How to Create the Kaffe Fassett Dahlia Quilt

The quilt is perfect with a deep drop on my queen bed.

Loving the Kaffe Fassett Dahlia Quilt!  Fits perfectly with a deep drop on my queen size bed.

This quilt is easy to create, with NO Y seams whatsoever!  Machine pieced, it stitches up in a flash.  With a few simple tricks to build your stitching skills, you can easily achieve this lovely look for a throw quilt (72″ square) or a generous queen size as shown.  The first step is careful cutting.  We have a Block of the month club that sends a few fabrics with templates each month to accomplish that process, so you can take your time and fussy cut to your hearts delight.  The fabrics are carefully curated with vintage Kaffe Fassett prints in lights and darks to achieve the dahlia effect.  YOU can do this at home, simply by using a ruby beholder.   (I use both the red and green colored to truly remove color from every fabric)  A color evaluator removes color and leaves you with VALUE, and lights and darks become easy to play with.  We do sell color evaluators at the shop.  This set comes in both red and green, and sells for $9. Find them at your local quilt shop, or click on the photo to find them in my online store!

I used the kit from our Block of the Month Club, to be sure everyone would have success with the quilt.  There was PLENTY of fabric for fussy cutting and directional prints.  I am creating two shams with the leftovers, and will post a blog with a free how-to pattern when they are finished.

The first step in stitching the quilt was creating the center, a tiny dahlia with a yo-yo center.  I chain stitched everything, starting with this tiny center flower.  To save the sorrows of “the bird nest start” (you know what I mean here), I started halfway down the first seam, chain stitched away, then returned to the first seam and finished it off.

Strip piece everything to save time and remain sane.

Turn out the points using a chopstick or even a cuticle pusher!  Press with care. DO NOT move the iron.  Just PRESS.

Turn out the points using a chopstick or even a cuticle pusher! Press with care. DO NOT move the iron. Just PRESS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you are finished pressing, change the iron to steam and really whack it flat.

after strip piecing the center in sets of two, I pressed again, then stitched sets of four, pressed, then created a perfect center!

After strip piecing the center in sets of two, I pressed again, then stitched sets of four, pressed, then created a perfect center! Want to create a perfect circle? It’s really all in the careful pressing.

 

There is nothing so magical as a perfect centerpiece, and it’s easy to create with careful pressing.  By pressing, I mean holding the iron above the item, placing the iron on the item, waiting 10 seconds, and lifting the iron.  DO NOT MOVE THE IRON ON THE PROJECT.  Because so many of the curved seams are cut on the bias, moving the iron causes distortion.  PRESS everything, follow with steam if you wish and voila!  The perfect circle is yours.

Strip piecing the alternate blocks of the dahlia center together.

Strip piecing the alternate blocks of the dahlia center together.

The next step to finish the center and get started on the giant dahlia was creating a yo-yo center.  YOU might prefer a smaller yo yo, I love Kaffe Fassett’s millefiore prints, so of course I fussy cut one whole circle and created my yo yo from that.  We sell yo yo makers in every size at the shop, and I can’t tell you how easy they are to use.  Just snap your fabric in there, stitch all around the guide, pop it out and PULL.  Done.

Yo yos come in every size! I used a 60mm yo yo maker for this Kaffe Fassett Millefiore print, because I JUST COULDN’T CUT IT. Truth told.

Loving my Millefiore Yo-Yo

Now on to the quilt! (and yes, I fussy cut that center).  Lay out your fabrics with the pattern on top, so you can easily see how each piece fits into the quilt.  It’s no use trying to figure this out with piles of all the tiddly bits…just keep them as you cut them with the templates and put them right out so you can easily grab them in sets.   This makes me a nicer person when I am finished.  Trust me.

Each piece is cut in TWO colors. I lay out the papers with the fabrics below to minimize confusion and avoid the DREADED SEAM RIPPER….

Separate the fabrics in two rows, making sure the lights and darks are in their correct place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first row is stitched! Press seams towards outer edge. I pressed the next rows seams to the inner edge for ease in stitching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s time to add the last little touch to each row, and I highly recommend not skipping any step!  The first part is easy: sew a SCANT 1/4″ seam along the outer edge of each piece.  I included some closeups here, as I played with this a bit and found you need to be somewhere between a 1/8″ and 1/4″.  The foot on my machine is a perfect 1/4″, so you can see how I placed the fabric as I stitched.  Even though I did strip stitch these pieces, to say I went slowly is an understatement!  Stitched at a crawl, I’d say.  Meh.  Not the most exciting part of this quilt, let’s just put it that way.

Here goes my scant 1/4″ seam excitement! Woo hoo!

 

 

The lineup of edges. The end of the stay stitching drama saga.

PRESS each seam, favoring the stitch line to the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch the final edges to the end of each dahlia strip, then begin stitching the strips together in sets of two, then four.  I stitched the quarters together to create two halves, and the halves easily stitched up to a circle…and truly this was amazing because it is just lovely, and all the prep work became WORTH IT.  Don’t you love that feeling?

Pressing the dahlia one section at a time before adding seam tape.

 

I used steam a seam tape to hold things in place as I stitched for no "ripple effect".

I used steam a seam tape to hold things in place as I stitched for no “ripple effect”. I love this stuff, and keep a hugely unnecessary supply at all times.

For tiny projects, pull off the paper and use the sticky stuff like a piece of tape.

When you have a loose edge peeking through, it’s easy to peel and reposition. When you are happy, PRESS it on!! Then stitch in place, with your design secure.

I placed a pressing sheed UNDER the project first, before I pressed the center dahlia on. NO sticky mess! Yes, we do have these at the shop if you can’t find them at your local.

When using the seam tape on a LARGE project, I leave the paper on and press it in place before peeling, basically to avoid heartache.

Position the quilt on the background, snagging any stray threads and pressing ripples as I go. Work 1/4 sections of the quilt at a time, and using tape means the other side is secure as i work on this one. Nice.

After stitching the dahlia in place, I added borders. Now to quilt!

Putting out a whole buncha photos because I am just loving my quilt!!

…and just look at that side drop. I love the fact we can roll up snuggy in this quilt, and no one gets the blanket stolen. Just saying.

full view of the top out on the lawn.

 

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