A few days ago I got to participate in unpacking the holiday decorations for the Pendleton Woolen Mills Store. One of my tasks was to set up the large Christmas Tree at the front of the store. After we decorated it I asked where they kept the tree skirt and I was met with blank stares. "Okay, I'll make one!" I offered. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had recently seen a great pattern by Monica of Happy Zombie for Christmas Tree Pants which were featured on the Sew Mama Sew holiday sew-along. Using that as inspiration I decided this tree needed a Poncho!
One of the benefits of working with the Woolen Mills Store is that I get to make samples for the store and for classes. I choose my fabric: 1/2 of a 1/2 a yard of Red Four Directions Jacquard, grabbed 5 yards of black felt binding, and four silver buttons.

I've decided to offer it as a free pattern, since I was inspired by Monica's design and she gave her instructions away for free as well. Here is a link to a downloadable pattern. Enjoy!
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A few months ago the Portland Modern Quilt Guild challenged each of the guild members to create a 12" finished block using fabrics from the Jay McCarroll Habitat collection. We were given fat eights of six different fabrics and we had a month to create our blocks. The president of our chapter then put out a second call: would anyone be interested in putting these quilts together. My hand went up immediately: I was excited to work on sampler compositions and really challenge myself to come up with something that reflected the vibe of our guild: modern, fun and fresh.
I lived with the blocks for a while before I came up with the sampler designs. They fell into two distinct camps: the first I decided was the 'motif' camp, blocks that used solids with the prints to create a dynamic design. The second camp were blocks that used the prints together and didn't use solids (or didn't use high contrast solids.) I decided to approach the 'motif' blocks using more of a traditional sashing/frame idea, and the print blocks I went for a more risky composition that I called the 'scrappy film strip.' Luckily Linda Nussbalm, a fellow guild member and Surrounded by Scraps blogger stepped in and offered to help. We both sewed our hearts out at the PMQG sew-day at Fabric depot and I finished the last parts of the project today. I am sending them off to Rachel, of  Second Ave Studio (and also a guild member) to quilt.