Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2021 Pieced BOM: Hands All Around: Alcotts at War

It recently occurred to me that there is a new year coming up in a week or two and we need a new pieced block of the month. How about: 

Twelve stellar blocks celebrating the Alcott Family of Concord, Massachusetts, their friends and associates during the Civil War. 

Hands All Around will feature a variety of simple sawtooth stars, good for kids, beginning piecers—-or anyone who loves the geometry of traditional patchwork. 

A dance at the Marches, Little Women.
"Hands All Around" is a dance figure.

Our stories go back to Louisa May Alcott's Civil War experiences. She's remembered for Little Women, which may be the great American Civil War novel with its tale of the March family but Little Women is fiction. 
Collection of Orchard House
Abigail May and Bronson Alcott & two daughters, 
Louisa on the ground (naturally) & Anna Pratt between
them with her son at the end of the Civil War.

We’ll look at the March family’s counterparts, real-life Alcotts, and how they fought the war against slavery. 

Free patterns on the second Wednesday of every month in 2021 at this Civil War Quilts blog. 
Patterns can be made up in 8”, 12” or 16” blocks. The sampler blocks will be set with alternate blocks (pieced or plain) to make quilts 40", 60" or 80" square (without any borders.) I did these digital sketches in EQ8 thinking of a chocolate and strawberry color scheme.

 Becky Brown is using a brown & blue palette
from one of my collections from a few years ago, Baltimore Blues

Denniele has plans---Can't wait to see what happens!

We'll look at several set ideas, the most basic alternating the 12 pieced sampler blocks with 13 plain blocks.  Another alternates the various star blocks with a smaller sawtooth star design.

And then there is a square in a square.

And if you are in the mood to make 13 curved blocks.... 

Now I see what Denniele is up to!

Rough estimate of yardage for a 60" quilt top of 12" blocks if you are using a basic two-shade color scheme:

3 yards of the lighter color

2 yards of the darker

But most of us will be using scraps---reproductions or up-to-date prints.

Look for the first block on Wednesday January 13, 2021.

And join our Facebook Group:


You might want to buy the complete pattern at my Etsy shop. There are two options.

Download a PDF of the 15 page pattern now at this link for $12:

Or for U.S. customers I will print a black & white copy of all 12 blocks for $15 (includes postage.)


Dorry said...

What a great start to the new year this will be. I can't wait to hear all the stories. Thanks for this gift to us Barbara.

Ginny Bresette said...

Yea! Thank you I so enjoyed this year's block of the month Thank YOU!

Laura L Lukes said...

Yes, yes! I am a huge fan of Louisa May Alcott and Barbara Brackman, so this is a wonderful combination for what I hope hope hope is a wonderful new year for our planet.

sue s said...

This new year I'm hoping to concentrate on reproduction fabrics. So, I'm in!

Barbara Goetz said...

Can't wait!!

Priscilla said...

Awesome! I have lots of repro fabric to use!!

White Eagle said...

Looks like fun. Another excuse to buy fabric!

Kerry said...

A very early reader, my grandmother gave me Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland and the Looking Glass, and Little Women for my 5th birthday. It was a few years later that I tackled Louisa's! So I'm loving the new blocks and perhaps one for the treadle in the evenings. Stars do it for me every time! LOL! Thank you - fun fun fun!

bellalily said...

Looks wonderful

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Love the simplicity and versatility of sawtooth stars, would love to learn more about the Alcotts, so I'm in. Thank you so much Barbara!

Pat Gottshalk said...

Boundless possibilities.

Jeanne said...

Thank you for this announcement Barbara! I'm a big fan of both the Alcotts, and of pieced blocks! I was distracted and didn't do your 2020 BOM, but I'm looking forward to a new year and some new fun. Happy holidays!!

Unknown said...

I can’t wait to join in on this one! We all need something to look forward to after a year like 2020! Thank you!

Sandy said...

Oh, I’m looking forward to this!. I love the sawtooth star! Of course I never do as I am told, so I may tweak it a bit.

Donna said...

Thank you for this inspiration at the beginning of a new year. My wishes for peace and health for all.

Mary said...

Thank you! I am really looking forward to this. HAppy Holidays"

Linda said...

Thank you! I am looking forward to this. I love Louisa May Alcott. Her Civil War stories are wonderful. Happy Holiday's. Linda

Faunacoco said...

Yes! Economy block square in a square. Love it and thank you.

Pieceful Lady said...

I'm in ..something fun to look forward to in 2021. And the civil war history never gets old. Thanks Barbara for continuing with another project. I just might challenge myself with the curved setting. Hope I can keep up.
Thank you

Judy said...

Ladies Album for my choice! I hope to add some previous 12” blocks for the opposite squares. I may use some sashing. Love this!!

sewsandquilts said...

Several years ago, I had gotten a set of fat quarters in pinks and browns, and planned to someday make a quilt, but had not ever settled on a pattern. I now know what I should do with those fabrics. Thank you Barbara for choosing this topic, I look forward to reading, and to beginning a quilt.

Robin said...

Looking forward to this BOM. I've read all the Alcott books and many about them.

Norma said...

I am looking forward to making this quilt for our house built in 1877.