Friday, 4 January 2013

DIY Quilt Block: Shattered Chevrons

This Shattered Chevrons Quilt Block is an excellent way to use up any left overs you have hanging around in your scrap pile. This tutorial, which comes to you from the amazing Anne of Play Crafts blog, makes a 32 cm2 (12.5″ x 12.5″) unfinished block. All seams are 0.635 cm (1/4″).

Note:  For this project all seams are pressed to the side rather than open. It lends a bit more stability and honestly it’s a lot of seams so it’s easier. It will still, however, work if you choose to press them open.

You will need:
  • 5-20 different fabrics, depending on how complicated you want the block to be
  • Four 6.35 cm x 32 cm (2.25″ x 12.5″) strips of background fabric for the border
Anne was asked to create a block containing the following colours: purple, aqua, and lime green. She therefore generally chose 6 or 7 fabrics for each colour.
Once the fabrics are chosen, sort them into piles based on what you want your chevron strips to look like. In this tutorial there are 1-2 of each color in each strip. Anne found that 5 fabrics per strip worked best, and therefore made four different strips.
Take one stack of five fabrics, and decide which order they’re going to be in. Cut strips from each fabric. The top and bottom fabric should be cut at about 10 cm (4″) wide, while the three inner fabrics should be cut anywhere between 2.5 and 5 cm (1-2″ respectively).
Once the fabrics are cut, line the up using the 45 degree mark on your cutting board.
Sew the strips together, keeping the layout you found from lining up to the 45 degree mark on the mat.
Once all the strips are sewn together, press your seams.
Line up the bottom of the fabric with the 45 degree mark on your ruler, and trim off the corners along the left side if you’re a lefty or flip and trim along the right side if you’re right handed.
Now comes the magic of Seminole piecing.
Cut 4.5 cm (1 3/4″) strips from your newly trimmed edge. Cut two strips.
Next, pick another stack of fabrics and repeat the process.
For the last two stacks, you need to get the diagonals going in the opposite direction, which means lining up against the opposite 45 degree mark on the mat. Flipping the strips does not change the direction of the diagonal.
Repeat the same steps as above.
Trim and cut the strips from the side that was lined up along the 45 degree line.
Take your last stack and repeat the process, using the 45 degree line on the right side of the mat.
Now you should have two sets of strips with a diagonal going up and to the right, and two that go down and to the right.
Design a layout for your block by alternating strips going in each direction. This is what creates the chevron shape.
Remember that you can flip each individual strip to add variety. You have a lot of wiggle room, so the strips don’t need to line up at either end. The less they line up, the more chaotic the end result will be.
Sew the strips together once you are happy with your layout.
The strips are cut on the bias so they are pretty stretchy. Be careful to not stretch them too much while sewing.
Trim the block to 25 cm (10″) square. This doesn't have to be very precise. If you like the longer tails on each strip then don't trim them too much.
Now just add the border.
It's best to do the top and bottom borders first because they help to hold the block’s shape. Anne used a 5.7 cm (2.25″) border, and trimmed down. If you have trimmed aggressively, you will want to cut larger border pieces.
Add the side borders, trim to 32 x 32 cm (12.5″ x 12.5″) and you are done!

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