Sunday, November 3, 2019

Reindeer block

Tomorrow evening I am teaching a class on making a quilt-as-you-go, fully lined Christmas stocking. Since my two mostly-grown children have finally come around to the idea of having new stockings (the old ones are getting fragile) I thought I could start theirs as the step outs for the class, and finish them after.  One of the options for the class is to build around a block or fussy cut piece of fabric so I needed a block.  I checked with the kids to find out what they would each like on their stocking.

I should know better.  Wording matters.  I asked "would you like a snowflake or a star or something else?"  That is what is called, in education speak, an open ended question. If I had asked "Is a star block OK?" I would probably be making a star block.  I didn't ask that.  I left the field wide open and that's how I ended up spending all afternoon making this instead.

Paper pieced reindeer block.  Pattern by Piece by Number Quilts.

This is a 6" block which means those antlers are teeny tiny.  Here is the block again, with a quarter for scale reference.

Paper pieced reindeer block.  Pattern by Piece by Number Quilts.

To be fair, the one who asked for a reindeer did backpedal when he saw my face, saying if a reindeer was too much trouble then a snowflake, or even the star, would be "fine".  However, once he had suggested the reindeer I wanted to rise to the challenge and I browsed online for a suitable pattern..  While I was working on the antlers I started questioning my choice.  The pattern by Piece By Number Quilts includes foundations for a 12" block or a 6" block.  It is well designed, but if I made it again, I'd go for the 12" one!  Of course then it wouldn't fit on the stocking.

I think the reindeer turned out pretty well.  I wish I had used red thread, because the stitches show a little where I had to press seams open between sections, but I don't think anyone but me will quibble about it when it's hanging on the mantle at Christmas.

This was going to be a two-sided Christmas stocking, with a block on each side so the stocking could hang facing either left or right.  I'll see how I feel about it after supper, but right now I'm betting this will be a one-sided affair.


  1. It's a cool looking block! It will look great on a stocking.

  2. Wow.... I hope he realizes how much his Mom loves him! How about a star or snowflake on the other side so he has choices? Good luck teaching your class. You will do great.

  3. Wow--great reindeer! You are brave asking the question like that. LOL
    You could still make a reversible stocking by just making the other side string pieced from Christmas fabrics. Not too much work, but a fun option (and this from someone that doesn't even enjoy string piecing, but I have done it on tiny Christmas stockings).

  4. That is one darn good looking reindeer!

  5. It turned out really lovely! I've also learned to narrow down the choices in advance when asking people what kind of quilt project they'd like. "Of these three patterns, which do you like best?" :)

  6. The reindeer looks great. But perhaps a star on the reverse would be a good compromise? Too funny, though, that he suggested the reindeer. Most of the men I know would just grunt something that sounded like it might be "whatever" and go back to their football game...


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