Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 14 Blog Tour

Welcome friends! It's one of the most wonderful times of the year - Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks blog tour! Twice a year I relish sitting down with my computer and a hot cup of tea and blog hopping to read about the creative inspiration behind the blocks that appear in Quiltmaker's new issue. I bet you love to do the same thing and that's why you're here :o)

I am so thrilled to have my block, Order in the Court, included in Volume 14. Can you see how it got it's name? It should look like a cousin to the block known as Courthouse Steps.

Order in the Court
Order in the Court

Order in the Court came about as the result of a challenge I put together during Quiltmaker's Volume 12 blog hop this time last year. I asked visitors to tell me their favorite quilt block when they left a comment, and said I may use that as a jumping off point for a new design. Far and away the favorite block of most was the log cabin. I previously submitted a block, Flowers for the Cabin, to Quiltmaker's Volume 13 designed around the log cabin block; you can read more about it here if you're interested. In keeping with the challenge I tried everything I could think of for another design with a log cabin block, but just couldn't come up with anything. I was starting to think I'd have to move to something else for inspiration. Then, I got to thinking about the Courthouse Steps block, and how it's a sister to the log cabin block. Ahhh...Courthouse Steps. Now this block showed some promise.

After sketching out some ideas I started cutting fabric. I knew I wanted my block to have a fun little center, but wasn't sure just what it should be. Here are a couple variations I tried:

First attempt at a new design
My first attempt included a small friendship star in the center with contrasting fabric

Since star blocks came in a close second to log cabin I thought a simple friendship star might work for the center. I also thought I'd like to use contrasting fabric to really draw attention to the center, but this just wasn't speaking to me.

Second attempt with a shoefly center
Second option was to use a small shoefly as the center; still using high contrast colors


Next, I thought a small shoefly in the center would be cute. I do like this, but the colors were just not right so I set the block aside to ponder more options.

Order in the Court
Final version with a square in a square center - just right :o)


Home one day because of a snow storm, I pulled some pretty fabric scraps in softer colors, and sat down to play with them. The always versatile square in a square came about, and seemed to be just the right center for this Order in the Court block. Although, I bet if I changed out the fabrics any of these three options would work fine.

Order in the Court Quilt Top
Order in the Court as a quilt top

Here's a picture to give an idea what Order in the Court would look like as a quilt top. Pretty fun! Rather than looking like courthouse steps it turns out more like chunky plus signs. Don't you love how the look of a block changes when you combine them? I don't have any special software, so this picture was made in Google Drawings by just copying and pasting.

How about a giveaway?! Quiltmaker's is generously giving one of my blog readers a free issue of 100 Blocks, Volume 14For a chance to win leave me a comment telling me about your holiday sewing - do you enjoy making homemade gifts? Are you an early starter, or a last minute crafter? Any good go-to gift ideas you want to share? :o) If you suspect you may be a "no reply" blogger please make sure to include your email address in your comment. I'll draw a random winner on Saturday morning, November 19.

Well friends, thanks so much for stopping by and letting me tell you all about Order in the Court. I hope you soak in a lot of inspiration as you visit all the blogs on the tour. You can read about the tour and find links to the featured blogs on Quiltmaker's blog, Quilty Pleasures

I hope you've enjoyed stopping by :o) I'd love to see you back here again. If you'd like regular updates from Shadows of the Blue Ridge consider signing up for an email subscription (top right of your screen), or you can find me on Bloglovin'.

120 comments:

  1. I love making handmade gifts! With quilts I usually have to start early, but I may also make a few quick pouches or pot holders.

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  2. Wonderful block Debbie!! Love your fussy cutting and fabrics!

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  3. Oh, I love your block and both versions are so cute! Beautiful! I love to sew hanmade gifts. This year it will be mosty pillows and potholders, but also some small drawstringbags with goodies! I am early with ideas, but not early to make them though, lol!

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  4. I make most of all my gifts since I also dabble in jewelry making and quilting

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  5. Beautiful block! I love the fuzzy cut center and the pink and gray color combo!

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  6. Pink and gray is so pretty. Congrats for designing a winning block! I do enjoy making gifts, but time is at a premium this year since we are moving.

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  7. Wonderful block Debbie!! Love your fussy cutting and fabrics!

