These tips are suggestions to help you get started with your Baby Jane
blocks. If you find errors, have ideas for alternate methods, or ideas to
improve these suggestions, please let us know.
Paper Piecing refers to the foundation method of piecing on paper or fabric.
Measurements are finished size unless noted otherwise. Save your templates and
scraps, you may need them for a similar block.
H-1, Peek-a-Boo, page 73
This block was paper
pieced in four sections. The five diagonal strips can be FP. Start with making
the center 4-patch normally. Then trace a paper pattern that has the square
you've already made, plus the bars, plus the end piece (pentagons). The next
strips are the long bars with a tiny triangle on each end. The last two strips
are the center pentagon and two tiny triangles. Leave the paper on and sew all
five rows together.
Because the measurements were "odd" numbers (not very manageable), I traced
the pattern of the "center section"(the four-patch, plus the surrounding pieces)
onto freezer paper. I carefully cut them apart, inside the pencil lines. I also
write "w" for white or "b" for brown on the pieces before I cut them apart, so I
get the correct color fabric in the right place. Iron the templates on the back
of the correct fabric, hen I rotary cut them out, adding a 1/4" seam allowance.
Tear off the freezer paper, and machine to make the "center" section. You can FP
the four outer triangles: Trace one of the corner triangle pieces. To make three
duplicates, layer three pieces of paper underneath and then stitch over the
lines on the original drawing with the sewing machine with NO thread in it.
FP by putting the dark fabric in the center and adding the light on either
side. Just be careful to get the grain going the right way so you don't end up
with bias edges on your outside triangles. Then I just sewed the four outside
triangle sections to the center section.
I made the little 4-patch, then did the log cabin around it. Next the
challenge of those little triangles and all of a sudden the light goes on in the
ol' brain. I sewed a gold strip of fabric between two white strips. Sewed that
strip onto one side, laid the ruler so that the diagonal line would line up
through the middle of the 4-patch (with the 2 1/2 in. mark in the center of the
four patch) cut the corner and repeated this procedure around the remaining
corners. (Eleanor Burns used this technique in her card tricks book).
H-2, Jacob Anthony, page 74
The draft in the book
is not, but these could very easily be, 60-degree triangles, in which case there
is a much easier way. The 1,000 pyramids method. Cut a strip each of background
and main 1-3/8" (12" long) and sew, right sides together down both sides (1/4"
seam). Now, using the 60-degree triangle, place the 1-3/8" mark on one seam line
and cut both sides. Turn fabric and cut another. The resulting diamonds are then
joined in 3 rows of 3. After that you're on your own.
BE CAREFUL of the center seam. Susanne Kleen suggested to grade the seams.
The center can be intense. If you paper piece this one, do yourself a favor and
STOP before the end at the center and back stitch. This will give you the option
then to swirl the center and alleviate some of the bulkiness. Very simple block.
Easy paper piecing. Then applique the diamonds.
H-3, Berry Baskets, page 74
Paper pieced this
block in four sections: top row, bottom row, and center section in 2 mirrored
H-4, Abbey's Eyes, page 76
Hand pieced using
7 pieces. Or, hand applique the 2 white cone shapes onto the focus fabric
H-5, Michael's Motorcycle, page 76
fabric cut a 2-1/2" square, cut on diagonal once. Cut a 5" >>square and cut on
the diagonal twice. From background but 2 squares 3-1/4" and cut on the diagonal
twice. (You will discard two of the triangles). From both fabrics cut (2) 1-3/4"
squares for the half square triangles. Cut (4) border strips at 3-3/4". Make the
quarter square triangles from the 3-1/4" squares and trim them to 1-1/8". Piece
as a 9-patch.
H-6, Pie Sale, page 77
I'm not confident with
curved piecing, so for this block, I appliqued little quarter circles in place
before assembling it like a 9-patch. Cut away the excess at the back to reduce
H-7, Bennington Star, page 77
What a great block
for practicing quick machine piecing methods, they certainly make light work of
anything with triangles. Follow directions for making quarter square triangles.
From focus fabric cut: (4) strips 1" x 5-1/4", (1) 1-3/4" square (for center),
(2) 2-1/2" squares. From background fabric cut (4) 1-3/4" squares for corners
and (2) 2-1/2" squares for quarter square triangles. Assemble quarter square
triangles and trim to 1-3/4" square. Assemble block as a 9-patch and add the
finishing strips. Trim to 5" .
H-8, Eaton's Crossroads, page 78
Made 2 separate
units and join them together. The first unit is a 3" square consisting of the
center circle and cross section. The second unit is the larger frame without the
center circle and cross section. To begin, prepare the inner circle: cut (4) 2"
squares of focus fabric, and (2) strips of background fabric measuring 7/8" x
5". Join the squares and strips to create the unit with the cross section.
Prepare a circle template out of heat resistant template plastic, cardboard or
manila folder. Freezer paper is too flimsy for this step. Use this template to
draw a circle on the backside of your square. Cut out the fabric circle adding a
¼" seam allowance. Using spray starch, turn under the seam allowance using your
template to get nice rounded edges on the circle. Press very well and set aside
to dry. For second unit, begin by making the 4 quarter square triangle units.
Cut (2) 3" squares of focus fabric and (2) 3" squares of background fabric.
Piece as in G2 to make 4 squares. Trim them to 1-3/8" square, which is just shy
of 1-1/2". To trim using the baby bias square: Make the first cut at just shy of
¾" (measure from two edges of your block to the intersection of center seam).
Make the 2nd cut just shy of 1-1/2", measuring the block from edge to opposite
edge. To complete the corner units: cut (8) 1-3/4" squares of background fabric.
