.

Continue until you have completed 4 flying geese blocks of each pattern. Match these up with the bricks of the same color and pattern.

Sew the flying geese to the bricks so the seam crosses over the point of the flying geese block.
Press away from the flying geese block.

Next up green/white 4-patch blocks…..Grab the white and green 2″ strips and sew them together into twosie strips. Press toward the greens.

Cut the twosie strip into 2″ sections. Spin 1 section so that opposite colors are aligned. Matching seams, sew into 4-patch blocks. Press in either direction.

You will have a total of sixteen {16} 4-patch blocks (4 of each pattern).

Next up the hourglass blocks….Grab the 4 Gold (c) squares. They measure 4 1/4″ square and we are going to cut along both diagonal lines (from corner to opposite corner; in both directions)

Lay out the 2 patterns in the configuration shown in the picture.We will be sewing down the short side of these triangles first…..

Sew them all the same way, with the same fabric on top of the opposite color on the bottom. They all go through the same direction, do this until you have 8 pairs of triangles.

Press toward the darker of the 2 triangles.

This photo shows how the block progresses from a twosie triangle…Matched up with another… Matching seams and sewing to form an hourglass block. Press either direction …Trim off the dog ears, the block should measure 3 1/2″square.

You now have all the components needed to complete the first block…Match each pattern of red to a pattern of green and create an hourglass block as shown in the photo.

Lay out the above squares into the design shown in the photo. This will make 4 star blocks.
Sew them row by row and then press. I pressed away from my flying geese blocks.

This photo shows how they are pressed.

Go ahead and sew the rows into the final block, nesting seams and pinning if necessary. Press away from the middle row.You have now completed 4 blocks.

Grab the red 2 3/8″ squares and cut diagonally once from corner to opposite corner.
This will give you 64 triangles. (16 of each pattern.)

Do the same for the white 2 3/8″ squares…There are 80 triangles when you are finished.

Match up the red triangles with the beige 2 5/8 ” squares that were cut earlier. You can see in the photo that my green 2 5/8″ squares will be matched up with the white triangles.

Lay out the beige squares and red triangles, like the photo shows.

Make sure that when you line up the triangles you have equal amount of “dogears” on both sides. Go ahead and sew down the first side. Sew the opposite side the same way. Press the triangles toward the beige square. Trim off the dog ears and continue sewing the triangles to the remaining sides.

Press either way and trim off the dog ears. The photo shows how the block progresses.
Continue until you have completed all the red/ beige blocks.They should measure 3 1/2″ square.

Repeat the process with the green squares and white triangles. This photo shows how they progress.

You now have 4 piles of red/beige blocks and 4 piles of white/green blocks. Set them aside for now, we will return to them later.

Now take the red 3 1/2″ x 10 5/8″ rectangles, and carefully fold them in half lengthwise and press to make a visible crease. Next, cut a diagonal line from the bottom right corner to the crease line like in the photo.Then do the other side from the bottom left corner to the crease line (point).

With the white 3 3/4″ x 5 5/8″ rectangles, make 2 piles of 2. Cut diagonally once from bottom right to top left for the 1st pile.And cut the opposite direction (from bottom left to top right) for the other pile, like the photo shows.

Layout the pieces as shown in the photo.

Line up the white triangle with the red triangle point showing a little past the white, as shown in the photo.Your sewing machine needle should come down exactly where the 2 fabrics line up.

This photo shows how the blocks progress. Press towards the red fabric. Place the opposite white triangle in the same manner and press toward the red fabric.Trim off the dog ears.

The block should now measure: 3 1/2″ x 9 1/2″

Do this with all 4 red triangles. Set aside for now.

Next up grab the 4 red rectangles that measure: 3 3/4″ x 5 5/8″ and cut 2 diagonally from: top right to bottom left and,Cut 2 diagonally from: top left to bottom right.Set aside for now.

Remember these blocks? We will be assembling them into rows for the next step…Lay them out like in the photo, I put identical squares into the same block.(except for the central green/white square. it is from the extra pile of squares.) It is going to be the middle square in all 4 blocks.

Go ahead and sew them into rows.Make sure to match the points where they meet. You can pin them if you like.

This photo shows how I pressed the rows:I always pressed away from the white squares.Continue sewing all the squares into rows. BUT DO NOT sew them into larger blocks.

They are sewn together differently than normal to achieve the shape of the final tree skirt.

Next grab 1 of each pattern, the row shown in the photo….

