Monday, April 27, 2020

Hand Pieced QAL - Jo

Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our block #6 - Jo.

Jo will build on the skills from our prior blocks (Evelyn, JanePenelope, Louisa, and Cathy).  This partial seam will may feel a little different just because of the shapes you are dealing with but you can do it!

Take your time with those triangles - they might be the trickiest bit! Sewing the units around the center square will be a unique experience but one that is much easier to do when piecing by hand instead of piecing by machine.

Still need the pattern for Book Club for the Hand Pieced QAL - grab yours now!  Book Club is a 9 block sampler and two block setting to make either a wall hanging or a throw sized quilt.  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at - we'll be happy to help!

Tips & Tricks

There are just three basic shapes needed to make our Jo block.  The triangles and the center square can be cut with templates or your rotary cutter.  The trapezoid unit requires a template. (Check out the tutorial if you need some reminders.)  Make sure you mark all your stitching lines on the wrong side of the units.  This specialty ruler - The Perfect Piecer -  makes it easy marking sewing lines on angles.

The rotary cutting instructions (if applicable) for the units can be found in the bottom left corner of the pattern sheet.  Please consult the tutorials for Using Templates and for Marking Stitching Lines if you need some tips.

Once I get my pieces all cut and prepped, it can seem like a bit of a puzzle but placing the pieces down in block formation is key!   (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)

Each set of the 4 smaller triangles gets assembled together and then joined to the trapezoid shape to form the corner units.   Folding the trapezoid in half will help you align the center of the trapezoid to the 4 smaller triangle assembly.

Once all 4 corners are assembled, join two of them to opposite sides of the center square.  Stopping and starting all your seams a 1/4'' from the edge is the key to success!

Once all 4 are sewn to center square, carefully fold to sew seam between them - starting at the center and working towards the edge for the win!

Wasn't this a fun block?

The link-up for Jo (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, April 30.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

Make sure you go visit Kristen and see her Jo block!

The Book behind the Block

Our block Jo is named after Jo Marsh - one of the four Marsh sisters in Little Woman .

In the book, we watch the sisters grow and face various challenges.  Meg, the oldest, manages the household when her mother is away.   Jo is independent, stubborn, and working hard to keep her temper under control.  Beth is the peacemaker between the sisters - kind and sweet to the very end.  Amy, the youngest, is a bit vain and self centered.  She and Jo are at odds several times during the story.

The story is set during the Civil War and Jo works for her Aunt Marsh in order to help her mother (Marmee) make ends meet while their father is away supporting the soldiers.   As the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy unfold, it is their love for each other and their parents that keep them centered.  Our block celebrates these four sisters dancing around the center square.

Little Woman was written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868 - over 150 years ago!  There have been many movie adaptations but nothing beats the book itself!  Which of the Marsh sisters is your favorite?

Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing! 

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Jo is one of my lifelong favorite characters! Looking forward to stitching her this week!

  2. You make hand piecing look effortless! Very neat and precise!


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