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One thing you might’ve heard me say before is how much I dislike fan quilt blocks. And basket quilt blocks, but that’s a story for another day. I’ve very much been wanting to have a dresden plate quilt block for this quilt, but since they’re appliqued, and this is hand piecing I had a conundrum. Then, in a desperate search to find a block for this month (my original choice just wasn’t working), I saw this variation on a fan block which a) has several design options, b) adds some curves in for you guys to practice, but isn’t too hard, and c) fulfills my need for an almost-dresden-plate block!
Fan Quilt Block
*****Note: If making the 6″ blocks you have two options – you can make 1 quarter of the 12″ block to result in one fan, or you can make a whole series to have a more Dresden Plate style block.
**Download the templates for the Fan quilt block here. Please note that all lines on the templates indicate sewing lines. To make sure that your templates have printed to scale, please measure the squares – the larger should be 6″ and the smaller should be 3″. Note that grainline is marked on some of the templates.
- From your background fabric trace and cut: 4 outer arcs
- From your center fabric(s) trace and cut: 4 center quarer-circles
- From your fan fabrics trace and cut: 16 fan pieces. Make sure to label them as piece 1, 2, 3, or 4, and keep them in order. I was very specific about where I wanted each piece, so I labeled each quarter, too: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 1B, 2B, etc.
Step 1 – Lay out all the fan pieces for one of your quarters, in order. Piece together along the solid lines – these are simple, straight seams: begin by matching the corners and pinning. Piece on the drawn line, remembering to knot the beginning and end and backstitch in between. Repeat with the remaining 3 quarters.
Step 2 – Grab your center quarter-circles and mark the center by matching the corners with a pin and creasing as shown. Match the center crease to the center seam of your fan with a pin.
Step 3 – Continue pinning the two corners. Please note: you can pin with either piece on top – whichever is more comfortable for you!
Step 4 – Piece the curve, making sure to backstitch every time you reach one of the seams in the fan. Repeat with remaining 3 fans.
Step 5 – Grab your outer arcs and mark the center by matching the corners with a pin and creasing as shown. I would also recommend adding quarter-creases: match the corner (where the lines intersect) to the center crease with a pin and crease the fold. Repeat with other side.
Step 6 – Match the center crease to the center seam of the fan and pin. Match the corners of the arc to the corners of the fan and pin. Match those quarter-creases to the remaining fan seams and pin. Note: I originally didn’t pin that much in the picture, and I regretted it – that’s why the words don’t match the photo!
Step 7 – Sew the outer arc to the fan. Repeat with the other 3 quarters.
Step 8 – Once you’ve completed your 4 quarters you can play around with layout to decide which way is best for you:
Step 9 – Once you’ve decided on a layout, piece together the four quarters. Press once you’re done – I pressed away from the fans (towards the dark), and then pressed the fan seams in a circle.
All done – just one more (super-tricky) one to go before we finish up!
For this month’s block in our hand pieced block of the month series I’ve chosen an old favorite – the four pointed star block. The great thing about this block is has many possibilities beyond the traditional color and layout choices, and gives you a chance to practice y-seams. I’ve chosen my colors to give the block a new look, but feel free to do whatever floats your boat!
Four Pointed Star Quilt Block
**Download the templates for the Four Pointed Star quilt block here. Please note that all lines on the templates indicate sewing lines. To make sure that your templates have printed to scale, please measure from the upper left corner to the top of the diamond – it should measure 6″ on the large and 3″ on the small. Note that grainline is marked on half of the templates.
- From your background fabric(s) trace and cut: 4 diamonds and 8 triangles
- From your print fabrics trace and cut: 4 squares and 16 pyramid shapes (I used one color for the squares, one color for the “point” pyramids, and one color for the “ring” pyramids)
Step 1 – Grab all of your diamonds and the four inner pyramids. Match them in pairs as shown and pin. Sew, remembering to backstitch occasionally and at the beginning and end.
Step 2 – Grab two of your pairs and sew them together as shown. Repeat with the remaining two pairs.
Step 3 – Sew the two halves together as shown.
Step 4 – Grab all of your ring pyramid shapes (8) and the 4 squares. Align the short end of one of the pyramids with a square and pin. Sew on the marked line. Repeat with the remaining squares.
Step 5 – Sew the remaining pyramids to the opposite side of the squares.
Step 6 – Gather all of your remaining point pyramids as well as all 8 background triangles. You will be attaching two background triangles to either side of a pyramid as shown. Begin by aligning one of the short edges of the triangle along one side of the pyramid as shown. Pay extra attention to which way the pieces are facing (I almost sewed one wrong!). Pin and sew 4 sets.
Step 7 – Sew the remaining triangles to the pairs created in step 6 as shown.
Step 8 – Take the sets sewn in the last few steps and align as shown. You should have 4 pairs like this. These pairs will be sewn together, however the seam must be pinned and sewn in segments as it is not a straight seam.
