Jim Dandy Block – How To Part #1


So let’s start to hand sew this fun block shall we?  

I am not going to go over marking your fabrics using the acrylic templates as that has been covered already under the general info blogs at the beginning of the year and a very detailed blog here (yes it is for the Castle Wall block but the same info applies to all blocks).


Here are the templates.  There are four shapes in the Jim Dandy Block.


The back of my cut out pieces for my first block.


And the front.  Take a moment to cut striped or directional fabric so that it appears pleasing to the eye.  These little things go a long way in creating a beautiful quilt.


Here is an orientation guideline for the templates.  NOTE: Piece C is used flipped over (in reverse) for half the pieces in the block.

You can find a PDF of this orientation guide on the 2015. O.T.R page under the Jim Dandy Block.

Be sure to keep checking this page periodically for useful/information PDFs.


We are going to start with the center block and four surrounding triangles.

These can be sewn together with one continuous strand of thread so make sure you needle is loaded.


Place the triangle on top of the square, right sides together, lining up the long edges.

I pin on the drawn line using an ultra fine pin.  Check the back to make sure the pin falls on the drawn line on the square also.

If not unpin and shift the pieces until this happens.  Remember there is always a bit of fudge factor when lining up pieces due to them being hand cut.

Never rely on your edges…always pin and match up your drawn lines.


IMPORTANT!   Sew two or three threads above your drawn line!

This compensates for the fact that getting into the exact edge of the template with your marking pen/pencil is

nearly impossible.   TRUST ME this is how you end up with a 10.5″ block (unfinished) and not a 10.25″ or smaller block at the end.

Make a backstitch to start off.

And backstitch every inch as you are sewing and always finish a line with a backstitch even if you are going on to another piece without knotting off.


Running stitch.    Remove pin when you reach it with your needle and thread.


Finish with a backstitch.


Now in this center unit there are four intersections that we will preform the Roundabout Move.  This is when you pass your threaded needle thru two pieces at time in a circular fashion at the intersection of joining a new piece.  By performing the Roundabout Move you will have a tighter intersection with no gaps/pin holes and nice crisp points.   Ok…here we go!


Use a pin to line up the corner of next triangle (#2) to the last corner of the triangle (#1) you just sewed to the square.  Line up your long edges and place your pin on the drawn line.  (don’t forget to check the backside to make sure the pin lines up on the square’s line also).


Pull your needle thru from Triangle #1 to Triangle #2.    Pull all the was thru with thread.

Then pull needle thru Triangle #2 to Square at the same point of the drawn line (remember just a few threads above it)


Pull needle and thread all the  way thru.    Then bring needle thru the Square to Triangle #1.


Side view of the move of the needle from Square to Triangle #1


And finally repeat the move from Triangle #1 to Triangle #2.   You will ALWAYS end a Roundabout with the same move you started.


Make a back stitch and sew Triangle #2 to the Square.


Repeat these steps for Triangle #3  & #4.

End this unit by making a Roundabout Move between Triangle #4 and Triangle #1 and knot off.

Tomorrow we tackle a corner unit.

’til then,



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3 Responses to “Jim Dandy Block – How To Part #1”

  1. thank you -i can’t wait to make my quilts with these new templates-your advice and help is very much appreciated-and give molly a sqeeze from me

  2. Terri Riddle says:

    I didn’t realize that you aren’t sewing directly on the line every time, even though I know you’ve mentioned before for CW. Thanks for the great tutorial. The photos are fabulous!!!

  3. Nancy says:

    Is Jim Dandy a traditional block?

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