Wednesday, October 29, 2014

V is for Variable Star and W is for WCTU

Variable Star
I'm posting the V block so late in October that I thought I'd go ahead and post the W block for November now, too. 

The October block is a classic, Variable Star. This is a handy block to have in your repertoire. 

The November block is sentimental for me. It's a nod to my paternal grandmother. Before women could vote, they could express their political views with their quilts. Many of our favorite blocks have a political association: Log Cabin (for Abraham Lincoln), Tippecanoe, Old Rough & Ready, and Burgoyne Surrounded are just a few. WCTU is named for the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the longest existing, non-sectarian women's organization in the US. From the mid- nineteenth century, the Temperance movement was an important force in American life. One reason women's suffrage finally became a reality is that pro-temperance politicians thought women would vote for Prohibition -- which, in fact, they did. 

My grandmother was a lifetime member of the WCTU, and this block is dedicated to her. 

The pattern for Variable Star is here.

The pattern for WCTU is here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

U is for Underground Railroad

September's block is Underground Railroad. Only five more blocks to go after this in our Alphabetical Block of the Month series.

The theory that particular quilt patterns guided slaves on their journey on the Underground Railroad has been debunked. As charming as the idea is, it apparently was a fiction invented to gull a credulous historian and more rigorous research has shown that it simply isn't true. Nevertheless, I can imagine a traveler on the Underground Railroad being told something like, "Look for the fence with the blue and white quilt on it. The people who live there will give your a meal and a safe place to spend the night." It is pleasant to imagine that a quilt that gave physical warmth and comfort to family members gave spiritual and psychological comfort to people fleeing slavery.

The block we now call Underground Railroad has been known by several names. It's part of a block family I call "Road" or "Ladder" blocks. It's a nine-patch with a chain running through it, and there are a number of variations on this block. Jacob's Ladder and Contrary Wife are other blocks in this family that are part of our BOM series.

You can find the pattern for Underground Railroad here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

T is for Tile Puzzle

August's BOM is Tile Puzzle. This block is a bit fussy because the pieces are small. But accurate cutting, careful stitching and good pressing will yield a great block. 

You can find the pattern here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

S is for Spools

The Spools block is our July block. It's not difficult, but the small Spools units will reward your patience. If each spool is pieced carefully, the full block will go together easily and its size will be accurate.

As we hit the home stretch on our 26-month Block of the Month series, the Spools block -- along with the up-coming X and Z blocks -- are designed to help us use up small pieces of fabric we've used in other blocks along the way. This isn't simply thrifty; it will also help pull our final projects together. 

You can find the pattern for the Spools block here.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

R is for Rail Fence

The June block is our old friend, Rail Fence. It's not complicated, but the small pieces ask for precise cutting and piecing. 

You can find the pattern here

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Q is for Quartered Star

Quartered Star is an easy-peasy block, a variation on our old friend, Friendship Star.

This photo is very odd. The background fabric is a light, bright green. And, believe it or not, the striped fabric is yellow and white! Gremlins must have invaded my camera!

The pattern is here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

P is for Pennsylvania

Here is our April block of the month, Pennsylvania

This is an easy block, but, like all quilt blocks, it will reward your careful cutting, stitching and pressing. 

You may view the pattern for the block here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

O is for Octagon and Twist

Here is the March Block of the Month, Octagon and Twist. 

This block would look great in a larger quilt. The blocks "link" together to form an interesting lattice pattern. 

The "Twist" unit uses the partial seam method we used in the E block. The "Octagon" patches are large enough to fussy-cut a motif in your fabric if you like. This block is interesting and fun, but not difficult.

We'll see if Yahoo! will let me upload the file to the group site. Otherwise, you can get the pattern here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

N is for New York Star

Here is the February Block of the Month, N is for New York Star. 

I'm sure the original designer, many decades ago, intended this block to be red, white and blue. Wouldn't a red, white and blue version make a good Quilt of Valor block? 

But I'm using brights for my BOMs, so you see my interpretation of the block in the photo here. 

For those who want to download the pattern from the Yahoo! Group, my apologies. But I have been unable to access Yahoo! Groups for the last several days. I'll keep on trying. 
Click here to download the New York Star block pattern.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

M is for Monkey Wrench

I have been presenting an Alphabetical Block of the Month for my on-line Yahoo Group, A Pocket Full of Mysteries. Yahoo recently made a number of changes to their Groups set-up, and numerous members are having trouble accessing the patterns there. 

So I'm going to try an experiment and post the "M" Block -- Monkey Wrench -- here. If this turns out to be easier for participants to use, I'll continue to post the rest of the blocks here. The earlier blocks will remain available on the group for current members. I'll make the earlier blocks available for sale on Craftsy or Etsy, and I'll announce that here when they're up and available.

Click here for the pattern for the Monkey Wrench block