So…this is take two at a baby quilt for my cousin’s baby boy.

I won an AccuQuilt GO! last year on a blog giveaway.  (be patient, it makes sense)  One of the dies I requested was the Dresden Plate.  As I was trying to figure out what to make for the baby quilt, I decided to spend some time with that die.  I also had it in the back of my head that I’d like to use one of the stripey novelty prints I had – one is robots/space, the other is pirates. 

I grabbed some larger fabric scraps and cut some of every shape with my new Dresden Plate die.  I looked at the flat-ended ones and thought they could go together like a tumbler.  So I sewed them together (in pink…) and thought they looked interesting.

I ended up doing this –

I cut out about 160 individual fan blades from probably about 8 fabrics.  More of some, less of others.  I kept most in the medium value, with very few darks.

Then I sewed two blades together into pairs, then pairs into foursomes.  Then foursomes into eight-somes, and into sixteen-somes.  (You get it – sixteen blaces, all in a row).  There I stopped, because it was time for trimming and I wanted to be able to cut with my 24″ ruler without folding.

This was where I had planned to stop – I was going to square up the ends, sew them into the quilt, and off I’d go.  I didn’t like the scale, though, of having a 5″ strip of wedges inset into a 3″ strip of pirate ships.  So I took one of the 16-somes strips and cut it in half.  I like the thinner strip better!  It’s a matter of the scale of it.

As you can see, not all the ends are perfect.  No problem!  The width of the strips is 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″.  So I evened up one edge.  Cut a 2.5″ strip, then a second 2.5″ strip, then had another bit of scrap at the other end.  The strips look like they are made of wide and narrow tumblers.  Since I cut at slightly different places on every strip (based on where I had to cut to even up the edge), the patches are not all identical in size, but I like the individuality it gives them.

Then I sewed sixteen-somes into thirtytwo-somes.

Then I took my striped fabric, which happened to have these great stripes.  Very carefully, I cut the strips apart lengthwise along the fabric.  For one, I cut 1/2″ off the bottom of the black stripe.  I wanted to minimize the black and orange stripes, so I buried them in the seam allowance.  For the other, I cut exactly on the line between the yellow and red stripes.  Trust me…do this 12 inches at a time.

I alternated the theme fabric with the pieced rows – I ended up with one extra thirtytwo-some strip and one extra strip of shark fins but that was because I wanted to start with ships at the top and end with shark fins at the bottom.

You could wait to square it up until it’s quilted, but I went ahead and squared it up.  The top is about 40″ x 60″.

What works for me on this quilt is the scale and the value.  The scale of the patchwork strips is similar to that of the theme fabric.  When I laid the full-sized fan strips on there it was too much angled fan blade and the ships and sharks faded away.  Then I tried cutting the strips in half and sewing them back together (to get more of a crazy-quilt effect).  I didn’t like that much, either, because of the scale.  The pieced strips felt too tall for the print.  As for value, I made sure to keep the values in the medium range with only one foray into dark territory.