Sew them to opposite sides of you quarter square triangle units. Make sure you
sew them to the background fabric triangle in the square, not the focus fabric
triangle! (Ask me why I'm stressing this!) Trim these units to 1-3/8" wide. Cut
(2) 2" squares of background fabric and cut once on the diagonal. Sew them to
the strips you just completed for the outermost corners. Cut a background square
at 3-5/8". Sew strips to opposite sides of this square and trim the edges. Sew
remaining 2 strips and you will have a very "raggy" 5" square. Hand appliqué the
now dry circle with cross to the center of your raggy square. Make sure the
cross is lined up as in the block photo. You may trim away underneath the circle
or leave the fabric in for dimension. Press your block well and use your Dear
Jane ruler to square it up. Phew! You did it! Give your block a little kiss and
count those numbers! Go eat a little chocolate, too! H-8 Easton's Crossroads
wasn't bad. I paper pieced all of it and then appliquid the center section.
H-9, Snowflake Melt, page 78
Look at the picture;
this block is 4 half-square triangles with their corners cut off and diamonds
appliquéd on-don't you think? Wouldn't that be the easy way to piece this? I
think you could do it this way with either Brenda's diagram or redraft to make
it look like the picture and leave off the white edge strips. From focus fabric
cut: (2) 3-1/2" squares From background fabric: cut (2) 3-1/2" squares Place a
focus fabric square and a background square right sides together, draw a
diagonal line and sew ¼" away from drawn line on both sides. Press seams open
and trim the squares to 2-3/4". Repeat. Sew the 4 squares together as a
pinwheel. On wrong side of block measure 1-1/8" from the north, south, east and
west seam line at outer edge of block. Place a dot on each side of all 4 seam
lines. (You'll have 8 dots total.) On wrong side of fabric lightly pencil in a
diagonal line across the corner of the block, connecting two of the dots and
trim ¼" away from this line. Cut (2) 3" squares of background fabric, cut them
once on the diagonal and sew to the 4 corners. Make the diamond applique shapes
using your favorite method. I enlarged mine 1/8" on all 4 sides since my white
space was larger than Brenda's diagram. Applique them using your favorite
method, press block and trim to 5".
H-9 Snowflake Melt also wasn't bad. The whole thing can be paper pieced but
BE CAREFUL of the center seam. Susanne Kleen suggested to grade the seams. The
center can be intense. If you paper piece this one, do yourself a favor and STOP
before the end at the center and back stitch. This will give you the option then
to swirl the center and alleviate some of the bulkiness.
H-10, Ben's Bowtie, page 79
This is an easy block
to rotary cut and machine piece, with 4 quarter square triangles and 2 half
square triangles. Follow the directions for half square triangles in G2, cutting
(1) 2-1/2" square of focus fabric and (1) 2-1/2" square of background fabric.
Trim to 1-3/4" square. Cut (2) 2-1/4" squares of focus fabric, and (2) 2-1/4"
squares of background fabric to make the 4 corner quarter square triangles.
Piece the center bow tie, then piece the block together like a 4-patch.
H-11, Piercing Rays, page 79 The pie in the center
can be paper-pieced in halves, then joined and appliqued on. I think you're
stuck with templates and set-ins on the rest.
Or, hand piece H-11, do the center then the points then the edges.
H-11 Piercing Ray is one of my all time favorites!! I LOVE this block. It's Y
seams, but if you stop and start at the end of the paper piecing and backstitch
without getting to the other piece of fabric, the turning of the fabric is very
easy. I LOVED H-11 so much, I think I'd do that one for any swaps. It's really
not bad and looks GREAT when it's done.
H-12, Hannah Lou's Hearts, page 81
the four hearts onto a 5-1/2" square of background. Trim to 5" . NOTICE that
Jane's blocks looks like 8 "tears" appliquéd to become the 4 hearts. Decide if
you want to do this block the easy way or Jane's way.
H-13, Farm Fields, page 81
Paper piece it in two
Or, machine piece: Cut the 2 small background strips 1" x 3-1/2". Cut the
long strip 1" x 7-1/2". From focus fabric cut a square 5-1/2" and cut on the
Or, cut a 6" square on the diagonal once. Insert a background strip cut 1" x
7" (sewing on both sides of the strip). Hand applique the other diagonal strip
I-1, Ralph & Nelda's Wedding, Page 82
From focus fabric cut (2) 2-3/4" squares and (8) 1-1/4" squares. From
background fabric, cut (10) 1-1/4" squares. Piece together the 9-patches and
then sew the block together as a 4-patch.
I-2, Kaye's Courtyard, Page 82
From focus fabric, cut (2) 3-1/2" squares and cut on the diagonal >>once.
>>For the 9-patch center, cut (5) background squares 1-1/2" and (4) focus fabric
squares 1-1/2". Piece together the 9-patch and add the triangles to the corners.
Trim the block to 5".
I-3, Family Album, Page 83
From background fabric: cut (2) strips 7/8" x 5". Cut (6) strips 7/8" x 1 ¾"
. From focus fabric: cut (9) patches 1-3/4" square (begin with a 17" strip.)
Piece in strips, square/strip/square/strip/square. Repeat 3 times. Piece
together w/5" strips.
I-4, Stability, Page 83
For the center square, applique the 4 curvy sections to the square and then
sew the block together like a nine-patch. Alternatively you can hand or machine
piece the center.
