Thursday, October 24, 2013

Progress Report

I'm happy with the progress that has been made on an impromptu quilt that's coming together.  It started with a challenge fabric (back one post) and the notion of incorporating that into a Dresden.

I sewed the pieces together in groups of five, or quarter Dresdens, then played around with them.  I liked the idea of doing diagonal squiggles instead of circles.

That morphed into a decision to transform them into grandmother's fan blocks.  First I had to to reverse engineer them to get the inner quarter circle and outer background piece (trace the curves and add seam allowances).

The little quarter circle turned out to be kind of a bugger to piece.  It became apparent that my usual method (involving pinning and sewing with the U-shaped piece on top) wasn't going to work in this tight space.  I recalled seeing a tutorial last year by someone demonstrating a no-pin method.  I tried that, and it worked well, but you have to sew vewey, vewey swowy (read that part in an Elmer Fudd voice), literally a stitch or two/three at a time, adjusting the layers as you go.  Like so:

Never mind the patina on my vintage machine.  She's got a lot of miles on her.  And a half century ago when she was new, Mom often parked an ashtray right there in the harp space while she sewed.  Miraculously, nothing went up in flames.

After piecing about a dozen or so blocks, I laid what I had out on the floor.  I'll need to trim them down along the white edges so they're a little smaller, since I want the red parts to tuck into the design a little more.

I tried setting them on point, too, just for kicks.  Not bad either.  Another time maybe.

After seeing them laid out, I decided to experiment with a different fabric in the small quarter circle for half of the blocks.  We'll see how that works out.  I've got another twenty-something to make.

I'll be linking up with the fun at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Have a great weekend!


  1. MMMMMM.........DELICIOUS! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve here! I loved hearing the story of your machine when your mother used it!

  2. That looks like such fun! I need to play with the fans I have left from my aprons and see what i can come up with…

    Whoop whoop for you!! Great progress!

  3. You are such a tease. You show us the next color before it is done.

    I applaud your efforts setting in the quarter circles. The only circles I will do are cheater ones where you applique them.

    This is so much fun for us. Especially since you are doing all of the work!

  4. I absolutely LOVE those! That layout is awesomeness. Your colors are beautiful. Sorry about the centers not being fun to piece. The things we do in pursuit of the perfect quilt, eh?

    Love it!

    xo -E


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