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On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a Partridge in a pear tree


That most whimsical of carols, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was first published in English at the end of the 18th century, but it’s probably older and quite possibly French in origin. It celebrates the ancient Christian festival of Twelvetide, which commenced on Christmas Day and culminated in the merriment of Twelfth Night.

November seems a very apt month to be preparing your lovely parcels and has certainly got me in the mood to start wrapping Christmas presents. As well as our scrumptious Tilda fabric - always a pleasure to fold - this month's parcel includes the Twelve Days of Christmas pattern book. This will be your guide over the next ten months but I'll also be posting here to share a few fun facts about the subject of our block and exploring a useful tip or technique to help you with your piecing.

So, without further ado, I present the Partridge, nestled amongst golden pears in a block inspired by the traditional Tree of Paradise block. In real life, our Partridge would be somewhat surprised to find himself perched in a tree, being a strictly ground-nesting bird. In French, Partridge is translated as Perdrix (pronounced pear-dree) which may explain things a little, because in the 17th century the French red-legged Partridge was introduced to Britain to supplement our native grey partridges, whose numbers were much depleted by hunting. So, technically, we do have both Partridge and Perdrix.


I have taken a few liberties with the colouring of my Partridge, and should really have reversed those pink and grey prints... but it didn't make such a pretty block, so I hope you'll forgive me my artistic licence. And I have plans for that little pear motif, which I'm looking forward to sharing with you next month in a special bonus project. Because there isn't much to do in December, is there?


There are *ahem* one or two half-square triangles in this block and when I made mine I experimented with a new way of trimming them, which I've shared in the Techniques box {click on the photos to enlarge them}. If you like this method you can put the Quilt-in-a-Day Square Up ruler on your Christmas list.


Until next month, Happy Thanksgiving to our lovely friends sewing in the United States,

Nicola xx

This month's techniques...

Here's an alternative way to trim our HSTs, which I've found quick and effective...


After you've cut your pairs of HSTs apart, DON'T press them open just yet...


Mark the diagonal on your ruler with washi tape and line up with the STITCHING line...


Trim then press open (nip off those dog ears too)...

Twelve Days of Christmas: month 1

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