Friday, 18 April 2014

Jack's Chain Pillow

I had a bit of time to sew this week. But before I show you on what I have worked on, I want to say thank you for all your great comments on my Amalgam and Stretched Shoo Fly quilts. I really appreciate it. Also, I wanted to say a special thanks to Agnes and Cinzia who took the time to review my pattern for the Stretched Shoo Fly quilt. I didn't mentioned it in my previous post and I wanted to apologize. Thanks to both of you for your constructive comments.

I wanted to make a pillow using leftovers from my Stretched Shoo Fly quilt still playing on the Modern Traditionalism theme. First, I had thought about the Super-Size Castle block (tutorial on Sew Mama Sew by Amy from Badskirt). But, my print scraps weren't big enough. Than, I thought that a ring would look great. I had seen a couple of pillow using the Single Girl pattern by Denyse Schmidt (for example here). I continued looking around on Pinterest thant I found this, a post on the Jack's Chain quilt block. I thought this was perfect. I could use my prints for the nine patches. And I chose a print from the Botanics collection from Carolyn Friedlander for the triangles. For the background, I used Essex yarn-dyed linen in black like in my quilt.

I finished my pillow top yesterday and I wanted to share a bit about the process.
Jack's Chain Pillow Block

It's one of the hardest block I've pieced so far. It involves a lot of Y-seams. They are much smaller than the one on my Tumble Block quilt, so it makes it a bit harder. After a few, I started to get the hang of it.  I find remarquable people who make whole quilt with this block. So much work go into it. It is amazing.

I found a tutorial of this traditional block on Quilter's Cache. I also found this tutorial by Kathy at Carpe Lanam, which had some great tips on how to make the block. Quilter's Cache provide some templates. But, I made mine because I wanted a bigger block for a 18" pillow cover and I needed only one ring. So, I figured out how I would assembled the background around it. Here is a sketch.


The squares for the nine patch are cut at 1.75". The triangles need to be cut from a 4" strip. An 18" long strip is enough to cut all six triangles.

The corner pieces and the hexagon can be cut out from a 16" square piece of the background fabric. First, I cut out the hexagon in the center, then I cut the corners pieces.

You can find my templates for those pieces here. It also includes a template for the triangles, to cut out their tips. This helps to align them when piecing the block.

The rectangles at the top and bottom, and each sides are 2.5" x 4.25". As I was using yarn-dyed fabric with different colors for the warp and weft, I took care of the direction in which I was cutting them. This was to have the grain-line in the same direction for all background pieces.

I assembled the ring as explained in the Quilter's Cache tutorial. Then I assembled four pieces like this with the background pieces for each side of the block. I pieced them one by one to the ring and then stitched the corner seams to join the four sides.

Here is how it looks from the back to give you a better idea of the piecing.
Jack's Chain Pillow Block

I'm happy with the results. The only think I regret is that I took all prints from my Stretched Shoo Fly quilt. I should have left out the lighter prints in the nine patches to have more contrast between the lighter and darker squares. I think I'm going to quilt both the front and the back panel of the pillow. I'll share it with you once I'm done.

1 comment:

  1. when I frist saw the picture I thought you were making a quilt. Then i read that you are making a pillow and I can understand how difficult it is to work with such small Y seams! Great work Josee! I've never seen that block before.

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