Friday, January 1, 2010

Ducks and Ducklings

As promised, today I want to show you how I drafted a larger block using Marie Henry's Teach Yourself Blocks from the Past book.

In this book the blocks are all 6 inches square. I started by making the applique blocks. I found the 6 inch size was too small for me to comfortably applique. I scaled the patterns up to 8 inch size on a photocopier.

Not thinking ahead, I sewed a number of applique blocks before considering that I would also need to increase the size of the patchwork blocks. I certainly did not want to start over again and try to make the 6 inch blocks afterall.

This block is called Ducks and Ducklings. The block is based on a grid of 25. You can count 5 units across the top. An 8 inch block based on a grid 25 units is hard to calculate accurately. Just how do you measure that unit?

Above is the 6 inch block drawn out on paper.

Now draw an 8 inch square.

Place your ruler so that the "zero" or end corner touches one side of your block. Angle the ruler so that the 10 inch mark hits the opposite side. It really doesn't matter where along the side you put the zero mark.

Place a dot at each 2 inch increment. I am using 0-10 because I want to have five units (25 in all). The next number after 5 which can be divided by 5 is 10. 10 divided by 5 equals 2, so mark along the diagonal every 2 inches.

Draw parallel lines through these dots.

Turn the block around and do the same thing to make the grid.

Here is the grid of 25.

Referring to the block, draw in the diagonal lines to make the ducks and ducklings.

Shade the units and label A, B, and C.

Here is the finished block. You can make templates from your grid or make squares and half square triangles using the grid as your guide.

The blocks in the finished quilt are on-point. Looks very different, doesn't it?

I first saw Alex Anderson demonstrate this technique on The Quilt Show. I didn't really get it right away. I found a photocopy of instructions for this method tucked away among my things. It may have been from a Jinny Beyer book.

I won't have to do this for every block, but it sure was a big help for this one. I'm still learning about this, so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.

P.S. Does this only happen to me?? Immediately after posting this I went up to my sewing room. There on my table was a pad of graph paper. On one side the graph paper is 4 squares to the inch. On the other side is a graph at 5 squares to the inch. Never mind. Happy New Year!


Karen said...

I have this wonderful book in my collection. I love your Ducks and Ducklings block. Brave of you to redraft it! Looks great!

SueR said...

Get Electric Quilt software! It'll do all that work for you so you can get right to the sewing!