This week’s installment of the next four blocks of the Happy Flower quilt-along are a lovely mix of machine and hand sewing. I’ve loved adding a scrappy mix of fabrics, to mimic the ‘use it up, wear it out’ attitude that was the true origins of quilting. While it’s quite ironic that all my fabrics are brand new, I am finding that I can use a lot of my left over scraps and at least ‘use them up’.
Here’s block 15, a nice easy one, perfect for showcasing some pretty fussy cuts. I tried hard to not fussy cut on this one, but embrace the random nature that was the original block in the book. Only my centre square got one, as I couldn’t resist just one…
Block 16, and I’m loving the pink and red mix here.
A funny story I remember from my teenage years about the same pink and red…one of my girlfriends went to Japan on an exchange visit, and brought me back several zakka style articles, some of which I still have! She loved all the Japanese culture, except, she bemoaned, that they always put pink and red together! I remember shaking my 15 year old head with her about the foolishness of those unfortunate colour choices…lol. Now we’ve come full circle, and I absolutely love that colour combination now…they were years ahead of us in style!
Block 17. A cute mix of machine sewing and hand applique. I discovered that I had this pink print from Riley Blake’s ‘Where skies are grey’ collection. Isn’t it just perfect for a happy flower themed quilt…I’ll be using it a lot more I know!
If you’re like me, very OCD with your circles, and want to get them as perfect as possible, follow along below:
Start by tracing and cutting out all the template wedges for the dresden plate. Assemble into groups of two using the machine and 6 mm (o.25 in) seams. Press.
Continue joining the sections together until you have a whole wheel. Press.
I made myself a wheel template based on the wedge template supplied. You can do this by continuing the inner lines from the edges of the wedge into the centre of the circle to mark the centre point. Then using a compass, measure from the centre to the outer edge of the wedge. Make sure you are NOT including the seam allowance in this circle. Trace a whole circle and cut it out, and you’ll have a correct sized template to use as your shape.
Place your template over your assembled wheel and centre evenly. I use the liquid starch method to get a really nice circle shape.
Spray a few sprays of your canned starch into a lid, and with a small paint brush, paint around the exposed seam allowance, soaking it quite well. Then press carefully with the iron, to set the curve. Remove your paper template.
Continue this method with the inner circle, re-starching any places where you might have a ‘bump’ in the curve.
You can then pin your wheel onto your base block fabric, and stitch it down with needle turn applique. Just remember that this is not one of the applique blocks, and your base block is the larger size! After you’ve stitched the wheel down, place the inner circle over the top and pin. I like to measure from the edge of all 8 wedges to the edge of the circle to make sure it’s as centred as possible.
And don’t worry too much if you still don’t end up with a perfect circle. It’ll all warp a bit once it’s quilted, washed and used!
My block 18 I decided to use yellow, and discovered I really don’t have much of a yellow stash at all. But I did find this really cute caterpillar print, and love the overall sunny effect! I’m still procrastinating over sashing fabrics. I’ve just seen a finished quilt that is all scrappy sashing, and the overall look is amazing.