Friday, June 1, 2012

Peppermint Strip Block Tutorial

It's my month over at Two's Company and I decided I want to make a Christmas quilt of peppermint stick blocks.  I came up with a way that will keep from having to sew two bias edges together, thereby minimizing the stretch and distortion along the seam.  This method also keeps the majority of the outside edges of the block on grain, again minimizing distortion.  So here's the tutorial!

First, choose the fabrics you are going to use.  For the bee, I requested really RED reds, true whites and red-and-white prints.  I don't want fabrics with other contrasting colors, like this...

(Love this fabric...but too many other colors for this quilt.)

I chose white for my background, but feel free to use a red, red-on-white or white-on-red print for the background and then contrast it with the opposite for the stripes.  Here's the fabric I selected for the stripes in my Peppermint Stick strip.  

Cutting on the grain, cut a strip from your background fabric 35-45" long and a little wider than your desired width, anything between 3"-6" unfinished.

I cut my strip 35" x 6.5", giving myself ample width to trim it down to 5.5" once I am done.

Line up the long edge of your strip with the 45-degree line on your ruler...

...and cut diagonally across your strip.

Decide how wide you want your background stripes to be.  In this case, I chose to make them 5" wide.  Place your ruler-line for that measurement (in this case, my 5" measurement line) along the just-cut diagonal edge of your strip.  Cut your along the edge of the ruler.

Repeat until the entire strip is cut into diagonal pieces.

Measure the diagonally-cut edge.  In this case, it is 9.25".

Decide on how wide you want your inserted stripes to be.  I chose 2.5".  The length of your stripes is determined by adding the length of your diagonally-cut edge of background fabric and the desired width of your stripe.  Cutting on the grain, I cut stripes that were 12" long (9.25"+2.5"+.25" extra) and 2.5" wide.

Here's the fabric laid out how I planned to sew them together.

Line up the edge of one stripe with the with the background strip, with the corner of your stripe barely extending beyond the wide angle of your diagonally cut background fabric (not the narrow pointy edge).

It should look like this when you are ready to sew the seam.  (Yes, right sides are together...the white on white just shows through the back on this fabric.)

Sew the seam.  Press seam allowances to the dark side and trim the stripe to match the edge of your background fabric along the wide angled edge.  (Again, not the narrow pointy edge.)  It should look like this once it is trimmed.

Repeat with the next background piece and stripe.

Sew these pieces together, now lining up the pointy edge of one background piece to the wide-angled edge of the stripe piece below it.  The pointy corner should overlap just slightly so that your .25" seam will go right in the little v-shaped notch.

Repeat until all your pieces are connected into one long strip.  Press all seam allowances to the dark side.

Trim the strip to the desired width.  I trimmed it down to 5.5" wide.  

You're Peppermint Stick block is done!

For your signature block for the back, please cut a 2.5"x6.5" piece of plain white fabric (no white on white prints as fabric ink doesn't penetrate this and will smear or come off in the wash).  Cut two 2.5" squares.

Sew corner to cover on both the squares, going the same direction on both.

Trim the outside corners down to .25" same allowance and press toward the red.

Add your signature in black permanent fabric ink and include this signature block with your Peppermint Stick strip block.

Thank you lovely Two's Company ladies!  I can't wait to get these back in July and start sewing my first ever Christmas quilt.  Yeah!


  1. great tutorial Andrea! i hope to make your block so very soon. like within the hour. :) your quilt is gonna be fab!

  2. Thanks for the great tutorial. This will be fun!

  3. This is cool!! I found this thanks to shelly @ prairie moon quilts. What a fun thing. Can't wait to see them all together!

  4. Okay, I'm going to make this today (the 30th---cutting it right under the wire!). Love your tutorial and can't wait to see the finished quilt! (This is Stephanie, from the bee!)

  5. Just finished this fun peppermint stick and it will go in the mail today! Sorry I'm a little late!


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