This seems to have been quite a long winter so when my first daffodil appeared earlier this week I was over the moon. Although snowdrops and crocuses appear first, comehow it is the arrival of the daffodil that always seems to herald the spring. I don’t think anyone can describe it better than Wordsworth:
I wondered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
I don’t think that my single daffodil would qualify as a crowd, but I was thrilled to see it anyway. And naturally my thoughts turned to making a daffodil quilt block to celebrate. In fact I got a little carried awa and made two very different daffodil quilt blocks – one was made with traditional patchwork and the other was made using curved piecing. I quilted and bound each block separtely so that they can be used as coaster to go under a vase or fruit bowl.
The curved daffodil quilt block
The daffodil quilt block that I made using curved seams isn’t as difficult as it might look – just more time consuming. The finished size is 12.1/2″ square. Curved seams in a quilt block can be more or less along the diagonal or they can be much shallower or deeper depending onhow you draw the template and what design you want to make with the curves.
To make the template for this daffodil quilt block I drew a 3″ square on a sheet of card and then drew two 3/4″ outside the square but in line with the lines of the square. Then I put the point of the compass at the point where the two lines outside the square cross each other and put the pencil on a corner of the square. I drew a curve from that corner to the diagonally opposite corner. This gives a shallower curve (more easy to sew) than if I had put the compass point on the corner of the square. The curve would then have been a straightforward quarter circle.
Cut the square and the curve that you have made (top right in the photo) and then draw round these shapes on another piece of card and add 1/4″ all the way found for the seam allowance. Cut these bigger shapes out. These are the templates for the curved seam daffodil quilt block. They consist of a concave curve (the smaller piece), a convex curve (the larger piece). You will also need a plain square (3.5/8″).
I have laid out the daffodil pieces first and then added the sky pieces afterwards to complete a square for the curved seam daffodil quilt block.
These two pieces on the left don’t look as if they can be sewn together, but they can. Flip the yellow piece over so that it’s right sides together with the blue and pin the central points of both together.
Pin the ends of the yellow and the blue patches together. There appears to be a big lump of fabric betwen the pins that can’t possibly matchup, but you’ll find that when you ease the two fabrics together, they actually can lay flat against each other.
Sew the curved seam carefully, easing the fabric as you go. Make up all the patchwork pieces with curved seams first. Sew the patches together across each row and then sew the rows together. Layer with wadding and backing fabric, quilt and bind.
I drew some curves using the original template to make the trumpet of the daffodil. I sewed along these lines with one of the embroidery stitches on my machine. Then I left the rest of the daffodil and quilted the sky with small meanders to make the daffodil stand out. A lot of embroidery stitches can be used for quilting, although it’s best to avoid any stitches that are too solid like satin stitch.
To see instructions for making this pieced daffodil quilt block click on daffodil quilt block pattern.