Follow Dianne Hire into her wonderful would of distinctive applique designs to inspire and delight you. Try out her App2Applique technique with this simple block.
Square Spiral is a deceptively uncomplicated block, fig. 23. It begins as a little 6½” block but in order to have a 12½” block, you need four finished 6½” blocks to make the design complete. The smaller block integrates into a take-off of a Greek key motif with an inner square as a connector. When four blocks are sewn together, the exterior of the 12″ block has connecting lines to make yet another square. Fig. 24 is a line drawing sketch of the design…nothing fancy.
Wondering how long it would take to deviate and to test the design, I tried a plan: first a chart to represent the colors, fig. 26. Then, recreate a 4 mini-block sketch, fig. 24, and use colored pencils to represent fabrics, fig. 25. The key design comes alive.
Fig. 26 is a chart that may be helpful for choosing colors. Reviewing the chart will give insight as to why 1 medium and 1 light must be selected for backgrounds whereas a medium is selected for fusing onto both of those backgrounds.
Square Spiral, the design, is smaller than other 4-sided repeater designs. To complete it, make 4 for a full 12″ finished block
This is a line drawing sketch of four 12½” blocks. This sketch is useful to determine colors, especially if a pattern such as a checkerboard effect is desired for the finished quilt top. Believe me when I say: I try to plan, but going by the seat of my britches is more normal to the way I work. Do you see me smiling and laughing?
Shows how coloring makes the key design come alive. (Remember it takes 3 fabrics for 2 blocks and, thus, for 4 blocks, you need 6.)
This chart gives the plan: Blocks A of Turquoise and Chartreuse will be fused with Hyacinth; Blocks B of Lemon Citrus and Periwinkle will be fused with Chile Pepper.
Select fabrics…always remember that 3 fabrics = 2 blocks and the fused block will be ironed to both of the background fabrics.
Photocopy the two mirror image drawings.
Turn both upside down and by seeing through the paper, redraw upon the lines.
To protect your patterns when taping them to a light box, apply transparent tape around all edges.
Number your units #1 or #2.
Helpful suggestion: use a light colored magic marker to circle either unit #1 or #2.
For one finished 12″ block (4 mini-blocks), accurately cut out (2) 6½” x 6½” paper backed fusible blocks.
Rotary cut your background fabrics to a bit more than 6½” x 6½”.
Tape your two photocopied designs onto the light box; leave space between copies.
Place the paper backed fusible over each pattern and tape down the corners: trace the designs with your Sharpie®. A little hint that will pay off BIG time: the only place that you must try very hard for accurate drawing is at the stitching line where the blocks connect. Even when you are accurate, you may find yourself doing a little adjusting or trimming.
Fusing is next…perhaps a little lesson on how-to-fuse is in order. I’ve discovered a trick or two and would like to pass that along.
1. Use iron-on paper backed fusible. Place nubby side on wrong side of your fabric as manufacture instructs.
2. Iron fusible onto fabric…don’t iron back and forth, but lift and place iron.
3. When adhered to fabric, allow the design to cool…it peels better that way.
4. Take a pin and make a scratch on the paper. This trick is a jump-start as you pull off paper.
5. Place the second piece of fabric right side down and iron the fused design onto it.
6. Use a Teflon® sheet to protect your iron and ironing surface from getting gunky.