Monday, October 28, 2013

Block 14 -Numbers

Block 14 in the Alphabet quilt is numbers! Who would have thought. I love them!

Mildred's Block

My Block

Block 14- Numbers
When the alphabet quilt club members were leaving Nancy’s house on the day they made the M or music block for the quilt they begged to know what the next letter N would stand for. Nancy chuckled, “Oh, a number of things,” said she.
They guessed words like nuts, narcissus, North Pole. One poor speller suggested Knives and then wondered why everyone hooted. She was gently led to the dictionary where she found that a knife begins with a K. but there had been sense in Nancy’s answer. “OH a number of things,” because the block held – numbers.
She chose this because it gave members a chance to use any kind or variety of fast colored material they might have on hand. Some chose solid colors for the letters, others used figured prints. One woman had a striped pattern for the 7 and a figured print for the 3.
First the block was cut from the paper. A 6 ½ inch square of white gingham was laid over this as it was held flat on the window pane.
With a sharp pointed lead pencil the outline of letter N and the figures was made.
Then the paper was pasted onto a light weight tag or cardboard. This was dried under pressure.
While it was drying the members embroidered the initial in the corner. To do this they used past color embroidery cotton in the same shade as had been used for all the other letters thus far embroidered on the quilt.
Some women used a fine outline stitch while others made the letter effective with a close chain stitch. The work needs to be heavy in order to make the letter stand out well.
After the letter was done the patterns for the numbers were cut out. To do this the patterns were cut from the stiff square of paper. They were then laid on the cloth and this was cut with a quarter inch allowance on all sides.
This allowance was turned under and basted in place. Then the numbers were pressed. IN cutting and turning the curves of the number 3 it was found wise to make a few slits along the edges. In this way the edge could be turned under without stretching or making the material round and bulge.
After the letters had been pressed they were laid in place over the pencil outlines and basted in place.
The appliquéing was done with a fine, slanting invisible hemming stitch. Joan said that number 7 looked like a candy cane with striped of red and white going round it. That was because the number was made of a fine fast color red and white striped material.

Have fun! Download the pattern HERE .

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Block 13- Music

I love this one! Very creative I think.  Also very easy, which I like too!

Mildred's block

Yikes-I didn't press these very well did I?

Let's see what Nancy has to say this week.

Block 13- Music
Aunt Nancy was not sure that Joan would know what the letter M stood for. With radio and victrolas it is so easy to hear and absorb music and never get acquainted with music reading or writing.
But the youngster looked on with interest when Aunt Nancy went over to the piano and showed Joan how the sheet of printed music told her what to play or sing.
Some of the other club members who were making quilts for older children were delighted that Nancy had chosen music instead of mouse or muskrat for the letter M.
As they discussed the number of words which began with M they followed the usual procedure of work.
**instructions repeat here from making the cardboard template and tracing the pattern**
Once woman made hers of purple, another of green, and third chose a soft henna color. One member tried black but decided she did not like the striking contrast that resulted. There was no other black in the quilt and she believed that this would make too strong a note or notes of black. After the pattern was dry the body of the note was cut out. The two notes are exactly the same shape and size, so one pattern did for both.
In cutting the pieces an allowance of one-quarter inch was made on all around.
After the two notes were cut the edge was turned under one-quarter inch. This was basted and pressed.
The notes were pinned and basted in place on the white block. Then the pieces were appliquéd in fine, slanting invisible hemming stitch. The stems of the notes and the letter were embroidered in fast colored embroidery cotton.
For the stems of notes embroidery cotton of the same shade as the note was used. A fine outline stitch seemed best for the stems.
The letter M was embroidered in the same color of fast color cotton as had been used for the twelve previous letters. This of course depended upon the color chosen for the connecting strips

The finished block was laid aside to wait a later time when it would be joined to the “I” block which comes directly above it. Between the two of course, is the connecting band of white and colored gingham.

Can you guess what "N" will be?
Happy stitching until next time!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Block 12-The Lamp

Ahhhh....a nice easy one this week! I love this one too. I hope you do too. Enjoy.

Mildred's block

My block

Block 12- the Lamp        

When the lamp block was made the quilt club members had finished twelve, or just half, of the alphabet quilt blocks. Nancy had omitted X and Z. this gave her exactly 24 blocks for the child’s quilt. Joan thought that the quilt was a long time in the making, but Aunt Nancy explained that one block a week was all most mothers had time to make. Sometimes Nancy feared that Joan would wear out the finished blocks because she handled them so often and patted them and told stories about them.

