Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Block--Secret Garden Block

Hi Everybody! Are you ready for your April block? This month, we are going to work on a Secret Garden block. Have you heard of these before? I hadn't until recently. I'm super excited to have you try this block.

I have been infatuated with Cathedral Window blocks for a while now, so I bought the book Cathedral Window Quilts by Lynne Edwards (click the book title to go to Amazon and see it). Wonderful book. Highly recommended. So, originally, I wanted you to help me with a Cathedral Window block, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work, since one needs to assemble four blocks at a time to make it. Then, I saw the Secret Garden block in the book and thought, "That's it! We can do that one! And I'll still get a little of the Cathedral Window experience!"

And "Secret Garden" seemed very apropos for April! How many of you loved the book, The Secret Garden (click the book title if you can't remember), when you were a kid? I did! I loved fantasizing about having a really cool old key that opened some secret gate to a beautiful garden. And I thought the message of healing and regeneration was pretty awesome.

When I get your blocks back, I'll butt them up against each other like this and blind stitch them together to make a quilt. :-) (I think. Who knows. Maybe I'll change my mind by then.)

Your packets will go out in tomorrow's mail. I'm sending each of you four 8" squares of white fabric that you'll sew, fold, and press to make the foundation blocks on the left. (You can do that step on the machine.) Then, I'd like you to contribute four 3 3/4" squares of red fabric that you'll tuck inside and then do the hand sewing to make the Secret Garden. (I sometimes find it helpful to cut mine just a little smaller than 3 3/4". They seem to fit in there better.) The block finishes at 3 3/4" square.

I know some of you can't or don't like to do hand sewing. In that case, if you would at least make the white foundations for me and send them back to me with four 3 3/4" squares of red fabrics, I will do the hand sewing. I enjoy that part, but I find making the white foundation tedious.

If you can hand sew, I'd love it if you'd at least give one of these a try. If you don't want to finish the rest, please just send the completed foundations back to me with your red squares, and I'll finish them up. If you want to sew all four, that would be terrific. But I don't want to ask too much!

Also, these blocks don't get any batting. The finished block is the front and back. So, the back of the block shows. You have to work fairly neatly on the back.

Don't worry. I'm sending detailed instructions with your fabrics. I'm really excited to see what you send back to me. Go wild with your reds. Pinks, reds, dark reds, orangey reds, peachy reds...the more the merrier! Currently, my blocks are boring, because all the reds are the same value. I need some variety here, ladies!

(Click here to head on over to my blog, if you want. I did a blog post about traveling with these babies. This is a GREAT travel project! Very compact. I love it!)

Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy the block!

Stephanie (AKA Mama Pea)


  1. Never made cathedral windows! I am looking forward to it!!

  2. Cool, Jackie! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. I've never done cathedral windows (or seen the secret garden block) either, and I'm looking forward to trying it out!

  4. I have done cathedral windows by hand, but never the secret garden block. Know I am going to enjoy!!

  5. I am so glad you are excited about it, everyone! I was nervous that you wouldn't like the handwork. Thanks!

  6. Fun! I've wanted to learn how to make these blocks for along time. Red variety is no problem here!

  7. I wish our blogs had a "thumbs up" button for your comments, like Facebook has! LOL. Loving variety!

  8. This Bee has been a wonderful learning experience. It is so fun to get a chance to try something new. And new to me are cathedral windows/secret gardens! Can't wait Stephanie!

  9. Beauty of work and your tutorials. I teach much.Could you put a translator on your blog? I understand English but sometimes I am missing words.Greetings from Spain.

  10. Hi Kitty. Thanks for your kind words. I don't know how to add a translator, but I'll check with my fellow bee members and see if we can get one added for you.

  11. I've always liked cathedral window blocks, but never done one. What an adventure this will be!

  12. Muchas Gracias por el traductor. Ahora sí puedo entender las palabras que me pierdo.
    Un saludo desde España!