Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hive 3 August blocks for Kelli

I have always wanted to tackle that elusive Dresden Fan quilts from days gone by. Then I saw this quilt on Pinterest and then this quilt on Pinterest. I knew that I wanted to make the Dresden with the stripes and movement that both of the quilts have. 

So ultimately, I would rather spend money on fabric than notions, so I chose to use the 15 degree mark on my ruler to make my fan blades. There are lots of tutorials to make dresdens. I really like this one, but I don't have the EZ Dresden ruler. So I am going to show how I made the dresdens without the Dresden ruler. If you have a Dresden ruler, by all means, use it. Cut all the fan blades to the 6.5" mark. Line up one stickie for the small end of the dresden where the width of the fan is 15/16" (that's half way in between the hash for an inch and the hash before the inch).
I started with a strip of Kona white fabric 6.5" wide, and line up the 15 degree mark on my 6"x24" ruler with the edge. To be honest, I held my breath and cut. Low and behold, it worked, so I added little post-its to help line up the top and bottom edges. Continue to flip the ruler back and forth until you have 48 blades cut, enough for 2 blocks.
I cut strips of fabric from two coordinating golds and a Kona Coal. Kona Coal and Nightfall are my new go-to darks. I love the simplicity that the deep grey and midnight blue adds. This is also a fat quarter friendly block! I love that!

Cut fabrics:
  • 4" x 22" medium print
  • 4" x 22" dark print
  • 1" x 22" very dark solid
  • 2.5" x 22" white
  • 6.5" x 22" white
I really like the medium/dark or light/medium color combinations from the same color!

Sew the strips in the order of print, dark strip, and the white strip for a 6.5" wide finished strip.
The seams should be pressed toward the dark middle strip. Both strips are 22" long.
Starch is your friend, and it will help keep the super skinny dark strip in the middle nice and neat while cutting and piecing. I like Best Press and I'm not afraid to use it!

You should cut 12 blades from each strip, and 24 blades from two strips of white that is 6.5" x 22".

Sew a white blade to a patterned blade. Press the seams toward the patterned piece. 
Keep the sets with the white toward the center together and the white toward the outside together.   Sew the sets together, alternating a medium set with a dark set. Butting the seams will help to keep everything aligned!

Square up the circles by picking three blades, and cut straight across. Match the 45 degree mark on the cut and line up the next seam. Ideally the 45 degree mark will line up perfectly. Cut the next three blades. Continue around until you have a perfect octagon! The block should measure 14.5" x 14.5" across the middles.

Use a 5" square cut on the diagonal and sew on opposite sides to square up the block. Finish squaring up the block. Applique an octagon into the middle to finish them off.

15 degree Dresden template can be found here and a template for the octagon in the middle.  I would like to have the octagon hand stitched on.  If you don't want to do that, just remember to send it with your block, and I would be happy to stitch it on.

I am the Queen Bee for Hive 3 at the Stash Bee for the month of August! This is my choice for blocks. They are fairly simply and I was able to complete them in an evening and follow morning! Not too shabby. Although I think a EZ Dresden ruler will be in my future!


Carla said...

This is so fabulous! It's on my to do list ; )

Carol said...

Fabulous block!!

Nancy D. said...

Looking forward to making these blocks! One question - are you requesting a certain color for all the blocks? Or are you wanting just one color per block in whatever we want to use? I'm sorry if I missed reading that.

Carolyn said...

Do you want one block or two? And, yes, Vodka is a dessert food! :)

kelli said...

One block for sure! Two if you have it in you. The directions make complimentry blocks. I got two blocks out of fat quarter scraps pretty easily! Color isn't as important as the tone of the color. The medium and dark combination of the same color or light and medium combination of the same color looks fantastic together! If your struggling, just use what you have. You ladies have pulled together some amazing color combinations so far :)

Nancy D. said...

Well, I tried and failed to make 14-1/2" blocks! I used your template and the 1" measured true, but I'm thinking the template shrunk or something. Looking at your pictures it looks like the center hole is about four squares which I'm assuming is 1" blocks. My center holes ended up about 1".
Anyhow - back to the drawing board. Practice makes perfect! These weren't as hard to put together as I thought they would be either. Your quilt will be lovely.

Raven said...

can you clarify the width of the bottom of the "spoke" please. I am having trouble getting this to work with the measurements I am reading. It might just be me ...