Little House on the Prairie Sew Along; Pet and Patty

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Pet and Patty Block
Lily has just finished sewing block 4 of the sew along; the second block for the second book in the series, Little House on the Prairie. She is now moving on to Farmer Boy but we reserve the right to add a block from any book we feel like at the end if we decide that we need another block or two!

Lily really loves horses so she wanted to make Pet and Patty, the Ingalls’ horses.  I found this horse as a part of a block called Winner’s Circle in the book 5,500 Quilt Block Designs.  I adapted it to remove the outer borders and enlarged it to a 14″ finished block.  I would normally paper piece a block like this but decided to use templates to make it more like what Lily expects.  When you are cutting your fabric from the templates, please look at the block layout diagram so that you orient your templates properly.  This means that the letter on the pattern piece will not always be right side up, sometimes to the side, etc.  Look at the diagram for placement.  Cut with your fabric right side up and templates right side up.

Pet and Patty Block

You will need a horse color, a mane/tail color and background color.  I loved Lily’s choices for the horse body and mane.  When we were looking for a background fabric as soon as she saw the birds, I knew there would be no changing her mind. I think it makes it a little busy with the tail but I can see how an 8 year old girl would fall for the bird print.  It’s awfully sweet!

Pet and Patty Block

I was worried that it would be hard to sew this block with Lily but it went together really smoothly after I precut all the pieces for her.  We talked about, “which piece do you think goes next?” so she understood how the block was being constructed.

You can download the templates and block layout diagram here.

Thanks for sewing along!  I started a Flickr group if you would like to add your blocks there.  If you post them on Instagram make sure you tag me so I see!  I am @duringquiettime.

 

Little House on the Prairie Sew Along; Mary’s Nine Patch

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Mary's Nine Patch

Well, Lily just finished reading the second book in the series, Little House on the Prairie. While she was reading, she took great interest in the fact that Mary was busily working on a Nine Patch quilt. She asked what a Nine Patch looked like and decided to make one and name this block, Mary’s Nine Patch. Laura worked on a Nine Patch in the story too but not as diligently as Mary so we agreed that it should be named after just Mary.

Mary's Nine Patch

This is a great beginner block which makes it perfect for this sew along. I asked Lily to choose two small scale prints, one that was darker and one that was lighter. We cut the nine patch squares 2 1/2″ each and assembled them first. Then we added two 2 1/2″ borders to bring it up to 14 1/2″ unfinished like the other blocks.

Lily sewing

We chose subtle borders so that the nine patch is really the focus. It will also help balance the quilt if some of the blocks are busier.

Lily has her heart set on also making a horse block for this quilt. That one is going to be a bit trickier and will require more patience from mommy. We’ll be back with that one next. Meanwhile, I am trying to get a bit of my own sewing done here and there. I am working on a project with Indelible for Art Gallery that I hope to share with you soon.

Little House on the Prairie Sew Along; Black Susan

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Lily and I were surprised to hear from so many Little House on the Prairie fans who might like to sew along with us this summer.  I made this little button for our sew along.  Feel free to share it if you would like and join us!

To recap, Lily is eight and I would love to share my fondness for the Little House series with her but she doesn’t normally like to read books that I suggest.  So, I bribed her a bit!  I told her that we would sew a block or two after each book and make her a quilt.  That sparked her interest.  She started out by reading the first book in the series, Little House in the Big Woods.  In that story, the Ingalls family lives in a log cabin in the Big Woods.  So, we made a log cabin block with 2 1/2″ strips resulting in a 14 1/2″ square.  Our original blog post is here.

Lily sewing

We are half way through reading the second book now. I am reading her a chapter here and there and she is reading to herself as well. But we decided to make a second block for Little House in the Big Woods before moving on.

Black Susan

Our block is Black Susan, the Ingalls’ family cat who was mentioned many times in the first book but the family had to leave her behind when they left the Big Woods. It’s a fairly simple block, like the log cabin, but introduces a couple of half square triangles. You can cut those out using traditional methods, or with a Sizzix die cutter if you have one. We used the diecutter because it gave Lily more independence. I rotary cut the other pieces.  Directions for making half square triangles are widely available so I am not including them here.

Black Susan layout

Here is a little cutting diagram for you.  First, assemble your HST units and trim them to 2 1/2″ square and 4 1/2″ square.  (No trimming is necessary if you are using die cut pieces.) Then, assemble the row with Black Susan’s ears.  Attach that strip to her head and then to her body; set aside.  Next sew the right hand column.  Join these two pieces to complete the cat.  We then added two 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strips of background fabric to either side of the block to bring it up to a 14 1/2″ square like our log cabin. The larger size blocks make them easier for kids to sew.  And, it will make for a larger quilt with fewer blocks which is more satisfying!

We will be back before too long with our first block from Little House on the Prairie. We already have a list of 6 ideas so there will likely be at least two blocks again.

Little House on the Prairie Sampler Project

Lily Sewing

When I was a little girl, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie series.  I absolutely loved it. I proceeded to watch the Little House series on tv when I was a little bit older and have reread the books several times.  I really think that my 8 year old, Lily, would love the series.  However, anytime my husband or I try to get the kids to read something we think they will like, they automatically do not want to read it.  So, I devised a spur of the moment plan for this summer that feels genius!  I think it might work but time will tell.  I told Lily that after each book she read, we could design and sew a quilt block that has something to do with the book and then make it into a quilt for her.  She jumped at the chance and quickly read the first book, Little House in the Big Woods.

Little House in the Big Woods Log Cabin Block

With a little help, she settled on the log cabin block for her first block. I told her the name of the block and she quickly saw how it related to the story since the Ingalls family lived in a little log cabin in the woods.  I thought it would be a good beginner block too.  She chose all of her own fabrics from my stash. She went with meadow flowers for the center, greens for the woods and grasses, and blues for the water and sky.  I did the cutting and ironing but she did the sewing. I told her that she could do the ironing too next time.  Some of the blocks she will be able to cut with the Sizzix and therefore do even more of it on her own.

Sewing Speed

I wonder if any little girls out there would like to sew along with us?  I can’t promise how frequently we will post but I am going to try my best to encourage Lily to finish this project.  We might do a little of the reading together too.

I have a couple of tips to pass on.  If you have the option of reducing the speed of your machine, turning it way down low helps greatly with accuracy for beginners.

quarter inch seamIt also really helped Lily to have a washi tape guide to help her keep to the 1/4″ seam, even with the 1/4″ presser foot.

Lily is reading Little House on the Prairie now and already thinking that she might want a horse for her next block but she isn’t far enough into the book to know for sure!

Edited to add:  This is just a traditional log cabin block.  Start by cutting a 2 1/2″ center square and build out with 2 1/2″ strips.  Finished block size is 14″ (unfinished is 14 1/2″).