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.
Center of G-6 Papa's Star
A-1, Pinwheel Gone Awry, Page 17
Several ways to
piece this block:
The first uses quarter square triangles in the center. You can also paper
piece this block. When machine piecing: Carefully mark the 1/4" seam allowance
on the seams that lead to the center - it is especially important to make a dot
at the intersection of these seams where they will come together at the center.
Sew the squares into 4 quarters, the quarters into halves, and the halves
together. On the wrong side of the block, twirl the center intersection so that
it twirls around the center and press. For 4 QST: cut (2) 3" squares background
and (2) 3" squares focus fabric. Make 4 blocks with quarter square triangle
technique. I paper pieced the four corner units.
Or, try this way:
First I made 8 half triangle squares. I made them
larger because that's easier for me and then cut them down. (8 of 16). Four of
the squares are just background (12 of 16). The last 4: I took 4 background
squares and snowballed a 1-1/8" focus fabric square on to it. (16 of 16).
them together - done!
A-2, One–Two Buckle My Shoe, Page 17
Small unit size is 3/4".
As you look at it, you can see a center square with an X in it, made of 4 equal
quarter-square triangles. Also, there are 6 flying geese units and 4 half square
triangle units, along with solid background pieces. Make the center
square-with-an-X. (Begin with 3" squares and trim down to 2" when
finished.) Then draw a paper piecing pattern in 5 horizontal rows. The
middle row you will have to make in 2 units, and then sew them to the center
A-3, Hunter’s Moon
A-3, Hunter's Moon, page 18
Center circle is 2-7/8".
Appliqué and/or Reverse appliqué: Several ways to approach this challenging
block are included here.
1) Take one whole piece of fabric, and sew four melon seeds on it. You can
make the melon seeds with Templar and spray starch, or any other technique you
desire and appliqué them on. If you fold the fabric in half corner to corner and
lightly press, and do the same in the other direction, you will be able to place
the seeds accurately.
2) Take a 6" square of print fabric and a 6" square of background fabric. Cut
a circle of the print fabric, larger than necessary. With freezer paper on the
print fabric, cut out the center. Cut the center from the background
fabric with a scant seam allowance around the "melons". Layer the print circle
on the bottom with the melon background on top of that, and the print foreground
on top. Reverse appliqué the center print to the background fabric. Appliqué the
melon shapes to the back print circle. Trim as needed.
3) I am not piecing that block as it looks from the photograph. I'm using
reverse appliqué in a layered fashion. I cut out the center of the fabric and
layered my background fabric under it, and under that I layered another piece of
the print that I'm using. I will reverse appliqué the circle to the background
fabric and then appliqué the background fabric to the print behind it.
A-4, Courtney's Stethoscope, page 18
Center square is 1-3/4" finished.
Look at A-4 as 3 diagonal strips: #1 is a cross (which can be paper pieced in 3
parts) and two end pieces. #2 and #3 are pentagons with 2 little triangles on
either side. Join those three strips then sew the border on. Start with 2
opposite plain strips and make 2 strips with the corner block attached. Note:
You just have to be very careful on the paper piecing in the center. I cut the
square in half diagonally and it was tricky to match up the cross sections. Mine
is maybe 1/32" off.
A-5, Cathie's Campfire, page 19
Nine 1-1/2" units.
Paper Piecing: Do this in 3 horizontal sections. For the top and
the bottom rows paper piece the flying geese units first, then add the corner
squares. For the center row, begin with the center square and paper piece the
flying geese to it. Sew all 3 rows together.
A-6, Uncle Homer, page 19
One for beginners!
Hand/Machine Piecing: Measure, rotary cut, sew together. The
center square should be cut at 23/4", the side sections cut at 15/8"
X 3/4" and the corner squares cut at 15/8". Measure carefully, rotary
cut the pieces, and sew with a scant ¼" seam allowance. Press well and trim to
A-7, Dad’s Plaids, page 20
Take a peek at blocks E-1 and E-10.
Hand or Machine piece the 4 squares together. Appliqué each melon on its
square. Press well and trim to 5".
A-8. Florence Nightingale, page 20
The cross on this block made Brenda's students think of the Red Cross, so
they named the block for its famous nurse. This is a great block for a signature
or "album" quilt. Plenty of room in the center patch for a signature or saying.
Paper Piecing: Piece in two sections: Begin with a
background "square" then add the 3 triangles onto 3 sides, then the diagonal
rectangle with its two end triangles. The second section is the other background
"square" and its three adjacent triangles. From focus fabric cut: 2 (2-1/2")
squares for the corners, cut on diagonal once; Cut a 4" square and cut on
diagonal twice for side triangles. From background fabric cut 2 (2-1/2")
squares, and 1 piece 2-1/2" x 5-1/2" for center signature rectangle.
Hand/Machine Piecing: Rotary cut and machine or hand piece. From background,
cut 2 pieces 2-1/4" x 1.875". Cut one piece 5.125" x 2.25". From focus fabric
cut: 2 squares 2-1/4" and cut on the diagonal once. These are the four corners.
Cut one 3" square and cut on the diagonal twice. These are the four larger
triangles in the center of each side. You are "cutting them big and wacking them
off." Press carefully when completed, and center your Dear Jane square on it and
trim evenly to 5"
A-9, Cabin Fever, page 22
Start in the center and work out. When you reach the last narrow rectangle of
the center leave the end of each strip open and sew it down when the next one is
attached. Or, easier, change the strips to 2 short ones on opposite sides and 2
longer ones overlapping the short ones. Then add a triangle to each side. The
outer row can be easily paper pieced. Do the short sides opposite each other and
finally the longer sides with 7 pieces each.
A-10, Which Points West?, page 22
1) Start with your background square and appliqué the focus fabric square in
the center and the 4 FF triangles. Then reverse appliqué the center melon.
Start with the center focus fabric square, add on the background strips and
miter the corners. Then appliqué the focus fabric triangles and the center
A-11, Pebble’s Protest, page 23
Paper Piecing: Look at the block as a nine patch. Redraw the
lines to make the 9-patch. Each corner block becomes a small 4-patch. Paper
piece the points of the stars. Cut out the center block and sew the 9 pieces
A-12, Framed Fancy, page 23
Paper Piecing: Envision the large center unit as a 9-patch on
point. Rotary cut the center unit at 1-1/2". There are 4 identical 3 piece units
and 4 that appear as double flying geese blocks. Paper piece these 8 sections.
Then rotary cut two 4" squares, then cut on the diagonal twice to form the 4
A-13:, Starlight - Starbright, page 24
Compare the drawing to the photo and note that a line is missing on the
drawing--the line which creates the 4 small triangles, one in the center of each
side in the print fabric. Do the center as a 9-patch, then set in the corners of
the outside pieces. Finish off with sewing the corner seams.
B-1, Batchelor Buttons, page 24
Batchelor Button is an old-fashioned annual in a very pretty shade of blue.
Maybe Jane Stickle had some in her Vermont garden!
Trace the circle on Templar (a plastic template material that withstands iron
temperatures) or index cards four times and cut them out. Nail-file the edges to
be very smooth, which is important when cutting a circle. Cut the fabric 1/2"
larger than the template. Run a gathering stitch around the edge, using lots of
very small stitches for the most even gathering and smoothest circle. Place the
template on the wrong side of the fabric circle and pull up gathering thread and
knot the thread. To keep the edges crisp when sewing the circle to the
background, spritz it with some spray starch, wait a moment to dry, and press.
This will keep the edges quite crisp while appliquéing. Cut the background
square oversized at 5-1/2" . Fold the block diagonally and press a crease in it.
Fold opposite corners diagonally and press another crease in it. Align the
circles using these pressed marks as guides and hand appliqué. When finished,
spritz your block with water and press out the diagonal creases.
Appliqué: B1 also looks MUCH better reverse appliquéd, based on quite a
few of these blocks I have seen. You reverse appliqué to keep the dark fabric
from shadowing through and to get the seam allowance going the other way
underneath. > A 5th circle would fit in the center of the 4 in the block with
the edges just touching. I used one of my templates placed here on my background
piece to get my other circles in the right place. > Batchelor Buttons is sew
simple! Cut a 5 ½" square of your main fabric. Lightly press it from corner to
corner (diagonally). Open it up and press it again from opposite corners. This
is a light pressing, you don't want it to be a permanent crease! Using a 3"
circle template, trace 4 circles out of your background fabric. (If it's a light
fabric, you may have to line your yo-yo with another layer of fabric before you
draw up your basting thread.) Make 4 yo-yos. Appliqué the four yo-yos, centering
them in the triangles created by the folds. Appliqué one yo-yo and then appliqué
the one opposite it, keeping them about 1 ¾" apart. Appliqué the 3rd yo-yo
making sure it is perfectly centered between the 2 yo-yos. Complete with the 4th
yo-yo. Remove template material (if used) from your yo-yos, press the block
carefully, removing the creases in the block, and you are finished!
B-2, Sweet Tater Pie, page 25
Hand/Machine Piecing: The tricky part of B-2 is getting
the eight point center to lie flat. After stitching the eight "pie wedges" to
the outside pieces, (clipping the seams as needed) you will have 8 wedges that
will meet in the center when done. Place a pencil dot at the center juncture of
the two side seams. That is, the point where the 1/4" seams will join to make
the center. Sew from the outside edge toward the center. Stop sewing at the dot,
backtack. Do the same for all seams. I sewed four quarters together, then two
halves, then joined the halves, always leaving the center points free. Always
stop 1/4" from the center and backtack. Look at the other seams as you join the
groups together and see that your stopping stitch will bring your seam right up
to the other seams you have made. Once you have the block complete, press the
block from the wrong side, pressing the seams down in a circular fashion. Start
at the outside and work toward the center (sort of pinwheel-ish). When your
seams are all lying flat there will still be a mess of points in the center.
Take the iron point and start to tease the center open. There will be a little
pinwheel in the center. If you have paid close attention to all your seams they
will meet in the center. If you have a hole in the center, you should extend
some seams a little further. The center will lie incredibly flat.