And the red triangles we cut earlier.Lay them out like the photo shows with the flat side of the red triangles aligned with the bottom of the row of blocks.Sew them together and press toward the red triangles.

Next, grab the remaining rows of blocks….Lay them out exactly as the photo shows, making sure the fabric patterns match.Sew the rows together, making sure the bottom block is “pointing” to the other 2 rows.And that any points are aligned. Pin if they need a bit of help.Press toward the middle row.

You have now completed the other 4 blocks and are ready to assemble the tree skirt.

Grab the 4 blocks finished here and the 4 star blocks finished earlier and the Layer cake square that was trimmed down to 9 1/2″ and find a space to lay them out.

Lay the assorted blocks out, like the photo shows, moving the blocks around until you like the way they look.Sew them into rows, pinning where seams and points line up.Press away from the star blocks and central square. (doing this ensures the seams will nest nicely).

Next sew the rows into the nearly finished tree skirt, and get the remaining rows ready to add as borders.

Attach the border pieces to the sides, lining up the square in a square blocks and pin in place.
Sew the borders in place and press.

Now get ready to trace the hole for the tree stand.  I used a bowl for my template, you can use whatever makes the hole the size you like. Trace around the hole and straight through the middle of the tree skirt.(this bi-sects the square in a square blocks).

Quilt as desired…may I also recommend stitching around the circle you traced and down both sides of where the opening will be. This will ensure the tree skirt doesn’t shift while you are binding it.
Carefully cut the traced line for the opening and around the circle.

Your tree skirt should now look like this….

Get your buttons and ribbon out…..Place your buttons on the tree skirt, to decide where you want them. With a pencil, make marks on both sides of the opening for button and loop placement.

Cut your ribbon to 3″ lengths….

 Sew them in place along the opening with a scant 1/4″ seam that will be hidden in the binding.
I also pinned them down so they wouldn’t get caught up in the binding.

Prepare your bias binding strips and proceed to sew it around the tree skirt.

You may need to stop sewing and re-position the binding when rounding corners.
This is how it looks with the binding on.

Now I just sewed it down to the backside.( just make sure that you don’t sew the loops into the binding when you do this).

With the binding done, sew the buttons in the position you marked on the opposite side from the loops. You’ve completed the tree skirt!!!

Next up a table topper from the rest of the layer cake and fabric. It is the same pattern, just don’t cut out a circle and opening. I will list the substitutions for the fabrics, but follow the cutting and assembly instructions listed at the beginning of the tutorial by the letters in ().

Table topper substitutions…..
Pinks: 4 layer cake squares (a) (by cutting 5 – 2 5/8″ squares from each pink you eliminate step (b).) Leftover Red: 2 LC squares (c) hourglass blocks.
Approx 1/4 yd of yardage (4 – 3 3/4″x5 5/8″ and 4 – 3 1/2″x 10 5/8″ cut as per earlier instructions.)
Green: 2 LC squares (d)
Beige: 4 LC squares (e) 4 LC squares (f)

* For the whites, follow the cutting instructions below, but the assembly instructions above*
2 Identical LC squares(4- 3 3/4″x 5 5/8″ rectangles)
4 LC squares (4– 2 3/8″ squares from each cut once diagonally to yield 32 triangles. Some of this can be leftover from previous.)
6″ yardage ( this section is for the 4-patch blocks and the flying geese units in the star block)
1 LC square for middle block (g) cut to 9.5″ square

Assemble the blocks as per the instructions for the tree skirt. But don’t cut the hole in the middle square or the slit for an opening. Quilt and bind as desired….

A Cinnamon Spice Tree skirt that measures approx. 33″ square. Perfect for any traditional Christmas setting.

A Cinnamon Spice Table Topper to compliment your Holiday decor. It also measures approx 33″ .

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you will make one for yourself and maybe some loved ones too. Have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Season’s Greetings!

Cathy Victor
{Me and My Mum Quilting}

The Dark Side…or Not Layer Cake Quilt

I love half square triangles!  They are neither half squares, nor triangles (what’s up with that?) yet make an instant and dramatic impact on any quilting project.  Additionally, they are simple to make.  If you have a fabric line with roughly the same number of light fabrics as dark, it is a match made in Heaven.  HSTs were my first thought when I saw  Cinnamon Spice.

Can you say, “Wow!”  Big blocks and simple construction give each of these prints a place to shine.
This quilt is made from 68 HSTs, and 12 9.5″ squares.  It is gorgeous and simple.

Gather up your supplies and fall in love with my favorite block!