I-5, Maria's Majesty, Page 84
Cut a background fabric square a little larger than 5". Using a dryer sheet
or interfacing, place this over the right side of the PRINT fabric and stitch
around the pink "flower" shape. Cut the interfacing open, and turn inside out --
this gives you a perfect shape to appliqué onto the muslin square. If this seems
too thick, you can cut out the back around the appliqué stitching, AFTER you
appliqué the print flower shape onto the muslin. The muslin melons are then
appliquéd onto the fabric in the proper place. Voila! You have those thin melon
shapes in place without trying to cut them out. Then you can trim the block to
Beware! When you cut your melons for that one, make sure you mark which side
goes on the inside and which side goes on the outside. The melon-seeds on this
one doesn't curve equally on the two sides. I started out trying to reverse
appliqué the inner arcs of the white to the pink plaid. When I got to the
corners there was no fabric to turn under so I could not get a sharp point and
it just didn't look good. Ripped it apart and went to plan B. Hand pieced
individual melons to the pink along the inside arc. Cut out a circle template of
freezer paper and ironed that to the back and appliquéd the outside edge of the
white melons to a larger piece of pink plaid. Cut a 6" piece of white background
and marked the circle and the outside scallops on it. Matched up the pieces with
pins to the markings on the white, and needle turned the outside edge of the
scallops. It took me a while to figure out how I was going to appliqué this one
- melons AND little sliver moon shapes!! Using freezer paper templates on the
top of the fabric, I appliquéd the four melons to a 4-3/4" square of navy blue
(with tiny white snowflakes). There was enough blue on the outer edges for the
little sliver moon shapes. I then appliqué the outside edges of the slivers to
my background fabric. On the first melon, I turned the edges under and glued
them down with water-soluble fabric glue stick. I soon discovered the glue was
getting on my needle, so I just finger pressed the edges under and pinned them.
1) Start with a 5" square of the red fabric. 2) Iron freezer paper patterns of
the 4 "melon" pieces of background (on top of the fabric). Cut out with scant
seam allowance. 3) Trace the whole block design onto a thin piece of plastic
with permanent pen (I use page protectors, cut to 6" sq.) 4) Lay transparency
over the red square. Slip one melon between the transparency & the red fabric,
with the freezer paper on top. Get the melon centered exactly under the melon
drawn on the transparency. I put a dab of fabric glue stick on the back of the
piece before I slip it under the transparency, so I can just press it in place.
5) Remove the transparency & appliqué the melon in place. Repeat for the other 3
melons. I put one piece in place, appliqué. it, then put the next piece on, etc.
6) Now you have the 4 melons appliquéd on the red square. Remove the FP
templates for these 4 melons. (I do this as I finish each one.) 7) Position the
FP templates for the 4 crescent pieces on the red fabric, touching the
background melons you just appliquéd on. Iron in place. 8) Trim seam allowance
away, leaving you the center (red), 4 background melons, and the FP over the red
4 crescents. 9) Lay this piece over a 6" sq. of background fabric. Make one clip
in the seam allowance at the end point of each crescent, where the 2 crescents
meet. Appliqué in place. Remove FP templates. 10) Iron FP templates for the 4
"corner" melons (the ones that point to each outside corner) onto red fabric. I
used the leftover from the original red square. Cut out with a scant seam
allowance. 11) Again, use the transparency to position the melons, then appliqué
in place. Remove FP.
If you look quickly at the block, you might think you should appliqué the red
center portion onto the background...but those long, skinny points are very hard
to do...nowhere for the seam all go! I try to figure out the easiest way to come
out with an accurate block. What seems logical to me, might not be the way
someone else chooses to do the block, though!
I have done this block in two ways:
Reverse appliqué the outer line. It's easy because there are no sharp
corners. Then I appliquéd the diamonds on. The reason for this order is that
it's easier to align the meeting corners. Notice that the diamonds are not
In another block my background fabric was too coarse for reverse appliqué and I
appliquéd the big focus fabric on the background with help of freezer paper
After sewing I cut the background fabric out on the reverse side and picked the
freezer paper out. Then I appliquéd the diamonds as above.
I-6, Viewer's Choice, Page 84
Regular appliqué: You can piece the center "flower" to look
more like Jane's block, and cut it out of one piece of fabric.
I-7, Mac and Muff, Page 85
From background fabric: cut (2) 2-1/4" squares, cut (1) 1-1/4" x 4-1/2"
rectangle, (1) 1-1/4" x 3" rectangle, and (2) 1-1/4" x 3-3/4" rectangle. From
focus fabric: cut (2) 2-1/4" squares, cut (1) 3-1/2" x 1" >>rectangle, cut (1)
1-3/4" x 1" rectangle. Quick piece the right triangles. The squares are a tad
larger than needed. Square them up after you are finished with the diagonal line
sewing. Piece the block together following the diagram. Then use your applique
of choice for the four tiny triangles on the sides.
I-8, Pete's Paintbox, Page 85
Foundation piece in sections: the center square in 4 rounds, and then do the
4 corner triangle pieces separately. Join them to the center square.
I-9, Chase A Myth, Page 86
Another good one for FP or rotary cut and piece in sections. To paper piece,
divide the block in 3 diagonal sections. Paper piece the center square in 4
rounds and then continue by paper piecing the flying geese. PP the remaining 2
corners and attach them to the center strip.
I-10, Iris's Medallion, Page 86
I paper-pieced the entire background in three vertical sections and sewed
them together. THEN I created the mid-overlay consisting of the four triangles
around the square. I created it by sewing large pieces onto each side of the
square. THEN I made a freezer paper template of that 5-piece and ironed it onto
the back of the 5-piece. Trimmed it to size and appliquéd it in place onto the
middle of my paper-pieced sections. - Sandy A
Start by sewing the 4 star-points to the center square. Sew only from corner
to corner, no sewing into seam-allowances. This point is important since you
will have to insert the pieced "side"-triangle into those points (and no, there
is no way I know of to do this block without having to do inset seams :-) Sew
the 4 "side"-triangles. Now the two elements are to be joined. Start by
insetting the side-triangles in between the star-points. Pin one side and piece
it, going only from star-point to the point of the central square. Now pin and
sew the other side. Repeat 4 times. NOW, you piece the last little snippets of
seams, the ones that go from the tip of the star-points to the corner of the
block. Here it is really a great help if you have not sewn into seam-allowances,
but have only sewn from corner to corner :-)
FP - Visually divide the block in four diagonally. You will see that you can
paper piece the four 'stripes' that run towards the center square. Then add a
wonky triangle bit to each side of each stripe, which gives you four chunks
which are a pointy sort of triangle. Then paper piece the middle square with the
four long triangles sticking out (I guess that is the piece you've already
made.) If you lay the four 'pointy triangles' into the gaps in the long
triangles it is now relatively easy to sew them in place.
