Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gimme a "J"

I have received a few messages about the December Facebook Quilt Block Swap Group block (which is the word JOY).  Most of these are from people who have never seen examples of letter quilts, or quilts inspired by Word Play.  Those that are interested (& it is perfectly OKay if you are not) mostly want directions for making the letters.

Pieced alphabet quilt patterns abound on the internet (just google it), can be found in all kinds of quilt books (your local library is bound to have at least one) & you can always embroider or machine embroider or foundation paper piece or applique if you prefer anyhow.

But because I keep getting asked (& because some of these questions were being asked by a person standing in my own kitchen) I went ahead & documented these specific directions for this letter J.  The reason I am limiting myself to J is it is better if the words are all a bit different & most people can manage an O on their own anyhow.  As for Y, you will see that it can be made of the same pieces more-or-less & shuffled around, as the J.  For those who saw the original JOY post, you will notice this is NOT the same J.  It is the same J as in the photo on the Facebook Group page, but that should not be taken as a direction to use this J; this is just the J we came up with that could easily be chain pieced (yes chain pieced, my student -let's call her mom- made nine blocks; not the correct number for swapping but we were just using up each chain; we are still swapping in sets of FIVE).

Begin with a 3.5" strip of the background fabric & a  1.5" strip of the letter fabric; in this case the background is purple & the letter is teal.  Stitch them together, press one way or the other (it does not matter) & cut into 4.5" segments.  This means they will be square.

Next, to make the little hook of the J, take a 1.75" square of letter fabric & sew it corner-to-corner in the lower left hand side opposite the other part of the J.  When you iron it back on itself, it will create a corner triangle.

For the base of the J we made flying geese.  The letter fabric piece was  4.5" by 2.5" & the two background squares were  2.5".  I include a link to flying geese directions, in this particular case I used the second method (Speed Piecing Method A), but you can make them anyway you like.  Or not.  There is no rule that says you need a flying goose in your J.

& finally here is the assembled J:

& here it is JOY.  Yes, it needs to be squared up & maybe bordered to make it neater, but you get the idea.  The Y is the same width for the stem (base?  what do you call that part of a Y?) with background fabric on either side, a flying goose to make up the bowl (again not sure what else to call that) & then a strip with a hooky-bit on each end & voila!

As for the O, well I forgot to write that down.  I can tell you it is the same width letter fabric (1.5" strip) as the other two & that's all I remember.

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