I have been
piecing B-2 and B-3 and thought the way I did them might be interesting to you
all. (1) I ironed the freezer paper template to the wrong side of my fabric, cut
it out adding the seam allowance and drew around the template for the sewing
line. (2) Leaving the freezer paper on I pressed with my iron, the curve on the
section that goes inside the block, using the freezer paper as the guide. (3) I
took Roxanne's basting glue and put a line of glue around the curve on the
outside section which was left flat. (4) I then held the two sections to the
light and lined up the curves and glued them together. (5) When the glue was
thoroughly dry, I clipped the curve to the seam line and then removed the
freezer paper. (6) I put a pin in the corners to make sure they lined up and if
not, tore them apart just enough to line up the corners. Then hand sew the
sections together. I had perfect circles all set in and the seams lined up
perfectly. Karen E.
B-3, Mirror Image, page 25
Barbara Brackman's 1450)
Hand appliqué and machine piece:
Make two 4-patch blocks, reversing the color placement. Trace the inner circle
and guidelines onto plastic or card stock. Cut out top circle, adding ¼" seam
allowance. Press under seam and starch well. Hand appliqué to background
4-patch. Trim away under top circle.
Machine Piecing: with
freezer paper: Draw the entire block on freezer paper and then carefully cut it
apart. Iron the pieces onto the back of the appropriate fabric, background or
print, and cut with 1/4" seam allowances--it's okay to "eyeball" the quarter
inch. Cut the outside pieces a bit larger than required to compensate for any
imperfection in your piecing. (The block can be cut down when finished if
necessary.) Trace around the pattern pieces on the wrong side of fabric and
remove the paper. Thoroughly clip the inside curve of the four outside pieces.
Clip within the seam allowance within a thread or two of the penciled line. Pin
well, stitch and press. Join the four sections and cut the block to size.
B-4, Chris’s Soccer Field, page 27
Piecing: This can be done in just one unit. The center provides a great
opportunity for use of one of your larger design fabrics. I started with the
square and added full strips to all sides and then cut it down to size before
adding last color strips. Linda Brandau
Paper piecing: Do the
center first, then add the strips to each side. Then add the 4 straight borders.
Make sure when doing those 4 borders you cut extra fabric. That way you can trim
to 5" unfinished. Sharon Mastbrook, Fort Worth Texas
B-5, Hot Cross Buns, page 27
Piecing/Appliqué: Paper piece in units, starting from the center, the
square-strip-square unit times two then piece them together with the bar in the
middle. Add the four outside strips counter clockwise starting with the top. To
form the diamonds, cut a Templar template of the diamonds as shown on Brenda's
pattern. Cut fabric 1/4" larger. Using a small brush or Q-tip, apply starch to
the seam allowance on one edge, fold over with the tip of your iron on low. Hold
until the starch dries. Repeat on the opposite edge, then the other sides. You
will have two "tails" sticking out on the ends. Fold under, touch with starch
and press dry. Hand appliqué the diamonds in each square.
(1) I extended the lines on the diamonds from 2 points to outer and inner
corners of the block. (2) I ironed the freezer paper templates to the wrong side
of the fabric, traced the sewing line and cut out adding the 1/4 seam allowance,
you know the drill. (3) On the background I snipped the fabric to the seam line
in the spot where the piece makes a V. I then pieced first one side of the
diamond, sewing just to where the sewing line stops and knotted the thread and
cut it. Then I pivoted the diamond and the background, lined up the corners and
sewed the second side of the diamond. I did the same way for the remaining half
of the diamond, I then sewed the background together at the points. This will
give you a set in diamond. I only extended the lines at two points (top and
bottom) of the diamond but you could extend the lines on the other two points
also and then you wouldn't have to pivot the background at the V. I hope that
you can understand this. Karen Ehrhardt, IL
B-6, Wild Goose Chase, page 28
Paper Piecing: In the center of the block are four squares,
each with a 1/4" diagonal bar across it. These squares are separated by 1/4"
bars. The first units to piece are the two rectangles making up this center
square. Piece from the center out (toward the short ends). Then sew these two
units together with a bar between. The next unit starts with this center square,
the 1/4" strips around it, then the small triangles and another round of 1/4"
strips. Set aside this unit and PP the triangular corner units with their 1/4"
strips on two sides. Add to the center square and surround with the outer
Hand/Machine Piecing: Starting in the center, add the
two small triangles to each of the rectangle to make four squares. Join the
squares as you add the 1/4" strips. Think of the rest of the block as a log
cabin, adding round after round. Now that you have made this block, you may have
found there are 43 pieces!
It's not so bad if you break it down into sections.
Look at it starting at the middle. Near the middle are four squares, each made
of two triangles and a 1/4" wide diagonal band. Hand piece them quickly, or you
can paper piece them, or you can strip-piece them. To strip-piece cut a strip of
the center band fabric, 3/4" wide, You could cut it 9-10" long to be generous.
Now cut 2 strips of the print fabric, 1 1/4" wide, same 9-10" long. Now I'm
figuring a little generous both on lengths and the width of the print fabric,
because I'm not doing it, except in my head, and I don't want you to come out
short. You can sew the strips together, print-white-print. Now make a little
plastic template of the square with seam allowances added and the center bar
marked. You can lay this template on the strip and cut out your little squares.
Only thing is the outer edges will be bias. If you want them straight grain,
then when you cut the strips at the beginning, cut bias strips. I hope this is
all clear to you. Sewing the little center bars to connect the squares into a
larger square is an easy matter. First add the short bars, then connect them to
the larger center bar. See the two-piece triangles that add onto the new square
to make an even larger square? You could sew two strips together and cut them
out with a little template, same as with the center. You'd need a 3/4" strip of
the light, and 1 1/2" (?) of the print, straight grain gives a bias edge, bias
strip gives straight grain edge. I think you can squeak it out with 11" strips,
use a bit more to be cautious. OK, now you have 3-piece triangles to add on. You
could paper-piece them, working from the center outward, like little triangle
log cabin blocks. In fact, if you're good at it, you could just log cabin them,
without the paper! Either way, easy. Add those triangles on, now all that's left
is to put on the final border, log-cabin style. Janet
B-7, World Series, page 28
Appliqué: Prepare four melons and four diamonds by your
favorite method. Appliqué onto a square of your print fabric. Cutting the print
square larger than the required 5" will give you leeway for the shrinkage
occurring with appliqué.
Reverse appliqué: using only two pieces of fabric.
Handpiecing: Sew the diamonds to the dark material-all four of them. I
then pieced the outside circle to the inside circle. This is probably not a
method for the faint of heart! Another thought: Rather than piecing in the
diamonds, make mitered seams underneath and then appliqué the diamonds on top.
B-8, Water Lily, page 29
(Similar to Barbara Brackman's 3091 and 3899)
Piece the four diamonds which make up the "star" in the center, then add the
corner trapezoids. Appliqué the four melons. The center star can be made of one
piece rather than four. Perhaps the star should be a bit smaller to preserve the
I really wanted them to be positioned right so I couldn't figure out
how to put them in the exact places they should be. I had already traced to
freezer paper with pencil, I took the paper and turned it upside down on the
fabric and rubbed a little and Walla! the pencil transferred onto the fabric,
perfect positions for appliqué. This doesn't work if the work will be reversed,
and those of you who don't want pencil, (just a tad on you fabric under the
appliqué.) but my grandma has used pencil on her quilts for 50 yrs and they are
all fine. Steph
B-9, Tinker Toy, page 29
Hand/Machine Piecing: Start with the center square and add two
pieces across from each other. Then set in the other two large pieces. Join 2
half squares for each corner and set them in, sewing from the outside edge to
the V, stopping exactly at the ¼" mark. Press the seam allowances all in the
same direction, sort of like a pinwheel, and the block will lie very flat.
was inspired to do this when I found a piece of fabric that was just perfect. It
is a Clarissa Alford reproduction. I don't remember who makes this and I need to
know for my log. It has light streaks on it and gets darker out from there.
Almost perfect. I fussy cut the pieces from freezer paper templates and
carefully marked the 1/4 inch SA. I then made 4 half square triangles and
trimmed them to the perfect size. I was going to hand piece this block and then
decided to just use the sewing machine. I think you should hand piece it. Hope
you find that perfect fabric. Linda In Mustang OK
While I was working on B-9 I was curious how everyone else did the center
square. I cut a 2" square and sewed it in like the dimensional bowtie block. It
worked great, the center square measures a 'hair' larger than an inch and is
more in proportion with Jane's original block. Sarah-Jane Sarah Francis
Straightforward hand piecing, sewing just to the end of the seamline, not
crossing it as in machine piecing. I may piece in the center square, or... I am
toying with the idea of appliquéing it on. I probably will machine piece the
corner squares larger than needed and then trimming them up to the perfect 1
3/4" and then hand piece them into the corners. Judy in the Mitten
B-10, Jud’s Trophy, page 30
Paper/Machine Piecing: Paper piece the center-square-on-point
and round of four triangles. Strip piece the next round. The cut sizes are:
rectangle: 1-3/8" x 2-1/4"; corner squares: 1-3/8". The last round of strips
should be cut at 1".
Hand/Machine Piecing: Measure, cut and sew all pieces but the
center cross. (The center will be a 1-1/4" square on point.) Appliqué the cross,
in either one or three pieces.
Hand piecing. It is really cute. The middle
pieces are very small. I only had one problem. As I would sew a seam I would
trim it before I would sew on another piece, well, with the handling, the fabric
frayed. Now, some of my seams are pretty tiny, I will have to be more careful on
the next ones. I did go back and sew another line of sewing to give what is left
extra strength. Karen in IL
B-11, Melissa’s Cross, page 30
(Block in book is not exactly like Jane's)
Note that the corner triangle and half melon, while similar, is not a
Drunkard's Path as the curve does not end at the same place as the triangle.
Matching these pieces is the key to a beautiful block.
Handpiecing : Hand piece entire block. Or hand piece up to the
corner pieces, which are made up of a triangle and a half melon. Each half melon
can be appliquéd onto a 2" half square triangle. Then add to the center. In
detail: 1. Reduce the pattern to about 95% so that more background shows similar
to Jane's block. Cut the two curved pieces of plastic template material and use
them to trace on sewing lines with a water soluble pen. (Do this at your own
risk!) Clip the inside curves and pin, pin, pin the together being careful to
match up both sewing lines marked. Sew by hand or machine. Check your seam for
accuracy. 2. Spritz off the marked lines if using a water soluble pen before
pressing. 3. Cut a template of the two pieces together and use to mark the
sewing line being careful to match up the line where the pieces are joined. This
is an important step for true accuracy. And a testimonial: "This method worked
so much better for me than just hand sewing them. I was VERY surprised by that
Machine Piecing: (Redraw the block to look like Jane's.)
