Block 10 – Mistletoe and mittens
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
In winter, when trees have shed their leaves, there’s something kind of wonderful in the big bunches of mistletoe, hugging the tree branches. Mistletoe is fairly common in this corner of the U.K. It’s rich green leaves and bright little berries, welcome colour this time of year. So let’s put on our warm woolly mittens, and go find some mistletoe…
Sampler Block Ten measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks.
Hand-sew or machine applique mistletoe leaves and mittens, choose to fussy cut or stitch an embroidered snowflake or two. Plus little shirt buttons for mistletoe berries, ties the quilt sandwich layers together.
To make Block 10 you’ll need:
11” square Off-white or Low volume fabric (Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)
5” square – blue fabric for the mitten (18652-12 Caroline)
Small pieces of green fabrics (Caroline no. 18653-14,
Caroline no. 18652-14, Caroline no. 18654-15)
10” (25cm) Gingham ribbon (East of India gingham warm grey)
12 small white shirt (12mm)
Green and Grey thread for applique
(Mettler Col.1147 and Gutermann Col.700)
Embroidery thread – DMC Mouline Etoile (glittery white)
White cotton thread wt. 30 for sewing on buttons and hand-tied quilt
(Gutermann Sulky cotton Col. 1001 white)
Equipment: Sewing machine; Iron and ironing board; rotary cutter, mat and ruler.
Notions: Clover water erasable pen, Small sharp scissors, Applique pins, Embroidery needle.
For freezer paper & starch applique method: spray starch, freezer paper, small fine brush.
Alternatively, for fusible applique method: Bondaweb
* The block pictured is made using the starch/ freezer paper method of applique, perfect for hand sewing on winter evenings. It would also be equally lovely using a fusible applique method, if you need a faster finish.
If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and Quilting thread e.g. Gutermann Sulky Cotton (30 weight). Depending on which QAYG method you’ll also need an 11” square of backing fabric.
*For more information on the QAYG method, please see Quilt Construction notes
So let’s begin….
Print out the Mistletoe and mittens template [2 page PDF] or
Print the full tutorial below including template [10 page PDF]
Fold the 11” background off-white square in half, then quarters, creasing lightly to mark the centre.
Prepare the background
Use the template to draw guidelines on the background fabric to form the shape of the wreath.
• Cut out the larger outer half circle template. Match centre of half circle to the centre of the fabric square. Using a water erasable pen (or similar erasable marker), draw round the outer half circle. Flip over to draw the other half of the large circle.
• Cut out the smaller circle, and matching centres, draw round.
The circles form a donut shape, into which the mittens and mistletoe design fits.
Prepare the mistletoe and mittens
Trace the mittens and 4 leaves onto the freezer paper (the leaf templates can be re-used to make all the leaves).
Cut out the freezer paper and place glossy side down on wrong side of fabric.
Press for a second or two, using a hot iron till the Freezer paper sticks to the fabric.
• Cut out, leaving 1/8” to ¼” margin right the way round the template, rounding the tips of the pointy bits (see pic. a below)
• Using a small brush apply a little starch to the ¼” margin around the template. Turn the edges over the freezer paper template and press using an iron (pic. b)
• Remove the paper template (c), and re-use to make the next leaf.
You’ll need approximately 21 leaves in total, including 5 or 6 of each leaf type.
Using the same technique, prepare the mittens. You may choose to fussy cut the mittens, or leave them plain, and embroider a snowflake or two later on.
Positioning mistletoe and mittens
• Place the mittens inside the inner circle, overlapping them slightly. Pin in place using small applique pins.
• Position the mistletoe leaves, placing them between the inner and outer circle guidelines. (Try a few different placements, until you find the one which is right for you – the photo below, was an option, before I ran with the placement shown on page 1).
• Space the leaves evenly, placing some in pairs, drooping downwards.
• Leave a space at the top for the ribbon
Pin in place using small applique pins, (or a dab of applique glue).
Once everything is pinned, you’re ready to sew in place.
• Green thread is used to sew the mistletoe leaves, using small slip stitches