The lamp which Nancy had chosen was like th round and chunky lamp which Joan had in her own bedroom. It had a familiar look to the child. She appreciated the lamp with bed-time stories and Aunt Nancy had to suspend all work on the quilt until she had taken Joan into her arms and told her a story about a wonderful lamp owned by a man named Aladdin.

When the story was done Joan ran away contentedly and Aunt Nancy started on the block.
She cut the newspaper square and also a square of white cloth. This soft white gingham was exactly one-quarter inch larger on all sides than the paper square. By placing the cloth on the paper pattern and holding the two of them flat against the window pane, Nancy was able to outline the letter and the lamp with a sharp pointed hard lead pencil.

When this was done she pasted the paper square onto a sheet of lightweight cardboard or tag board.
This was dried under pressure. Then when thoroughly dry the shade and base were cut from the paper.
These were laid on fast color cloth. Nancy used a small flower print for the shade. The base was of plain material. She chose the same shade of green as she was using for her connecting strips.

In cutting the cloth she allowed one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under. After turning the edges under, she basted and pressed them. Then she pinned them in place over the outlines on the square of white cloth. She basted them and then appliquéd them with fine slanting, invisible hemming stitches. The base went on first. Then the shade was appliquéd.

The chain was put in next. French knots made the chain and a small round in satin stitch the little ball at the end of the chain. She used yellow for this.

The letter “L” was next worked. Nancy had been using a fine outline stitch, although some of the members chose a close chain stitch. Whichever one is used must be close and heavy.

This completed the twelfth block. Now the members joined the L to A and E strip. The J was joined to  the B and F strip, the K to the C and G strip and the L to the D and H strip. They used the strip of color, 1 ½ inch by 6 ½ seamed between two white strips of equal size. This large strip was them seamed between two large white blocks with the appliqué figures on them.

No attempt was made to put in the long strips which extend in an unbroken line from top to bottom of the pieced part of the quilt. They were put in when the 24 blocks were completed  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Block 11- The King

Here we are up to block 11 already. This is a cute one . It does involve a little embroidery like Jack , but the next one is SUPER easy I promise!
Mildred's Block

My block

Block 11-The King
There was some question in the midst of all the quilt club members when they saw the eleventh block in the alphabet quilt. “Was this a king, or was it Humpty Dumpty himself?” Nancy pointed to the crown on his head and said “It’s the king himself, make obeisance to your ruler.” She told them that they were really quite unobserving since no egg had as round a face as this king. Joan wanted to know whether this was the king who counted out his money and she asked for the queen who ate bread and honey. Nancy told her the queen might come in to the picture later.
The newspaper square was cut from the paper. A square of soft, white gingham was cut one-quarter inch larger on all sides than paper square. The cloth was laid on top of the paper and the two were held flat against the window pane. With a sharp pointed, hard lead pencil the letter and the pattern was outlined.
Nancy did not draw the features of the face nor the diagonal lines on the ruff, since they would be covered up anyway by the appliquéd pieces of material. She planned to use the paper picture to show her where to put these stitches later.
The paper square was pasted onto a piece of lightweight cardboard or tag board and dried under pressure.
Nancy, who was using pale green soft gingham to join the various blocks, was also using pale green fast color embroidery cotton to outline the letter “K”.
She used a fine outline stitch, although some of the members chose a fine chain stitch instead. They felt it gave more solidity to the letter.
She chose brilliant yellow for the crown, pale lavender for the ruff and pale pink gingham for the face and ears. Of course these pieces were all of fast color, washable material.
She might have used a figured material for the ruff, but them the diagonal stitching would not have shown up plainly. It really needed she felt, that stitchery to give the effect of a ruff.
The paper square when thoroughly dry was used as a pattern. In cutting the pieces of cloth she allowed one-quarter inch extra on all sides for turning under. The ears were cut apart from the face. This gave her five pieces, a crown, a ruff, and face and two ears.
After turning under the edges, she basted them down and pressed the pieces. Then she laid them in place, pinning them, and later basting them. She put the ears on first then the crown, then the face and last the ruff.
The hair was worked in brown using a running stitch. The eye brows were in outline stitch n the same shade of brown. The nose and mouth were in pink embroidery cotton. She used a fine outline stitch.
He was a brave and gallant king when finished.

Have fun with the King! Click here to download the pattern.