I have to say, I have been enjoying the Primitive Gatherings Christmas Sew Along. There are seven block patterns out now, and all are free on Lisa Bongean's blog (until January). I am making some changes in my project, out of preference, and also to "make it my own". My version is in red and green, rather than only red (as in the featured project quilt). I have been making both a red block and a green block each time a new block pattern is released by Lisa.
I believe there will be a total of 25 block patterns published on Lisa's blog, and by making two each week, I will end up with 50 six inch blocks at the end of the sew along. I am giving myself permission to skip a block if I don't care for it, and substitute in a block of my own choosing. The third block in the second row is one that I tossed in because I liked it. That is why you see sixteen blocks up on my design wall instead of only fourteen. I am a week ahead now! I am also feeling free to use two shades of a color in my blocks, which I think adds interest and texture.
Block Seven did not thrill me, so I got out my Judy Hopkins 101 Rotary Cut block pattern book and picked out something different that I liked better. There are also a great selection of 6 inch finished blocks in the Farmer's Wife books.
I preferred this block to the published block and am very happy with the way it turned out. The blocks so far have been star designs, which obviously fits in with the Christmas theme, but again, I didn't feel I needed to be confined to only star blocks. I also enjoy making some simpler blocks to toss in with the fairly complex blocks that have been part of the sew along.
It isn't too late to join in! If you've been on the fence, come on and play--you can do as I am and make this project reflect who you are and where you are in your quilting skills. If a block seems too fussy go ahead and substitute in one that you feel is easier to make. Alternately, you can challenge yourself to make blocks that seem difficult. The pieces in some of these blocks are super tiny, so it is good practice to work with itsy bitsy block units, and work on sewing an accurate quarter inch seam.
I understand there are kits available on the Primitive Gatherings webiste. You can also do as I did, and pull reds (or reds and greens!) from your stash. You can use one background fabric for all blocks, or go scrappy and pull even more fabrics out of your stash.
It's all good, and lots of fun.