Friday, September 9, 2016

12 Days of Christmas Block of the Week Quilt-Along: Blocks 1 and 2

I am so pleased to announce that the 12 Days of Christmas Block of the Week quilt-along has begun!  And we're starting off with not one pattern, but two for good measure.  I have the partridge in a pear tree and the turtle dove blocks to release today, and each following Friday I will release the next pattern in the lineup.  If you keep up with the patterns, this quilt will be assembled and ready for quilting around Thanksgiving, giving you plenty of time to put it up for your holiday display.

12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Block 1:  Partridge in a Pear Tree.  Computer-generated image.

12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Block 2:  Turtle Dove.  Computer-generated image.

Designing this quilt-along was a tremendous feat for me because I ran into multiple technical and mechanical errors that I had to surmount, and I am really pleased with how it has all turned out.  Ironically, I'm not a big fan of feathered demon spawn birds, and I forgot how many of them are in the song until I started designing.  (When you're ready to pop on the Christmas songs again, check Natalie Cole's version of The 12 Days of Christmas for a bit of related humor.)  That means that you will have access to lots of bird blocks.  But the beautiful thing about these blocks is that you can purchase and use them individually in a variety of quilts, so they are very versatile.

Some notes about this quilt-along:

  • These patterns do not include instructions in paper piecing!  I assume that you already are familiar with the technique.  If you are not, there are numerous tutorials available online.
  • You may make items to resell as you like with these patterns, but please do not share or sell the pattern itself, in whole or in part.
  • The amount of fabric suggested on the Craftsy page is a very rough estimate.  Every piecer uses a different system of cutting and therefore a different amount of fabric.  I have tried to be extremely generous so you do not run out of fabric.
  • Make sure your printer is set to 100% scaling or no scaling to ensure your block will be 9" finished.
  • The patterns are not in color, but they do include a key to let you know what color goes in every space.  I recommend using colored pencils to color the pattern in so your finished block is accurate.
  • The section key is written up as if you are looking at the block from the front.  If you are assembling the sections while looking at the back, the pieces will look reversed.
  • While these patterns have been tested, it is entirely possible that a mistake may have occurred.  If you find a mistake, please email me!  I will correct it and send out the correct pattern as soon as possible.

These are my finished blocks.  The partridge in a pear tree started off in different colors, but I had a disaster when I was finishing up the block and the dye from my fabric bled, ruining the block.  I will share a bit about that in another posting.  The silver lining is that I adore the new color choices and I think I will be happier with my quilt overall.  I will be adding a little French dot of black for the eye before assembling my quilt.

12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Finished partridge block.

12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Partridge block close-up.

I am really tickled with how this block turned out.  There are not actually many sections that need to line up perfectly, so while it has a large number of sections, it is not actually that difficult to piece.  Just take your time and work carefully.

12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Finished turtle dove block.

To be quite honest, the turtle dove block would work if you ever needed a pigeon block for some reason, as they are very similar-looking birds.  He comes together fairly easily and I would probably call this a pattern of average difficulty.  I can see that my feet are off just a hair, but this is a sample block and I will be remaking it.  I was putting this block together when I realized my printer was scaling it without notifying me and it ended up at 7".  I may quilt this up as a tiny quilt and have it as a sample of my work at my craft booths.

Turtle dove close-up.

I love the blue batik on the throat.  A pop of bright color there is a lot of fun.

The blocks are 2$ each, and are available in my Craftsy shop.  Blocks will range from amateur to expert, so if you are nervous about starting with the first block, you might wait for an easier one to come out and start with one of those.  I will not be releasing an official quilt layout for these blocks because I am just sewing mine up with basic sashing between, but I will share my measurements and results with you at the end of the quilt-along.

If you sew up any of the blocks for this quilt, I would love to have you post pictures to my Craftsy page, send them to my email so I can share them here, or shoot me your blog posting so I can feature it.

Happy Christmas crafting!

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