I'm a little biased, but I think of alphabet blocks as a staple in my quilt pattern collection. Not only are they great for baby quilts (using the whole alphabet), but you can use any given pattern to make individual blocks again and again. Paper piecing templates are especially useful, because you can scale them up and down in size to accommodate all kinds of projects. Over the years I've made:
- pillow covers
- pencil cases
- mini quilts
… and last but not least, you can use them in combination with pretty much any other pattern to personalize a quilt (with the recipient's name, or even a wedding date/birth date if the pattern includes a set of numbers).
But what if this is your first adventure with quilting letters … where should you start? To help narrow the choices, this week I've put together a little choose-your-own-adventure to help you pick the right pattern.
Ribbon Letters is for you if you're a confident beginner. All traditional patchwork sewing, no paper piecing or templates required! The design of the blocks is also a great opportunity to play with colour: by choosing solids (or even prints) in different tones, you'll create a dimensional effect of folded ribbon.
If you love a classic look …
Try Blackletter. This is a paper piecing pattern that comes in Uppercase, Lowercase, and Numbers, all in a classic gothic/calligraphic lettering style. It's best if you have a little bit of foundation paper piecing experience, but I've also heard from lots of people who've had great success with it even as their first foray into FPP. In those cases my only suggestion would be to start with one of the simpler letters, like the “O” or uppercase “I”.
Blackletter Uppercase Quilt in Phosphor Electric fabrics by Libs Elliott
Blackletter Number Blocks in Tula Pink Designer Solids, on Rifle Paper Co. Moxie fabric background, from Cotton and Steel
For sports fans
… and anyone with grads or athletes in the family, might I suggest: the Varsity block pattern! This is also a paper piecing pattern, but with its chunkier shapes and very few diagonals, I would rate it as a lower difficulty level than the Blackletter set. I had a lot of fun getting inspired by all the different American sports logos and colour combos, and my hope is that it's versatile enough for anyone to pay tribute to their favorite team.
Questions about any of these patterns? Please use the contact form to get in touch, I'm here to help!