2 Layer Cakes*
1/3 yd dark fabric*
1/3 yd light fabric*
1/2 yd for binding
5 1/4 yds for backing

*You can substitute 1 Cinnamon & Spice fat quarter bundle plus 2 dark 1/3 yard cuts, and 2 light 1/3 yard cuts for the Layer Cakes and 1/4 yard cuts.  If you like a scrappy binding, this choice yields enough scraps to do it.

NOTE:  Fat quarter bundles often vary in the number of pieces.  You need a total of 80, 10″ squares to complete the project.  You can get 2 from each fat quarter.  A 1/3 yard cut of fabric will yield 4 10″ squares.   This quilt could be made with 40 fat quarters, or 20 cuts of 1/3 yard.

When using layer cakes you will have enough pieces – Moda is pretty good at keeping the quantity consistent.  Each cake has 42 pieces.  The extra yardage, 1/3 yd of light and 1/3 yd of dark,  listed above is to supplement the number of light and dark blocks if needed.

Fat Quarter method:  Follow these instructions if you are using a fat quarter bundle.  If not jump to the section labeled “Layer Cake Method”

  1. Iron each fat quarter
  2. Cut, according to diagram above,
    1. 2, 10″ squares from each fat quarter
    2. 3, 2.5″ x 22″ strips if you are interested in a scrappy binding.
  3. Cut 4, 10″ squares from each 1/3 yard cut of fabric
  4. You should now have a total of
    1.  45, 10″ squares (There are a couple extra…perhaps for a label?) and
    2. 105, 2.5″ x 22″ strips (but only if you chose to cut these)
  5. Now you have two layer cakes! 
  6. Proceed with layer cake method.

Layer Cake method:

  1. Open up your layer cakes and separate the light squares from the dark ones.  (Take some time to enjoy each of the prints – they are beautiful!)
  2. Remove 4 dark squares and 8 light squares from the piles.  Trim these to 9 1/2″ square and set them aside.
  3. Draw a single line diagonally, from corner to corner, across the wrong side of 34 light squares.
  4. Pair each of the 34 light squares with a dark square.
  5. Sew a smidgen less than 1/4″ from each side of the drawn lines.  I use a 1/4″ foot on my sewing machine.  When I line up the foot and the diagonal line, the line is just to the inside of the flange.  Sewing 1/4″ from the line will work as well.  (Truthfully, I don’t know why I don’t.  Maybe I don’t completely trust that the resulting squares will be big enough.  Must be Vader calling to me.) 
  6. Cut on line.
  7. Open each block and iron seams toward the dark side.  (While doing this you can chant, “Come to the Dark Side Luke,” but be careful no one is listening.  They might take away your sharp toys.)
  8. Trim blocks to 9 1/2″ square.  You should now have 68 HSTs.

Now it gets a little more tricky.  Keep your wits about you and don’t listen to Vader.  The pieces have to be arranged just right to make the pattern show up.

To make this easier I’ve split the task into four sections.  Each section is made from 20 blocks arranged in a grid of  4 x 5.   If you can get 20 blocks set right 4 times in a row then you’ve got this quilt conquered.  (Much like Vader and Luke.) 

You need to make two sections which rise from the left…

The stripes in this section rise from the left.

and two sections that fall to the right.

The stripes in this section fall to the right.

This is a good place to break out your design wall/floor/bed/curtain.  Find a surface that you can display the blocks on.  (The pictures above were taken of my blocks on a design curtain!  My dear husband made it from heavy flannel, a length of  PVC pipe and some chain link.  It hangs at the end of a hall in front of and unsightly boy zone.)  I found it helpful to lay out one left and one right section at the same time.  Distribute the prints , solids, and colors as desired.  Keep in mind that this is going to be a scrappy, random looking quilt.

Sew 5 rows of 4  – one at a time so that you can keep track of what you are doing.

Sew rows together along the long edge to make a quadrant.

Sew quadrants together so that the dark stripes turn 90 degrees at their meeting.  I sewed the 5 block sides together first (I don’t like to sew really long seams.)  Then sew the resulting 8 block sides together to finish your top.

Layer and quilt as desired.

One 72 X 90 Quilt – perfectly sized for a twin bed and ample for snuggling up on the couch while watching a movie.  If you go the layer cake route it is a quick make as well.

Pop some corn and put  Star Wars in the DVD player while you stitch down the binding and “May the force be with you!”

(Don’t forget to take a picture of your finished quilt and post it in the new Tops to Treasures Flickr group.)

Cindy Sharp