Freestyle New York Beauty Blocks
Learn how to draft your own freestyle New York Beauty quilt blocks.
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Valori Wells provides instruction on drafting your own freestyle New York Beauty quilt blocks.
Materials and Tools:
graph paper (large enough to accommodate the size of block you wish to
Flex-A-Shape ruler - This plastic bendable ruler is 1/4" wide and 18" long.
fabric to make block - background, points background, points and center
1. Draft a square or rectangle the size of the finished block on graph paper.
2. Decide on the general size of the outermost arc (figure A). It can cover a larger or smaller area of the block. Measure from two opposite corners down to where you want the arc to begin.
Mark a point (figure B) at each spot. Don't worry about symmetry or connecting the arcs at this point.
3. Place the Flex-A-Shape ruler on the drawing (figure C). Align the edge of the ruler on each point and shape the section of the ruler in between any way you like. The curve can be smooth or wavy. When you've got it where you want it, trace along the edge of the Flex-A-Shape ruler.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to mark additional curved arcs as desired. There are numerous possibilities. To see quilts made with freestyle blocks refer to Radiant New York Beauties, by Valori Wells for C&T Publishing.
5. Use a pencil and a straightedge ruler to draw points for paper piecing inside one or more of the arcs. Making the points different widths and heights will accentuate the irregularity of the arcs (figure D).
You can also make points overlap one another at the base (figure E).
6. When you're satisfied with your block pattern, label each section A, B, C, etc. Think through the paper piecing sequence, and number the points and background points. Keep in mind if you made overlapping points that the numbers may appear out of order.
7. Put in two or three marks that indicate where to match the arc to the background when you are piecing the block together.
8. Lay a sheet of tracing paper on top of the block pattern. Use your rulers and a pencil to trace the entire block design. Use your rulers and a pencil to trace the entire block design.
9. To make a reverse pattern trace the block, turn over the tracing and go over the traced lines from the wrong side. Add the labels Ar, Br, Cr, etc. and number the points. You now have a mirror image cope of the block pattern. Both versions, used together, will allow your irregular arc designs to connect at the seams when two or more blocks are joined together.
10. Trace sections A, B, C, etc. of each block individually. Use the 1/4-inch wide Flex-A-Shape ruler to add a 1/4-inch seam allowance all around. Label each pattern. Use the patterns to make paper piecing patterns and freezer paper patterns as appropriate.
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