Calendar Girls - Ellen (Block 8)

Do you want to sew the blocks from my Free 2023 Calendar? Come and meet the Calendar Girls and join me in a very, very casual sew along!
Morning lovely!

Welcome to Block Eight of my Calendar Girls sew along! Every second Wednesday I'm releasing one block pattern from my Free 2023 Calendar for you to sew in any project you desire!

This week's block story is a little different. Ellen was my husband's grandmother, and she died at the age of 38 (during childbirth) when my father-in-law was 11. My father-in-law talked about his mum with so much love and respect, and her strength, tenacity and fortitude influenced his relationships with women - my FIL was born in 1924, at a time when men were hard, and women were treated differently.

After her death, my father-in-law and three of his brothers were sent to live in a boy's home (too many mouths to feed), and it was the memory of his mother's love and tenacious spirit that helped him survive this harsh environment.

Because of Ellen, my father-in-law developed lasting beliefs in the equality of women, admiration for our unique strengths, and respect for our value and importance to society. These values were passed onto his son (my husband) who passed them onto his son (my son).

Let me introduce you to Ellen!

Our eighth block is the hard working and forever young Ellen.

She is a foundation paper pieced block, and she's a stunner!

Ellen is a nurturer and provider. A mother of eight, she's hard-working and head strong, and she strides through life without complaint. She works herself to the bone, often ignoring her own health issues to provide stability and comfort to her children.  Ellen has a hard life supporting her husband, frequently relocating the family home without a promise of security, and she's the glue that holds them all together. You're welcome to visit Ellen but you'll probably find her tending to the animals or repairing the fence or the roof. She won't have time to drink tea with you, but you're welcome to pitch in and give her a helping hand!

Ellen was my husband's grandmother and mother-in-law of Evelyn.

My goal was to make these block patterns as easy as possible for you, so Ellen is constructed using the quick and accurate foundation paper piecing method. This block is labour intensive but worth the extra sewing time. I had to rush mine, but you have two weeks until the next block so slow down and enjoy the process.

You'll require three pretty prints and a background fabric to complete your block and I had so much fun choosing fabrics for this one. It looks fantastic in any combination, so get creative.

A colouring sheet is included in the free PDF pattern, so you can play around with combinations prior to sewing.

The free PDF pattern includes full sized templates and assembly instructions and diagrams for four sizes of the Ellen block - 6", 8", 10" & 12".  It's up to you how many you sew or how you use them - you have two weeks until the release of the next block, so sew lots!

Just mentioning again, there are no fabric requirements included in the pattern.

Knowledge of foundation paper piecing is a must, and the FPP templates are full sized for each of the block sizes, so you can print and sew without any fuss.

If you need help with FPP, you can find my tutorials here:

You can always email me with any questions or concerns you may have with FPP - I'll help if I can!

Everything you need to make your own Ellen block is in the free pattern and to download and print your copy, simply click the link:

Have fun sewing this block! We did not meet Ellen, but it feels like we knew her! My father-in-law spoke of Ellen as a selfless, loving, hardworking woman whose death led to the fracture of his family unit. I'm honoured to have her as one of my Calendar Girls and to share her story with you!

And I think it's an important story - who we are and what we do in this life, however long it is, influences generations we may never even meet!

The next block in the series is the sweet and sophisticated Enid!

I can't wait to introduce you to Enid on Wednesday 21th of June. She's a lovely block to sew and she shares her name with my great great aunt!

Have fun sewing Ellen lovely! I can't wait to see what you create with these Calendar Girl Blocks.



Happy quilting :)

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