Are you ready for Month Two of the Arrow Rock Sampler?
I have been beyond thrilled to see all the pictures you’ve posted in the FaceBook group. It’s always so exciting for me to see the color schemes you all come up with. It’s also a comfort to know my pattern works — haha!
I know some of you don’t like paper piecing — trust me, I don’t either — but sometimes it’s the easiest way to get the block to come out right, and I’m so proud of you for getting those Straight Arrow blocks done. There’s a reason I put those in Month One — I wanted to get the hard part out of the way early!
The Month 2 packets are going out today!
This month you’ll get instructions for two more sections. And I hate to break it to you, but there’s more paper piecing! But . . . I’ve also provided instructions for traditional piecing, so you can choose the method you prefer. And I will say up front: as much as I don’t like paper piecing, it still made these blocks easier and more accurate, so don’t count it out until you give it a try. It’s easier than the Straight Arrow blocks were!
Here are the sections we’ll be doing this month . . .
Block 4 is the traditional block called Santa Fe Trail. I included this block in our sampler because the Village of Arrow Rock was once a very popular stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Arrow Rock is now a certified site on the Lewis & Clark and Santa Fe Trails.
William Becknell opened the Santa Fe Trail from Franklin, Missouri, in 1821. The Santa Fe Trail was more of a commercial route than a cattle-moving trail. In its earliest days, travelers on the trail used packhorses to carry their goods. Then traders began using wagons on the trail to transport manufactured goods to Santa Fe to trade for horses, gold, and silver, among other things. There was a ferry river crossing at Arrow Rock.
In 1830, the starting point of the trail moved to Independence, Missouri, making the trail a distance of 780 miles, one of the longest commercial routes in pre-railroad times. Up until the mid 1840s, the trail was only used by about 80 wagons and 150 people each year. By the late 1860s, more than 5000 wagons used the trail each year.
Block 5 is the traditional Wagon Wheel block, because I’m sure there were many wagon wheels in Arrow Rock during the time of the Santa Fe Trail’s heyday. I also included this block because it’s a form of a Dresden Plate, and one of our Quilt Camp teachers, Candy Grisham, has taught the Dresden Plate class at Arrow Rock Quilt Camp several times. It’s always a hit, and the quilts that come out of her class are gorgeous!
Candy has written a book on her technique, called “Dresden Quilt Blocks Reimagined”, and this month I’m doing a give-away for a copy of Candy’s book:
All you have to do for a chance to win the book is leave a comment on this post. It’s open to anyone — you don’t have to be participating in the BOM to enter the drawing. But . . . if you are still on the fence about participating in the BOM, it’s not too late to join in! There are still a few Option 4 slots available (but not many); Options 1-3 are unlimited, so you can jump in any time. I’d love to have you! You can read about the options and get signed up HERE.
UPDATE: The winner of the book is Becky Collis! Thanks, everyone, for playing along!
Those of you who signed up for Option 4 are getting some extra goodies this month, but I’m also providing a little extra here on the blog this month for everyone. I’m giving you a little tutorial on an alternate way to make your Wagon Wheel block — especially if you don’t like hand appliqué.
I made one using rickrack trim, and it turned out really cute!
If you are participating in the Arrow Rock Sampler, the Wagon Wheel pattern with the templates is in your packet this month. If you aren’t participating in the BOM, you can use any Dresden Plate pattern that doesn’t have scalloped or pointed edges, and still do this. Here we go!
Cut out your center circle with the seam allowance added:
Position your rickrack trim along the edge. Imagine that there is a line running right down the middle of the piece of rickrack (which is where you’ll be stitching). Position that imaginary line along the 1/4″ seam line of the circle, and pin it in place.
Stitch along the imaginary line. Overlap the ends of the rickrack just a tidget.
Make your plate and do the same with the rickrack trim.
Once you have the rickrack sewn on, turn it under to the seam line and press it flat:
Position your plate on your background, and pin it in place:
To attach it, stitch just along the folded edge of the plate ON the rickrack trim — I used matching black thread so it doesn’t show — all the way around. And pay no nevermind to how dirty my sewing machine is!
At this point, you can trim the background fabric out from behind your plate if you want to, but it’s totally optional.
Then position the center circle on top of the plate and stitch it down in the same fashion.
That’s all there is to it!
Now you have a block that will finish at 16″. You can turn it into a pillow, a table mat, a wall hanging, or make a whole bunch and have a sweet quilt.
I hope you have fun with your Month 2 packets of the Arrow Rock Sampler, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
And keep posting your progress in the FaceBook group. I’m really enjoying the progress updates!