Use up the tiniest bits of fabric in a trio of two-color ornaments. Don't be intimidated by their diminutive size-we've included two techniques to ensure success.

Download this Project

Designer: Ann Hermes of Ann Hermes Miniature Quilts

See a video of this project here.

Materials for One Ornament

• Scraps of assorted white prints (ornament top)

• Scraps of assorted red prints and solids (ornament top, binding)

• 4" square backing fabric

• 4" square batting

• Perle cotton No. 5: red

Finished ornaments: Pinwheel and Square-in-a-Square, 2-1⁄2" square; Variable Star, 3-1⁄2" square

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

About the Techniques

We offer two piecing options for these ornaments: 1) Make units larger than necessary and cut them down to size or 2) foundation-piece. The cutting instructions for each ornament will work for either technique.

To foundation-piece, use your favorite method, or refer to following instructions for foundation-piecing basics.

Download this Project

Cut Fabrics For Pinwheel Ornament

From one white print, cut:

• 2-2-1⁄2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 triangles total

From one red print or solid, cut:

• 2-2-1⁄2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 triangles total

From a second red print or solid, cut:

• 4-1-1⁄8×4" binding strips

Assemble Pinwheel Ornament Top

1. Sew together a white print triangle and a red print triangle to make a triangle-square (Diagram 1). Press seam toward red print. Trim triangle-square to 1-1⁄2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four triangle-squares total.

2. Referring to Diagram 2, sew together triangle-squares in pairs. Press seams in opposite directions. Join pairs to make Pinwheel ornament top. Press seam in one direction.

Foundation Piecing Option

Click on "Download this Project" above for foundation piecing pattern. Use Pinwheel Ornament Foundation, white print triangles, and red print triangles to make two half Pinwheel units. Join units to make Pinwheel ornament top. Press seam in one direction.

Complete Pinwheel Ornament

1. Layer ornament top, batting, and backing.

2. Quilt as desired. On her ornaments, designer Ann Hermes quilted in the ditch and/or diagonally to accent the design areas. Trim batting and backing even with ornament top edges.

3. Sew red print or solid binding strips to opposite edges of quilted ornament top. Trim strip ends even with raw edges of ornament top. Fold remaining long edge of binding strips under 1⁄4" and press. Turn folded edge to back of quilted ornament and hand-sew in place. Sew remaining red print or solid binding strips to remaining edges of quilted ornament top. Trim strip ends 1⁄2" beyond edges of quilted ornament top. Fold ends to back of ornament and press. Fold under remaining long edge of binding strips as before and hand-sew in place to complete ornament.

4. Hand-sew an 8" length of perle cotton through one corner of ornament and knot ends to make a hanging loop.

Download this Project

Cut Fabrics for Variable Star Ornament

From one white print, cut:

• 1-3-1⁄2" square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X for 4 large triangles total

• 4-1-1⁄4" squares

From one red print or solid, cut:

• 4-2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 8 small triangles total

From a second red print or solid, cut:

• 1-2" square

From a third red print or solid, cut:

• 4-1-1⁄8 ×5" binding strips

Assemble Variable Star Ornament

1. Referring to Diagram 3, sew small red print or solid triangles to short edges of a white print large triangle to make a Flying Geese unit. Press open attached triangles, pressing seam toward triangle. Trim side and bottom edges of Flying Geese unit so it is 2×1-1⁄4" including seam allowances, being sure to leave a 1⁄4" seam allowance beyond top point of white print triangle (Diagram 4).

2. Repeat Step 1 to make and trim four Flying Geese units total.

Foundation Piecing Option

Click on "Download this Project" above for foundation piecing pattern. Use Variable Star Ornament Foundation, red print or solid small triangles, and white print large triangles to make four Flying Geese units.

3. Referring to Diagram 5, sew together white print 1-1⁄4" squares, Flying Geese units, and red print or solid 2" square in three rows. Press seams away from Flying Geese units.
TIP: If seam allowances show through the white print squares, trim red print seam allowances slightly narrower than white print seam allowances.