Measure, cut and sew entire on-point center unit. Make a template and mark seams
for the blue half melons and the triangles which make up the corners of the
block. Join the straight side of the blue piece to the completed center. Use
many pins to prepare the seam attaching the corner triangles and sew.
Paper piece the melon part at the bottom with the square background it is on
(same seam) and then appliqué the round part. Sew ½ strip, melon and background
together. Hand appliqué the curve of the melon down. Works great. Looked funny
at first but it worked. Steph
B-12, Starflower, page 32
(Similar to Barbara Brackman's 3092)
Appliqué: Decide whether
you will follow the line drawing or reduce the size of the melons so they do not
touch the center background piece as Jane's do. If you want to make it look like
Jane's, appliqué or reverse appliqué the center and the melons.
option: Make a freezer paper template of the center curved-sided
"square" and carefully add 1/4" seam allowance. Pressing this onto the fabric
will result in an accurately cut shape. Draw a line on the print fabric from the
corner of each square to the block corner and make a pattern for the four
surrounding "quarters". Sew the square to the opposite side pieces then set in
the other two sides. Prepare the four melon seeds and appliqué onto the seams,
which will now disappear. Handpiecing: A good way to make this block if you are
a confident appliqué technician.
I pieced the melons in instead of appliquéing
them. It wasn't hard but was time consuming, the curve on the melons was an easy
one, so not much trouble setting it in. Karen Ehrhardt
I think the easiest way to do these small curved blocks is to mark the
seamline and sew on the line. (I don't usually do this with "normal sized"
blocks") Be sure to clip the piece well that curves in and pin wherever you need
to. If it has a bumple in it, stick another pin in "from here to there".
Remember, no one gives awards because you used fewer pins! And be sure you check
and make sure you are sewing on both sewing lines. That's about it, its very
simple if you go slowly and keep an eye on what you are doing. For the
order.......Sew a top-center-bottom, to make an hourglass, then make 2 sides
composed of a side with 2 petals (it is a starFLOWER) then fit the sides in.
Remember.........HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!! Judy in the Mitten
I traced the block outline onto a plastic page protector with a permanent pen.
Then I cut 4 pieces of freezer paper, the "dark" or "print" pieces of the block.
I iron the FP onto the right side of my print fabric & cut out with a scant 1/4"
seam allowance on the 2 curved sides & the short side (in the middle of the
block), but left 5/8" extra along the long outside edge. Then I cut a 6" square
of my background fabric. Using the "transparency", I centered one of the
FP/print fabric pieces on top of the background fabric. I used a bit of fabric
glue stick to hold the piece in place...a few tiny "appliqué pins" are helpful,
too. Then, I appliquéd one curved edge, the short middle line, and the other
curved edge. One section done :) Repeat this with the other 3 pieces, using the
"transparency" to get them lined up perfectly with the other pieces. My block
came out really nice this way, the "points" of the melon line up exactly in the
middle, forming the center square. After I was done with the appliqué, I trimmed
away the extra background fabric from behind. I chose to use 4 separate pieces,
rather than "reverse appliqué" because at those center points, there would be
virtually no fabric left to turn, where the melon points meet to form the center
square. However, reverse appliqué is another method you could choose to use for
this block. After the block is all done, I use a 4 1/2" square template to mark
the "seam lines" on the wrong side of the block, and trim off the extra seam
allowance added around the outside edge of the block. This extra fabric is
insurance, so if the block "shrinks" a bit in construction, I have some extra
fabric to cover this, without having to add a row of tiny borders (which is what
Jane did for some of her blocks, which were a little small :) Hope this
description is clear & gives you some ideas for looking at some of the blocks
from several points of view (can I piece it? can I foundation piece it? can I
appliqué it? can I reverse appliqué it? should I just stencil it (well, maybe
that is going a bit too far VBG) ....which technique would be easiest...and most
important, which technique will work the best for ME?) Many of us have found
that our technical skills have increased, and our "eye" for looking at a block &
deciding on what method/methods to use, have improved, too, as we have moved
along on our "DJ journey". Sometimes that growth has caused some
frustration...and a few "orphan blocks" VBG, but ultimately, you will be a
better quilter for it!! Happy Stitching, everyone!! Karan-Jane from Iowa
B-13, Four Corner Press, page 32
(Variation of Barbara Brackman's 2020)
The challenge in this block is
choosing a fabric which will be interesting in the large center.
Hand/Machine Piecing: Make by hand, by machine, or by strip
piecing. Cut the center square 3-1/2", the corner blocks 1-1/4" square and the
outer strips 1-¼" x 3-1/2".
I have been looking at B13 and wondering how Jane did it. It is apparently
done in cheater cloth. How did you ladies do it? Answer: This is one block where
I used four different fabrics. Actually I used 4" swatches I had bought of a
Smithsonian fabric line to make it look more like Jane's. The four corners are
one fabric, the center is another, the top and bottom rectangles are another,
and the left and right sides are a stripe. Carla Jolman
C-1, Trooper Green’s Badge, page 33
Hand/Machine Piecing: Cut center square 2-1/4", half square triangles
(4) from two 2-1/8" squares, and outer strips 1" wide. Assemble as economy block
(sew the four triangles around the center square) and add the 1" side strips log
cabin style. Or you can paper piece it in only one unit.
C-2, Streak of Lightning, page 33
Paper Piecing: Paper piece the 9 patch diamond in the middle in
three sections. Join them together to make a diamond-shaped 9-patch. The two
diamonds in the opposite corners will be appliquéd on as the last step. Change
the mitered seams to straight seams and add the background log cabin style.
Prepare the two diamonds using your favorite appliqué method and appliqué them
to the two outer corners. Not as hard as it looks!
C-3, Rayelle’s Fence, page 34
Strip Piecing: Cut (2) 1-1/4" x 10" strips of background
fabric, and (2) 1-1/4" x 10" strips of focus fabric. Cut the center 2" square of
focus fabric. If you want to make a "fussy cut" template for the center square,
draw a 1-1/2" square on clear template plastic with a fine point Sharpie. Cut it
out allowing for a ¼" seam allowance. Position your template over your fabric
and position different design elements in the "window." Save the template for
use in other blocks. When fussy cutting a patch, your edges will not always be
on the straight of grain, so sew the seams carefully to avoid stretching. Okay,
back to Rayelle's Fence.Sew a background strip to a focus fabric strip, press
seams to dark side and repeat with other set. Cut (4) 2" wide slices, then cut
(8) 1-1/4" slices. Make (4) little 4-patch blocks with the (8) 1-1/4" slices.
Assemble the block in 3 horizontal rows: top, middle and bottom. You must sew
perfect little ¼" seams so your block will come out to 5" square. If it's not,
you made your seams too big! Add 25 more pieces to your count!
C-4, Tic Tac Toe, page 34
Appliqué/Strip Piecing: Strip piece the center square and then
add wide strips of the print fabric to the center unit. Trim back to the octagon
shape in Jane's block, plus 1/4" and appliqué onto a background square.
Hand/Machine Piecing: Construct the center area that reminds me
of nine windows. Then add the next four triangles. Piece the wide short
triangles into the four background sections, clipping the seam allowance of the
V in the background piece and using small stitches to reinforce. Then sew the
four 2-piece corners onto the center with a simple straight seam.
Paper Piecing: Starting in the center, first piece 3 units made
of the five-piece columns. Join with the 2 center vertical strips. Draw a paper
piecing unit that includes the entire block except for the corner pieces.
Consider the unit just made as piece #1 and add the remaining pieces in rounds
until only the corner triangles remain. Appliqué to a background square or
C-5, Eye of the Cyclone, page 35
Appliqué/Machine Piecing: The only reason I would not call this
block easy is because it involves appliqué, which a lot of people "think" is
hard to do! It is not! Okay, here's how to do this "almost" easy block: Think in
3 layers. C-5 is made from two layers of half square triangles, sewn together in
two four patches (one small, the other large) and a third layer that is the
Layer 1 and 2: Cut 8 3-1/2" squares, four of background and
four of focus fabric. Make your half square triangles and sew them together in
(2) 4-patch blocks. Watch that you place your fabrics in the right place! Trace
the small circle on freezer paper and prepare one of the 4-patches using this
template, trimming around the circle and adding a ¼" seam allowance.
the small circle over the other 4- patch. Trim away the excess fabric from the
backside of the 2nd 4-patch.
The next piece (the 3rd layer) will be a 5" square with a clover shape
cutout. If you look at Jane's block in the photo, you will see a curved seam
where the outer curve continues around. This line is not on the block drawing in
the book. If you add this line, you can reverse appliqué the 'background' to get
that continuous curve. Iron this freezer paper frame piece to your background
fabric. Cut out the center, adding a ¼" seam allowance and reverse appliqué it
over the 4-patches. Wallah! Finished!
C-6, Ashley’s Aura, page 35
Method 1: Appliqué: Cut an oversize piece of your focus fabric.
Hand appliqué the four melon pieces onto it. Method 2: Reverse
appliqué will prevent seams from showing through the white melons. Method
3: Appliqué the block in three parts. Cut a 5" square of focus fabric.
Trace the large circle on freezer paper and appliqué a background circle onto
the focus fabric square. Then, trace the "cross" piece onto freezer paper and
prepare a focus fabric shape and appliqué it down. Cut away the extra fabric
from the back. You may learn to love melons but don't make a career out of them.
C-7, Megan’s Mountain Laurel, page 36
Hand/Machine Piecing: I pieced everything but the 4 corner diamonds. Those I
appliquéd on. I do not have the nerves to reverse-appliqué sharp points like
those LOL. But if I was ever to do this little horror again, believe me, I would
do it in appliqué (and I am not good at appliqué. In fact, had never done it
"before Jane"). I would appliqué everything but the center square. Glue, baste,
use a see-through plastic template on top/ Oh, never mind. I will not have to do
this again.... unless, of course, I go totally wacky and decide I want to do
another complete Jane. Well, that is a decision which is - fortunately - some
time in the future :-) And remember Brenda's mantra : Finished is better than
perfect !!!! (Works like a charm with these horrors :-) "Tilde Binger"
Appliqué and Hand or Machine Piecing: Rotary cut and strip
piece the center with the strips around it, then add the corner OR hand piece
these units. Then appliqué the 12 diamonds onto the block.
