From Simple Blessings in Patchwork
By Jill Shaulis and Vicki Olsen
This is great project for quilters of any skill level (beginner to intermediate) to learn many piecing techniques as well as basic wool appliqué. This project also helps students who are unsure about making a scrappy project. They have two control fabrics and can get a taste of scrappy with the piecing of each block in a variety of prints.
This class is best run as a 10-month block-of-the-month (2 hours per class). Students will either complete the block in class or get enough of a start to feel confident in finishing at home. It’s extremely helpful if students have the cutting for each block done ahead of class time. The last class will be used for border construction—students should be confident enough in their skills by this point to prepare the flying geese units at home so class time can be used to figure out the measurements for and apply borders.
Class Supply List:
Required book: Simple Blessings in Patchwork
- 2 yards tan print for blocks, first border, and flying geese border
- 8–10 fat quarters in assorted green, blue, blue/black, red, gold, brown, black, and plum prints for blocks
- 6 ½˝ ´ 12˝ dark green wool for “Faith,” “Hope,” “Love,” and “Family”
- 4˝ ´ 9˝ brown wool for cross
- 2˝ ´ 4˝ gold wool for fish
- 5˝ ´ 9˝ brown wool for tree
- 4˝ ´ 6˝ green wool for leaves
- 4˝ ´ 6˝ cream wool for doves
- 3˝ square red wool for top heart
- 2˝ ´ 2 ½˝ red wool for middle heart
- 3 ½˝ square red wool for bottom heart
- 1 yard green print for flying geese border, outer border, and binding
- Fusible web
- Thread to stitch blocks
- Perle cotton to match wool appliqué
- Chenille needle #24
- Rotary cutting supplies
- Pencil, paper, and scissors for tracing and cutting wool templates
- Sewing machine in good working order
- Basic sewing supplies (seam ripper, pins, etc.)
Shop Opportunity! It works wonderfully to have students purchase the tan and green prints prior to the first class. Suggest that they purchase a fat quarter of three prints for the blocks (four prints for block 4) prior to each class. This allows them to have variety for their blocks and to add to their stash, and they won’t feel overwhelmed choosing so many fabrics at the onset of the first class. Also consider offering these products for sale:
- Mary Ellen’s Best Press
- Precision Trimmer 6 for squaring up hourglass blocks
- Bloc Loc flying geese rulers 1.5˝ ´ 3˝ and 1˝ ´ 2˝
- Bloc Loc half-square triangle rulers 1.5˝ ´ 1.5˝ and 3.5˝ ´ 3.5˝
Each student will need table space to stitch and cut, as well as access to an outlet for their sewing machine. There should also be a pressing station for students to share.
Instructions for Simple Blessings can be found on pp. 9–18.
Follow the order of blocks shown in the book or create an order that works for you. Block 1 is basic enough that students can cut it in class and still complete the block. This will be helpful for beginners. It’s very helpful if students can have the cutting done prior to class for the next sessions.
For the final class, the students should have the skills to create the flying geese sections at home. Have them piece the 9 pieced and appliquéd blocks together prior to the final class as well. Having these two things prepared at home will allow more class time to help them figure out the width and length to cut the inner tan borders to fit their quilt top and the flying geese borders. They will be happy to have you walk them through this method that takes into consideration their own personal sewing sizes. Use this class to help them learn how to measure their future projects for great success!