Pippi Longstocking Block

(12.5″ unfinished)

12.5″ x 12.5″ unfinished
 Materials:
Mostly scraps!
20 x 2.5″ squares for the border
White cotton for the background
Assume 1/4″ seams throughout.
There is an element of improv piecing with this block, so for those of you who are comfortable with this method, please feel free to ditch this tute and go with the flow.  The centre space should be 8″ finished, bordered with 2″ finished squares (20), leaving you with a 12.5″ unfinished square block.
For those of you less at ease with improv piecing let me take you through this step by step.
 1. Take a strip of white fabric, approx. 3.5″ x 10″ and lay a smaller piece on top.  This will be the skirt.
2. Cut off the excess top and bottom.  Then cut out the skirt shape, through both layers of fabric.
3. Remove the unwanted skirt fabric and underneath white fabric, and sew these 3 pieces together into one long strip. Trim the long edges to straighten the strip.
4. Next the arms.  For these you will need a strip of fabric 5″ x 1″ and 2 x 1″ squares for the hands.  You will also need 2 strips of white fabric, 1″ x 3″.  Join the pieces together to form one long strip.
5. Join the 2 strips together.
6. Next the legs!  Take another strip of white fabric similar size to the last one.  Choose your ‘legs’ fabric and sew a 1″ strip of fabric along the bottom of it.  This will eventually form the feet.
7. Lay this fabric on top of the white background and cut out the legs as you did with the skirt, cutting through all layers of fabric.  The legs should be at least 1″ wide as this will be only 0.5″ finished!  The first set of legs I did ended up way too skinny!
 
8. Again, straighten the long edges of the ‘legs’ strip before sewing this to the ‘skirt’ strip. (Don’t worry about the strips not being the same length.  We will be trimming the centre piece down at the end, just make sure it is more than 9″ at this stage.)
9. Now for the head section.  First take a piece of fabric that will eventually form the hair, approx. 2.5″ x 5″. Then place a 2.5″ square of ‘head’ fabric in the middle of the hair fabric.  As before, cut the head shape through all layers, and remove the unwanted sections.
10.  Sew the sections together.  Add one more piece of ‘hair’ to the top of the head.
11.  Lay a piece of white fabric underneath the hair/head piece and cut out the shape of the hair, through all layers of fabric.
12. Remove the unwanted bits of fabric and sew the background pieces to the hair/head section.  Straighten up the edges of this strip as before.  Finally sew the strip onto the arms/legs piece.
13.  Trim this piece to 8.5″ square.
14. Sew 4 of the 2.5″ border squares together, iron and attach to one side of the centre piece.  Repeat for the other side.
15. Now sew the remaining 2 sets of 6 squares, press, and attach then to the top and bottom edges.  Press the seams away from the centre and square off to 12.5″.