Book Club QAL: Penelope Block

Book Club QAL: Penelope Block
Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

The fourth block in the Book Club Hand Pieced Quilt Along is called Penelope.

The character of Penelope comes from The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. Penelope is an avid gardener and this block reminds me of a flower. Patty has a different reason for naming this block Penelope.

Haven’t grabbed a copy of the pattern yet?

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Block Construction

You are definitely going to want to use the templates to cut those corner units! (Check out this post for more info on templates.)

This block has a slightly unusual construction, and I’ve created a video that completely walks you through it.

If you’d rather follow pictures, then here you go! As always, mark your 1/4″ seam allowances on the wrong side of your pieces after cutting them out.

Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

Lay your pieces out and stitch the corner “gemstone” pieces together. It’s easy to get them turned around–so lay the whole block out to be sure you are stitching on the correct seam. (Ask me how I know…)

Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

Next, stitch the gemstone units to the center square as shown.

Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

Next, repeat on the opposite side–stitching the gemstone units to the center square. Because the seam allowances aren’t stitched down on the first gemstone units, it’s no problem to sew this seam.

Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

This is looking kind of funny–each of the corner units are sewn to the center square, but not to each other. That’s the next step. Simply sew the seams between the gemstone units. Again, because the seam allowances are free–you will have no problem sewing those seams.

Book Club: Hand Pieced Quilt Along

That’s it! We’ve got a more traditional partial seam construction next week with the Cathy block and will revisit this technique with the Jo block.

The Book Behind the Block

Rosamunde Pilcher is one of my all-time favorite authors. She creates characters that stay with you for life and writes life and domesticity in a way that I find so inspiring. The houses in her books are almost like characters themselves. The Shell Seekers is one of those epic stories where you follow a character all through their life, switching back and forth between the past and present. Penelope grows up in Cornwall with some unconventional parents and feels drawn to returning there in her old age. Let’s just say that her grown children don’t agree with her decision.

Don’t forget to check out Patty’s Penelope block over on the Elm Street Quilts blog.

Looking for the Book Club: A Hand Pieced QAL pattern?


Check out the whole Hand Piecing Basics video playlist on YouTube.

Patty has many written tutorials from the original Hand Pieced QAL.


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