When my mind wanders so do my seams

When my mind wanders so do my seams

As I'm sure you know, in the past couple of week's we have launched a new Block of the Month by Anita Eaton. This is her delightful award winning Christmas quilt.

Even though this quilt was made some time ago, we still need to test out the blocks as we go, and in doing so we not only tested the instructions but found extra tips and tricks along the way. Here's Anita's latest tip as she puts together the next blocks in this quilt.

Anita's musing....

"When my mind wanders so do my seams. I was testing a couple of Christmas block of the month blocks, and oops! I was thinking of other things and discovered that my seams were just a hair too wide. Where’s the seam ripper. Grumble, grumble. Re-sew, re-press, ah so much better.

Time to make a little fence on the sewing machine bed to help keep me on track. A couple or three layers of masking or painters tape at the exact 1/4" is a good aid to accuracy if you don't have a magnetic or screw on metal guide.

1/4" bridge made of tape stuck to sewing machine for accurate seams

When I started the Christmas quilt I was using Christmas fabrics to test blocks that I was considering for other quilts and figured eventually I would have a Christmas quilt or as one of my friends says, a serendipity quilt however, a serendipity quilt can’t be made of blocks of all kinds of sizes. Eventually though, with perhaps a bit of extra piecing or the addition of a couple of blocks made to fit what already exists, you have a quilt top. That is pretty much the story of the Christmas quilt.

The Christmas banners were already underway during that time as well. First I thought I might be able to incorporate them as a centerpiece to the quilt.

Snowman Banner
 Nutcracker banner
Toy Soldier Banner

I struggled with that idea for a while and discarded it. I also had an interest in trying a feathered star. So I tried one and decided that was the better option.

Feathered Star - inner block on Anita's Christmas quilt

As time went by and more blocks were added to the pile I decided that it was time to make a few blocks just for this quilt, and started designing some of the blocks for myself rather than using traditional patterns. I experimented with a number of techniques, some embellishments, and now I have a quilt that we really enjoy during the holiday season.

Today I made a 12" Churn Dash block. I used pretty prints for my centers, but how about adding 8" blocks instead. Wouldn't that be interesting!

12" Churn Dash block made by Anita
9" Churn Dash Block made by Anita

What I really like about BOMs is that they are step-bystep, and give me structure to the time spent quilting. The project is cut into manageable chunks and it isn’t as overwhelming as looking at the whole project all at once and trying to figure out where and how to start.

The other thing that is really fun about this project is each quilt will be entirely different. Fabric choices influence a quilt’s design, but the choices and variations that each block offers adds to the individuality of each quilt. What fun!

Next I am going to try the French Silk Pie block. Ruth has already made this block, but I like it so much I want to play with the variations too."

French Silk Pie Block and variations
Click here for this part of the Pattern

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