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He’s Here, He’s Here! The Santa Claus Block is Ready!

I’ve gotta admit it was a race to the finish, but my paper-pieced Santa Claus is ready for his premiere. He’s standing alone for now, with his unfinished clones stacked on my sewing table. I’m determined to sew something “quilty” with all the completed blocks. For you, though, I’ve got PDFs of the Santa and the Christmas Tree blocks available for printing in our Pattern Library.

So, without further ado, Santa Claus . . . however, you need to scroll all the way to the bottom cuz Santa’s got a brand new smile after a lucky trip to the bead store today!

A paper-pieced Santa Claus with beaded details for his face–his spectacles are German glass beads that are circular and clear just like old-fashioned eyeglasses.

I’m including a few photos so you can see how I tackled the paper-pieced Santa and the inset mustache. FYI:  before I jumped in with the sewing, I cut the pattern into subunits. Ditto for the tree blocks as well.

Cut the pattern into subunits: 2 arms, hat/face, mustache/body, and feet.

Then, to simplify building the Santa block, I prepped the arms, the hat and trim, Santa’s robe, and his boots.

Preparing to sew the subunits.

I made the mustache from a 1″ x 2″ rectangle sewn closed with a scant 1/8″ seam. I cut the rectangle on the diagonal, turned the 2 resulting triangles to the right side, and pressed them carefully. (You’ll find instructions on the pattern PDF.) Do make sure your iron is clean because the white fabric of the mustache stains easily. Turns out Michael Miller’s fairy frost fabric is an ideal choice for Santa’s beard and mustache.

Mark the center point of the beard (use the printed guideline on the pattern) and then pin the 2 triangles in place.

Match the hat/face unit to the beard unit by aligning to the guideline. Pin to secure and sew.

Santa’s mustache before sewing the side units to the body (it’s my photo that’s askew, not Santa).

I completed the block by sewing on the arm units first and then the boot unit. My key for a successful paper-pieced Santa block, following my so-so prototypes, was using very generous seams (3/4″ typically) and then trimming to 1/4″ just prior to sewing the subunits.

As I mentioned in the Tuesday post, Back Porch Fabric in Pacific Grove, CA stocked the wonderful tonal winter print that I used for my blocks.

Refer to the selvage for the fabric information.

After a bit of internet research of Santa Claus faces,  I decided to plumb the depths of my bead collection for my Santa. For me, well-drawn eyebrows are crucial to creating an expressive face, and, until I found a string of tiny seed pearls in my stash, I was at a standstill.  Yeah, they look like tiny marshmallows on Santa’s forehead, even so, I like them.

Santa’s face composed with a variety of beads from seed pearls to German glass beads.

Here are the blocks I’ve got so far. I’m thinking about making a table runner with three Santa blocks and two Christmas tree blocks set on point. Do consider sharing photos of your completed holiday blocks–we SHWS bloggers would love to see your creativity. Oh yes, don’t I have a giveaway winner to announce?  The lucky winner of a copy of Winter Wonders is Pamela Wall who hopes her Navy son will be home in time for the holidays.  We hope so too, Pamela!

Here’s a last-minute addition to the Santa block courtesy of a stop at House of Beads in Walnut Creek, CA today.

Hot off the press: Santa’s got a brand new smile. I found the perfect smile at the bead store today–again, German glass beads. I just love quilting serendipity–the design answers are out there . . . keep the faith.


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


Let the holiday season begin!

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