Santa is Coming . . . as a Sweet Paper-Pieced Block on Friday (Giveaway Today!)

Considering how long I’ve been cooking this idea for a paper-pieced Santa block (i.e months not hours), you’d think I could’ve managed to make some headway by now. Alas, I seem to be all thumbs or the quilting goddess is leading me astray.

First draft Santa Claus by Jennifer-where did the seam allowances go?

The prototype phase wasn’t too dramatic. Sure, I cut the edges too narrow and had to struggle with fat seams when pressing, but with those problems tackled, shouldn’t the final phase be a breeze? Nah! Everything that could go wrong went wrong plus celebrating Thanksgiving and hosting house guests took me out of the quilting game for most of this past weekend. Oh well, it’s my “When life gives you lemons” moment and maybe I’ll have that Santa block (and a partner Christmas tree block) ready for you to see by the Friday post, along with downloadable PDFs. Fingers crossed!

Paper-pieced Christmas tree with light strands! Check out that fabulous snowflake background purchased at Back Porch Fabric in Pacific Grove, CA.

Blog update (9/22/15): To purchase the complete pattern, go to

In the meantime, though, what’s so new and fun about my paper-pieced Santa block that you might want to try it? Well, mine is a fab-u-lous riff on a Santa that was featured in a book of quilted Christmas projects from C&T Publishing that I co-edited with Catherine Comyns a few years ago called Winter Wonders. We selected a series of holiday-themed projects from Nihon Vogue’s Quilts Japan magazine and translated them for use by English-speaking quilters.

A paper-pieced Santa tumbles across the quilt–the block, though, it’s about 4″ in size!

I loved their idea of Santa Claus somersaulting across a quilt, but the original block was too tiny for my taste. I’ve re-imagined the block on a larger scale and added details to lively-up the guy: a mustache inset in the beard seam plus more bling and “fur” for his clothes. Once I drafted the new Santa, I realized there were more seasonal ideas to explore following the prototype layout, thus the Christmas tree block with strands of colored “lights.” I think an angel with inset wings isn’t far behind, but for now, I need to finish the Santa block.

The Quilts Japan Santa block with pieced setting triangles finishes to 5″.

Don’t you think alternating the Santa blocks with the Christmas tree blocks could be the makings of a fine holiday table runner? I’ve also wondered about enlarging the Santa to the dimensions of a Christmas tree skirt and arranging the Santa blocks (without the arms) into the tree skirt’s characteristic doughnut layout–mind you, I’ve not thought through the details so there may be hideous construction challenges.

To launch the holiday season I’m offering a giveaway of my very last copy of Winter Wonders–this is a super-quick promotion so leave me a comment by this Thursday, November 29 and I’ll announce the winner in my Friday post. Here’s the question to answer:  What’s your Christmas wish?

See ya! Remember:  fingers crossed!


38 thoughts on “Santa is Coming . . . as a Sweet Paper-Pieced Block on Friday (Giveaway Today!)

  1. My wish is for everyone to have a renewed hope for the challenges they face and to live victoriously and fearlessly. We do have a wonderful life!


  2. I wish for a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas for my family. Unfortunetly there are some family members that may make that impossible.


  3. For all the world to celebrate 6 months of Peace so all could value the safety value and confidence it brings.
    For time to share Christmas with all 3 adult children and their families that live in 3 different states. But my DH has managed to arrange his work schedule to allow this to happen so my wish is coming true!


  4. Love your Santa and tree, can’t wait till Friday. Wishing my family continues to be well and happy. The winning Powerball ticket would be nice too 🙂


  5. Darling Santa. I’d love to use your book. My Christmas wish is to help my Mother who is 89 with dementia enjoy at least one more Christmas!


  6. To have a a big family Christmas with everyone at the same time in a cabin up in the woods with snow around us. Everyone will make a gift, not buy one and all the decorations for the tree will be hand made while we are there. In my mind it would be a great family Christmas, don’t know what the rest of the family would think!


  7. I love that Santa! My Christmas wish is that my adult children are happy. With the downturn in the economy it’s been a tough year for their businesses.


  8. Thanks for sharing your creations and creative thought process…My wish for all is peace without war and let freedom flourish. Take care and much joy to you and yours


  9. My Christmas wish is that my son (who is in the Army at Ft. Bragg, NC) gets to come home for the holidays! Keepiing my fingers crossed. Connie in California


  10. My Christmas wish would be for my sweet daughter to have a healthy and happy 2013. She has been dealt a series of life-changing blows in the last year and a half, and is overdue for some joy. Lots of possibilities with these blocks – so cheerful!


  11. My biggest, most valuable wish is for my Navy boy to come home for the holidays! And for my new grandson to be born while he is home, so he can see this nephew when he is soooo little.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s