Monday, October 5, 2015

Dear Jane Melissa's Cross

I recently began making Dear Jane blocks to follow along with the Fabadashery blog.  I thought it might expand my piecing horizons (eg. applique and paper piecing) but I find myself reverting back to my usual flip and sew techniques. This block is  B11 or Melissa's Cross and you can see Fabadashery's interpretation here. Oddly, the version in the actual antique quilt and the pattern in the Dear Jane book by Brenda Papadakis are different. This meant I went back to the drawing board, I mean graph paper, to draft my own version, shown above.

As usual I start with strip piecing. I should also mention that I began by making the block with 1 inch cut (1/2 inch finished) strips of background fabric, but this didn't leave enough room for the circular wedges. I then started over with 7/8 inch stips and a 7/8 inch square center. The large dark squares are cut from a 2.5 inch strip.

Then the three strip sets are sewn together.

Next, I made chalk lines one and 7/8 inch from the corners of the large blocks and aligned my strip of 7/8 inch background fabric to those marks. Then, just like a flip triangle, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam and ironed the flap back.

I sew and flip the four strips around the block. (The picture here shows the construction using one inch strips--but for my final version I used 7/8 inch strips.)

Next, I cut two 3.5 inch squares of the dot fabric--that I also used in the center square (following Faberdashery's three fabric version). I cut these on the diagonal to make 4 right triangles that I then attached to the light fabric stripping--covering up the pyramid fabric squares. At this point I trimmed away the fabric pile-up on the back of the block.

I had intended to cut a circle out of the block I had made and applique it to the background fabric, but realized that I might as well use Dale Fleming's six-minute circle. So I made a five inch square of double freezer paper and drew the circle on that. I demonstrate how to make these inset circles here and here and here.

The freezer paper  template is used to make the background circle which is laid over the pieced block and sewn along the crease in the fabric (using a zipper foot).  The excess background fabric is cut away. In the version sewn here, the flaps are still ironed outward which creates a less than lovely outer I will fix this by ironing the flaps to face inward.

Here is the finished Dad's Plaid (Dear Jane A7).

And here is a collection of four recently completed blocks.


  1. A lovely collection is developing. It is fascinating to see that we all revert to type with our stitching.

  2. I'll bet if Jane Stickle had known about sew and flip, she'd have been using the technique, too. 8)

  3. Clever girl to come up with the method for Melissa's Cross!!

  4. How clever. And so far, so good.