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  8. I have done crAfts and homemade presents most my life. This year I have made y three grandcuties each a quilt and my one great granddaughter an assortment of soft book and doll and a quilt all but one are ready to wrap. Drhodes9@cox.net

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  9. Your block is beautiful! I'm a last minute crafter and so far this year my only sewing Christmas Gift is a quilt for my youngest daughter. It's at the quilters now!

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  10. Sometimes its sewing and sometimes its gifts from the kitchen and sometimes its more fun then others

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  11. Cool block and I love the name! I don't do sewn gifts for my family and friends--they have been over loaded with them over the years. I do make place mats for Meals on Wheels that get distributed with a holiday meal, and Christmas stockings for the Women's Shelter that go to the kids that are there over the holidays.

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  12. I like your block, especially in the pink and grey colors. The version with the fussy cut is my favorite. I do make gifts at Christmas, and have spent many a Christmas Eve afternoon finishing up gifts. My family get together on Christmas Eve night, so it's always a close call. Today I'm making a reversible holiday apron, but it's for me.

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  13. Nice block - nice and orderly! :) I just started my Christmas present stitching. I'm making 10 pillowcases, a very large table runner and a table topper with matching placemats.

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  14. I love holiday sewing! I love making seasonal wallhangings!

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  15. congratulations. this is a lovely block. I love to sew for Christmas. I tend to start in February. This year I got way behind. I helped a friend with two baby showers, a wedding and a eagle scout court of honor ceremony. than lots of friends had babies at church so I was helping there and cooking for meals for them. Now I am back to sewing.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

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  16. beautiful block and love the colors too!

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  17. This is my first time on your blog. Your writing and your quilts have such a nice style :) I agree -- it is interesting to read about how a block was designed. Thank you for sharing! And for offering this giveaway.

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  18. Congratulations on your Order in the Court block! I enjoy giving handmade gifts for the holidays. Baked goods especially cookies and small quilted items such as tablerunners, candlemats, and wall hangings are some of my favorites. bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. Thank you for sharing your design process. New blocks are always a challenge to come up with So I admire your creativity.

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  20. I do enjoy holiday sewing. And I do make a few gifts for friends. Last year I learned how to zippers, so I make pouches. This year I made table runners. Thanks!

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  21. I do like to sew for the holidays. I have a lot of ideas. Just not sure everyone likes handmade/homemade gifts. Oh well, they do get something from the store too.

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  22. I do make gifts to give for the holidays. Since I started quilting, I've made some candle mats with matching napkins. This year I'm working on hot pads and a table runner for my sister. Whenever I start, it never seems to be soon enough.

    Pat K
    yfg3749@yahoo.com

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  23. I enjoy making gifts for friends and family. My favorite gifts are table runners and quilts. This year I'm making monogrammed napkins. Cute block!

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  24. What a great block! I do love to make holiday gifts - unfortunately I am not an early starter :(

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  25. What a beautiful block! I try to make at least some gifts every year but tend to start a bit late.

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  26. Beautiful block. I am a little bit of an early person because I have to mail most of my gifts. Go to fast is always potholders, runners, ipad covers keychains things like that. Fleece socks etc. Jmikebalou (at) aol (dot) com

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  27. I think the only holiday sewing I'm doing this year is for Thanksgiving. I'm making a centerpiece each for my sister and my sister-in-law, who are hosting.
    Thanks for sharing your block!

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  28. I like homemade gifts and usually give quilts as gifts. prycek@mymts.net

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  29. I don't sew Christmas gifts. Just sew for my pleasure.

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  30. Beautiful Block! I will sew gifts but not for the holidays. Thanks for the chance.

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  31. I love your block and the colors you chose--and I loved seeing how the block would look in a whole quilt--thanks--
    I do make my own Christmas gifts--quilted, knitted, and counted cross stitching are my favorites--I have done a bit of the gifts through the year--but always seem to have more than I can finish by the holidays--sooo--
    love and laughter, di

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  32. Well, I tried to get an early start, but too many distractions,(new babies in family). So now I have to pick and choose what to finish this year. But, will have a great head start for next year. :)
    craftyccain@gmail.com

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  33. I usually make handcrafted gifts for Christmas, but this year I am taking a year off.

