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 The Quilted Snails 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….

 

Playing with a Lizzy Rainbow… and a giveaway

Last weekend my darling husband abandoned me to go on a boys camping trip, and as soon as he had walked out the door I knew exactly what I was doing with my free time….

You see just before DH left I took delivery of the latest Lizzy House range, Lovely Hunt….and I knew that I had to use it immediately so I pulled out ALL my Lizzy House fabric….

my lizzy house stash

…and cut out a 5 inch square from each piece of fabric.  Then, using my hexagon mini for guidance I got to work….

lizzy house hexagon mini wip

As there was no husband I could keep working without having to pack things away… I had squares and fabric all over the floor…and it took me a couple of days to get all the blocks up…I kept adjusting and rearranging, coming back to the design wall in between other tasks…I finally ended up with this…

Lizzy House simple patchwork

The first block I placed was the low volume cats and then I just worked slowly from there.  I tried to tackle one or two colours at a time, making sure that there was a flow to the colours…

the cat start

Not all the fabric made it into this quilt top…

Lizzy House quilt detail

I only ended up using 168 different fabrics and had about 20 left over.  I could not work out how to make the brown palette work so it did not even get a look in.

quilt detail 3

A couple of the prints had too much colour variation in them at 5 inches big to make the them work, but all the wonderful blenders…the Pearl Bracelets, the mini bracelets, the Butterflies and the chain links helped make the novelty fabrics play nice.

the king and queen

This quilt is definitely my quilt… it is not going anywhere but onto our couch.  As the weather starts to turn icky here in the Pacific Northwest this quilt will keep me warm and cozy…. all I have to do is finish it up!

Now while I was cutting up my Lizzy Stash I cut an extra fat eight or two for a give away.  By the time I had finished working through my stash I had a stack of 25 different fabrics… including quite a few out of print beauties, as well as some of the new Lovely Hunt….

giveaway bundle

So if you would like to win this fat eight bundle just leave a comment below, telling me what you would do with this wonderful bundle of colour.  I will draw a winner next Wednesday, and as always the contest is open to my overseas friends too.

This giveaway is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to Linda who won.