I-11, Coyote Chase, Page 88
Appliqué using overlay or reverse applique. You can piece the background
squares as Jane did or use one piece of fabric for the background.
I-12, Fred's Square Fair, Page 88
I made templates out of freezer paper and made sure about the 1/4-inch seams
and they all lined up quite nicely. If you cut a 1-1/2 inch square and
diagonally cut it in half it is the perfect size for the tiny corner triangles.
Sew a dark to a light triangle to form a square, add two triangles to the side
of the small square then add to the side of the larger triangle. Did you know
there are 41 little pieces in this block . . . and I mean little!
At first, I thought all I could do was paper piece the 8 sections on either
side of the flying geese triangles (the ones with all those tiny little
triangles). I printed out enough patterns from my EQ program so that I could cut
out those sections, leaving 1/4" seam allowance around all sides. As has
happened before, when I went to sew the paper pieced section to a rotary cut
piece of fabric, just didn't work!
So, then decided to try to add other sections to the small triangle ones
before paper piecing. Ended up making the top row in two units: one had the tiny
triangles in the center with the corner square and the big flying geese triangle
on either side and the other had the tiny triangles on one side with the small
square in the corner (this is the top row if you're looking at the book).
Repeated this for the bottom row and then paper pieced the two side sections
(also in two units) which I added to either side of the center square.
* Start with the center square; add the four large triangles. The same as you
would do with D-13. Set aside. * Piece the "four triangle" triangles. See
diagram. * Take 2 of the "4 triangle" triangles and add to each corner square.
You have now formed 4 large pieced triangles. * Stitch these large pieced
triangles to the center section. Take your time and you should be ok. Hope this
helps. One more thing, I like to use freezer paper because it keeps the fabric
from shifting. Cut the seam allowances in the "4 tri" tris to 1/8 inch.
I-13, Sweet Harmony, Page 89
Piece the center like Farm Fields, then FP the outer light triangles. Make
the center like you would make F-4. It is the same, just smaller. Border it with
a sashing with corner stones. This "finished" block then needs corners. You can
either appliqué the little square to each corner, or you can add seam-lines and
piece each corner. It all depends on what you enjoy the most. I added seam lines
and pieced. Add the corners to the square-square. If you have reduced the size,
add the colored borders.
J-1, Josepha's Jonquil, Page 89
Applique the center square and 4 diamonds on a 5-1/2" piece of background. To
be more like Janes, you will piece the background with 4-3" squares of
J-2, Picture Perfect, Page 90
Cutting: If you want to "fussy cut" the 4 center squares
remember the squares will be set on point when the block is finished. I forgot
that, so my kitties are off kilter! Cut (4) 1-3/4" squares of focus fabric. Also
cut (2) 4" squares of focus fabric and cut them once on the diagonal. From your
background fabric, cut (2) strips ¾" x 1-3/4", (3) strips ¾" x 3-1/4" and (2)
strips ¾" x 3-3/4".
Machine piecing: Strip piece the center section. Add the
vertical strips and then the top and bottom strips. Lastly add the triangle
corners and using your Dear Jane square ruler, trim your block to a perfect 5".
Add 15 pieces to your block count!
J-3, Rick's Volleyball Net, page 90
Cut a square of background fabric for the center and applique the
quarter-circle shape onto the corners. You can paper piece the corner sections:
a white center with triangles on each side. Sew them onto the corners of the
square/pie wedge unit. It is believed that Jane used cheater cloth in her focus
J-4, Adelaine's Apron Strings, Page 91
Paper piece the 2 corner sections then piece in the center strip. Or,
appliqué the underneath strip on a 5-1/2" background square. Then appliqué the
top strip on top of all. These measurements worked for me with plenty left to
trim up. 1. From background cut a 4-1/2" square and cut it into 4 quarter-square
triangles. 2. From focus fabric cut a 1-7/8" by 8" strip and two 1-7/8" by
3-1/2" pieces. 3. Join the quarter-square triangles to each side of the 3-1/2"
strips. 4. Join these to each side of the 8" strip matching your centers. 5. Be
careful with those bias edges!
J-5, John Jacob's Windmill, page 91
Piece the center section, add the mitered sides, applique the cone shapes.
For this block I attached white strips to the brown center by machine. The
curved part of the brown triangle was attached by hand. On all of the 4 white
set in pieces, I put pins to mark where the seam would turn. I sewed each of
these pieces by machine with one long seam.
J-6, Granny Weaver, Page 92
Cut: (2) 10" x 1" strips background (1) 10" x 1" strip focus fabric (1) 3" x
1" strip background (2) 3" x 1" strips focus fabric (1) 1" square focus fabric
(4) 2" squares focus fabric (I "fussy cut" these) Sew the 10" x 1" strips
together with the focus fabric in the middle. Press, then slice that strip
crosswise into (4) 2" pieces and (1) 1" piece (for middle section of center
9-patch). Sew the 3" x 1" strips together with the background in the middle.