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  34. Wonderful block! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  35. What a nice block with the fun center. I sew a few holiday gifts and manage to get them done in time. Thanks for the chance to win. cjneubauer@iowatelecom.net0

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  36. I have been sewing on Christmas gifts for the grandbabies for what seems like months. I still have some to go but if I don't get them finished this year they will have enough anyway. My husband thinks I go a little overboard with the sewing and quilting.

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  37. Very cute block. Make very few holiday gifts. Thanks for sharing.

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  38. Oh, I'm an early starter alright. In January I am fired up and get a great headstart. Then life intervenes, and Christmas seems so far away...until about August, when I remember that it's likely that the holidays will actually arrive, as they always have. That's when I trim my list, and people who were going to get quilts end up with table runners. And I start making the "Next Year" list, which is long and glorious. Every dang year.

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  39. Congratulations on a great block!
    I love making holiday gifts but I never start early enough!

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  40. Great Block! Congrats on being in Volume 14! I love making my gifts but sometimes I am still working on them while the presents are being opened....just keeping it fresh is my excuse!!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  41. Thanks for sharing your block. I am a sewer of gifts and start some early, but often I get a great idea for someone far too close to the time and move fast to create it.

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  42. Beautiful block! I seem to be sewing Christmas gifts all year long.

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  43. I've always loved gray and pink. I don't usually sew anything for holiday gifts, but I do like to have wall hanging decor items and pillows around. Currently (still...) working on a Christmas "Skinny".

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  44. I love to make homemade gifts. I need a deadline to get them done. tljeo at yahoo dot com

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  45. It is a very nice block! I love it. I prefer home made gifts. It is not very easy to make such a gift for whole family.

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  46. Love the block and how different it looks once it is put with the other blocks. I try to start projects early, but something always seems to get in the way and I end up rushing to get it done by the deadline. ndfromsd at gmail. com

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  47. I like your block. It's realy very nice and it has a lot of opportunities

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  48. I enjoy making homemade gifts. I just keep making gifts until Xmas and then keep on year round.
    Quiltmaker 100 blocks always inspire me.
    djcutting2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. We spend half the year in Minnesota and the other half in Georgia, the small church we attend while in MN holds a community wide Thanksgiving dinner in November. Over the past few years the number of attendees has steadily grown from around 150 to 250, for some of the folks this is the only holiday meal they get. Thinking along that line I decided that the church could give out a small token gift to every attendee, a Christmas or "thank you for coming" gift. So far I've made such items as the criscross coasters, and this year I knitted 270 small round "minis" that could be coasters, dishcloths, washcloths whatever... I give myself two years to finish the church gifts... I'm already thinking about the gift for 2018. It's so much fun to give an anonymous gift :)
    kaylace@bellsouth.net

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  50. I love making handmade gifts! I work on them throughout the year. Sometimes it's hard to wait for Christmas to give them. Although I also give handmade gifts for other occasions and even for no occasion at all! I often give pot holders made from scraps for no particular reason and I am always pleased by how something so small makes many people so happy. Oh wait, maybe that's the reason I do it!

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  51. I try to make any sewn gifts throughout the year so I do not feel that last hour rush. Good re-invention of the court house steps block.

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  52. I love making Christmas ornaments.

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  53. I love making handmade gifts. I always start early so I have everything done well before Christmas. Every time I don't start early, things happen and my plans get ruined.

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  54. What a fun block! I was just thinking of making a 14 inch log cabin block to compliment some blocks that I made in a guild class last weekend. I like to make my Christmas presents...always have lots of ideas, but procrastinate so that I am working on all the projects at the last minute. We always hang stocking so I have special stocking for everyone...it always seems that there is someone new who needs a last minute one and there I am, sewing just before Christmas eve. that special stocking! Thanks so much for sharing your talents and your block.

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  55. Thanks for sharing your design process and I like your version of the courthouse block. I am probably a late crafter, especially when so many fun holidays come close together. Kathy in Colo repzjratplainsdotnet

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  56. I love to sew for all seasons, all year round.

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  57. I love holiday crafting and always get in over my head with ideas I can't finish everything I start! Thanks for the inspiration and showing your creative process with each stage of the block.

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  58. I always enjoy making holiday gifts, but usually run out of time. This year I am finishing a snow man quilt I started at least 10 years ago!

