Rose Dream - My New Favorite Die!
Hi Everybody!I'm back with a new project for you, using the just-released Rose Dream die (Sizzix Bigz Pro Die #658122). I knew two things as soon as I saw this die during my recent trip to Quilt Market in Houston: one, that I had to have it; and two, that you all would appreciate a tutorial on how to assemble the blocks on this die so you can use it right away instead of cowering in fear at all the curves. I want to make sure you learn about all the great interchangeable pieces on this die, so I came up with this jazzy fall runner to showcase them all:
|Aren't these great fabrics?|
As soon as I bring a die into my house, I pounce on it with a silver marker. I mark the die with registration lines as well as cut sizes of fabric, so that I have that information handy whenever I need it.
The project I'm showing you was made using fat quarters, but it's also a great scrappy project as well. I used 4 different fat quarters to make the quilt top (with leftovers!), plus a scrap piece for the backing, and another fat quarter for the binding.
I have a funny story to tell you about the fabrics used here: I could not wait until I got home to use this die, so Linda N. from Sizzix said I could cut it in their booth if I could find some fabric. There is tons of fabric at Quilt Market, but very little of it is for immediate delivery! Luckily, I know some great folks at a few companies who were more than willing to help me out. The fall fabric came from Benartex (it's called Autumn Fauna and will be available next year) and the batiks are from Island Batik from their Jelly Beans collection.
To make this runner, which finishes at approximately 13" x 26", you need the following pieces:
- From the fall print: 6 arches (that's the 6 x 6 shape on the die), 2 wedges (the 4-1/2 shape), and 2 quarter circles (the 5 x 5 shape.)
- From the orange batik: 6 arches, and 4 squares (2 x 2)
- From the turquoise batik: 2 quarter circles, 2 wedges, and 4 squares
- From the pink batik: 2 strips 2" x 10-1/2", and 2 strips 2" x 13-1/2"
- 2-1/2" wide strips for binding
- 16" x 30" backing fabric & batting
I cut out all the pieces and laid them out like this:
You're essentially making two blocks - Rose Dream and Drunkard's Path - and using the strips to fill in the gaps.
Sewing Rose Dream
Rose Dream does look a little tricky, but I promise you there are no set in seams! You just need to stitch them in the correct order.
First, you need an arch and a melon.
The proper way to align this block is to lay the melon so that it is squared off with the arch - you'll see a bit of the arch peeking out on the right:
I tend to stitch curves without pins, so if you need a tutorial on that, I've embedded a video further down.
Align your pieces with the needle using a 1/4" seam allowance, and take a couple of stitches to secure it. I pick up the top piece and hold it while I guide the bottom piece along the 1/4" seam. I always stitch with outside curves on top - I just find it easier to stitch this way.
As you stitch, your notches should match at the center without too much fuss, but if you're having problems, make a few practice units until you get the hang of it. Different fabrics will stretch in different ways, and sometimes you might have to tug on one of them more or less to get them to match up.
Once you get past the center notch, you just keep stitching until you get close to the bottom. Near the bottom, you want to align your wedge with the bottom of the arch so it is squared-off like it was when you started:
I usually use a pair of tweezers for this step, but I ran out of hands since I was holding the camera.
You've got four units to piece this way, and when you are done, press your seams toward the arch.
Now we have to do the other half of the Rose Dream unit, which is just stitching a square on each end of the arch:
And press your seams toward the arch:
Here's where it gets a little bit tricky, but don't worry!
Lay the first half of the Rose Dream unit on top of the arch & squares unit. This is the one place where I use a pin, and that is so I can make sure my seams match at the top of the wedge.
To stitch this, you're going to stitch a straight stitch until you reach the seam at the top of the wedge. Then, once you get to the wedge, you stitch it just like you did when you worked on the original unit:
And when you get to the bottom, you line up the square with the bottom of the wedge unit:
Once again, press your seams toward the arch:
That wasn't too bad, was it? You just need to do that four times.
Sewing Drunkard's PathThe Drunkard's Path unit is pretty straightforward; you just have that one curve to stitch in each unit, and then it's straight piecing from there. It's the same concept from Rose Dream: square off your top edge, stitch to the center notch, stitch past the center notch, and square off the bottom edge.
I think this whole process is so much easier to explain if you can actually watch me stitch this, so I queued up this video just in time for you to take advantage of it!
How to Sew the Drunkard's Path Block without Pins
Putting it All TogetherOnce you get all your blocks sewn, the layout is pretty straightforward. Make two sets of two Rose Dream blocks.
Stitch all four of your Drunkard's path units together so that they form a circle in the center. Then, stitch a 2" x 10-1/2" strip to either side of this assembly. That will make your Drunkard's path assembly the same size as your Rose Dream pairs.
Stitch a pair of Rose Dream units to the top and bottom of the Drunkard's Path assembly, and finally take the remaining 2" x 13-1/2" strips and stitch these two the top and bottom as borders.
Quilting and FinishingI basted the top, batting and backing fabric together with a few pins, and chose this lovely 28 wt. Aurifil Cotton Mako variegated thread for the quilting.
I did a very simple organic line quilting, which I didn't really like at first:
I kept going though, because sometimes you have to allow yourself to stand outside your comfort zone and see what develops. In the end, I think the fabric and thread work well together, and the Rose Dream die makes quick work of curves.
Start to finish, this table runner took up one evening, and it is ready to dress my table for the holidays!
What will you make with Rose Dream?