Monday, March 23, 2020


...Because anyone who knows me knows I'm detail oriented. But it's the little things that make for a more successful result.

Last post, I had all the fan blocks appliqued to their backgrounds and had snowballed the corners to create the inner point shapes.

The points of the fan blades are machine appliqued down but the tails have an actual seam, not appliqued. So, where they'll come together, part has visible stitching and part doesn't. I fixed that by topstitching across the snowballed corner, so that when the blocks are joined the stitching will appear continuous.

The top stitching is purely decorative; it serves no structural purpose. Here's what the back of the block looks like now. You can see the topstitching parallel to the seam where the snowball corner is attached.

There's a lot of bulk where those corners are snowballed: the background of the block, the tails of the blades with their seam allowances, and two plies of the snowball square.

A friend of mine is an award winning applique artist and she always recommends cutting the layers away from behind applique so the batting will fill it out. I did so on my Checkerboards and Dresden Plates quilt and was pleased with the results. I'll do the same on this quilt.

In the snowballed corner, I trimmed away the backing, the tails of the blades, and the inner layer of the snowball square, leaving only the top layer of fabric. The seam allowances are graded so there won't be any visible lump. Then I trimmed away the background fabric from behind the blades. Lastly, I trimmed the facing layer of the points of the blades. Here's what's left; the batting will fill in nicely.

There's the tiniest strip of background fabric where the snowball seam and the topstitching are, not a problem.

The shape I cut away from behind the blades is too large to go to waste. Each piece is large enough to fit on my 3" HST die on grain and cut two triangles, so I'll save all these cut-aways for a future project. There's 56 pieces in that stack.

With all the blocks prepped, I can now sew them into rows. Here are the rows on my design wall:

Oh, yeah, I'm liking this. Totally worth all the attention to detail. I love that interesting negative space!

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt


  1. What attention to detail--Beautiful! I hate to waste fabric too. My scraps never seem to completely deplete no matter how many scrap quilts I make. Enjoy your sewing time!

  2. The attention to detail is going to make a very sharp quilt! Thanks for sharing your process here.

  3. I love the result of your attention to detail and fact that you aren't wasting the sections you cut away!!

  4. I had a hard time picturing the end result when you first talked about snowballing the corners. But I agree it makes an interesting negative space. Definitely worth the thought and effort.

  5. I chuckled at your self-awareness! And I'm glad that pretty background fabric will have new life as triangles :)

  6. It’s really coming together......and looking great! So happy to hear you will use the scraps ;-)

  7. I really like your choice of background fabric. I noticed it on your earlier postings. It was neat to see a close up of it.