Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Patchwork Alphabet

For Patchwork Quilters
Part 3

If you have scraps you want to use up, then this alphabet is for you. The example above is part of the label from my quilt To Be Continued.  It is made using bits of fabric left over from the blocks on the front of the quilt.

Since this is the third in a series there are only a few letters left to do. The following letters are made using squares, half-square triangles and quarter square triangles:

One more letter and the alphabet is complete.The letter V is unique. It is made using squares of 3 different sizes and using the connector corner technique.

The connector corner technique is simple. You place a small square in the corner of a large square or rectangle. You sew it on the diagonal. You trim off the corner leaving a 1/4" seam. You fold back the flap and press.

The square second from the bottom in the center column is made this way. So are the 2 triangles that finish the V.

If you remenber nothing else of these 3 posts, remember this: Visual consistency is the most important factor in creating an attractive alphabet. The letters should all look like they belong to the same alphabet.

Compare the 2 examples below.

The first one is made using letters from the alphabet that inspired me to try designing a patchwork alphabet. The second one uses letters from the alphabet I've just shown you. I prefer the second. I expect you do too. Because it is more consistent, it is easier to read and more pleasant to look at.

Whether you're designing a pieced alphabet, or just choosing one to use on a quilt, I hope you will remember how important consistency is.


  1. Keep telling us, Wayne. Accuracy, consistency, are words that sound like "discipline" to many ears, but this can be the difference between okay and excellent!

  2. Elsie

    You make a point a hadn't thought of. Visual consistency is not only the result of careful design but of careful sewing as well.