January 20, 2016

Chart 30: Heather, Block #42, and our Helen

Heather won't be in my quilt. I'm sorry, I have always liked both the name and the plant. I could overlook Heather's awkward adolescent appearance if she were template friendly, but… since she is not template friendly, I'm replacing her with a sleeker Helen, named after a girlfriend's mother who could have been called my second Mom.

When I was growing up, my family lived on the corner of a cross country highway and a country gravel road. Helen and Justin and their children, Jack and Judy, lived a quarter-mile down the country road and were our closest neighbors. Judy was 6 months older than I and we were constant playmates and best friends all through high school.

One rainy day when Judy and I were about 8, Helen was sewing and Judy and I wanted to "help." Helen showed us how to pull a thread to straighten a piece of chambray. Looking back, I'm sure she thought she could get rid of us with that little project. I know most of you have never "pulled a thread" but those of you who have are surely groaning! As for me, I remain thankful that that rainy day experience did not dampen my desire to learn how to sew.

I chose to replace Heather with the more elegant Helen, but you can see they have the same diagonal lines. As with other replacement blocks, Helen was made several weeks ago. It wasn't until a few weeks later when I was writing the blog for Joy, block #47, that I recognized that my Helen is a simplified Joy.

My Helen Block

Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link to download the cutting and sewing chart for Helen:

From Marti Michell Chart #30

for cutting and sewing the Helen block
In addition to our template conversion PDF download, you will want to read Gnome Angel's tutorials for these blocks.

Just Pass It On

The letter for Heather's block, on page 38 in the book, is another letter I love. The neighbor didn't have a "practice random acts of kindness" or "pay it forward" bumper sticker, but her actions and words portrayed that spirit.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.


  1. Marti - on the Helen conversion chart diagram, the B-11 template is labeled B-14. Ask me how I know. ;)

    Just thought you'd like to know.
    /mary kay b. (I had to sign on as anonymous)

    1. You are correct, as you know! We've made the change and future PDF downloads are good to go. Thanks!

    2. My pleasure. I loved piecing that one. You are so clever with making fun shapes with the templates.

  2. Thank you Marti - I totally agree with you and thank you for providing an option. Love the Helen Block!