Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quilt Block Candle Tutorial

My first tutorial, so bear with me.  : )

I made a couple of pinwheel blocks today for one of our door prizes for the upcoming quilt guild meeting.

1.  Find the candles on sale for 50% off, so you don't break the bank.  Think of a large craft supply store with the initials : Hobby Lobby.

2.  Measure the candles in height and circumference.  You'll need to plan a quilt block smaller than the smaller of these two dimensions.

5 inches in height
Wrap a selvedge edge around the candle to get the circumference
Then stretch out that selvedge over a ruler.  This one is 9 inches around.
3.  Decide upon the quilt block design and size.  My choice was a pinwheel.  It's pretty and cheerful and 8 pieces.  Although I love Mariner's Compass blocks, some of them are around 32 pieces and I wasn't ready for that challenge today.

Since the smaller measurement is 5 inches, I chose a 4.5 inch block.  You can make it 5 inches, you just have to be more precise.

4.  Look at your tissue paper collection and select your "fabrics."  Following the tornado damage, we donated all of our gift wrap supplies to charity before moving.  So I got to shop for more to do this project.  Now that we're settled, I'll save the leftovers so I can gift wrap again.  My choice was a black/white print and a lime green.
I though this black/white floral was adorable!
5.  Cut your shapes with no seam allowances.  I cut 2 1/4 inch squares and then cut them again on the diagonal.

Shhh!  Don't tell the quilt police!  I used my rotary cutter and quilting rulers.  It was fast and precise this way.  Plus, the blade can be replaced when it gets dull.  No worries.

6.  Line up 2 pieces on the candle.  I decided to align the bottom edge of my quilt block with the bottom edge of my candle.
Beginning of the pinwheel block
7.  Wrap waxed paper over these 2 pieces and use the embossing gun to melt the candle wax enough to make the tissue paper absorb the wax.  When it cools, the tissue paper will stick to the candle.

Sorry, I could not figure out how to hold the candle, the paper pieces, the waxed paper and the embossing gun in action and also photograph this step.  Just hold the waxed paper taught over this section of the candle.  It keeps everything from slipping while the wax melts.

8.  Continue adding 2 pieces at a time.  I worked my way around counter-clockwise (probably because I'm left handed).

2 pinwheel candles with charms
9.  As an added touch, you can wrap the candles in some of the same tissue paper and use a coordinating gift bag.  I love polka-dots!
Also, feel free to embellish.  I tied a thin lime green ribbon around the top of the blocks and made shrinky dink charms to dangle from the ends of the ribbons.

Pigma pens and quilting motifs shrunk down to charm size.
I'd love to know if you make any of these candles.  If you do make them and post photos on your blog, please leave me a comment and let me know so I can enjoy them too.

I also tried out this technique with the remnants from quilted scraps.  I had four half-square-triangle units.  It was okay, but not great.  The fabric didn't absorb the melted wax as quickly.  The result is that the candle became a bit lumpy on the exterior.  We'll enjoy it here, but wouldn't give it away as a gift.
Candle made with scraps of fabric

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars


  1. I'm so glad you did this tutorial--and tried making one with fabric. I'd "pinned" your photo of the candles from Tuesday for future reference, and was considering trying with fabric instead of tissue paper (I have SO much fabric, I am always looking for innovative ways to use it--especially the really little scraps that I nevertheless hate to throw away.) It's good to know that the fabric doesn't work quite as well.

  2. What a great idea! Thank you for the tutorial. I would love to try this as a gift for a friend. Thanks!!

  3. Thank you so much for putting this tutorial together! I loved your last post about thesecandles and was wishing if I knew how to make them! Guess my wish came through! I have a friend who collects candles so I will make it for her for sure!

  4. Thanks for the tutorial - will definitely put it on my to do list!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial, will definitely give it a try!