I was looking forward to the 12" block on the Cheddarback quilt this month. It is so playful.
But, it was way too hard to draft a pattern that would fit on an 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of printer paper. So, instead we got a pattern for the inner wheel enlarged.
I was a little disappointed but I understood why. And I don't blame Gay for giving us this alternative. It's a great block.
But, I wanted to see if there was a way to figure out how to make this block. Believe me, this isn't the easiest way to make a block.
I had a pad of graph paper that measures 12 inches. I asked my husband if he could figure out a way to draw the pattern for the block on this pad of paper.
He enlarged the picture of the block from Sentimental Stitches Blog on the printer somehow and then through measuring and summing things up he was able to get straight lines and equal increments, although some of the dimensions aren't exactly square. And, thankfully, he came up with the graph above.
I traced the pattern on to freezer paper and then numbered each section (really important).
I cut out the pattern on the drawn lines and then ironed it on to the back of the two fabrics.
I trimmed 1/4" seam allowance on all the pieces.
You can see that the squares aren't completely square. But, it all works out if you make sure that you match it up to the exact piece that goes next to it. (That's why I numbered everything). I pinned the freezer paper on the fabric to secure it because sometimes it gets loose and I used the freezer paper as my sewing line. Sometimes I had to re-position the pins as I sewed.
Using the numbers as a guide I made a layout of the block with the freezer paper side up so I could match each of the pieces together with the right mate. I sewed the right and left outside border sections, then the top and bottom border pieces, then center wheel section, and then sewed them all together. It was a little tricky but well worth not being in a hurry.
I put a pin in from the corner on the top piece to the corner of the corresponding piece below. I left the corner pins in and secured the seam with 2 pins and then took the corner pins out and sewed the seam.
I put my needled down right at the corner of the freezer paper and sewed right next to the paper.
Ending at the next corner and careful not to sew beyond it at all. I made sure that I backstitched at each corner so they wouldn't unravel.
I didn't press any of the seams until I was all finished sewing it together. It took me quite a while and I had to be patient butting up all those corners to each other but it all came together just as I had planned.
Here is the block before it was pressed.
I pressed the inside triangles all toward the outside pressing the squares into the center hexagon and then it was easy to figure out the rest of the pressing pattern.
And here it is. There are some gaps between some of the points but overall it turned out great. Would I do it again?
I hope I don't have to.
Gay has now produced some printable template pieces on her blog for a free download. Go to the very bottom of the post.