Here it is finally – the pattern for the Dahlia Block, with complete instructions for piecing!
The Dahlia Pattern Templates and Instructions can be downloaded as PDF files from links at the end of this post.
This traditional “DAHLIA” block is the first in the Round the Year Quilt; it is paper foundation pieced . We are chain piecing strips to construct the block.
Here are the instructions for piecing the Dahlia.
Finished Block size: 18″ square with 15″ inset circle
Fabric Requirement – given for strip piecing technique. You need more fabric ( an extra strip of each of fabric 2,3, 4,5 and 7 ) if you wish to piece the block in the regular way.
|Blue||2||2 strips 2.5” x 20”|
|3||2 strips 2.5” x 20”|
|4||2 strips 2.5” x 20”|
|7||1 strip 3.5” x 20”|
|Yellow||5||1 strip 3.5” x20|
|1 strip 2” x 20”|
|2 squares 3.5” x 3.5”|
|Orange||6||1 strip 2” x 20”2 squares 3.5” x 3.5”|
|Grey (for square||1||18.5” square|
- Take print outs of the DAHLIA TEMPLATE PDF File at 100% size ( ‘no scaling’ / `Portrait’ mode setting of printer). You have the following templates:
- 16 arc templates numbered A to P for piecing the outer circle (ring).
- 2 templates Q and R for the inner circle
Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square.
2. This Master template shows how the paper pieced sub-blocks shall be assembled. You can print it from the Instructions file and try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils! .
- Piece arc templates A to H
- Piece arc templates I to P
- Piece the centre halves Q and R.
Moving anti-clockwise from 3 o’clock, join the arcs in adjoining pairs as follows-
H to P, A to I, B to J and so on
- Join HP to AI and BJ to CK. Next join HPAI to BJCK to get the top half of the flower
- Similarly, join adjoining pairs to get the bottom half of the flower DLEMFNGO
- Join the centre top Q to HPAIBJCK and similarly construct the lower half of the Dahlia.
The background – Glue together the two parts of template S along the marked edge. Use the following diagram to cut 4 of these – S, T, U and V from the background fabric
- Join S and T to make the top half and U and V to make the bottom half
- Set the circle halves into the background fabric.
- Join the halves to make the square block!
I plan to set the circles on to the background fabric only once all of them are ready.
As I mentioned, we use the strip foundation piecing technique to (chain)piece the block.
1. Cut the strips as recommended. Colour code the strips – mark them with a post-it note! Whenever I don’t do that, I end up using the wrong fabric.
For cutting the strips, it is highly recommended ( in fact, essential!) that you pre-starch the fabric. If you do not have access to a readymade spray starch, a good home made option is mixing a liquid stiffener like Revive ( 2capfuls in 100ml) with water in a spray bottle.
2. Cut out all the templates roughly – accuracy not required at this stage.
3. Make 4 piles : A to H, I to P, Q to R, and S1-S2
4. We first piece A to H. (These are pieced from the centre outwards to the circumference.)
- Line up the strips top to bottom needed for these in order.
- Yellow Colour code 5- 2″ strip
- Blue Code 4 – 2.5″ strip
- Blue code 3 – 2.5″ strip
- Blue Code 2- 2.5″ strip
- Yellow Code 5 – 3.5″ strip
5. Now we are ready to sew. Lower the stitch length ( 1.5 should be fine)
6. Place the pile of templates A to H close to hand near the sewing machine. Line up the first 2 strips, right sides together, left edges aligned and strip 1 ( yellow 2″) on top, under the raised presser foot – see the photo.
7. Slide the paper template A over the fabric, aligning the seam marker line between A1 and A2 approximately ( at least) ¼” from left edge. ( Accurate ¼” seam not necessary, you can err towards a bigger seam!) Bring down the presser foot and sew accurately on line. Do not cut thread, or remove the fabric/ paper.
8. Now line up Template B under Template A, making sure that the templates do not overlap. Sew on the line between B1 and B2. Line up Template C next…and so on…ensuring you leave about 1/8″ between the paper templates.
9. At the end of this exercise, you have 8 templates A to H lined up and sewn to Strips 1 and 2, like this pic. Carry them to the ironing board.
10. Flip over ( to the unprinted paper side) and press over seam to set it. Open the blue strip and press again.
Note the distance between the paper templates in the pic – it is very important that the templates not be too close to each other.
11. Flip over to the printed paper side …
.. …and cut the strips carefully, along the paper template edges, to separate the templates.
This is how your templates should look now…
12. Now to the cutting mat to trim down your seam to ¼”.
Fold back the paper to reveal the seam and using your ruler and rotary cutter, trim it down to ¼”.
If you are not a perfection freak, it is absolutely okay to just trim the seam with your scissors to approximately ¼”.
Now head back to the sewing machine!
13. We now attach the 3rd strip to these templates. Basically, we shall be doing the same thing that we did when we attached Strip 1 to Strip 2.
So here goes!
- Queue up your templates again A to H.
- Place Strip 3 ( right side up) under A2, aligning the edges to the left ¼” beyond the seam line between A2 and A3.
- Sew on the seamline. Again, do not remove from under machine.
- Chain piece B, C, D…H as you did for strips 1 and 2.
You end up with this…
…which you carry to the ironing table!
- Iron , cut to separate the templates and trim the seams to ¼”.
14. Attach strip 4 , iron, cut, trim seams.
15. The final yellow strip at the outer edge is 3.5″ wide. This is attached in the same way…
…cut apart, seams trimmed. Now trim the outer edges roughly.
Your templates A to H are pieced!
16. The next step will be piecing templates I to P.
Here, we start piecing from the outer edge of the circle and go towards the centre.
Get your fabric strips together and label them, in the following order –
Blue Code 7 -3.5″ (I have used this delicious mottled fabric instead of the deep blue shown in the pattern)
Blue Code 4 -2.5″
Blue Code 3 – 2.5″
Blue Code 2 – 2.5″
Orange Code 6 – 2″
17. Now to begin piecing this second set of templates! Just to remind you, as you begin, the order top to bottom is –
- Paper template I (printed side up)
- Strip 1 ( Code 7) right side down under I1
- Strip 2 (Code 4) right side up
The edges of Strips 1 and 2 are aligned approximately ¼” beyond the seam line 1.
Sew on Seam line 1. Without taking fabric and template off the machine, chain piece all the templates as shown in pic above. Follow instructions above to piece the templates, ironing, cutting, trimming seams at each stage.
Till here we are, almost at the end of our piecing !
18. Attach the last strip, iron, and cut apart the templates. Trim seams.
19. Trim the fabric on the edges of the templates roughly. Refer to the Master Template and lay out your pieced templates (alternating the two lots) and admire them!
20. Piecing the centre.
Cut the 2 orange and 2 yellow squares diagonally. Piece using the templates Q and R.
In my original pattern, I had pieced the centre with 16 segments , but have revised it to 8 segments, as the 16- spoked centre became too bulky to handle.
Stand back and whoop with delight… you did it! That was simple, was it not? See, I told you so! Please do not hesitate to ask me if you get stuck at any stage…
Time to sit back and relax …till we are ready to assemble these in a week’s time on 22nd July.
The Pattern and Instructions can be downloaded from the links below. You will need Adobe Reader ( Free software available online) on your desktop / laptop to be able to view these:
1. DAHLIA PATTERN TEMPLATE – contains the paper piecing templates
2.INSTRUCTIONS for piecing DAHLIA Block contains the above post in downloadable format.