Friday, October 31, 2014

Easy Peasy Christmas

Two years ago, when my Sneaky Piecing Tricks book came out, as part of the promotion, I did a Take & Teach class at Quilt Market. I designed a nifty little twelve inch block to illustrate some of my favorite tips and tricks in the book. I really liked the block, and figured that I'd need to do something more with is someday.

After several hours of noodling around on EQ7, I finally settled on a design. (Do you use Electric Quilt? I've been using it since it was a DOS program, pretty much since its beginning. It's addictive fun.) Started with the basic block design and then shifted it around into different settings.

My original plan was to alternate the block with applique, but nothing I tried seemed to fit.

So I started messing about with alternating pieced blocks. After several tries, I found a design that I liked, but I didn't like how the seams fell. I try to avoid piecing the same color fabrics together, especially if I can find a way to sew it as a simple shape.

Then the "what ifs" took over. Can I let go of the idea as creating the block as a block? What if the block were to become the sashing and cornerstones, and the alternate block becomes the block?

I really like how the whole stepping stone thing is working out, it kind of makes it sparkle, Let's add some nine patches in the center of that red square, yeah, the one that I redesigned the block to keep unpieced.

But, yikes, this design is just way, way too busy. And, even though I played with adding more color variation and a third color, I really wanted this quilt to be a little more understated. I have these three fabrics that I wanted to use, no need to make things complicated. (My fabrics are not quite so garish as how these are showing in the diagrams. I'm just using stock fabrics as placeholders.) Nothing understated about this one!

Now here we go. This I like. I like how the little squares sort of sparkle, alternating the red and green makes them wink in and out. The tiny break in the stepping stones echos the crisscross in the center of the blocks. Yep, after about three hours of playing (I couldn't believe how long I had been goofing around!), this is the design I settled upon.

Of course, old habits die hard, and along with all of the messing about with the design, I also consider what will become of it. Shall I publish it as a pattern? Would it make a good block of the month, although I'm thinking it would be more of a block of the week.

I'm calling the design Easy Peasy Christmas, because I'm using red and green fabrics that are dusted with gold. But how lovely it is in all blues! (Gosh, maybe I'll need to make more than one.) I would really want to change the name so quilters will feel more free to use their own colors. Suggestions? Interested?


  1. The blue would be perfect for Hannukah-gold accents could be added.

    1. Oh my gosh! You're so right! Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Lovely! Christmas sparkle snowflake. Just do it and let us know when!

    1. Snowflake, I love snowflake, and sparkle too. Great suggestions!

  3. So so pretty and YES I'm interested. I just got home from the Houston show and am so invigorated!