Piecing: Identifying the units is the trick here. At first look it seems
this block cannot be paper pieced because of the strips with the diamonds.
Splitting each strip into two is an elegant solution. Draft your pattern with a
center square and 8 units around it--made up of the diamond strips. Each unit is
composed of: a diamond, two tiny triangles on the end toward the corner square
and only one of the little triangles on the other end of each diamond (toward
the center of the side of the center square). Once you have paper pieced the 8
units you can join two together for each side. To complete the side strips
around the square, add two corner squares to each of two of the two-diamond
strips. (The corner units can also be paper pieced onto the diamond strips, one
on each of four of the one-diamond units.) Then add the corner units and
appliqué the diamonds.
I did C-7 by paper-piecing. The units are not what you
think. The difficult units are the diamonds strips. You will have a center
square, with the diamonds strips divided into 8 units around it. Each of the 8
units will be composed of - a diamond, the two tiny triangles on the end toward
the corner square, and ONE of the triangles at the center of the "Strip". This
will make an irregular 4-sided block. Once you have paper-pieced these 8 units,
they will be put together two by two, to make rectangular strips for the sides.
Note that two of the strips will have corner squares added to them, and two will
not. (Or, to build the corner squares in at the paper- piecing, make four of the
units with corner squares, and four without.) The outer diamonds I appliquéd.
Jackie. Your diamond shaped templates from B-5 can be used for the diamonds in
each corner of this block.
C-8. Hani’s Crown, page 36
Use a gorgeous FF as you'll get to see lots of it in this block! PP the
center square with the four triangles around it (a mini-D13!). Surrounding in on
all 4 sides are units with 2 BK triangles and a FF diamond. PP each of these
units separately (see handout). Then, with all the papers still on, line up the
points of the center square with the diamond points. Sew two opposite sides on,
then started to remove the paper before any seam allowance is sewn down by
another seam. The last two triangle units are sewn on after the paper is
removed. Press and square up the center portion. Cut two squares at 4-1/4" and
cut them once on the diagonal. Sew on opposing sides first. Trim these triangle
edges to make straight seams and sew on the remaining triangles.
C-9, Jane’s Tears, page 39
Appliqué: Fold the background square in quarters on the
diagonal and press. I use a light box to mark my blocks: take the pattern and
background fabric to the light box and mark the background. You may also use the
light box for assistance in placing the appliqué pieces. Simply place the
pattern on the light box, center the background square over the pattern, and
place the appliqué pieces in position. You may choose to either baste or pin
them into position. Another little hint: If you have just one appliqué shape to
trace out of a fabric, place that design on the light box and trace it directly
onto the fabric to be appliquéd, this saves you from having to make a template.
This is used for needle-turn appliqué (could also be used by those of you who
baste). Hope this may be of some help to those having some trouble with
Reverse appliqué: You may want to appliqué white tears on a red
background if you wish, but I think this is a perfect reverse appliqué block.
The design must now be put on the darker fabric. My fabric would have been hard
to trace through, so I printed out the design on freezer paper, carefully cut
out all four tears, and ironed the freezer paper onto the right side of my red
fabric (Use a generous red fabric square and trim to 5" when the block is done).
Then with a pigma pen (.01) trace the outline of each tear using the paper as a
stencil. (I have also done this by leaving the paper on till all the stitching
is complete) Next layer a 6" square of your white tear fabric (right side up)
with the red on top of it (right side up also). Secure the layers with whatever
you are comfortable with (appliqué pins, safety pins, or basting). Now you are
ready to cut and stitch one tear at a time. Pinch up the fabric so you can
insert your scissors and trim out the center of one tear (you are cutting the
white fabric ONLY) about 3/16" from either the marked line or freezer paper edge
exposing the right side of the tear fabric underneath. You will need to make
tiny clips around the curved parts and one in the tip of the tear (I don't clip
until I need to). Use thread in a color that blends with the appliqué fabric or
the background fabric. When you have finished, press well and trim to a perfect
Reverse Appliqué: In addition to reverse appliquéing C9, you
can piece the four triangles together for the background, as Jane did. You could
quilt those diagonal lines in, too, but if you are trying to do your blocks as
much like Jane's as possible, you'll want to piece them. It also gives you 4
pieces to count instead of one background square!
C-10, Patriot’s Lantern, page 38
Use a focus fabric that has a lot of color to it as the pieces are so small,
you don't want your seams to disappear! Make the little half-square triangles
from 1-1/2" squares: Draw the diagonal line, right sides together, sew ¼" away
on both sides. Trim this seam to 1/8" and press open. Cut the center square 2".
The other pieces are all cut 1" wide. Piece it in vertical rows. You might want
to trim all your seams to 1/8" as they are so many of them! Press your block
well and square up using your Dear Jane ruler.
C-11, Soldiers and Sailors
Monument, page 39
It appears that Jane actually made 4 little blocks, appliquéing the quarter
circles in the opposite corners of each block and then seamed it all together.
Too much work! Too many seams! Here are two methods to try, you can choose which
method you like better. Both use appliqué. Cut the center circle from the
freezer paper and iron it onto the back of a piece of the focus fabric. Cut out
leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Turn under the seam allowance and appliqué this
onto a 6" square of background fabric. Trace the background fabric shape onto
freezer paper and iron it the piece you have just appliquéd, centering the
circle. Cut out leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Apply freezer paper to the back of
this piece and turn under the seam allowance. Appliqué in place over a 5" square
of focus fabric. Press and trim to 4-3/4" square. Cut 4 strips of focus fabric,
1" x 5-1/4" and border your little block with it. Or, cut a 5" square of the
background, then appliqué the 4 corners and the center circle of the focus
fabric on top. I suggest you use whatever system you used for A-3, since both
blocks are similar. When it was time to sew C-11 into my Jane, I (once again)
utilized my patented 'Executive Randomizer' (also known as 'a brown paper bag')
by placing both blocks within, shaking the E.R. a few times, and grabbing one. I
honestly don't recall which method made it into my quilt. <grin>
C-12, Family Reunion, page 39
Machine Piecing: Cut 3 dark strips and 3 background strips 1"
by 12". Make one strip set with dark on the outside and one strip set
w/background on the outside. Press the seams to the dark on both. The cut 1"
strips from these sets and set together into 9 patches. Be sure to sew with a
scant 1/4" seam or your overall blocks will come out just a hair small. Cut 4
background squares at 2".
C-13, Lakota Sioux, page 40
Make the little half-square triangles from 1-1/2" squares: Draw the diagonal
line, right sides together, sew ¼" away on both sides. Trim this seam to 1/8"
and press open. Trim these half square triangle units to 1" square. Cut the
center square 2-1/8". The strips are all cut 1" wide. Cut 4 cornerstones at 1"
square of a third fabric. Piece the block like a 9-patch. After you've added the
2 rounds of strips, press well and square up the center of your block. Cut two
3-1/2" squares BK fabric and cut once on the diagonal. Sew opposite sides on
first. Press your block well and square up using your Dear Jane ruler.
D-1, Alison's Guiding Light, page 40
Paper Piecing: Paper Piecing: In the center of the block are
four squares, each with a 1/4" diagonal bar across it. These squares are
separated by 1/4" bars. The first units to piece are the two rectangles making
up this center square. Piece from the center out (toward the short ends). Then
sew these two units together with a bar between. Then set the two rectangles
together with another horizontal strip in between. Border as B-13. Cut from
focus fabric: 2 strips 1-1/2” x 9” and 4 (3”) squares. Cut the squares on the
diagonal once. From background fabric, cut 2 strips 1” x 14”, cut 4 (1-1/2”)
squares for corners.
D-2, Mouse in a Mirror, page 42
Piecing: Draw an X in the tiny center square. This will create
four Snowball blocks in the center. (A Snowball block is a square with small
triangles in each corner.) From focus fabric cut 4 (2”) squares, 2 (2-1/2”)
squares cut once on diagonal (these become the 4 corners); cut 2 (2”) squares,
cut once on diagonal for the “ears”. From background cut: 4 2”x4”, 2 (3”)
squares, cut once on diagonal, and 16 7/8” squares. Lay the 7/8" squares right
sides together on the corners of the 2” FF squares. Stitch across the diagonal
and flip back, forming a triangle. Repeat on 4 corners of all four squares. The
corner units can be hand, machine or paper pieced.
D-3, Jason's Jacks, page 42
Appliqué: using your favorite method. Appliqué “jack” shape on top. A
few clips in the inner curves make this easy. Good block for freeze paper
D-4, Crystal Star, page 43
Center square is 2-1/2" finished, so cut it 3”.
Piecing: The trick with this block is the corner melons. Assemble the 4
sides by paper piecing in the focus fabric triangle (cut 4 (2”) squares focus
fabric, cut 8, 2” x 3” background rectangles). Sew the four side pieces to the
center square, starting and stopping your stitching ¼” away from the ends of the
seam. You can do this by machine. Then remove all paper from the inside seams.
Sew the miter by beginning a few stitches before the inside corner and sew to
the outside corners of the block. I used freezer paper templates for the melons
and hand appliquéd them onto the mitered corners. A little steam and it will lie
Window, page 43
See B-13 for piecing the center square on point. Center square, without
strips, is 2-1/2" finished.
Hand/Machine/Piecing: Make the center of the block like a
9-patch. Make the four corner units, paper piecing if desired. Add them to the
center, opposite sides first.
D-6, Challenge, page 44
One for beginners! I would definitely paper piece as one unit.
D-7, Meeting Place, page 44
Hand/Machine Piecing: This block can be viewed as 3 diagonal
strips running from bottom left to top right. Piece the center strip with a
1-7/8” background square and 2 strips cut 1-7/8” x 3-1/4”. To make the upper and
lower triangles, cut a background strip 1-1/2” x 14” and a focus fabric strip
1-1/2” x 14”. Sew them together along the long edge, press seam to the darker
fabric. Make a template out of clear plastic for the triangle piece, adding a ¼”
seam line to all three sides. Draw the seam line on the template. Use the
template to mark the four triangles on your strip-pieced fabric. Cut out four
triangles, and piece two triangles to a strip of fabric 1-78” x 3 ¼”. Repeat
this last step. Sew block together, press well, and trim to 5”.
Dee's Delight, page 45
Appliqué using your favorite method onto a large oversize square of the
background fabric. If you are piecing the rows in order you have not yet had
melons this exact size or shape so you will need a new template. Press the
background fabric in half on the diagonal, and repeat this step. Use the creases
as guidelines for centering the melons and diamonds. Appliqué the melons,
touching them in the center. Then appliqué the four diamonds. Trim to 5” square
D-9, Uncle Richard
Hand/Machine Piece: View this block as a center unit (with 17
pieces) running from bottom left to top right. Add two corner triangle units
(with 7 pieces in each unit). The center strip is composed of the center square
of 7 pieces, the bars on either end, and a small four piece triangle on the end
of each bar. Construct the center square in three pieces--the outside three
squares joined to the center bar. Then add the two end bars. Trim to size. Paper
piece all four four-part triangles. Add two to the ends of the bars to create
the center assembly, then add a bar to the bottom of the other two triangles,
and a further small corner triangle, and sew this whole unit to the center
D-10, Battlefield, page 47
The center of this
block consists of 2 types of units—2 snowball squares (like D13) and 2 squares
with 4 half square triangles. Construct these 4 small squares and sew them
together as a 4-patch. Cut 2 1-1/2” squares of background, 2 of focus fabric,
and make 4 half square triangles for outer corners. Trim to size. Add row of
background strips to block, then complete block with outer strips and corner
Machine/Hand Piecing: Little corner triangles – cut 4 each of
background and red fabric, 7/8” x 7/8”. Larger triangles – cut 8 each of
background and red fabric 1-1/4” x 1-1/4”. Large square – cut 2, 2” x 2”
background fabric, and 8, 1-1/4” x 1-1/4” of red fabric to make the corner
triangles. Sew them all point to point
D-11, Snow Crystal, page 47
Foundation paper-piece the square in the square center. Make templates with
seam allowance included and hand-piece the four triangles on. Then hand-piece
the background on. Lastly, appliqué the four tiny diamonds on using regular
Or, redraft the block so the center piece was a square, not a rectangle. The
four triangles around it form a square in a square. The four pieces at 3, 6, 9,
and 12 o’clock are squares on point like Jane’s block. The large triangles are
not equilateral. Seam them to outside background piece. Paper piece center
square in square. Mark side of large triangle that touches center square in
square. Sew large triangles to center, leaving ends free. Appliqué square to
each outside piece. Sew side pieces using “y” seam construction. Linda in TX
Swords, page 48
You can paper piece the 4 square sections of this block,
then add the white horizontal and vertical sections. Draw an extra line in each
"sword" and you'll be fine. Just extend one of the lines that forms that little
square straight across to the opposite diagonal line, forming a tiny triangle
below the square. Start piecing with that new triangle, then the square, then
the rest of the "sword", then the two larger triangles. CarolJoy
I split the block vertically into 3 sections and foundation pieced each side
section, ignoring the little squares in the corners. Then I joined the 2 side
sections to the center bar. Then, for the corners, I cut four pieces
approximately 1-1/2" square and turned under 2 edges ¼” and pressed well. I hand
appliquéd these squares onto the corners.
Hand Piecing: Cut out the four arrowheads and set in the four corners. (By
making the hardest seams first, you will not have lost a lot of work if you have
to bail out of it). Then, add the triangles on either side of the arrowheads,
then sew quarter squares together with bar between, then half rectangles
together with bar between.
D-13: Field of
Dreams, page 48
(Barbara Brackman’s 2375a)
Because the center square is an “in-between” measurement, paper piecing may be
easiest and quick, though it could be hand or machine pieced with templates. Be
sure the outer edges of the four triangles are on the straight grain.
3-5/8” square of background fabric for the center. Cut two 3-1/2" squares of
focus fabric; cut them on the diagonal, making four triangles. Sew the triangles
on opposite sides of the center square, press, and then sew the other two
triangles onto the remaining sides, and press. Trim block to 5” square.
E-1, Aunt Exie's
Phlox, page 49
(Barbara Brackman's 1527a if it has the four-patch seams)
Use your melon template from A-7 and save it for E-10. Remember to cut the
background square a little larger than 5" to allow for the "draw up" of
Hand Appliqué: Cut a 5-1/2" square of focus fabric. Trace the
melon shape on FP four times and make four melons with your background fabric.
Fold the focus fabric in half twice and iron creases to use as guidelines for
hand appliquéing your melons.
Reverse Appliqué: Cut (2) 6" squares (1 each of background and
focus fabric). Trace the pattern onto a piece of 5" square freezer paper (FP).
Cut out the pattern on the curved lines. Machine baste the two squares of
material around the outside, with the print on top. Have the right sides facing
up. Iron the square of freezer paper to the print material, leaving about 3/16"
for turning under, carefully cut out the pattern from the print material only.
REMEMBER your background fabric is UNDER the print! Clip the curves almost a
hair short of the edge of the pattern to the fold line. Begin turning under your
3/16" edge and start stitching the print to the background. This works just like
appliqué except it is backwards! When complete trim to 5" square.
E-2, Merry May, page 49
"Merry May" named
in honor of the last day of May!
Appliqué/Piecing: Cut the
center square about 4-1/2" and trim it after appliquéing the melons. Apply the
melons either as two melons, exactly the same, one on top of the other or as two
partial melons and one full melon. Put the full melon over the top of the
partials. Be sure that you have added allowance to the partial melons for hiding
the raw edges under the full melon. Trim and piece and add the outer strips. Or,
piece the block as a 9-patch (similar to B13) and then hand appliqué the melons.
E-3, Paddle Wheels, page 50
Hand/Machine Piecing: Uses bias squares or half-square
triangles. From focus fabric cut the following: (2) 2-1/4" squares and (2) 2"
>>squares. >>From background fabric cut: (2) 2-1/4" squares, (4) 1-3/8" x 3-1/4"
rectangles, and (2) 2" squares.
Lay a 2-1/4" focus fabric square right sides together with a 2-1/4"
background square. On the lighter colored fabric, draw a diagonal line from one
corner to the opposite corner. Sew ¼" away on both sides of this diagonal line.
Repeat with other set of 2-1/4" squares. Cut them apart on the drawn diagonal
line and press to the darker fabric. Trim to 1-7/8" square. You should now have
four 1-7/8" half square triangles.
Sew the 2" squares the same method as above to create 4 1-3/8" squares.
Sew the larger half squares together as a four patch to create the center or
"Paddle Wheel." Take 2 of the background rectangles and add one to each side of
the Paddle Wheel. Sew one half square onto each end of one of the remaining
rectangles. When finished you will have two strips. Add these strips to the rest
of the block and it is all finished! Total 20 pieces.
Paper Piecing: Piece the 8-part center square in two units.
Join the units. Then make a foundation for the whole block. Add two opposite
sides (without the corner squares) to the center. Separately piece the other two
sides with the corner squares (two triangles). Add to the rest of the block.
E-4, Buffalo Tree
Hopper, page 50
Hand/Paper Piecing: Divide the block visually into three
"vertical" units. Decide if you are going to simplify the fancy corners to look
more like Jane's block. After piecing each triangular corner, add one of the
side quadrilaterals to each. Paper piece (or machine or hand piece) the center
unit of 3 pieces. Match up the seams and start sewing the long straight edge,
stopping at the Y. Sew the Y from the outside to the meeting point. Or, you can
redraw the Y-seamed corners to eliminate the Y-seam. Straighten out either the
vertical or horizontal seams.
E-5, Rising Sun, page 52
(Barbara Brackman's 3496
in two colors)
Do you suppose Jane had a problem with the center where 16 points meet and
solved it with a circle appliqué?
Paper Piecing: Draw the foundation ignoring all those center
points, that is draw a 1" circle and erase the lines in it. The much larger
circle will be appliquéd over this "hole". Piece in two halves, then join the
halves. You must reverse the colors for your wedges when paper piecing.
Remember, the drawn side of the pattern is the wrong side of your block.
Appliqué the circle over the vacant center.
Hand/Machine Piecing: Hand piece the rays only up to the circle
line plus ¼" . (Two pattern pieces, regular and reversed.) Press all the pieces
in the same direction. Cut out the circle at the center. Using template, cut out
circle with seam allowance and turn under and baste the edge. Baste the circle
to the rays and appliqué.
Medley, page 52
Paper Piecing: PP the tiny center square: two units of a
triangle with two strips and a triangle added, then the two halves joined.
Rotary cut and machine or hand piece the next round as a 9-patch. Add the
Northeast and Southwest corner triangles, then the remaining two corner
triangles. Then appliqué the tiny squares. Use a stripe fabric like Jane did!
E-7, Bread Basket, page 53
To make the piecing easier draw a line down the middle and across the middle of
the block. This will break up the units and make them pieceable. It's easier
than it looks! Ignore the vertical and horizontal strips. Piece 4 snowball
blocks, sew them together. Then appliqué those narrow strips over them. No need
to tuck under the tips of the narrow strips of appliqué. Trim square to 4". Add
Appliqué: The block can be pieced easily by hand, machine or
paper if the triangles and the square on point are ignored, then appliquéd onto
the block. Save the outer strips to join after the appliqué is done. >
E-8, Mama's Maze, page 53
Do this one and check measurements!
Machine Piecing: To simplify your cutting, the center square is
cut 2" and the strips and corner squares are cut 1". For the pieces in the last
border, you should cut a strip 1-3/8" wide, so you have some extra seam
allowance around the outside. It is a fairly easy block as they are all straight
From your background fabric cut: (8) 1" squares and (8) 1-1/2"x1" rectangles.
From your focus fabric cut: (8) 2"x1" rectangles, (4) 3"x1" rectangles, (4) 1"
squares, and (1) 2" square. Using the photo in the book to watch the placement
of the fabric and using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, piece the center out as you
would a nine-patch block. From the center, add two sides, add two white squares
to the other side pieces, add to the center section. Continue with the next row,
and then the outside row.
E-9, Quilt Jail, page 54
You can rotary cut and
strip piece this block. Cut (4) focus fabric strips 1-1/4" x 6". Cut (3)
background strips 3/4" x 6". Piece these strips together by alternating fabrics
beginning and ending with your focus fabric. Press seams away from the tiny
strips. From background cut (4) strips 3/4" x 4-1/2". Now you have a choice: 1)
Take your pieced fabric and slice it into (4) 1-1/4" strips Machine piece a
vertical background strip to the right edge of 3 of the strips. Piece these
units together and add the 4th unit to the right side. Or 2) hand or machine
appliqué the 3 vertical strips onto your pieced square. Cut border strips 1-1/4"
wide x 4-1/4", 4-5/8" (two), and 5-1/4". These are added log cabin style. Press
block carefully and trim to 5".
E-10, Five &
Dime, page 54
Use the melon template you saved from A-7 and E-1. There are
two options here: either piece the squares, then appliqué the melons, or
appliqué the melons on two oversized squares, trim to 2-3/4" and join all four
square units together.
E-11, Wagon Wheel, page 55
This one is ideal for
reverse appliqué using freezer paper templates. On your freezer paper, trace the
square with the circle in the middle and cut out the circle. Also on freezer
paper, trace the "cobweb" shape and the 4 corner quarter-circles. Cut a 5-1/2"
square of focus fabric and press the freezer paper square to it. Cut out the
inner fabric circle, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the SA to the back
side. Layer this with a 5 ½" square of your background on the bottom and
appliqué the circle edge to the background. Press the freezer paper "cobweb"
shape onto another piece of focus fabric and cut out adding 1/4" seam allowance.
Lay the freezer paper shiny side up and iron the seam allowances over the
template. Pin it carefully making sure that the points touch the edges of the
now white circle and appliqué it on top of the white circle. It helps to take a
stitch through each point as it meets the edge of the circle.
Or, cut a background fabric in the circle shape and appliqué it to a 5-1/2"
square of focus fabric. Then, appliqué the "cobweb" center with the little
points. In either case, you then appliqué the 4 corners down. Press your block
carefully and trim to 5" square.
E-12, Mary Ruth's
Corset, page 55
Begin your block by piecing the center rectangular unit,
the "corset." Cut (4) 1" squares of focus fabric and (6) 1" squares of
background fabric. Sew them together in 4 diagonal rows. Trace the "corset"
shape onto freezer paper indicating all the seams lines, and adding 1/4" seam
allowance to all sides. Use this as a template to trim these piece to shape-it
should measure 1-1/4" x 2-3/4". Cut 2 strips from focus fabric 1-1/2" x 3", sew
them to the two sides of the "corset" and trim this center piece to 2-3/4"
square. Make 4 flying geese using your preferred method to finish 1-5/8" x
2-3/4". Finish your block like a nine-patch. Press and trim to 5".
E-13, Moth in
a Web, page 57
Hand/machine piecing: Piece from the inside to the outside
edges. Cut a 1-3/4" square from focus fabric and background. Draw the diagonal,
sew a 1/4" seam on either side, cut on the drawn line and press to the dark
side. Trim them to 1-1/4" square. Sew a four patch with the (2) 1-1/4" pieced
squares. Add a strip to each side, then to the top and bottom. Trim block to
Add four focus fabric triangles, one on each side and trim to 3-3/4" square.
Add four background fabric triangles, one on each side. Your block untrimmed
should measure about 5-1/2" square. Appliqué on the 4 tiny triangles. Press
block well and trim to 5" square.
From background fabric cut: (1) 1-3/4" square, (2) 1-1/4" squares, (2) >>7/8"
x 2" rectangles, (2) 7/8" x 3" rectangles, (2) 3-1/4" square divided into 2
From focus fabric cut: (1) 1-3/4" square, a 3-1/2" square divided into >>4
triangles, and the 4 "tiny" triangles.
F-1, Big Top, page 57
Cut: 2 (4") squares background and divide in 2 on the diagonal
(for the 4 corners). Cut 4 background and 4 focus fabric: 2-1/4" square. Paper
piece the 8 pie sections using 1 background and 1 focus fabric piece. Join them
in pairs, remembering to stop your sewing ¼" away from the center point. Remove
the paper before you join the 8 sections to make a square. Trim the center
square to 3-1/2". Add the corner triangles. Hand appliqué the diamonds onto the
outer triangles, press well, and trim block to 5".
F-2, Kaleidoscope, page 58
Cut 4 background and 4 focus fabric pieces 3-1/4" square. Cut 8
background and 8 focus fabric pieces 1-1/2" x 2". Cut 2 3-1/2" squares and cut
diagonally once for the 4 corners. Paper piece the 8 quadrants (4 with 3 pieces
and 4 with 4 pieces) and join them together. Remember to swirl the center point
so it will lie flat and always press the seams toward your focus fabric on this
one so the seams will match up.
F-3, Snowball, page 58
Paper pieced in 3 sections, top row all the way across, middle
row & bottom row.
F-4, Old Windmill, page 59
Paper pieced in 3 sections-like A8 only slightly different
proportions. Here 's a good little block to practice "cut it big and whack it
off!" Background: cut 4 rectangles 1-½" x 2-½". From focus fabric cut 1 (5")
square. Cut it twice on the diagonal. These are the "large" side triangles. Cut
1 (1-1/2") square for the center. Cut 2 squares 2-1/2" and cut them once on the
diagonal. These become the 4 corners.
F-5, Parcheesi, page 59
Hand appliqué: This block was entirely hand
appliquéd, Cut out a 5-1/2" square of background fabric. Fold on the diagonal
and press. Repeat. Appliqué the center "X" on. See those odd shapes in the
center of each side, sort of like they would have been triangle if someone
hadn't taken a bite off the tip? Appliqué them on. Cut 2 squares 2-1/4" and cut
on the diagonal once. Add these four corner triangles by hand appliquéing. Press
the block well and square to 5".
Reverse appliqué: Lay your background fabric over
the pattern (cut it 5-1/2"), draw the pattern lightly with a pencil. Lay this
over your contrasting color and pin. Then cut out a bit at a time leaving a 1/8"
seam allowance where the white is. Needle turn it under. See Sharon Mastbrook's
excellent diagrams at
F-6, Deanie's Daisies, page 60
Paper piece the 4 little square-in-a-square blocks. Piece them
together like a 9 patch. Hand appliqué the four little melons on. She did love
those melons, didn't she?!!!
F-7, Star Struck, page 60
For PP, trace the block on foundation paper and piece the four
strips: The first strip will include the top section of the star that includes
the top left corner, two star points, triangle, top right square, and top border
strip. The second strip consists of the left side of the center unit: the two
side star points, triangle, and the center square. The third strip is the right
center part, which is the two star points, and the triangle between them. The
fourth strip is the bottom one which is identical to the first strip. Next, sew
section two to section three and then add section 1 and section 4. Now put on
the two (generous) remaining border pieces and trim the block to 5".
F-8, Church Window, page 62
A combination of machine and paper piecing. Make the 9-patch
center. Then make 4 flying geese units. (You could PP these, adding the corner
blocks.) Paper piece the outer strips and you'll have no trouble getting that
F-9, Autumn Aster, page 62
You might redraft the block to look more like Jane's by making
the center section a little bigger. Appliqué the four background crescents onto
a 5-1/2" square of the focus fabric. Cut away the excess focus fabric from the
underneath. Appliqué the 8 melons on, press and trim block.
F-10, Potholder, page 63
Mine was hand pieced with a tiny bit of appliqué. I chose to
leave out the last strip around the outside of the block, so I have a center
square of focus fabric, then a white strip, as per the book, then a focus fabric
strip (which is as wide as the 2 outside strips in the book). Jane may have
added a muslin strip to make this block a little larger, it's hard to tell.
Decide if you want to make the outside edge of the block out of focus fabric or
add the background strip.
Steps: Cut a 1-1/4" x 14" strip of focus fabric and background
fabric. Sew them together along the long edge. Make a template of the side
pieces and use that to cut them out. Appliqué the two outermost edges of the
diamonds (the two sides of the diamond that point to the corners) to the corner
"kite" shape pieces. The two sides of the diamond that point in to the center
are actually pieced in. Sew two of the diamond/kite corner pieces on to either
end of the north & south pieced strips. Sew the light edge of the strip unit to
the center square (one at top and one at the bottom). Then sew the east & west
strips on. Lastly, "miter" the corner units to the strip units. This process
could be done by machine, too, just be sure to stop at the marked edge of the
patches, don't "sew off the edge" as you usually do, so you can set in the
F-11, On Target, page 63
Hand piecing: I decided to look at the block like
a typical "Kaleidoscope" block, made up of 8 triangles in alternating
colors...just that these triangles aren't all the same size. I hand pieced the
triangles in pairs, then put pairs together to get a half block, and then that
challenging seam through the middle where you want to get all the points to come
together perfectly :-). It helps to "taper" the seam allowance by trimming it
with a scissors a little bit as you get down towards the center points to reduce
the bulk. To get a perfect match, you can do a tiny bit of basting before you
piece the last seam: lay one half block on the table. Fold the seam allowance on
the other piece under, so the center point looks like it will after the block is
done. You can baste this seam allowance under, about 1/2" on either side of the
center point, if you want. Now, lay the basted half on top of the flat half &
match up the centers. Pin in place, and appliqué (gasp!) starting about ½" from
the center, through the center & continue about 1/2" past the center. Now,
remove the basting threads. Flip the block right sides together and piece the
rest of the seam as usual. The appliqué will hold that perfect center match for
you, and voila, you have the main part of the block done.
Pie wedge appliqués: I
chose to do the rest of the "pie wedge" pieces on the block with freezer paper
on top appliqué. I enlarged the light pieces in the center slightly, so they
come out to the edge of the colored triangles, more like Jane's. To make the
"right angles" a little easier & more accurate, you can use fabric glue stick to
fold under the seam allowance before you start to appliqué. Leave the FP on top,
and use just a light touch of glue stick on the seam allowance fabric along one
straight side of the pie wedge. Fold the seam allowance under and finger press
to hold it in place. Then, repeat with the opposite side...folding the right
angle under neatly. This method works great for the pointed end of melons &
Paper piece: Cut 4 3-1/2" squares focus fabric, cut 4 3-1/2" squares background
fabric. Paper piece the square "pie" in 2 sections (each having 4 pieces).
Remember to stop your stitching ¼" away from the center point so you can "swirl"
the seams to lie flat. Hand appliqué the remaining quarter arcs and quarter
circles in place. Press well
F-12, Starburst, page 64
Paper piece by sewing two sections, each with four pie
shapes. Then sew the two sections together. Attach the four background corner
triangles. Lastly, hand appliqué the triangles at N, S, E, and West points.
