The countdown is on, only 17 shopping and/or sewing days left.
Christmas time for me is “CANDY time”, I say this with some melody in my voice. Home made peanut brittle (oh so good) and home made caramel, both will create a party in your mouth. Once you have had fresh home made of these popular candies the mass production versions just will not satisfy. In fact after you’ve had home made when you see them in the stores for sale you will turn up your nose. Most people have fond memories of Christmas morning opening presents or Christmas’s spent with loved ones no longer with us, but my fondest childhood Christmas memory is making candy with my step mother. Who knew you could make peanut brittle, caramel and taffy? You know, all the good stuff. I still love making candy and enjoy her cookbooks today. For many years I have made several batches of peanut brittle at Christmas, placed it in pretty tins and gave as gifts to a boss, family and friends. My son always picks around the peanuts in the brittle, my husband picks the heavy peanut pieces leaving me a pretty balanced selection. The caramel, well its a very versatile candy. You can chunk it up and eat it as is but you can’t eat just 1 piece. You can make turtles or dip it in chocolate. Paint a candy tray with chocolate, add an almond and caramel and finish filling with chocolate (my favorite). If it’s chocolate, caramel and almonds…well it just doesn’t get better than that in my opinion. I think this is my favorite candy but rarely make it because I am the only one who eats it at home. It doesn’t keep as long either. If you can’t consume it in a week or 2 you may want to share it while its at its best. Unfortunately I wont be making either this year, I’ve irritated my sciatica while loading backing on my frame and cant stand the length of time required for making candy. So, I hope you all download and make this and think of me while you enjoy it. The caramel recipe is below, click on the recipe card to download.
Blogging is new to me, so this is the first year I have participated in the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Just let me quilt. Thank you Carol for all your help and for hosting this. You will find links at the bottom of this post to all the bloggers sharing in the cookie exchange.
The photo below is only one pattern option. Read on for variation and pdf download.
For a couple of weeks I have been working on this star block to add to For The Love of Geese and decided I would share it with you all today. I had hoped I would have the block completed before today and normally I would have. Sitting for any length of time is very painful and after sitting at my desk for 9 hours daily I cant do so in the evenings, so there are no photos of my completed block. My test block only consisted of half of the 18″ block and was made with mismatched scraps. There are samples below of my block, I have everything pieced but have not completed joining of the templates. For this I am sorry.
Like the ol’ versatile caramel the 18″ star block offers a few choices. Flying geese or no, 4 patch blocks to create an Irish chain or no. You will need paper piecing knowledge since I have not included instructions for paper piecing and you should have experience with Y seams. Not to say a beginner could not finish this block. With a border this would make a really cool wall hanging, a pillow sham, or create an entire quilt with the Irish chain linking multiple blocks. With proper color placement and values you could easily create a 3d block as well. Struggle with colors? Clever Chameleon has a great write up on color values and on Tuesday’s adds a new Colour Inspiration pallet, I love these by the way.
This is a great block for scraps or fat quarters. Yardage estimates are not given. For my block I used left over 2- 1/2″ strips and scraps of muslin.
For adding the chain blocks you will need to piece them separately and do the math using your preferred seam allowance. If you are using 1/4″ seam allowance you will need to cut 24pcs 1- 1/4″ squares from your background fabric and 24pcs 1- 1/4″ squares from your colored fabric to make twelve 4 patch blocks. I have marked the templates for chain placement, you can paper piece the completed 4 patch blocks to the templates which is what I did.
Now for your options. Below the block on the left is with flying geese (lt blue), the block on the right is with the Irish chain (lt blue). You can choose the download to suite your needs. If you do not want the examples shown below you will want to download the file “North Star without flying geese”.
If you would like a block without flying geese or 4 patch blocks you will want to download North_Star_without_flying_geese
If you would like a block with flying geese and/or chain you will want to download North_Star_with_flying_geese
Perhaps you want flying geese with no chain blocks, download the North Star with flying geese. In place of the chain patches just add a single patch of fabric.
If you want to add chain blocks but no flying geese you can download either file and refer to the color layout for placement. I’ll stop here before I make you more dizzy.
If you create something with the pattern and would like me to share it here please email a photo, include if you want your first/last name or web address shown. A link to my site is always appreciated as well.
A list of others participating: