Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cowboys Are My Weakness ~ March Tutorial Hive 5

Howdy!! Jane Holbrook here from Hive 5 with a playful March block request.

I spent part of my high school years living on a ranch in Idaho. Cowboys and cowgirls and lots of cows. 4-H steers that were practically pets. It is not a lifestyle for the faint of heart. It is part of my heritage, and I love it. These days I am into the plant end of farming. When I saw this quilt I knew it would be my choice for a stash bee project.

The free pdf pattern can be found here. It is Cowhands, by Pam Rocca, and is in the June 2014 issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. She adapted it from the classic Tin Man pattern. The techniques used are machine piecing and quick corner piecing. 

My request is for either a cowhand or a cow block. I made both because I think it is easier to piece two blocks in tandem, chain piecing and pressing as I go.

 Specifics I ask:

1. Read through all of the instructions before you begin.
2. Use muslin, beige, tan, tone on tone ecru or combo of these for the background.
3. I prefer solids, but as far as colors anything goes. Really. Even for the faces. Small prints work, too.
4. Don't applique the cow eyes or nose, I will do that.
5. Have fun!

Here are mine:

I added a belt for my cowboy. Keeps his britches up!
There isn't much contrast for the horns. Maybe darker Horns? She still needs eyes and nose. 

I thought the pattern looked complicated, but as I cut it out, I realized it was very straightforward. I recommend following the cutting diagram on page 2 or 3, and when you get to the parts that have quick corner piecing, the lettered parts will make sense. Lay everything out. No need to pin the small sections. Some seams will butt up against each other which makes pressing and piecing easier. Block size you will send me is 15 ½" Here are my assembly photos:

I prefer the belt on my cowboy.

This dude hasn't won a buckle at the rodeo yet.

Bandannas are vital when it is dusty or windy.

A cow, ready for quick corner piecing.
If you have any questions or issues with this pattern, or the assembly, let me know. And thanks for making me smile. This is going to be an awesome quilt!


  1. Cute block. What is your name and what hive to you belong to? Your hive can't participate without some identification. Thanks

  2. How cute is this Jane?! Love it!! You know, I live on a dairy farm. My husband is the herdsman for our dairy farm. I love when they wean calves, they are always singing such a chorus when I go outside!! Looking forward to making these!!


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