F-13, Tour de France, page 64
Hand Appliqué: Cut a background piece 5-1/2"
square. Fold your background square in half twice and press well to create
guidelines for placing your circles and melons. Trace the melons on freezer
paper or card stock. Trace the circles on heat-resistant templar plastic. Using
your circle template, trace the circles onto background fabric and cut them out
¼" beyond the drawn line. Make a row of gathering stitches 1/8" away from the
edge of the circle, keeping your stitches very even in size. Insert the templar
circle inside and pull up the gathering threads, knot it well. Starch the edge
well and allow the "yo-yo" to dry completely. Appliqué the circles and melons
using your favorite technique (Hand or machine).
G-1, Hattie's Hen House, page 65
Begin by making 2 large quarter square triangles. Cut a 6-1/2" square of
focus fabric and a 6-1/2" square of background fabric. Put them right sides
together and make 2 quarter square triangle blocks-you can do this easily
because you mastered the technique in our previous lesson, right?! Tip: Your
block will lie flatter if the seams are pressed open. Trace the clover shape
onto freezer paper (actual size) and cut it out. Iron your freezer paper
template to the back of one of the squares, matching the seam lines on the paper
to the seam lines of your fabric. Cut out leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Flip the
freezer paper over and press the raw edges of your fabric to the inside. You may
use liquid starch on this seam allowance applied with a child's small
paintbrush. You may also baste the edges down. Appliqué this clover shape onto
your square with tiny hand appliqué stitches. Cut away the fabric under the
clover shape, leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Press well and trim to 5". Give it a
kiss and add it to your pile of completed blocks.
Machine piecing and appliqué: Cut one 6" square of each fabric.
Cut these squares twice on the diagonal. Make your back-ground using two
triangles of each color. Repeat this for the clover shape. Trace the center
clover onto freezer paper and cut it out. Iron it onto the back of one of your
squares. Trim, leaving a seam allowance. Baste under the edges, then appliqué
the clover onto the background square.
Machine piecing and reverse appliqué: Cut two 6-1/2" squares,
one of each fabric, cut them on the diagonal twice. You'll need only two tris
from each fabric. Stitch these together to make a background of quarter square
triangles. Cut two 3 1/2" squares, one from each fabric. Make these into a 4
patch. Trace the clover onto freezer paper. Cut out the center "clover" leaving
a nice seam allowance. Iron the freezer paper to the back of the background you
made. Trim out the center, leaving a seam allowance. Clip and baste it under.
Reverse appliqué the frame on top of the 4 patch. You can trim away the excess
under the "clover". Trim the completed block to 5".
Handpiece that Hattie's Henhouse...it's a great break from appliqué and
machine piecing...and curves come out really nicely! It happens that I learned
how to handpiece on this very block. I used the handpiecing instructions found
on the website of Linda Franz, which are easy to follow.
Try it, you might like it!
G-2, Mohawk Trail, page 65
First, notice the difference in Brenda's diagram and Jane's pieced block.
Jane has 4 pieces in the center block (the quarter square triangles) while
Brenda's block has 8 pieces in the center. Brenda's entire block is made from
half-square triangles. Jane's block uses half-square triangles for the outside
blocks. Determine which look you want. To piece like Jane's block: To make
the center block cut (2) 3-1/2" squares of focus fabric and (2) 3-1/2" squares
of background fabric. Make one quarter square triangle block. It should measure
a perfect 2-3/4" square when finished. Cut (6) 2-1/4" squares of background
fabric, and (6) 2-1/4" squares of focus fabric. Mark on the diagonal once, sew
¼" from both sides of the line. Press seams open and trim to 1-5/8" square. You
will have 12 of these. Sew 4 together for the top row, 4 for the bottom row, and
2 for each side. Sew the two sides onto the center square and then add the top
and bottom rows. Your block should measure a perfect 5" when finished! To piece
like Brenda's block, cut (8) 2-1/4" squares of background fabric and (8) 2-1/4"
squares of focus fabric. Make 16 blocks with half square triangles, press seams
open and trim to 1-5/8" square. Piece them together in rows across, following
the diagram for color placement. You can also paper piece this block in 4
G-3, Four Leaf Clover, page 67
Cut a 6" square of background fabric. Trace the clover shape onto freezer
paper and cut out. Press to your focus fabric and cut out, adding a ¼ seam
allowance. Prepare as above, clipping the fabric at the tight inside turns.
Press seam allowance inside, using your favorite method (liquid starch, hand
baste, etc.) Fold your background square into quarters and press lightly. These
folds will help you in accurately placing the clover shape. Appliqué the clover
to the background. Prepare the ring shape using freezer paper also. Appliqué the
ring in place, beginning with the inside edge. If you cut the freezer paper
shapes in 4 places just before the hand appliqué step they will be easier to
remove. Be careful, however, that you don't clip your fabric-only the freezer
paper. Press well and trim to 5".
Hand appliqué: Cut the clover shape from freezer paper then
adhere the fabric to the paper by placing the paper shiny side up on the back of
the clover shape and pressing the edges over the paper. Clip the tight curve at
the end of each leaf. Fold your background square into quarters and press. Lay
the clover on the background using the folds to help for placement. Appliqué the
clover to a 6" background square. Prepare the ring shape using freezer paper
also. Appliqué the ring in place, then trim the block to size.
I used freezer paper for the shapes but after I ironed the template on I
split the paper in at least four places so that as I was stitching around the
square/circle shape I could pull out the pieces. Also with the clover I split
each petal from the center and as I came around it I pulled out the paper before
I closed the shape. Try freezer paper on the bottom and the edges basted down.
G-4, Shutter Bug, page 67
Excellent for paper piecing, in rounds, just like a log cabin. Notice Brenda
simplified the corner triangles. Decide if you want your block to look like
Brenda's or Jane's.
G-5, Poof, page 68
Cut a 5-1/2" square of focus fabric and cut it diagonally twice making
triangles. Cut 2 background strips 7/8" wide x 5" and sew two triangles to both
sides of the two strips (making two larger triangles). Then attach these units
to a 3rd background strip cut 7/8" x 7". Now it is back to a square. Prepare the
center piece with freezer paper as G1 and appliqué in place. Trim out the bulk
under the flower.
G-6, Papa's Star, page 68
Brenda Papadakis' method:
Construction tip #1: Make the center Background: Print Cut 4
squares 3/4" Cut 8 squares 3/4 inch. Cut one rectangle 1 X 8 inches Cut one
square 1". Cut 4 rectangles 3/4 X 1 inch Making the flying geese for the center
star as follows:
1. Fold the 8 print squares on the diagonal. You need two squares for each
'goose'. Place two folded print squares on one 3/4 X 1 background rectangle so
that the 'goose' is formed (which are the star points). You can do this! Just
read slowly and visualize-- look at the variable star in the center of the
block. Baste the two folded squares on the rectangle on the two outside edges -
no sewing needed here. Make all four of the geese in this manner 2. Sew your
star together by hand or machine, using _ seam allowances. Trim to 1/8_. You may
want to press open before joining the sections together. I'm not adverse to a
shot or two of steam these days, thanks to some DJ's who have the flattest of
blocks! Voila! Perfect little star! 3. Use the 1 x 8_ rectangle to sew 1 inch on
each side of the star, sashing it, log cabin style. 4. Trace the block onto
freezer paper. Do not trace the center star. DO trace the pentagon that
surrounds it. You need this little piece:) 5. Hand and Machine piecers: cut the
pattern pieces of the star apart and iron all but the pentagon to the back of
your fabrics, leaving space for a seam allowance. Rotary cut the pieces, adding
a <_ seam allowance outside the freezer paper. BIG NOTE: mark your freezer paper
and add =_ seam allowance to all OUTSIDE edges. Makes it easy to trim to 5
inches when finished with block- I do this on all hand and machine-pieced blocks
that are not rotary cut.
Hand-piecing: Draw around the pieces before removing the paper
to stitch Foundation piecers: Cut the freezer paper into sections: the top strip
(three pieces), center triangle- includes the pentagon and two triangles, one
"leg" section - two pieces, and second "leg" section - three pieces.
6. Pentagon freezer paper and star with 1" sashing around it: Hold star up to
light and move the freezer paper pentagon around until the star looks centered
to you. It doesn't matter which direction it turns; just try to center as well
as you can. Iron the freezer paper to the TOP of the star. Now cut around
freezer paper, Add ¼" seam allowance outside the freezer paper. (If not, you'll
weep...LOL) 7. Sew the two side triangles to the pentagon. 8. Using your
favorite method, complete the top strip. Add the section with your pretty little
star, add the leg section with two pieces, and then the leg section with three
pieces. 9. Press, trim to 5 inches and give it a little kiss as you put it in
your favorite tin.
Construction tip #2: Cut from focus fabric (F): Cut from
background-fabric (B): 1 square 1-5/8" 1 square 1-5/8" 2 squares 1-1/4" 4
squares 7/8" 1 square 7/8"
Take the 1-5/8" B and one of the 1-5/8" F. Mark the diagonal on one of them.
Place right side together. Sew on either side of one of the diagonals, using a
scant 1/4" seam. Cut on the diagonal. Press. Trim to 1-1/4" square.
* Place 1 triangle-square and one F (1-1/4") right side together. Sew on
either side of the other diagonal (i.e. crossing the seam you have on the
triangle-squares), use a scant 1/4" seam. Cut the diagonal. Press. Trim to two
7/8" squares. * Repeat from * to *. Make a 9-patch from the 9 pieces 7/8"
square. The B-part of the triangle squares has to point away from the middle in
all three rows. Check twice before you sew
1st Row: B - "triangle-square" - B 2nd Row: "triangle-square" - F -
"triangle-square" 3rd. Row : same as 1st row.
Add borders of the background-fabric, no less than 1" wide. Press. Trim into
the pentangle that goes into the center of G6. This doesn't place the seams
where The Jane put it, and it brings up the pieces of the block from 31 to 35.
The advantage is that you at no time deal with a piece which is smaller than
Yes, the bugger about G6 is, that you think the worst part is over and done
with, when you have finished the center, but the 5-point star is hard as well,
and getting them together is too. What I did (and I am pleased with the results
BTW, even if I say so myself) is the following :
I sashed the center-star on all 4 sides, with strips that were 1" wide I
think, but make them extra wide. It's easier to cut away than add. Then I cut
the center hexagon from freezer-paper and iron it on top of the center-star.