Press, then slice that strip crosswise into (2) 1" pieces. Sew these pieces to
the 1" slice from above, and make the 9-patch section that is the center of the
block. Then take your other strip sections (with the focus fabric in the middle)
and put a 2" focus fabric corner block on either end. Sew together in 3
horizontal strips to complete the block. Trim to 5". Add 25 pieces to your
J-7, Chicken Tracks, Page 92
Best done by strip piecing the little 9-patches and then making the big (5")
9-patch. From background fabric, cut (5) 2" squares, 1 strip 1" x 10", and 1
strip 1" x 5". From focus fabric, cut 2 strips 1" x 10" and 1 strip 1" x 5". Sew
the 10" strips together: Focus/Background/Focus. Press both seams downward. Sew
the 5" strips together: Background/Focus/Background. Press both seams up. (Note:
You are ignoring the "always press to the dark side rule.") Slice these strips
into 1" pieces. Make 4 little 9-patches per the block photo. Press these last 2
seams in each 9-patch open to help distribute the bulk. (The Quilt Police will
not come and get you, I promise!) Piece the block in 3 horizontal rows. If
you've been careful with your seams your block will need very little trimming.
Add 41 pieces to your total!
J-8, Anna's Anchor, Page 94
Make the center 4-patch, then add the border pieces. Applique on the seed
J-9, Maury High School, Page 94
Piece log cabin style, then applique the seed shapes
J-10, Chieko's Calla Lily, page 95
Piece the center to the outer section, then applique the seed shapes. Tip:
Put a stitch through the center of the 4 seeds that join in the middle to keep
them in line.
J-11, Twin Sister, Page 95
Applique the center seed, then another over it at right angles. Applique the
J-12, Rebecca's Basket, Page 96
Piece it in rows. This avoids any "set-in" pieces (and if you've attempted
C-2 you'll appreciate this!) Label the pieces: Handle -A Background behind
handle -D Basket body -B Background beside basket body-E and ER(reversed) Basket
base -C Background beside basket base F and FR Background strip at bottom of
basket...G 1) Applique the handle A to the background piece D, lining up the cut
edges with seam allowance. This becomes row 1. 2) Add piece "E" to the left side
of "B" and "ER" to the right side. This becomes Row 2 3) Add piece "F" to the
left side of "C" and "FR" to the right side. This becomes Row 3.
I made Rebecca's Basket J12 and have a tip for the handle. That little curved
piece is hard to turn the edges under and keep the curve also. I cut a strip of
bias 1 1/4 by 6" or so. Fold and stitch. (be sure to make hte seam exactly 1/4
and this will give the 3/8 you need for hte handle. Turn the strip. (I use a big
tapestry needle and string) press with the seam at one edge. Place the seam side
on the inside of the handle. I cut a peice of paper the size of the inside and
pinned it to the peiced block. Then pin the handle to the block, easing the edge
so that it fits the paper. Applique by qtitching onall sides. This made a very
neat handle with the edges straight and neat. Linda
This reminded me of the way to make them with "tie wraps" You can buy various
sizes of tie wraps at the hardware store. (and I even saw "quilters bias strip
makers" at the store the other day... but they're tie wraps...grin.Anyway, find
one the right size.. then cut your bias strip about 1 inch wide. Sew with the
wrong sides together ALONG the edge of the tie wrap. This will leave a big seam
allowance. trim. turn the seam under the tie wrap.
Take some spray starch (magic sizing) and spray it into the lid of the can. take
a small brush, and brush onto the strip.. press to dry out the starch. Slip the
tie wrap out, cut to length and sew down. I learned this at Paducah in a class
we took on applique this year. cindy in St. Louis
J-13, Pam's Bells, Page 96
Strip piece the block then applique the tear shapes.
K-1, Crooked Creek, Page 97
Done as a five patch -
five easy rows, then put the borders on.
K-2, Grandpa's Chickens, Page 97
Cut (6) 1-1/8" x
4" strips of focus fabric and (6) background strips of the same size. Sew the
background strips to the focus fabric strips. Then continue alternating fabrics
so that you end up with two patches with 6 strips each. Press to the darker
fabric. Now cut the strips 1-1/8" wide by 4" long. Alternate the strips and sew
them together to complete the center. Cut 1-1/4" border strips and sew them
around the block. You can also make this as a series of 4- or 9-patches and join
K-3, Seven Sisters, Page 99
From background fabric
cut (13) 1" squares. From focus fabric cut: (4) 1" squares, (4) strips 1" x 2",
(4) strips 1" x 3", and for last round cut strips 1-1/4" wide and 4", 4-1/2",
4-3/4" and 5-1/2". Construct the 9-patch then add strips in rounds. Add this
last round log cabin style, adding them clockwise around the block. Press the
block carefully and trim to 5". Total # of pieces: 29.
K-4, Thea's Turn, Page 99 Jane's block is made from only 2 fabrics-one has an
interesting brown strip running through it! This is a great block to feature one
of your favorite focus fabrics as you begin by cutting a 3-1/2" square for the
center of the block. Cut (2) 2-3/4" squares of background fabric and (1) 2-3/4"
square of focus fabric, then cut the squares diagonally twice into triangles
(cutting the squares into 4 triangles). Piece 4 sets of 3 smaller triangles (one
triangle is of the focus fabric and 2 are of the background fabric - one set for
each side). Pin match the center of each section and the center of the middle
block and sew on each side section in ¼" seam (sew on opposite sides). For the
corner triangles, cut (2) 2-3/4" squares of the focus fabric and then cut them
in half diagonally once. Sew them onto the corners. Press well and trim your
block to 5" square.
K-5, Passing Through, Page 100
the 4-patch diamonds by sewing together two 1-1/4" strips of background and red
fabric, then cut sections on the diagonal. Next, piece together 2 diagonally-cut
sections to form each diamond.