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  59. I usually make about 70 Christmas ornaments every year for co-workers but I'm too busy with a commission this year to do any.

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  60. I was in complete surprise when I saw the lay out, it did make one beautiful quilt. I have been playing with Christmas table runners using mini charms. I also try to use up scrapes in the process. Not much family and friends so I make few gifts for Christmas. I have made pillow cases for family baskets that the school clubs give to homeless families.

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  61. Cool block I have been using alot of gray in my quilting ty for sharing.. happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  62. Cool block I have been using alot of gray in my quilting ty for sharing.. happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  63. I do like to make Christmas gifts and try to start early. It's never early enough though.

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  64. I like to make Christmas gifts, but this year I am limiting the homemade gifts to ones I am doing for charity.
    joyecox@yahoo.com

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  65. Congrats on your block being in the book! i'm usually a last-minute quilter. somehow it's not Christmas Eve without some last minute stitching!

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  66. I like to make gifts but I'm not this year.

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  67. I love making handmade gifts and usually start way too late. :) tlab4@aol.com

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  68. I love your block. I enjoy making gifts for family, but this year it doesn't look like it is going to happen.

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  69. Your block is beautiful! I use to make gifts for the family but don't anymore. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  70. Love your variation of the court house steps block. I try to make Christmas gifts, but usually at the last minute. Thanks.

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  71. I like your final color combinations. It was fun to read about your process in choosing it and the Economy block, I do like to make things for holiday gifts, but don't like to get panicked by not getting them done.

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  72. Your Block layout is Beautiful..love the fabrics you used too. I love making Christmas gifts... I make new jamma's for the Kiddo's every year..and have a few Grankiddo's to make for now too! :) I have a few Throws made..and some bibs to match Granguy's jamma's too! :)

    Thank you for chance to win your Give-a-way too :D

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  73. I like your version of Courtyard Steps - Congratulations for having your block in the latest issue of 100 blocks.
    I enjoy making gifts for people - have made small quilts, pillows, and flannel shirts!

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  74. Yes, I love you make gifts. I try to start early, but often am making something last minute. One gift I'm going to make is a fabric garbage bags for the car. I made one for myself but my daughter wants one, too. Just Google it for the pattern. It has a handle that goes over the gear shift.

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  75. I really enjoyed reading the explanation of your design process. It is a very neat block and I hope to make it --- maybe even for a full quilt :-)
    quiltschon@att.net

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  76. LOL: Last year, the night before Christmas I decided to make 13 mug rugs!!! I finished them all...and with hand stitched binding.

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  77. I love making handmade gifts for Christmas and I am an early starter. This year I am making pillowcases, a few more fleece blankets, potholders with mugs and a bag of my spice tea and I may throw in a denim tote or two.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  78. Great block! I love making home made gifts, just wish I had more time. I always end up making some the last minute. sewgood414@hotmaildotcom

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  79. This year I am an early starter. My guild had a boutique sale and I found out how popular my quilted post cards are so I'm making those for friends and neighbors this year. Nice block!

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  80. Very cute block...it would be fun to make a quilt with a different block center in each.

    I'm always a late starter. This year I'm sewing anything but I am make cute little "jewel boxes" using small taper holders, large buttons and lots of bling.

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  81. I always have good intentions but am usually sewing right up to Christmas eve. I make certain people nice homemade gifts because they appreciate them. We keep our celebrations low key and concentrate on family time.

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  82. Love the colors you used in your quilt, well I love to make handmade gifts, but have to say that I am always running like a chicken without a head...

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  83. I think that this block would be perfect to showcase in a tote bag - maybe even setting it on point. As for projects - even though I am working on projects all through the year - I always have to rush to get some of them done.

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  84. I love to make things for people, but not many appreciate it!

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  85. I'm almost done with all my gifts, I start in January. Then in December I have time to make cookies and fruitcake. All my gifts are homemade in one way or another. That's where the love is....

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  86. Great Block!!! As to Christmas, I am more of a frantic dash starting in November but I am doing well this year. Making a lot of coaster sets set in a cute fabric basket.