Pieced the 5-point star, minus center. Now you have two pieces -- one center
and one "round-about". Since I hand sewed it, I didn't go into seam-allowances,
so I guess what I did was reverse-appliqué the two bits together. I pressed the
seam-allowances of the "round-about" bit down, so that they were ready to be
appliquéd, without needle turning. The freezer-paper on top of the center means
that you actually get it centered properly. The extra wide strips on the tiny
star means that you don't all of a sudden find yourself with a too scant
seam-allowance. After reverse-appliquéing the two bits together, press the
entire block. Peel the freezer-paper off the center and trim the back of the
center. Sew the three rows together. Press and trim. - Tilde
Construction tip #3: 1. Learn how to paper piece before you
attempt it...everything is upside down and backwards, you know. 2. Appliqué the
center square onto the Ohio star. Piecing would be a whole 'nother nightmare, in
my opinion. 3. On the 5 pointed and background part, I started with a background
piece, then worked my way around overlaying and alternating the star points with
the background. Finished with a star point, and appliquéd down the last edge
onto the beginning background piece. 4. Make your background bigger than it
needs to be when you are paper piecing it, to leave yourself room to size it up
when it's finished. 5. Appliqué or Reverse Appliqué the center pentagon into the
5-pointed star points. 6. If you want your block to look like the one in Jane's
quilt, turn Brenda's diagram around 180 degrees. 7. Start this block in the
morning, not evening, and scream when you need to. MY OWN PERSONAL CHALLENGE TO
EACH OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT YET DONE THIS BLOCK -- It took me approximately 7 hrs
to do this block from start to finish. I dare any of you to do it faster than
that! - KSH
Construction tip #4: I foundation pieced the center star in 4
parts. Don't breathe heavy or you can blow away the tiny little foundations. I
looked for THIN yellow repro fabric and paid very close attention to trimming
and grading my seams. I used a very short stitch length (1.0) and thin thread
(called bobbin thread? by machine embroiderers). It turned out fairly accurate
considering that the pieces are not that many threads wide. The center star took
me a very concentrated and patient hour. It was very nice to have it finished. -
Cathy Brown, Redlands California
Constructions tip #5: Seriously, the first one, I had trouble
with it that I can now see was caused because the fabric was thicker...the
second one was done in a nice hand-paint fabric that is thinner than normal
quilter's cottons. Less bulk made it much simpler. I paper pieced the entire
block. The center is tedious -- the smallest section was 1" x 1/4" -- a flying
geese unit with a tiny square on each side. Two pieces like this. Then a band
for the center, a "larger" square and two more flying geese. Use a pin to line
up the seams, but just insert it into the intersection of the seams...don't put
it in and out like we normally do with straight pins. Then once the center is
pieced, you can frame the center star and trim to size using tracing or freezer
paper as a guide. After that, paper piece the 5-point star in 3 units...voila! -
Construction tip #6: Once I got the center star done, I thought
the rest was pretty easy. I used paper piecing for the tiny star point of center
star and sweated through getting it all together. Then I used Tilde's method of
adding wide sashing on all four sides of center. I cut out freezer paper
finished size of pentagon shape and ironed onto star. Then cut 1/4" seam
allowance all around. Looking at your book, number each big star point starting
at the top with #1 and going clockwise around to #5 on the left side. I drew out
the whole block on freezer paper and cut segments. Segment #1 is point #1 with
the two background pieces on either side. Segment #2 is just point #2, all by
itself. Segment #3 is point #3 with two background pieces on either side.
Segment #4 is point #4 with background piece to it's left which is the lower
left corner of the block. Segment #5 is just point #5, all by itself. Now paper
piece the segments that have more than one piece and cut out the #2 & #5 points.
Leave the freezer paper attached to each piece of segment and be sure to cut
accurate 1/4" seams around each piece. When the segments are ready, add point #2
& #5 in the proper place on the center pentagon. Now add segment #1 across the
upper part of block. Next add segment #4 in its place. Then segment #3 to finish
the block. With the paper attached it is really quite easy to get everything
lined up and in place. Marlene Royse in FL
G-7, Indianapolis, page 69
Tip #1: Before I started I changed the line drawing to make the
green rectangles in the corners a little shorter, leaving a long pointy
rectangle of background fabric in each corner. Some 99 Babies will want to stick
with Brenda's drawing, and others like to re-draw blocks when they notice
differences from the photos of Jane's. I hand pieced the curve of each of the
quarter circles to the four outer pieces first and then pieced the narrow strips
so I could join two quarter circle pieces to them, and then put the two halves
together. I pressed all the seams toward the narrow strips, which required
trimming a smidgen off my ¼ inch seam allowances. It turned out very nicely this
way. - Judy
Tip #2: Piecing and appliqué: I pieced the background square as
if the circle was not on top of it. I used freezer paper templates because the
rectangles measure 11/32" wide and my cutting ruler doesn't show that size.
Normally I can cut these squares or rectangles without a template using my
rotary rulers. You should probably make the outside pieces (that show white in
the book) a bit bigger with this method because the appliqué tends to shrink up
the background a bit. Then added little triangles on each corner- although I
didn't use as small a triangle as the pattern does. I pieced the circle with
plenty of extra around the outside edge so I could appliqué it down. I made a
freezer paper circle and ironed it on top of the pieced circle and trimmed away
the excess fabric. Then I just appliquéd it down over the background, lining up
everything like in the photo. Then I trimmed away the fabric from behind the
circle and trimmed the block to size. It turned out great. - Beth
Tip #3: I reduced this block by 95% in order to have plenty of
background around it. Then I cut the circle in one piece-ignoring the strips
cutting through it. I appliquéd the full circle to the background. Then I cut
the circle into 4 wedges. I marked where the little green pieces went and sewed
them into the strip pieces, sewed the strips onto the wedges, and the pieces all
together. The circle worked out perfect without doing it in 4 separate pieces. -
Tip #4: I came up with a method for this block where you
appliqué a round green circle to a square of the b/g fabric, cut it diagonally
from corner to corner into four triangles, then piece in the little center
strips: "How about partial appliqué and piecing? I appliquéd a 4-3/8" (finished,
i.e. outside edge turned under) circle onto a square of muslin. I then made two
diagonal cuts through the circle from corner to corner. You now have 4 "slices"
of the pie. Then strip piece the skinny bars in green and white. Sew a skinny
bar between two pie slices. Do it again. Sew these side units to the long skinny
center strip pieced bar. Cut to 5" square. Voila! - You're done!" Jayne
Tip #5: Create two blocks. First block: paper piece two color
diagonal strips to background fabric. Second block is a circular piece with
diagonal strips, but the circular edges are not used---just extend lines out to
edge of block now forming a square, with this new design, paper piece diagonal
strips with center square. Then cut out circular shape including seam allowance.
Appliqué this circular shape to the first block. --- Linda in TX
Tip #6: First drew the block in Quilt Pro and printed it twice
on freezer paper. Second I've appliquéd the 4 quarter pieces to the background.
Third I've pieced all the other pieces by hand with the freezer paper left on
the fabric. (used that for the first time too)! This way the block kept the
right size. - Ank from the Netherlands
Tip #7: First I redrafted so that those outside green strips
are a little shorter and added a background strip right into the corner to make
it look like Jane's (the drawing saves you that extra background strip but
you'll need to add corners at the end - you could make the corners bigger if you
like). To get to the sewing - I measured the cross strips (3/8" = 7/8" with seam
all) and cut to size. Piece these into 3 strips (2 with background, green,
background and 1 with the whole center strip joined with the little square in
the middle). Make templates of the 2 curved pieces, mark on fabric and cut with
EXTRA seam allowance on the straight edges, clip the inside curve, and join
matching centers and outside corners (hand might be easier if you prefer) Press
and trim straight edges to give exact 1/4" seam allowance. Sew each of the
shorter pieced strips to one side of 2 wedges, butting seams. Add another wedge
to the other side of the strips. Now you have 2 half moons. Join these to the
long central pieced strip. - Irene in Adelaide
Tip #8: I pieced four background triangles with connecting long
strips of a green leafy print to create the background block. Then I pieced four
quarter-circles of the green with four strips of white on white background and a
center green square to create the top circle. The top circle is appliquéd to the
background block. I also left off the white corners on the block. I can always
add them later, I suppose, but prefer the block without them. - Tisha in
G-8, Justin's Comet, page 69
Hand or machine piece: It's best to cut the outer square and
triangles a bit large and trim the block to size when completed.
Paper Piecing: trace the pattern from the book and add a seam
diagonally through the four corner squares and vertically through the top and
bottom triangles and horizontally through the side triangles. Paper piece the 3
pieces for each 1/8 of the block and press seams open as you join them together.
G-9, Mary's Journey, page 70
Center is done like H-13 Farm Fields only smaller. Make 4 geese units and 4
half-square triangles. Assemble per the picture.
G-10, Woven Meadow, page 70
Work in strips. It's easier than it looks. Replace the triangles at the end
of each row with squares and trim the block down when you are finished joining
all the rows together. Easy!
G-11, Decisions, Decisions, page 72
Machine piecing instructions: this is a good block for rotary
cutting! >>From focus fabric, cut: 1) 2-1/2" square 4) 1-3/4" squares >>From
background, cut: 4) 1-3/4" x 2-1/2" rectangles Machine piece with a scant 1/4"
seam allowance. Finger press seams toward print fabric. Sew three horizontal
"rows," then sew the rows into a block.
To appliqué the diamonds: to make it easier to "control" these
tiny pieces, I trim the seam allowance to just a bit more than 1/8", and "round"
the ends at the diamond points. I use a bit of fabric glue stick to press the
seam allowance under on 2 opposite sides. Run the edge of the glue stick along
the back side of the seam allowance, then press it under, using the FP as your
guide. Also, use a dab of glue stick to hold the FP/piece in place as you start
to stitch. Starting at one of the "outside" angles, stitch towards one of the
pointed ends. Stitch to the end, then use the point of the needle or a toothpick
to push the extra fabric under the point. Take several extra stitches to hold
the end tight. For accurate positioning of the diamonds, you can trace one of
the side rectangles & the diamond in it, onto a piece of clear plastic. Use this
transparency to position the diamond. Or, you can cut the diamond shape out of
your FP template, and center the FP under this "window template". Use thread
that matches your focus fabric, or a neutral that will blend with it.
G-12, Gloriae, page 72
Appliqué. To control the center, lay freezer paper shiny side up on the back
of the appliqué piece, baste the paper to the fabric, and iron over the edge. Or
machine appliqué using faced or fusible techniques. Add the border and snowball
G-13, Molly's Muffins, page 73
Make a 9-patch then appliqué the center.