The second step is to insert the diamonds into the background fabric. (I
adapted this from a technique for making machine bound-buttonholes.) Make a
template of the finished diamond section and trace it onto the background
fabric. Then, stitch around the opening with a small stitch. Cut open the
center, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance all around and clipping to the corners..
Finger-press the edges of the opening to the wrong side and match them up with
the diamond's edges. Then, start in the center of one side and carefully stitch
around each diamond, being careful not to get the background fabric of an
opposite side caught as you reach the pointed ends and being careful to stitch
on top of the previous stitching. It helps to also cut the background squares
larger than necessary, and then trim them to the right size (2-3/4") when
finished. Once the diamond inserts are completed, then sew them together with
two 2-3/4" squares of the red fabric into a 4-patch block.
I made the four patch, then sewed diamonds into a diamond shaped four patch
and appliqued it on. Probably reverse applique would work too - I didn't try
Or, foundation piece the diamond 4-patch, then fp the four sides around it.
Cut two focus fabric squares 2-3/4" and assemble the 4 larger 4-patch.
K-6, Ann's Folly, Page 100
If you turn this
diagonally you see a nine patch. Sew the long three strips first then build the
nine patch. Sew the triangles on the corners, and then piece the narrow outer
border and put it on.
K-7, Rose of Sharing, Page 101
appliqué: Alternative: The original looks like Jane sewed 4 triangles
together to make her square, then appliquéd on. Jane DID sew hers in quadrants.
K-8, Springbrook Park, Page 101
is a playground in Brenda's hometown of Alcoa, Tennessee. Be careful when
cutting. Some of these side pieces have to be reversed to get the block to sit
straight. Sew the two outside units then attach them to the center spine. If you
paper piece your block will be the mirror image, but that's okay! Finished is
better than perfect! Cut 3 background strips 1-1/2" x 10"; cut 4 focus fabric
strips 1-1/2" x 10".
K-9, Scout's Honor, Page 102
For 9-patch cut: (4)
1-1/4" squares background and (5) 1-1/4" squares focus fabric. From background
cut: (4) strips 1" x 2-3/4". Cut (4) 1" squares focus fabric for 2nd round. Cut
(2) 3-1/2" squares focus fabric for triangle corners and cut these in half on
the diagonal. Begin constructing the block by sewing the 9-patch. Add the next
round and trim the block to measure 3-1/2" square. Add the triangles by sewing
first one corner and then the opposite corner. Trim the seamline edge even
across the block. Add the last two corners. Trim the block to 5". For my K9
block I used a red fabric with little dogs on it. A true canine K9!
K-10, Quandry, Page 102
I enlarged the block
slightly, so the "flying geese" type triangles at N,S,E and W had their points
at the edge of the block. That is just my interpretation...I have re-drafted or
enlarged some other blocks, to make them suit the way I see the original blocks.
It is easier to do the block the way Brenda drafted it, as you don't have to
have those triangle points right at the edge. It is a little hard to "see" the
pieces in Jane's block, as her print fabric has so much light background to it.
I colored the pattern pieces in black and white...that made it much easier to
The "center" of this block is really a Nine Patch, with borders around
it. 5 of the Nine Patches are made up of "Anvil" or "Indian Hatchet" blocks
(diagonal strip with triangles on 2 opposite corners). These blocks could easily
be foundation pieced, diagonal strip down first, then sew and flip the corner
triangles. When you have the 5 pieced patches done, you just alternate >them
with a plain (colored) fabric square in typical Nine Patch style. I read the
borders as "log cabin units" and "flying geese" units. I would construct the E
and W borders, then sew them to the Nine Patch center. Then do the N and S units
and add them last. (I always mark my Freezer Paper pattern pieces with either
numbers or letters, or N (north), S (south), E (east) or W (west) to help me
with where the pieces go and the stitching sequence).
This is certainly not the only way to approach this block (maybe that's why
they named it "Quandry" :) You could also divide it up sort of like a "Bear's
Paw" block, with block units in the 4 corners and the "cross" type "sashing"
units through the middle, both vertically and horizontally. I don't think either
way is any easier or more difficult.
This caused the most thought of all of this row. However, the centre is a
nine patch (this is a very nine patchy row!) with pieced pieces. Be careful when
cutting the odd-shaped pieces for the centre of the outside rows. They aren't
symmetrical and if you don't cut them all the right way, the block won't go
K-11, Columbine, Page 104
Same warning for
non-symmetrical pieces as the previous block - otherwise a center piece, (the
cross) with an outer layer to form the star.
K-12, Doris's Dilemma, Page 104
I redrafted it to
look like Jane's. Brenda's version had the inner triangles not parallel to the
selvage line of the block and that bothered me. I redrew it and used the pattern
for paper piecing and it came out wonderful (if I do say so myself :-) ) -
Barbara The block as drafted in the book is also attractive -- inner triangles
come out a little larger. Easy piecing. Two Flying Geese units with a strip in
the middle and triangle corners. - Fiona
K-13, Brandon's Star, Page 105
Made the 9-patch in the center by cutting: (5) 1-1/4" squares of background
fabric; (4) 1-1/4" squares of focus fabric; Cut (4) 1-5/8" squares of focus
fabric for corners. Make (4) flying geese that measure 1-1/8" x 2-1/4" finished
(1-5/8" x 2-3/4" unfinished). Assemble the 9-patch in the center, it should
measure 2-3/4" square. Assemble the rest of the block like a 9-patch. Press well
and trim to 5" square.
L-1, Widow's Pane, page 105
Rotary cut and strip
piece, or paper piece. To paper piece: from focus fabric cut 2 (2-1/2") squares,
cut 2 (1-1/2") squares, and cut a 1-1/2" x 12" strip. From background fabric cut
3 strips 1-1/2" x 11".