Step 9 – Once all 4 corner units are sewn as shown in step 8, lay them out around the center so the corners face outwards and the backgrounds diamonds are aligned to the compass points. Attach the corners one at a time using the same method as shown in step 8.
Press it and you’re done!
Such a fun block for not much work! How are you doing with your hand pieced blocks? Coming along? We’re almost done – just two more to go and then I’ll discuss layout options so we can finish these up!
Market was a wonderful experience. The quilt exposition, fabric to come (even 2016 holiday fabric), patterns, designers, notions, and all the other toys were fun to see. I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to interact with, except for the great staff and customers at QA! The trip home was uneventful. It stopped raining and the weather cooperated. Houston Airport was decked out for Halloween as you can see below.
I’ve slowly caught up in the shop with the amazing staff that kept the store running smoothly. They are the best people in the world and I am so glad they work with me!!!!!
Market goodies are finally out for viewing and for sale. There are linens from Daiwabo and linen blend fat quarters from Rosalie Quinlan of Ella Blue. Several of Rosie’s fabrics are on order. There are some strips sets and fat quarters from sample spree (I thought they were cute). Patterns from Patternworkz, 14 Days A Week, and others are here for review and purchase. I also bought some Fragmental fat quarter bundles with a panel from Angela Walters. We have all three colorways in the bundles and on order.
Material is ordered for many months to come! A few to share in addition to the ones listed above – Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander, Sommer by Sarah Jane, and Alison Glass’ Indigo.
New patterns will be arriving all fall and winter too. Several quilts from Dreamy Quilts – trucks, dolls, birds, Christmas Cookies. Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns are on order – Forest Friends, Whales, and Sassquatch. Alison Glass and Carolyn Friedlander have mini-quilt patterns for this year.
Violet craft’s new Jungle Abstraction is out and on order too. It will look great with the lion from last spring.
What do you think of all the Market goodies and arrivals to come? Comment below and three winners will be chosen at random for goodies from sample spree.
So glad to be home and looking forward to seeing you at the shop,
Started out early and learned how to use Uber. It was pouring for most of the day and regular taxis were hard to get. Used Uber to and from the market today and they arrived within 3 minutes of me booking them. The fares were reasonable and both drivers were very nice.
Spent the day ordering fabric for next year and visiting booths for things to order when I return. Lots of what I looked at and/or ordered got posted to our Instagram page. Tomorrow I do a little fabric ordering and want to pick up some things I can’t order from home. I leave here around lunch time and arrive home in the evening.
One of the first activities of the morning was the quilt exhibit area. What beautiful quilts from everywhere. There were designer quilts, history of log cabins, a table full of quilted placemats(no picture, lighting was really bad), and the Heritage Exhibit from Kaffe Fassett. He gave a short tour talking about the antique quilts and how he interpreted the quilts to make updated ones. He looked at color, scale, the title, and fabric design for inspiration for his quilts. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of his quilts, but I’m bringing back a copy of the book with the quilts in it. These are a couple of the quilts I passed on the way in and out. Lots more, but not enough time or not allowed to take pictures.
A trend this year was for the designers to wear their new lines. Elizabeth Hartman and Carolyn Friedlander both had outfits with their new fabric. Alison Glass made fabric specifically for clothing. Jody Carleton of Ella Blue has named her new collection The Cat’s Pyjamas. They make great clothing and doll clothes. Bags plus home decor were also popular. Check out Carolyn’s booth. She even covered the lamp shade.
Ordered more of Poppy’s Van and the wheels quilt pattern from Creative Abundance. A few new little critters will be arriving with these too. Rosalie Quinlin has a lovely collection called Cotton Forest. It’s cotton with a little linen. Ordered some of the line with Rosalie’s help.
Meet Heather Givens. Her collection is called Paper Obsessed. Some of this line is coming to Quilting Adventures too. I’m looking into the cute patterns on the walls in her booth.
Will try to get better pictures of what is coming to the store tomorrow. Keep alert for a giveaway when I get back and can post better pictures.
Have a great beginning to your week and hope to see you in the store soon!
Short post tonight. It’s late, I walked and talked and looked at a lot today. :0) Also posted several pictures on Instagram today too. Follow us at Quiltrva on Instagram to see what I posted.
I visited fabric booths, pattern designers, notion sellers, and some adorable mice! Ordered a little fabric – music, Winnie-the-Pooh, a couple Star Wars fabrics, and more. Booths are amazing, pretty, creative, and make me want to go home and sew, sew, sew. A couple of teasers so you will go see the rest on Instagram.
We will be starting a batik block of the month this January. It’s a star sampler, so all levels of sewers can participate. Kits have been shipped this week, so we can get started on the sample quilts for you to see. We have two colorways coming – earth tones and brights. Stopped in the Marcus booth to take a picture of the beautiful material to give everyone a taste. Be sure to sign up for the BOM, these kits will go quickly!
Sleep well everyone and I promise I’ll try to write more tomorrow. Rain is coming down and down and down. However, I’m dry and not going out tonight.
Until tomorrow, happy sewing,