4. Join rows to make ornament top. Press seams toward center row.

5. Refer to Complete Pinwheel Ornament, steps 1–4, to complete Variable Star Ornament.

Download this Project

Cut Fabrics for Square-in-a-Square Ornament

From one white print, cut:

• 2-2-1⁄2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 large triangles for positions 14, 15, 16, and 17

• 2-1-1⁄2" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 small triangles for positions 6, 7, 8, and 9

• 1-1" square for position 1

From one red print or solid, cut:

• 2-1-3⁄4" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 medium triangles for positions 10, 11, 12, and 13

• 2-1-1⁄4" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 extra-small triangles for positions 2, 3, 4, and 5

From a second red print or solid, cut:

• 4-1-1⁄8×4" binding strips

Prepare Foundation Paper

Click on "Download this Project" above for foundation piecing pattern. Use a pencil to trace Square-in-a-Square Ornament Foundation onto tracing paper or foundation material of your choice, tracing all lines and numbers. Cut out Square-in-a-Square foundation paper roughly 1⁄4" outside dashed lines (Photo A).

Assemble Square-in-a-Square Ornament

To foundation-piece, you stitch fabric pieces to a foundation paper with the marked side of the paper facing up and the fabric pieces layered underneath. On miniature pieces, some quilters prefer to use 1⁄8" seam allowances. If you wish to do this, use 1⁄8" instead of 1⁄4" in the following steps.

1. Place foundation paper marked side down. Center a white print 1" square right side up over position 1 (Photo B); pin.

2. With right sides together, position a red print extra-small triangle on white print square so long triangle edge extends a scant 1⁄4" into position 2 (Photo C). To check placement, pin on stitching line between positions 1 and 2, then flip red print triangle open. Make sure it completely covers position 2 and extends into adjoining areas at least 1⁄4". If it doesn't, reposition and recheck until it does, then pin in place.

3. Working with marked side of foundation paper up and using a short stitch length, sew on first stitching line through all layers, extending stitching past beginning and end of line by a few stitches (Photo D).

4. Trim seam allowance to a scant 1⁄4". Finger-press or use a small iron to press red print triangle open, pressing seam toward triangle (Photo E).

5. Repeat steps 2–4 to add a red print extra-small triangle to position 3 (Photo F).

6. Fold foundation paper back on position 4 stitching line. Align the 1⁄4" mark of an acrylic ruler with folded edge, and trim excess fabric. Repeat to trim excess 1⁄4" beyond position 5 stitching line.

7. Repeat steps 2–4 to add red print extra-small triangles to positions 4 and 5 (Photo G). Repeat Step 6 to trim excess fabric 1⁄4" beyond adjacent stitching lines (Photo H).

8. In same manner, add white print small triangles to positions 6–9 (Photo I). Repeat, alternating rounds of color, to add remaining triangles to remaining areas of foundation paper (Photo J). Sew past 1⁄4" seam allowance on last sections to secure final round.

9. Trim all fabric layers and foundation paper on dashed lines to make Square-in-a-Square ornament top (Photos K and L).

10. Remove foundation paper. For easiest removal, start in the center of the block and spritz paper lightly with water to soften it, then run a pin or tip of a seam ripper along stitching line. Avoid tugging, as it will loosen the stitches. If paper won't come out of a small area, use a tweezers to gently pull it free.

Traditional Piecing Option

Sew red print or solid extra-small triangles to opposite edges of white print 1" square; press seams toward triangles. Add red print or solid extra-small triangles to remaining edges; press as before. Trim red triangles so there is 1⁄4" seam allowance left beyond each point. Repeat to add remaining rounds of triangles (small white print, medium red print or solid, large white print), trimming after each round so you have 1⁄4" seam allowance left beyond each point, to make Square-in-a-Square ornament top.

11. Refer to Complete Pinwheel Ornament, steps 1–4, to complete Square-in-a-Square Ornament.

Advertisement