Thursday, April 1, 2021


 The 2021 Block of the Month pattern for  The Quilt Show is Color My World, designed exclusively for The Quilt Show by Wendy Williams. The pattern is available FREE for Star Members throughout 2021, each month brings a new part of the project. It is not too late to begin.

It's time to grow some trees. Be sure to watch the Supplement Video and then the longer Video for Month 4, found on the 2021 Block of the Month page under LEARN, and the LIVE recording that was done April 1, found under Videos: 2021 Block of the Month.

I printed the Trees Layout Guide on vellum, that is see-through paper like tracing paper:

It was easy to see where to place the tree trunks cut from 1/4" double fold bias. I cut the bias strips into 2.5", 3.5" and 9.5" lengths for each of the 16 trees. Place them as you like. On dark houses I placed the trunk on the lighter house so it could be seen.

Be sure the top edges of the 3 trunks will be under the Tree Top and the bottom edges of the 2 short trunks are covered by the one long tree trunk. Press firmly in place with a hot, dry iron. Sew with your choice of stitches, decorative or straight. I used black thread, top and bobbin, with a straight stitch, length 2.5. I tried a variety of possibilities before making the final choice. 

Make the template for the Tree Top from two layers of freezer paper. Wendy's method is slightly different from mine. I printed the tree top template on freezer paper, cut enough of the excess blank paper to have a second tree top, placed them in layers, with the plastic coated side DOWN on both. Press lightly to adhere both layers.  Pin or staple so you can cut out the double thickness template without having them shift: 

To remind myself the top edge already includes the seam allowance and the bottom edge still needs the seam allowance to be added, I indicated that on my template:

Press the template to the front side of the tree fabric. Using a mechanical pencil draw around the template then cut out the tree top--adding a 1/4" seam allowance along the bottom edge only. 

I finger pressed the seam allowance under on the pencil line, pinned the tree top to a pair of trees, and used a straight stitch of green thread to secure the lower, turned-under edge in place. Quilters Select 80 wt. thread, color #0275, was perfect for both trees: 

After all 16 pairs of Small Houses have their trees and tree tops in place, it's time to join them into a circle. Take care to use an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, sewing straight all the way down the seam. Straight is more important than fast. Press the seams open as you join the pairs together. 

With a bit of luck and careful sewing, your circle of 32 Small Houses should be a complete circle and be flat when all sewn together. 

What if your circle isn't flat or circular? Check the seam allowances, particularly at the start and end of each seam. We tend to veer off at those points--a bit too narrow or a bit too wide. I use leader/enders or scraps of fabric to help me start sewing an exact 1/4" seam at the beginning  and keep sewing 1/4" all the way to the end of the seam. I wouldn't do a lot of assertive pressing just yet. Just get it as flat as you can and wait for the Roads to see if they match up. Mine did. Yours will too. 

Can you tell that I didn't know that Month 3 Small Houses would be different from Month 1? And that I made a bunch more Small Houses 1 and 2 before I learned that? So there are fewer Small Houses 3 and 4 than the 16 the pattern calls for. They are placed in each quadrant, sort of evenly spaced, but it's really hard to tell unless you know there are 4 different houses. Don't tell anyone...

Next month we will  make the Inner and Outer Roads and you will be able to join the Mariner's Compass center and Small House circle to create the middle of your quilt. That will be exciting!

Let's quilt.



  1. How many inches tall is the tree and background? Mine comes out to approximately 11 inches. Is this correct? Thanks.

  2. Can you trim the background fabric behind the trees to a 1/4" of where you stitched them?

  3. Should the trees and background be trimed to the size of the template or should there be a seam allowance for when we sew them together

  4. The template is a Layout Guide for the tree tops. Don't trim Small Houses based on it. I have a bit of seam allowance on the pairs of small houses, outside the line on the Layout Template.

  5. I might be in trouble:
    - My Small house #1 measures only 10.25" tall and others are 11". I think (hope) I can arrange the shortage behind the tree. Do you agree or have another solution or should I remake them?
    -I have a photo but do not know how to load it here??
    - I am also concerned that my houses will not end up in a good(not perfect circle). Is there a measurement you can provide, such as 'at 5" from the bottom, each house pair should measure xx'?

    Thanx so much for any ideas you might have.

  6. Check small house #1 for seam allowance and that the pattern was the correct size, 1" scale box is 1".
    There are no measurements provided. The designer did not supply them. If the patterns and seam allowance is accurate the Small Houses will make a complete circle.
    You can't post photos here. Please use the Forum for that.

  7. My treetops don't reach to the edge of the block. Are we supposed to trim the block down? Did I miss a step?

    1. Do not trim the block. The treetops are supposed to reach the edge of the pair of houses. Post photos on the Forum and be sure to watch the Videos--they show how the treetops fit the pair of Small Houses.

  8. Help! I am not sure how to post to the forum now there is a new format. I don't see a box to ask a question. Thanks.

    1. Go to CONNECT, then the 2021 BOM topic. For each month I created a Topic with Ask Questions Here in the title. Post a question on that topic so everyone will see your question--you may also find someone else has already asked your question and gotten an answer.