Since January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day, Penny Halgren, master quilt block maker, took the opportunity to demonstrate sewing a traditional patchwork quilt block in keeping with the theme.
“Yes, I know there is a slight difference between a Dragon and a Dragonfly. I guess traditional patchwork quilters weren’t as tuned into dragons as my kids and I were when we grew up. For me, it was Puff, the Magic Dragon; and for my kids the dragon of choice was Pete’s – from the Disney movie, Pete’s Dragon.” mused Halgren.
The Dragonfly Quilt Block was as close as I could find to a dragon-themed block, is a fairly simple quilt block to make, and uses only two different colors of fabric. Halgren has been running a free e-course about choosing color values for fabrics in quilts, and this block became a lesson.
For the quilt block in the video, she chose a bright green and a light blue fabric, matching the colors of dragonflies in their natural environment.
However, when the block was finished, she saw that the values of these two colors were so close that the patches in the block blended together. Not a bad idea for a live dragonfly who wants to be camouflaged in its environment. Not a good idea for a quilter wanting the shapes of the patches to stand out.
As an experiment, Halgren, made a duplicate block replacing the bright green with a dark green. Just that simple change made all the difference in the look of the block. For a look at the difference, visit: http://quiltblocklibrary.com/
The Dragonfly is a relatively simple 4 patch pattern that can be made using some shortcut techniques which Halgren demonstrates in her video. Quilt block patterns are made by dividing the block into a grid with the same number of patches across as there are up and down.
Each patch can be further divided into triangles, smaller squares or rectangles. The Dragonfly quilt block is divided into 4 units. Two of the units are identical, and the colors are simply reversed in the other two, making it easy to sew.
QuiltBlockLibrary.com is a resource for hundreds of quilt block patterns. Each pattern comes in several different sizes. For example, most 9 patch quilt blocks are available with full size templates in 9, 12, and 18 inch block patterns.
Visit: http://www.QuiltBlockLibrary.com to view the demonstration of the Dragonfly quilt block in addition to videos posted in the site Archives. Free quilt block patterns are available for the quilt blocks demonstrated in each video.
The Dragonfly quilt pattern, plus hundreds of other traditional quilt block patterns and free fabric postcard patterns are available on the site.
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