Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Desperate Housewife's Quilt - Week 25 The Sad, little Elf Decoration

Welcome to week 25 of the 'The Desperate Housewife's Quilt'. Todays block is about using your artwork, some thread and backstitch to make a simple block. Remember, this is not a quilt-a-long. Just follow the blog every week and pick and choose which blocks you would like to make. I will be injecting some uniqueness into traditional blocks, applique, three dimensional, crazy and thread-art blocks. If you make a block please post it on the Flickr group for everyone to enjoy. Also, I have this nifty button under each post that allows you to save the post as a PDF.

Be sure to visit this week's Guest Blogger and their wonderful block.
(N.B Due to time and date differences, guest bloggers posts do not always coincide with my post)

This weeks guest blogger is Paloma from Three Kitchen Fairies. Paloma is from Argentina and will presenting a block called Broken Dishes. Pop over and see Paloma's wonderful blog. It will be in both Spanish and English.


The Sad, little Elf Decoration

This is the tale of the sad, little elf decoration. 

It was the start of the Christmas season and a flurry of people were buying presents and decorating their houses for the festive season. Obtaining a Decoration from Mr Klaus's Super Christmas Shoppe was always on Mrs D's 'things to do' list every year and this year was no exception. Mrs D was a prolific quilter, of the modern persuasion and sort quirky, handmade and progressively coloured decorations.

On Tuesday morning, Mrs D grabbed her extensive shopping list and shoved it into her handmade tote bag, jumped on the Highgate bus and headed for Mr Klaus's Super Christmas Shoppe. The bus took a long and convoluted route so Mrs D managed to sew some hexagons on the way to pass the time. Finally after forty-five minutes the bus stopped outside the shop. Mrs D hopped off and stood silently in reverent awe of the shop window before her. Her eyes dancing from one decoration to another, searching for the ultimate one that would grace the house this season.

Mrs D opened the old wooden door to the shop, stepping back quickly to let some excited children scamper out, and entered the magical kingdom. Her hands reach on many occasions for the one decoration that appealed to her senses but quickly withdraw because of a strange feeling that persisted. Mrs D continued to walk up and down the aisles, pacing furiously and frustrated at her failure to find the perfect decoration. Suddenly, her iPhone buzzed (a festive tune) and a text message arrived with the news that the Pantone colour for 2012 was 17-1463TPX - Tangerine Tango. Was this a sign? Her eyes slowly lifted to the top shelf above where she was standing. 

On a dusty shelf, way up near the ceiling sat a lonely decoration. It sat there year after year after year but the shopkeeper did not have the heart to remove it. It was an odd little decoration, not like the others that were adorned in silver and gold and clothed in rich reds and opulent greens. This little decoration was a tiny legless elf, with a round belly filled with sand and a garment of orange and turquoise. A rather odd little creation that carried no tag of identification.

Mrs D and the elf's eyes met and it was ordained by the magical powers of quilting, textiles and colour design that these two should meet and live happily ever after.

The elf now sits on the mantle between the lime green reindeer and the citrus snowman. He is sad no more.

  • 10" square of solid for the background
  • 4 - 10" 1" wide strips of dotty fabric for border
  • 10" square of iron on stabiliser for embroidery
  • Variety of Perle Cottons
  • Light box or window
  • Fine fabric pen
  • Hoop (optional)
The pattern for the Elf can be found here. (Remember not to 'Fit to Page' or scale when printing)


For borders cut:

  • 1 - 7 1/2" strip blue dot
  • 2 - 8" strip orange dot
  • 1 - 8 1/2" strip blue dot.


  • Iron the stabiliser onto the back of the solid square.
  • Trace the pattern onto the centre of the solid square
  • Using Perle cotton and backstitch, stitch pattern, leaving colonial knots for the buttons.
  • Trim the block back to 7 1/2" (remember to leave at least 1/2" around pattern)
  • Add the 7 1/2" blue dot border to top. Then moving clockwise add the remaining borders in this sequence: 8" orange dot, 8" orange dot, 8 1/2" blue dot.

I hope you enjoyed the Tale of the sad, little elf decoration and block. Next week it will be last of the festive blocks for the DHWQ series.

*** Copyright 2011 Jane Davidson. Please remember that these blocks and any blocks designed by guest bloggers should not be used for commercial purposes ( sold as a pattern, published etc) without the written consent of the owner ***


  1. Aww, what a lovely story, and such a cute block too!

  2. Glad the little elf found a happy home.


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