Stitching the Carousel Quilt Block

Julie is back on the blog today to walk you through stitching the Carousel Quilt Block. The Carousel Quilt Block Pattern can be used to make any basic square yoke dress quilt block just by altering the details. You can read about the Paper Doll Quilt Block series in this blog post and find the patterns and kits here. Here are Julie's tips on constructing this block...

Brenda Shade, designer of the Paper Doll quilt square series, used a tiny gingham for her version of this square yoke dress so using the Birdy fabric from Pink Hollybush means you can’t use the squares to help you smock the piece. If you have a pleater, you can pleat the fabric with half spaced rows and pull the pleats up to fit the bodice piece. I used 7 half spaced rows on my dress skirt. You can also pleat using the dot method, but a pleater is quicker, even on such a small piece and you can pleat several little dress pieces at the same time.

Pleating the fabric

On my sample square I used a contrast print fabric for the collar and cuffs, which were not embroidered. Using small running stitches the sleeves are gathered, from the marked pattern line to the seam allowance, to fit the armhole seam. Tie the gathering threads off.

Gathering the Cuff

The cuff edge is also gathered using a small running stitch, which is pulled up to fit the cuff piece. To attach the cuff, fold the cuff piece, wrong sides together, in half lengthwise and attach stitching through all three layers of fabric. It is not necessary to worry about the raw edges on the wrong side as these will be hidden once the dress is appliquéd to the quilt square.

Attaching the contrasting cufff

The collar pieces are sewn together with right sides facing. The edge that will be at the neck is left un-stitched. Carefully clip the curves before turning the collar to the right side and finger pressing.

Once the dress is finished and has been stitched onto the quilt square, the ties and ribbon decoration are traced onto the background fabric. They are then stitched using one strand of floss and outline stitches. I usually stitch the complete outline of the marked design and then start filling in each area with rows of outline stitches as close together as I can make them. The finished embroidery looks more complex than it actually is and you will be surprised at the compliments it gets!

Finished Carousel Quilt Block

Julie will be back next week with some tips on sewing the MacKenzie Quilt Block. Happy Stitching!