L-2, Stephanie's Snowflake, page 106
in eight sections. Four of the sections are the skinny strips that the corner
triangles are added to. Paper piece the "interior" corner sections. Then join
the interior as a 9-patch. Add the paper pieced corners. This was a
time-consuming block, but not difficult.
L-3, Reflections Abound, page 106
Can be paper
pieced in five sections: the middle square in 4 rounds and the four outer
L-4, St. George's Cross, page 107
and machine pieced. Piece the 5 blocks with the square and white strips. Then
put the block together like a 9-patch.
L-5, Chattanooga Charlie, page 107
Rotary cut and
L-6, Maze of Madness, page 108
Paper piece four
square units of 7 little bars (in each corner within the outer frames.) Now
separating these squares top to bottom are units of three pieces that can also
be paper-pieced. Then down the middle is a big section, which looks incredibly
easy to paper-piece. Sew all those little sections together like a 9-patch.
Press well and square up your block. Add the white strips on all around,
followed by the focus fabric strips. Note that the four corner "squares" are not
exactly alike. You *cannot* just make one foundation four times and flip them to
fit in the block. It's not a difficult block if you take your time.
L-7, Town Square, page 108
Rotary cut and machine
pieced or foundation piece. You can paper piece this one in 3 horizontal rows.
Begin from the center out in each case.
L-8, Box Kite, page 110
Rotary cut and machine
piece or paper piece the middle square, then add outer strips. I don't know why,
but this is one of my favorite blocks--perhaps because I used a crisp red for
the focus fabric and white for the background. It's a charmer! From your
background fabric cut: 1 3-1/2" square and cut twice on the diagonal. Cut 4
1-3/4" squares for the corner. From focus fabric, cut 2 strips 1-1/2" x 7" and
cut 4 pieces 2" x3-1/2". The center of the block is paper pieced in 2 pieces.
Paper piece the top and bottom row. Press well and trim block to 5".
L-9, Walter's Place, page 110
This one can be
machine or hand pieced. It's really not as hard as it looks. Begin creating the
center piece by making a big 9-patch. You can add squares instead of triangles
and trim it down. Make sure you have good contrast between your focus and
background fabric for the design to be distinct.
Cut following pieces from
background fabric: A 4 squares of 1 5/8 ", B 2 squares of 3" and cut them
diagonally to produce 4 triangles (corners), C 1 square of 3 1/4 " and cut it
diagonally twice to produce triangles for the middle of each side.
following from the focus fabric: D 1 square of 1 5/8" (middle), E 4 pieces 1 5/8
" x 7/8 ", F 4 pieces 2" x 7/8 ", G 4 pieces 2 1/2" x 7/8".
Put the block on point and you can see that actually this block is a
variation of a 9-patch. Begin in the center an piece in three rows, adding
squares not triangles to the ends of the rows.
L-10, Nan's Naiad, Page 111
L-10 Nan's Naiad can
be paper pieced. It's not nearly as bad as it looks. Don't be intimidated. It's
really pretty easy...just take your time.
First, turn the block on its side! Make L-10 (Nan's Naiad) in 5 columns: the
2 outside sections; then divide the middle section into 3 parts, keeping the
large central square as the width of the central column, surrounded by 2
inner-side columns (the diamonds). In this way, that central column is easily
constructed in parallel rows of background and featured fabrics, with the "V"
easily appliquéd on the very top and bottom. Finally, just appliqué the large
diamonds just below the "V". It is time consuming but the finished product looks
L-11, Caitlin's Rose, Page 111
This is also
drafted differently from the way Jane pieced hers. Determine if you want your
block more like Jane's, or more like Brenda's.
Make a paper-pieced pattern of
each of the four corners and paper-piece them. Then take a paper pattern of the
entire block and glue tack the middle square in place. Then paper-piece the four
paper-pieced corners onto this paper block.
L-12, Sally's Pride, Page 112
Paper piece the
interior of this block in three sections, then add the outside borders. Lastly,
applique those little corner triangles on. (I added several lines so I could
paper piece the little triangles into the corners) Goodness, Jane did like her
triangles, didn't she!
L-13, Harvest Moon, page 112
Cut 4 squares of
focus fabric and 4 of background at 3" square. Make 2 4-patch blocks. Iron a
small freezer paper circle onto the back of one 4-patch. Trim, leaving a ¼" seam
allowance. Baste under the SA and appliqué onto the other 4-patch. Make a
freezer paper "frame" cutting out the circle (I actually moved the inside seam
in about 1/8"). Press onto the back of a 6" square of fabric. Trim out the
center leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Clip and baste under the SA. Now appliqué
this on top of the four patches.
M-1, Dogwood Days, Page 113
Redraft the block to
make the little triangles match in size with the squares. Then piece the little
9 patch. Paper piece the 4 triangles and attach them to the 9 patch. Finish with
M-2, Duff's Bluff, Page 113
Assemble the center in
3 units, then add 2 opposite outer strips. Sew the half-square triangles to the
other 2 strips and add to the center unit.
M-3, Fireweed Flower, Page 115
Machine or hand
piecing: 1) Draw paper piecing foundations for the four triangles and the narrow
edgings. 2) Cut the diamonds and 8 corner pieces using the freezer paper method.
3) Sew the triangles together at the top and leave a hole where the center
square goes (I hand sewed the square in last). Now you have the four triangles
and their narrow edges sewn together and each one pointing in its own direction
- north, south, east, and west. 4) Sew the diamond shapes to the triangles. 5)
Pair up the eight corner pieces and sew the diagonal seams coming down from
outside corner toward the center of the block. Now you have four sets. 6) Sew
the inside seam of that corner piece to its diamond. 7) Last sew the small seam
that attaches each corner set to its neighboring corner.
