Have you ever looked at a fabric that you just loved, but hesitated buying it because of a directional print? Don’t! Directional prints are fun to play with and, with a bit of planning while cutting, you can get the print going in the direction you want when piecing a block. Part 1 is today and part 2 will be posted next week.
Example 1: I work with a square bordered with strips.
So here’s my directional print fabric:
That’s a pretty strong directional! In my example below, I want 1 1/2″ strips to border a square. If I cut all the pieces from the same 1 1/2″ width strip, then this is how my block will look:
Notice how on the side strips the print is vertical and on the top and bottom strips the print is horizontal. Now, this doesn’t look bad, it kind of makes your eye travel around the square. However, if you want the print to go all in the same direction, here’s what you do. Cut the longer side rectangles from the 1 1/2″ strip – in this case, the rectangles need to be 1 1/2 x 4 1/2″. As you can see, the print is vertical. Now, to get the top and bottom rectangles, which measure in this example 1 1/2 x 2 1/2″ to have the print vertical, cut a strip from your fabric for these pieces 2 1/2″ wide and then cut 1 1/2″ segments for 1 1/2 x 2 1/2″ rectangles. See the photos below.
Cool, huh?? Now all the border strips of the block have the print going in the same direction!
Example 2: I work with half-square triangle squares, or HSTs as many call them.
Below are the pieces to make 4 HSTs. Lay them out as shown and then lay the tan print face down on the color print. Stitch diagonally a scant 1/4″ on each side of the diagonal center from the same direction on both square sets (see where my finger is pointing). Once you cut the units apart and press open, you will get 4 HSTs where, no matter how they are arranged, the directional tan print will not go in the same direction.
Now, repeat the above step but stitch one set of squares diagonally in the opposite direction of the other:
As you can see above, no matter how I lay out the HSTs, the tan fabric directional print is pointing in the same direction.
Now, marry these two examples together and you can make a churn dash block where the directional prints are all going in the same direction!
Pretty cool, huh?
So, what ever you choose ….. making all your directional prints going the same way or having them scattered in different directions…. if you like making scrappy quilts like me, the “chaos” of directional prints can add a whole lot of fun and interesting dimension to your project.
I hope these examples where explained clearly! Feel free to ask me questions in the comments.
Watch for part 2 of using directional prints next week.