Monday, April 13, 2020

Hand Pieced QAL - Penelope

Having fun hand piecing?  It's time to get started on our 4th block - Penelope.

Penelope will build on the skills from our previous blocks  (Evelyn, Jane, and Louisa ) and introduce a new skill of partial seams.  (See the partial seams tutorial post.)

I really enjoyed piecing Penelope and hope you will too!

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 different kinds of units to be cut  for our Penelope block.   You'll likely be a pro using templates now but 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.

Probably the trickiest part of this block is figuring out which seam to sew first!  Hint, its the long bias seam - the one you need to create a diamond ring like shape.   You'll make 4 of these.

With your 4 units sewn, position them around the center square.    (I am using my wonderful wool pressing mat to keep everything organized.)

The first set of seams you will sew is the seam that connects each of these units to the cetner square,  making sure to start and stop your seams 1/4'' from the edge! 

Attach all 4 units to the center.  Once that is complete, you are ready to sew the seam that connects each of these corner units.  Pin carefully and sew a seam between two corner units, starting from the center and working out to the edge.

Repeat until all 4 corners are attached.

While I recommend you first attach each of the 4 corners to the center square, before joining any together, my photo (below right) will demonstrate that I didn't take that step for the final corner.  However, once attaching that final corner, my steps were the same.  It was first sewn to the center square.  Then corners were pinned together and the seam was sewn from the center to the edge.

Enjoy your newly completed block!

The link-up for Penelope (or any blocks you make this week) will open on Thursday, April 16.  If you share on IG, please tag your photo with #bookclubqal and #handpiecedqal.

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

The Book behind the Block

You may not remember the specific character Penelope from The Shell Seekers but chances are you've read at least one of Rosamunde Pilcher's books.  The Shell Seekers is a painting by Penelope's father.  Penelope's children become aware of the painting's value and offer strong opinion to their mom on what she should do with the painting and, to Penelope's annoyance, strong opinions on what she should do for the rest of her life.  Penelope just doesn't agree with what her kids have to say!  Sound familiar?

We choose to name this block Penelope because each of the corner units give you the opportunity to offer two contrasting fabrics representing two contrasting views of ones future - what you want to do and what others want you to do.

Please stop by Kristin's blog to check out her version of Louisa!

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

Have a wonderful day! Patty


  1. Thanks for all the great tips! I thought Penelope went together really nicely! Getting started on Cathy this week.

  2. I sewed ahead ☺ Thanks for the tips on the order in which to sew seams. I had no troubles. I even sewed the next two blocks. Now taking a break before tackling the curves. I might wait for the tutorials for those blocks.


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