M-4, Stepping Stones, Page 115
This is a good one
for foundation piecing in sections. I assembled the 5 squares that are "log
cabin style" first. Then I did the 4 flying geese units with the background
strip base. Then sew these 9 blocks together like a 9-patch. Add the outer
strips log cabin style and add the triangles to the corners.
M-5, Mother's Point, Page 116
To match Jane's
block use these instructions: From FF cut 2 squares at 3". (These are cut large
and will be trimmed down in the last step.) From FF, cut a strip 1-1/4" x 6".
From Background, cut a strip 1-1/4" x 6". Cut 4 pieces 1"x2". Cut 4 strips 1"x
3". Sew the 6" strips together on the long side, press seam to the dark. Cut
into (4) 1-1/4" slices. Sew them together to get your 4-patches. On the 4-patch,
sew two 1"x2" strips across from each other. Press seams to the strip. Sew the
3" strips to the remaining sides. Press these units and trim to 2-3/4". Now sew
these patches to the FF 3" squares and assemble the block.
M-6, Simplicity, Page 116
machine piecing: I decided to hand piece the center octagon, alternately
adding a white square and a background piece. Then I pressed carefully, pressing
the seams to fall under the octagonal center and away from the white squares. I
machine pieced the remaining pieces of the block: Add the 4 background triangles
and press well. Trim the block to 3-1/4" square. Strip piece the outer long
rectangles, then join the units along with the background cornerstones.
M-7, Junko's Rose Garden, Page 117
Start with a 5" square of the dark fabric. 1) Iron freezer paper patterns of the
4 "melon" pieces of background (on top of the fabric). Cut out with scant seam
allowance. 2) Trace the whole block design onto a thin piece of plastic with
permanent pen (I use page protectors, cut to 6" sq.) 3) Lay transparency over
the dark square. Slip one melon between the transparency & the dark fabric, with
the freezer paper on top. Get the melon centered exactly under the melon drawn
on the transparency. I put a dab of fabric glue stick on the back of the piece
before I slip it under the transparency, so I can just press it in place. 4)
Remove the transparency & applique the melon in place. Repeat for the other 3
melons. I put one piece in place, applique it, then put the next piece on, etc.
Remove the FP templates for these 4 melons as you finish each one. Position the
FP templates for the 4 crescent pieces on the dark fabric, touching the
background melons you just appliqued on. Iron in place. 5) Trim fabric away,
leaving a ¼" seam allowance. You have the focus fabric center, 4 background
melons, and the FP over the 4 focus fabric crescents. 6) Lay this piece over a
6" square of background fabric. Make one clip in the seam allowance at the end
point of each crescent, where the 2 crescents meet. Prepare this inner edge and
applique it to the unit from step 4. Remove FP templates. 7) Iron FP templates
for the 4 "corner" melons (the ones that point to each outside corner) onto
focus fabric. You can use the leftover from the original square. Cut them out
with a scant seam allowance. 8) Again, use the transparency to position the
melons, then applique in place.
M-8, Enchanted Square, Page 117
pp: Divide the center of the block into 5 diagonal rows/sections, using
the one with the long color strip as your starting point (it runs from upper
left to lower right). That row has 5 pieces. After the center is finished, trim
to 3-3/4" square. Pp the 4 border strips. You can add a little extra fabric to
the outer edges for insurance.
M-9, Fan Dance, Page 118
Cut 3 strips of focus
fabric and 3 strips of background at 1-1/8" x 10" each. Sew together a focus
fabric-background-focus fabric strip and a background-focus fabric-background
strip. Press all seams to the darker fabric. Make a triangle template that is
1/8 of the square, draw on the horizontal seam lines. Cut 4 triangle shaped
units from each strip (reverse the template for the 2nd strip). Sew together 2
triangles to create a square, repeat 3 more times. Trim these squares to 2-3/8".
Make sure you nest your seams together perfectly! Trim the seam allowance to
1/8" from the center out to about 1". Sew 2 squares together and press seam
allowances so they all lay in the same direction. Sew the 2 rectangles together,
press well, again "pinwheeling" the seams, and trim the square to 4-1/4". Cut 2
focus fabric strips at 1-1/8" x 4-1/4" and 2 at 1-1/8" x 5-1/4". Sew the 2
shorter logs on, press, and sew the remaining two on.
M-10, Simple Simon, Page 118
A simple 9-patch.
Perhaps to make it more interesting you could find a special fabric and fussy
cut a flower or other design element in the squares. I found a darling
reproduction fabric with tiny salt and pepper shakers from the 50's to fussy cut
in the 5 squares. I've also seen a floral spray cut from a light background
fabric and centered in the background squares. Do something special to make this
M-11, Rickshaw, Page 119
Paper piece in 3
sections. The outer sections with 2 diamonds will go together in 2 parts, while
the center will go together in 3 parts. For the outer border, just add 1" strips
and trim back when you size the block. Or, you can paper piece the center and
applique the diamonds onto the large outer border.
M-12, Hopscotch, Page 120
From background fabric
cut (4) 2" squares; cut a strip of fabric 1" x 10". From focus fabric cut 2
strips 1" x 10". Strip piece the 1" strips, sewing together a focus/bk/focus
strip. Cut in 2" slices. Piece as a 9-patch.
M-13, Lynette's Diamond, Page 120
Done a totally
radical way-it works! Applique a 5" circle of focus fabric onto a 5-1/2"
background fabric square. Sew 1-1/4" (focus fabric) square onto the four
background corners using a diagonal line (as you do for quick corners and flying
geese). Trim the under side of the focus fabric. Cut the large square into
quarters. Turn them around and sew the quarters back together as per the M13
picture and you have a perfect Lynette's diamond!