Friday, September 9, 2011

A Pieced Alphabet For You To Try

Some years ago, when I was new to quilting and all I cared about was pieced lettering, I saw a cross stitch alphabet framed on the wall of a quilt shop and I had an idea. What if I replaced the cross stitch X's with squares, could I make a pieced alphabet?

So I went home and tried. I couldn't remember all the details of all the cross stitch letters. But I could remember enough to start from scratch and design my own alphabet.

Since then I've learned I'm not the only person to have this idea. Quilters for at least the last 200 years have been making similar alphabets. Originally I named my version Checked, but now I call it Heritage.

Below, on the left and in color, are the letters for my version; on the right and in black, are various letters from several other versions of similar alphabets. You'll see that different quilters have different ideas of what a letter should look like.

There are three questions you need to ask about any pieced alphabet. Can I read it? Do all the letters look like they belong to the same alphabet? Can I sew it?

The best way to answer the first two questions is to try a few words and see what they look like.

If you want to try this alphabet, you'll find it is easy to sew. It's made entirely of squares and rectangles.

You can use the grid for sizing. If the grid squares are 1/2", the letters are 3 1/2" tall. If the squares are 3/4", the letters are 5 1/4" tall. If the squares are 1", the letters are 7" tall.

I think you should try it.

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