Spellbound Sew-along: week 5

June 28, 2018

Merveille du Jour

 

When I started drafting a bat block for the Spellbound Sampler - we’ll be meeting him next week -  I realised what wonderful wings I could make with traditional dresden fans. And then, of course, I tried to think what else I could use them for: birds’ wings and cobwebs, yes, but surely not butterflies or moths? 

 

Although most British butterflies and moths are hibernating or migrating by the end of October, there is whole family of moths who emerge in the dying days of Autumn, including the extraordinary lichen-coloured Merveille du Jour {Wonder of the Day} which feeds on Ivy flowers and berries before laying its eggs in Oak trees.

 

The Mervielle du Jour block from my first sampler

 

CUTTING...

 

 

Follow steps 1-3 in your pattern...

 

I have played with the layout of my Spellbound Sampler - as I mentioned here - so my moth is on a the Light Lime  background, which has influenced my choice of fabric for the wings.

 

I used some of the background trimmings from my Gothic Gatehouse block before cutting the extra pieces I needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIECING THE DRESDEN UNITS...

 

 

Follow steps 4-7 in your pattern...

 

A Note about Dresdens: 

 

I first saw this technique in Joanna Figueroa's Craftsy Class Simple Fresh Quilts - which I can highly recommend - and it was a bit of a eureka moment for me, as I'd struggled making accurate dresden units with acrylic templates. You, however, may be less ham-fisted than me, so go ahead and use your acrylic dresden templates if you'd prefer.

 

Take the opportunity to chain-piece...

 

 

 

TIP: You may find it easier to trim your dresden fan from the right side, as all the seams can be a bit distracting...

 

 

PIECING THE HEAD & TAIL UNITS...

 

Follow steps 10-13 in your pattern...

 

We will be using a variation of the technique used to make the Gothic Gatehouse roof to create the moth’s tail. First prepare the oversized side pieces from the background fabric. Then, using the template at the back of your pattern, MARK A PLACEMENT LINE on the tail fabric square...

 

 

Take your time positioning the side pieces on the placement line and pin before you sew. Press, then turn your block to the wrong side to trim...

 

 

...ASSEMBLING THE BLOCK

 

All of the elements of my block laid out and ready to assemble

 

Follow steps 14-15 in your pattern...

 

 

You can add the antennae - in the same backstitch we used for the Star & Moon block - using the diagram in your pattern to draw guidelines on your block.

 

Either freehand the curves or use something to hand, like a spool or an egg cup, to draw around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back of the fully assembled block, showing seam direction

 

If you have time this week, I recommend making ALL of the dresden fans for the quilt. As well as reinforcing what you've learned, you'll have a head start on the following weeks' blocks and next week we'll be meeting the Moonlit Bat, who originally inspired my adventures with dresdens...

 

Nicola xx

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British designs by Nicola Dodd

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