Enlarging Paper Patterns

Over the last week or so I have been slowly putting together another Economy block quilt, this time using my stash of Cotton and Steel fabric…

part of my cotton and steel stash

As Cotton and Steel releases more lines, my stash has grown, as has my love for the modern fabric line.  While I was at Quilt Con I managed to snag and huge bag of scraps, which the Cotton and Steel ladies wrapped in a darling canvas tote bag.    It was as I was unpacking the scrap bag that I realised I just HAD to make an economy block quilt using all the fabulous fussy cutable prints.  I had made a small version last year for a swap…

Economy block mini quilt copy

…but my three inch block pattern was not going to be enough to capture some of the prints I wanted to highlight, so I enlarged the pattern to 7 1/2 inches… and got to work…

enlarged economy block

Now I have the luxury of being able to pull the pattern from my EQ program and just select “Print at 7 1/2 inches” but that is not the only way you can enlarge paper piecing patterns.  Before I had EQ I would enlarge my patterns by:

  1.  Cutting out the block pattern I wanted to enlarge, putting it on the photocopier and selecting enlarge pattern X percent.
  2. Dragging a JPEG of the image into either word or Photoshop, opening a new clean letter or A4 sized document and scaling the pattern using to fit the sheet of paper.

pretty print

Now with all these tried and tested techniques getting accurately sized blocks can be tricky, particularly if math is not your strong suit.  Luckily for us there are some tools out there that can help like this Enlargements/Reductions chart...

favorite block

Now I must admit when I am doing an all over block, like I did in this quilt, I do not worry about the exact size of the block.  I am not trying to match the block to anything other than an exact replica of itself so if the block is 7.689 inches wide it does not matter.  I just scale the block to get it as big as I can on a page.

block detail

Actually many of my finished paper pieced quilts are really weird sizes because my blocks fitted on a Letter or A4 sheet at a unconventional size.    Now if you want to try this yourself with this block you can download my 3 inch version or play with the jpeg in my first Economy block post which you can find here

my design wall

But remember when you reduce or enlarge a pattern you should always maintain a 1/4 inch seam allowance around your pattern pieces…. remember to trim your blocks with a ruler and rotary cutter for accuracy…

trimming block

So now you can go forth and shrink patterns for that mini quilt swap or enlarge them to make a cushion cover….

 

Do Good Stitches PP Monday

I am finally back… did you miss me…  This week I am sharing the pattern for a 6 inch traditional block called Birds in the Air.  I made this pattern after this block was set as this months Do.good.stitches assignment…

Do Good stitches block

The idea of doing that many tiny half square triangles traditionally was too daunting for me…. but this pattern makes it so easy…. you can find the free PDF pattern here…Do Good Stitches block pattern

The process was so easy that I managed to get four blocks made in no time… and I love how they look together….

Do Good Stitches block layout

I am not sure what Grace, our fearless leader this month has in mind for the layout but I am loving how the possibilities…

Priscilla Queen of the Hodge Podge

Today’s Hodge Podge block is the classic Priscilla block, which appears in the original 1898 Ladies Art Company Catalog in a simpler form.

priscillian quilt block

This block made a nice addition to my growing collection, and I have plans to make the simpler version too… no stripes, just four solid triangles.   You can find the pattern for this little 6 inch block here…Priscillia pattern.  Enjoy.

Paper Piecing Wednesday edition 5

Welcome to what I think is my fifth time posting Paper Piecing Monday on a Wednesday.  If you think how many PP Monday’s I have done 5 misses is not to bad…right!

Anyhow I have another Hodge Podge block for you this week.. this time it a 6 inch version of the classic Centennial block….

6 inch paper pieced star block

I had fun using all the the little bits of yellow I had laying around (many left over from my Starry Night Quilt) but using just one colour does not really do this star justice, here is my favored alternative colouring….

centennial block alternative colouring

So the free PDF pattern for this quilt can be found here…. centennial block pattern    I now need to move away from the star patterns I think, otherwise I may get type cast…

The Hodge Podge continues

So this week I am taking a break from Hodge Podge star blocks for a nice simple Octagon…

octagon block

This blocks would be fabulous for a fussy cut mini quilt… and it is on my “To Do” list with my Heather Ross stash.  You can download the free PDF pattern here…octagon pattern.

And just in case you were wondering how it was all looking…. this is my Hodge Podge collection so far…

hodge podge wip

Not to shabby…. and since this photo was taken I have added a few more blocks!