Elsie’s Favorite Tutorial

This week I am providing a tutorial on how to sew Elsie’s Favorite from the book “the Farmer’s Wife Pony Club Sampler” as well as an update on the swap with pictures of what I have received so far.

I will be honest and tell you that this block is difficult. Elsie’s Favorite is of the most difficult blocks that I have ever made. But once figured out, becomes easy and a joy to make. Relatively speaking. I have had a Glorified Nine-Patch on my bucket list forever and learning to sew Elsie’s Favorite has taken the fear and intimidation out of the Glorified Nine-Patch for me. (insert link to Hannah’s quilt here).

  1. The first step is to transfer the pattern to either template plastic or heavy card stock (cereal or cracker boxes are perfect if you don’t have the others) and cut them out. Use sand paper or a nail file to smooth any uneven edges. Using my photo as a guide, mark the grainline on the template.

templates

2. Place the template on ironed fabric following the grain line (garment sewing techniques work beautifully while making this block) and using an old fashioned pencil (versus a flimsy mechanical one), carefully trace around your templates creating enough shapes for the block you are making.

template on fabric

3. Using a pair of sharp fabric scissors carefully cut out your shapes. I “watch” TV while doing mine, since I am making so many blocks of each.

4. Take a mushroom shaped piece and fold the arc in half to find the center. Do the same with one side of the center cross-like piece. Matching centers, pin the two pieces together around the arc. The ends should match, so you may need to ease the mushroom shaped piece arc in.

pinning centers

5. Set your machine to a very small stitch and using your slowest speed setting very carefully start to stitch the arc. Snip threads, flip the fabric over and finish sewing the other half of the arc. Be aware of your seam allowance. Make sure it’s a scant ¼” as your seam allowance will make all the difference in whether or not your block lies flat.

pin pin pin

6. Carefully press the fabric toward the mushroom. Follow steps 4 & 5 to sew the opposite mushroom on and then pieces 3 & 4. You should then have a center piece that looks like the one in the photos.

sewing opposing side mushrooms  four mushrooms sewn

7. The outside arcs. Take an arc and fold it in half vertically to find the center. Match centers and pin one half of the arc. From the center and removing pins as they reach your presser foot, stitch to the end of the mushroom piece and stop. Clip threads.

pinning first outer arc outer arc sewn

8. At this point there should be about ¾” tails. Place them right sides together and from the end of the mushroom piece, stitch to the end and clip threads. Open and finger press, making sure that the mushroom fabric didn’t get puckered in the process.

open ends

9. Flip the block and repeat with the other half of the arc. Press the seam allowances toward the curved arcs.

10. Sew the opposing side next following the above directions and then the final two sides.

opposing arcs sewn  all sewn needs squared up

11. Press the seam allowances carefully toward the outer arcs.

12. Using a square ruler with an 8 ½” grid, square up your block. I took a dry-erase marker and using the printable diagram from the CD, traced the center of the block onto my ruler to help me find the center of my block.

I finally had a chance this week to take photos of the blocks I’ve received thus far and would like to share them with you.

Group 1, 1930’s White on White 7:

30sWOW-7Group 2, 1930’s White/Off White 7

1930sWoW-7

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Blessings!
Melissa

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