Thursday 23 February 2012

Pippi Longstocking Joins Bee Blessed!

I told you the March block for Bee Blessed was going to be a fun one!

12.5" x 12.5" unfinished
I'm sure you've seen this 'pieced lady' block around blogland. In fact, a few of my Brit Bee gals made some of these blocks to put in our Project 51 quilt for Terri.

You can have a lot of creative fun with this design. I went for a daring red head with stripey legs, hence the name Pippi Longstocking.

If you would like to have a go at this block and donate it to Bee Blessed, then here is the tutorial:

Mostly scraps!
20 x 2.5" squares for the border
White cotton for the background

Assume 1/4" seams throughout.

There is an element of improv piecing with this block, so for those of you who are comfortable with this method, please feel free to ditch this tute and go with the flow.  All I ask is that you make the centre space 8" finished, bordered with 2" finished squares (20), leaving you with a 12.5" unfinished square block.

For those of you less at ease with improv piecing let me take you through this step by step.

1. Take a strip of white fabric, approx. 3.5" x 10" and lay a smaller piece on top.  This will be the skirt.

2. Cut off the excess top and bottom.  Then cut out the skirt shape, through both layers of fabric. 

3. Remove the unwanted skirt fabric and underneath white fabric, and sew these 3 pieces together into one long strip. Trim the long edges to straighten the strip.

4. Next the arms.  For these you will need a strip of fabric 5" x 1" and 2 x 1" squares for the hands.  You will also need 2 strips of white fabric, 1" x 3".  Join the pieces together to form one long strip.

5. Join the 2 strips together.

6. Next the legs!  Take another strip of white fabric similar size to the last one.  Choose your 'legs' fabric and sew a 1" strip of fabric along the bottom of it.  This will eventually form the feet.

7. Lay this fabric on top of the white background and cut out the legs as you did with the skirt, cutting through all layers of fabric.  The legs should be at least 1" wide as this will be only 0.5" finished!  The first set of legs I did ended up way too skinny!

8. Again, straighten the long edges of the 'legs' strip before sewing this to the 'skirt' strip. (Don't worry about the strips not being the same length.  We will be trimming the centre piece down at the end, just make sure it is more than 9" at this stage.)

9. Now for the head section.  First take a piece of fabric that will eventually form the hair, approx. 2.5" x 5". Then place a 2.5" square of 'head' fabric in the middle of the hair fabric.  As before, cut the head shape through all layers, and remove the unwanted sections.

10.  Sew the sections together.  Add one more piece of 'hair' to the top of the head.

11.  Lay a piece of white fabric underneath the hair/head piece and cut out the shape of the hair, through all layers of fabric. 

12. Remove the unwanted bits of fabric and sew the background pieces to the hair/head section.  Straighten up the edges of this strip as before.  Finally sew the strip onto the arms/legs piece.

13.  Trim this piece to 8.5" square.
14. Sew 4 of the 2.5" border squares together, iron and attach to one side of the centre piece.  Repeat for the other side.

15. Now sew the remaining 2 sets of 6 squares, press, and attach then to the top and bottom edges.  Press the seams away from the centre and square off to 12.5".

Sorry for the long-winded tutorial, but really you just want to have fun with this block.  Your girl can be anything you like, as long as the centre piece ends up 8.5" unfinished and the outer borders are made up of 2.5" squares, then anything goes (please keep the background white).

There are more examples on FLickr, but I can't seem to access it at the moment, so no links, sorry.

Looking forward to seeing your creations!


  1. Ahhhhh layer them then cut! Fantastic tute jude :-) Will add it to the "to do" list...

  2. That is a very cute block, I am going to make one or two for you.

  3. Oh I can't wait! Great choice and thanks for the tute x

  4. This is a lovely little girl! I love pippi

  5. You make it look so easy Judith! Might have to try and send you a wee Scottish girl in tartan!

  6. oooh, this looks like fun: will get one of these done for you!

  7. I just made you one of these - can you let me know where to send it please x

  8. Have finally had some time to spend wandering through your blog. What an inspiration! Still not sure if I've managed to follow your advice about direct replies via e-mail but I'll keep pressing the buttons to see if it magically happens lol!

  9. Great tutorial. I'm going to have a crack at this!

  10. very sweet little pippi, great tute too Judith!

  11. I love it!! You used fabulous colors and fabrics!!

  12. I see I'm late for class again ;-) thanku for the tute Jude, will give it a bash!

  13. Oh is that how it is done?....On to mine now. That is if you still need any more blocks

  14. Love this little lady! Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  15. What an awesome tutorial thank you so much.
    Patti xxx

  16. Thank you for such a fun tutorial! Can't wait to make one myself.

  17. just popped over from the link Sara shared yesterday, will have a go but this might be a bit difficult for me, and now I have another blog to follow!

  18. Morning Judith. I just love this crappy sewing. Have seen this idea before, but cannot remember where and forgotten it. Now that you have reminded me and given a wonderful tutorial, I am planning to make a small blanket with these wonderful stocking girls. :) ps. Thanks for the tutorial of the spray as I use it and keep getting stuck to my fabrics and not a pleasant experience lol. Now I know the correct way. Again thanks. Karen

  19. Our quilt guild did this. So much Fun! Thanks

  20. I just discovered this and I'm thrilled !! I've been looking for a tutorial on making children and yours is the best I've found, thanks so much.


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