There are few things that I love more than quilting. It’s a deep, rich love. I’m more than a little
obsessive passionate about it. I know that I will be quilting until I physically no longer can. I know that there will never be enough time to get all the ideas I have for quilts made, but a few of them MUST be crossed off my list.
Maybe you feel the same?
This is a quilt that I MUST make. Two years ago, I came across this quilt that left my mouth hanging open. It was just the top, having been left unfinished. I bought it, washed it, then immediately set to finishing it. It goes where I go. It’s gone to the east coast, it’s gone to the west coast. It’s been to cold football games, picnics, camping and long car rides. When I’m in a hotel, I put it on top of the bed. I love that quilt. When it’s not traveling it stays on my sofa in a constant state of frumpiness and use.
The Priscilla quilt block is named after Priscilla from the Bible. You can read more about her and her husband if you are interested here.
I’ve wanted to recreate this quilt since I bought it, but it’s all hand pieced and appears…..complicated (one of the reasons I love it so much). So I don’t think it’s a quilt I could make. It would take too long. My skills are not up to par. I have lots of excuses.
I started thinking, why can’t I recreate that quilt? So I got out of my own way and figured it out.
Meet the Modern Priscilla quilt block
It looks just like the old Priscilla block, right? It was just too perfect to change. EXCEPT the way it’s put together. That’s the ‘modern’ part! It uses foundation paper piecing.
Now don’t let that funky Y throw you off or make you go running and screaming for the hills. This is a quilt to cross off the bucket list. This is an EPIC quilt! I’ve made it super easy and I’m going to walk you through it step by step.
I’ve never sewn a Y seam in my life and I put this block together the first time I tried. The Y is just slight, so it’s no worries. You can do this!
Pattern & Printing
Print it out. In your print dialogue page, be sure that you are printing actual size. UNCHECK any boxes that say “fit to page” or “crop to fit”. Double check to see if you printed correctly by measuring your B or C section, the outside corner to the point should measure 7.5″. I just purchased a new PC and printing out was a little differently than the old print dialogue page. So on a new PC (2017), on the printer dialogue page you will go to ‘More Settings’, then ‘paper size’ then change that to ‘edge to edge 8.5×11″.
How to Paper Piece
If you know how to paper piece, then feel free to skip to the Y seam instructions below. If you don’t know, then get ready to have your mind blown by how accurate your piecing can be.
- Cut sections from paper. Don’t get too exact or as you can see from my cutting, not exact at all. You will trim it up later.
- Perforate paper pieces. Remove your thread from your needle and sew on all the lines in between the pieces. You don’t need to sew edges, just the in between lines where the fabrics meet. This will make it INCREDIBLY easier to tear and remove when you are done.
- Cut fabrics larger than outside edges of the paper pieces. You don’t need to cut exact sizes. Mine are always crudely cut and much bigger. It’s better to cut bigger and give yourself plenty of room than to have a section done and not have enough fabric when you trim up. Figure out which fabric is going to go where. This pattern is not difficult to remember, but if you are ever working one with many different sections and pieces, write which fabric goes where directly on the paper.
- Make each section separately. Each section is lettered and each piece within each section is numbered. So for Section A, pick up your fabric for A1 and lay your paper piece directly on top of the wrong side of the fabric. You can pin or glue it if you prefer to keep it from moving (I never do), but if it’s your first time paper piecing I’d recommend it. Note that only on the first piece of each section will you ever have your fabric face down.
- Fold your paper on the line between sections A1 andA2 (this should be easy if you perforated). Place your A2 fabric, face up, behind your A1 fabric, but align it with the A2 paper piece. You want to make sure that your A2 paper piece is completely inside of the A2 fabric piece. This might be where you would put your pin or glue.
- Cut 1/4 from the fold. This will make your seam allowance.
- Pick up all three pieces without moving them to your sewing machine and unfold the paper. You will sew directly on the paper on the line between A1 and A2. Note: I like to on the seam allowance as well and back stitch at the beginning and end. I feel like it makes my paper pieces sturdier.
- This picture shows you how it will look from the top.
- This picture shows you how it will look from the back.
- Open your pieces and press on the fabric side.
- Repeat steps 4-10 to sew piece A3 to A2.
- Your section should look like picture 13.
- On a cutting mat, with your paper side face up, you will cut on the outside lines. NOT the boldest line, but the one that moves all the way around your paper piece section. You will note some notches on the corner, be sure to cut on the lines. Those notches will make piecing the sections together easier.
- Pictures 17 & 18 shows what your section will look like on both sides.
- Repeat steps 4-13 for sections B & C.
Carefully, remove your papers. I like to hold the seam between my thumb and finger so not to pull on my stitches.
You should have something that looks like this.
The Easiest Y seam
Before doing any sewing, take all three sections to your ironing board and press open all your seams. These seams will be your guide.
Lay the middle on top of one of the corners and line up the seams just for the middle. Sew between the seam allowances 1/4″ from edge. Note: I found back stitching at the beginning and end of this line to make things much sturdier when making the Y.
After making many of these blocks, I found that if I just caught that seam allowance in one single stitch at the beginning and end of my stitch line it would make things neater and stronger.
Now match your corners and sew, stopping before you get to the seam allowance and back stitch just as you did with the middle part. Repeat this step for the other side, but flip your piece over so that you are starting with the corner and sewing towards the middle.
Open it up and press away from the center section.
Repeat for the opposite side. Always lay your center on top of your corners, it makes it easier for you to match your seams.
I hope that you are as thrilled with this block as I am. I am just in love. Lots of squealing, especially on the blocks with the fussy cuts.
I am probably going to have to throw in some low volume fabrics to some of my future blocks and spread out my Wonderland fabrics a bit. I’ve made about 9 blocks and they are fading fast.
I have no thoughts yet on the size quilt I’m after with this one. Right now I’m quite content just making blocks.