Friday, March 30, 2012

Making the Spring Flowers Blocks

Here is a walk-through of making the blocks for the Spring Flowers quilt.

Sketch of the Spring Flowers paper-pieced block

Paper pieced pattern (reversed as usual in paper piecing)

Detail lines removed. Will hand-draw each section separately to create unique flowers with varying sizes and angles of stems and petals. Instead of looking cookie-cutter, the resulting flowers should have individual personalities.

Stem section. Electric Quilt-generated pattern printed on large tracing paper that was cut to 8.5" wide to fit in printer. Printer setting to Legal size.

Referring to "real" pattern, detail lines drawn by hand with ruler. Eyeballed, not trying to measure.

Two pattern pieces stacked on each other. Look closely to see two sets of lines.

Flower sections

Detail lines drawn

Two pattern pieces stacked to show variations

Drew 1/4" seam allowances where edges would be sewn together. Not too concerned with outside edges yet.

Measured each space to know what size to cut rectangles, always on the generous side. Excess can be trimmed during progress. I save this set for last so I don't lose my notes.

Back side of the first paper-pieced stem

From the right side. Will trim later.

Petal section 1

From the front

Petal section 2

Front side

Flower block sections - untrimmed

Measured and clipped where stem and petal section 1 will match up. Pencil points to the clip.

Pencil points to the clip on petal section 1

Stem and petal section 1 stitched together. Here's how it looks next to petal section 2.

Three sections sewn together (Folded petal section 2 in half, marked with a pin, matched that with point where stem and petal section 1 are joined, sewed.)

Here's an idea of how the trimmed flower block will look.

Spare pattern piece trimmed to 8.5" x 16.5". Will use template to trim flower blocks to size.

Oops. It's a little too long.

Trimmed off an inch, to new size of 8.5" x 15.5". That works. (Will have to adjust quilt border to make up for lost length.)

Template placed on flower block. Since I left the outside edges untrimmed I have plenty of wiggle room.

Using chalk tailor's to mark the corners of dark fabric. Typically I only mark the corners, not the whole long line. Then I use a long ruler to cut from corner to corner. If it's off a little I can cheat the pieces together.

On lighter fabrics I use pencil.

Flower block cut to size


All 12 flower blocks for the quilt. Look closely to see variations in stems and petals, as planned.

Next time you do a paper-pieced block, try drawing your own design lines. You will still have the crispness, with added variety and personality in the finished blocks.

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