Dear Jane quilt block 1: JAS-A01

Today I start a new “epic” quilt.

I finished Farmer’s wife quilt sampler a few months back and I liked it so much that here I am again starting another quilt. FWQS took me almost 3 years to make on and off and Dear Jane looks like it is a harder quilt so who knows. I’ll just take it a block at a time.

I’m making this quilt using foundation piecing mostly. Susan Gatewood generously has made all the blocks available for paper piecing.

I think paper piecing is the way to go with such complex and small blocks.

I started with block number 1: JAS-A01.

According to Susan this block is rated “Easy” and easy it is but also time consuming. I has 32 pieces.

I’m hoping that as I get better at paper piecing I will be able to piece blocks more quickly than this one. I didn’t time how long it took but it must have taken no less than 3 hours.

I’m happy with the result though the top corners are not matching. With paper piecing is easier to piece more accurately particularly if using smaller pieces.

The only drawback is fabric waste. Please leave a comment if you know how to reduce fabric waste when paper piecing.

If you’re making this quilt and you have any advice to offer feel free to post a comment.

Making the block

I printed the page making sure that I was printed at 100%. This is important because I have found that not all printers print accurately.

Then I cut all the pieces as per photo below.

Next step is folding along the seam line.

Then cut a piece of fabric that covers triangle A1 plus at least over 1/4 inch all the way around. Place over the piece to cover and pin. Note that the piece of fabric is pinned to the back of the paper.

Now this is when the previous fold becomes handy. Fold the piece back as per picture and trim the fabric leaving 1/4 inch allowance. See photo below.

Now, with right sides facing together, place the next piece of fabric. Align both pieces well at the edges.

Stitch from the front including through the seam allowances.

Do all pieces in the same way and then place them as per pattern and stitch in twos.

Make the inside square and then attach the corners. Use the pattern as a guide.

And the block is done. My block is 5 in square.

Sweet Christmas tray cover

This is a tutorial for a pot holder or tray cover.

Materials

  • White linen fabric
  • Variegated embroidery floss for the lettering
  • Embroidery floss in pastel colours
  • Bias tape. Mine is homemade and is 1 7/8 in wide

Embroidery pattern

I used one of the 300 embroidery motifs in the last Aimee Ray’s last book: Doodle Stitching: The holiday motif collection. The words Sweet Christmas (pdf) are mine.
Embroidery stitch: stem stitch (watch video).

Measure your tray
All the measurements are for my tray. Yours will likely be different so you will have to measure it in the following way.
First measure the inside width and length.

The measurements of my tray are 12 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches for the base.

Cut a 13 in x 17 in rectangle from the linen fabric.

Trace the embroidery on the fabric.

Stitch using stem stitch and back stitch.

 

Trim the rectangle to the size of your tray base + 1/4 in.

 

Now cut the backing fabric using the embroidery piece as a measure and add 1 inch all around.

 

Use the backing piece to cut the batting roughly.

 

Pin the three pieces together and with the help of something round such as a bowl or a glass draw around each corner.

 

Quilt as desired. I used stipple quilting.

 

Then cut the round corners.

 

I made my own bias tape but you can use store bought bias tape. Make sure you measure all around your piece and cut enough tape to cover all sides plus 2 extra inches.

 

I will be stitching the bias tape by machine on both sides so I’ll start by pinning the bias tape on the backing side of the quilted piece.

 

You will need to use lots of pins for the corners.

 

Stitch all around and turn over.

Now pin the binding to the right side.

 

Use your machine to finish.

 

Done!

 

This binding method can look very neat.

Hardest blocks – Farmer’s wife quilt sampler

The most difficult thing about Farmer’s wife sampler is the number of blocks rather than block complexity. Most blocks are quite straight forward to cut and assemble. Having said that, there’s one block that stood up for me and that was Homemaker. For some reason I just couldn’t make this block work.

Homemaker

I must say that I’m not the most experienced quilter in the world and up until this project I had only made a handful of easy quilts.

This block gave me such a hard time that it deserves the first place and almost only place.

I had to press this block into submission. I made it twice. I even considered not using the block at all.

Somehow the sewing instructions didn’t help much.

The second time I changed the way I put all the pieces together and the result was better but far from right.

Still I had to add an extra bit of fabric to it and press the block really hard.

All the other blocks were more or less fine to assemble. The only difficulty was having enough patience to sit through cutting the many pieces and then stitching them together.

Here the rest of the hardest blocks for me. Which blocks did you find the hardest to make?

Four Winds

Very time consuming block. I think the choice of fabric wasn’t the best. It lacks contrast. With a better choice of fabrics this could have been one of my favourite blocks.

Spider legs

This one took forever! Perhaps it felt longer because I was almost done with all blocks and it was the last hurdle so to speak.

Star Gardener

Nice easy block but too time consuming.

Shooting star

I had to add a small strip to one side of this block. Somehow I’m not able to sew triangles with funny angles.

Country Path

Garden Path

One of my favourites too.

More information about how I am making this quilt.