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  87. I usually bite off more than I should and wait till way too close to Christmas to start. But this year, I actually have a cape and 3 hooded towels all done and sent off. It's such a nice feeling, i'm inspired to start something fun just for me (:

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  88. I like to make gifts. I need tp start Christmas gifts early because I am always in a rush to finish my projects.
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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  89. I have enjoyed making Christmas stockings & Christmas tree ornaments in the past. I also make gift bags out of holiday fabric to cut down on the trash going to the land fill.

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  90. I used to make so much more then I do now. Time just gets away from me these days. I do still manage to get small things done. Ornaments, runners, mug rugs and other small items.

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  91. I enjoy making hand made Xmas ornaments to give as gifts.
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  92. Hi, I make Xmas gifts like the usual placemats, coasters pillow cases, quilts and dolls. I tend to start late and this year am doing those baked potato bags and pillow cases. rozz01 at cox dot net

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  93. I a always a last minute crafter. Making tuffets for my kids for Christmas.

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  94. I enjoyed giving hand crafted gifts to people who really appreciate the time and effort I put in making it. Some people are just not worthy of a hand made gift.

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  95. No, holiday gift making going on here. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  96. Always say on Dec. 26 that I'm going to start early for next year with gift making. Ha ha ha.

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  97. I like making Christmas stockings as baby gifts in the fall.

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  98. Lovely block! I saw it first yesterday in your IG feed.
    I have become a minimalist at Christmas but I like to make quilty items for those close to me....and caramel corn for everybody else :-) If I don't start early, it doesn't happen!

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  99. Congrats on a great block! I usually start in Aug on holiday gifts - working too many hrs this year so i just started!!!

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  100. I always meat to get things done but I get sidetracked by other things. Thanks for the chance to win, since Hasting's closed there are no local places less than 60 miles to get magazines.

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  101. I think that you settled on the best of your designs, and the finished quilt top is wonderful - not too busy, not too plain. As for Christmas sewing, I am working on some simple gifts for the grandchildren. The girls will get aprons for when they cook with their moms. The boys will get totes large enough to bring their favorite toys with them to Gramma and Grampa's house. Thank you for your generous gift!

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  102. Some gifts already done. Sometimes the tming doesn't work but this year I got an early start.

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  103. I am a "wouldn't that make a lovely present" person who just never has the time to do all the things. I manage the very special grandkids projects but would love to be more organized. Angela

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  104. I do enjoy making gifts for the holidays. Tablerunners are my favorite go to gift.

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  105. I love your block. I really ebjoyed a glimpse into your design process too.

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  106. I really like this block. I don't make many handmade Christmas gifts, but I really enjoy making handmade birthday gifts for my loved loved.

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  107. I make some gifts. I start early, but don't always finish early.

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  108. I do like making holiday gifts but I am such a procrastinator that I never end up making as many as I would like to. I really like your block and that center is perfect.

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  109. Every Christmas I try to make at least one quilted gift. I've done totes, hot pads, table runners. This year I'm doing a tree skirt. I love what you did with your block! And I'm a log cabin fan too!

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  110. I love how the courthouse steps drawl your eye inward to the tiny square of fussy-cut goodness. Congrats on your wonderful block! I am a slow starter that continues to be so slow, I'm a last minute crafter. I would (much to my husband distain) have hallmark christmas movies on 365 days a year :)

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  111. Your block is darling. I'm an all year gift maker, with a heavy emphasis on last minute.

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  112. Your block is darling. I'm an all year gift maker, with a heavy emphasis on last minute.

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  113. I usually dont make many gifts as im so slow at what i do. But feels so good to give something you have made. Love your block. Thanks for the chance to win so many patterns. Wow
    sewfabrics at outlook.com

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  114. I am not making any Christmas gifts this year. I do have two baby quilts for babies due around the holidays though.

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  115. I love making gifts, but I never get as many done as I would like.

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  116. I haven't made many gifts. I tend to enjoy the process of putting a whole quilt together and get frustrated with smaller projects that seem to take more time for me to figure out, ha.

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  117. Aww. I like it. Fun twist on a traditional block--just my style.
    I'm more of a deadline gifter. More of a person-centered gifter. I tend to make themes or samplers with people in mind, and whenever I get them done, will be the gift-time (if it's around a holiday, bonus points).
    reillyr2(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  118. I love to give homemade gifts.. already delivered several pillows to my daughter in law and my sister in law.. I've got several other gifts ready to finish!

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