Monday, August 8, 2016
The construction of this seahorse does not use paper piecing. It's just regular patchwork with lots of flip triangles and other traditional construction techniques. This seahorse is based on a .75 inch grid and its finished size is 6 by 13.5 inches.
The assembly is straight forward and I improved the construction to remove fussy intersections. The most tedious part is the initial cutting of the background fabric (which I will refer to as blue) and the seahorse color fabric (which I will refer to as purple).
To start, I cut three strips from both the BLUE (background) and PURPLE fabric. From each fabric, cut a 2.75 inch, a 2 inch and a 1.25 inch strip.
From the 2.75 inch BLUE strip, I cut:
one 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle
one 2.75 inch square
one 2.75 by 2 inch rectangle
From the 2 inch BLUE strip I cut:
two 2 by 3.5 inch rectangle
six 2 inch squares
From the 1.25 inch BLUE strip I cut:
one 1.25 by 9 inch strip
nine 1.25 inch squares (for flip triangles)
plus extra 1.25 lengths of the BLUE that will be sewn then trimmed. At least 18 inches.
(If you want to pre-cut these instead of strip piecing: cut one 1.25 x 3.5 rectangle and a 1.25 x 2.75 in rectangle.)
Next, for the PURPLE fabric:
From the 2.75 inch PURPLE strip I cut:
one 2.75 by 6.5 inch rectangle
one 2.75 by 2 inch rectangle
From the 2 inch PURPLE strip I cut:
one 2 inch square
one 2 by 4.25 inch rectangle
From the 1.25 inch PURPLE strip, I cut:
two 1.25 by 2.75 inch strips
one 1.25 by 9 inch strips
nine 1.25 in squares
two short lengths somewhere between 1.5 and 2 inches for the eyes.
plus extra 1.25 lengths of the PURPLE that will be sewn then trimmed.
(If you would like to pre-cut this, cut one 1.25 by 4.5 in. strip, one 1.25 by 2 in. strip, one 1.25 by 2.75 in. strip and 1.25 by 3.5 in. strip. These are for the tail and back of the head.)
PLUS 1 bit of black or very dark fabric that is 1.25 by roughly 1.5 to 2 inches for the eye.
A: Sew the 1.25 by 9 inch purple strip to the 1.25 by 9 inch blue strip. After its sewn an ironed, cut the paired strip into two 3.5 inch lengths and one 1.25 inch length.
B: Sew a 1.25 inch purple flip triangle to three 2 by 2 inch squares of blue. (As a reminder, a flip triangle is a square that is sewn along the diagonal in the corner of another square. The inner part of the purple square is ironed over the sewn line to make a triangle. The bottom two layers are trimmed away leaving a quarter inch seam.)
C: Sew a 1.25 inch blue flip triangle to one of the 1.25 by 2.75 inch strips. See diagram for direction. This is the seahorse's back fin.
D: Sew three 1.25 inch purple flip triangles to the 2 by 2.75 inch blue square. This is the section just under the seahorse's back fin.
E: Sew three 1.25 inch blue flip triangles to a 2 by 2 inch blue square. This is the ear or whatever that is on the top of the seahorse's head.
F: Sew a 2 inch blue square onto the 2 by 2.75 inch purple square. See diagram for the direction. This is the seahorse's forehead.
G: Sew a 1.25 inch blue flip triangle to the bottom left corner of the 2 by 4.25 inch purple square. Then sew a 2 inch blue flip triangle to the top right corner. See diagram for the direction. This is the seahorse cheek and nose.
H: Sew a 2 inch blue square to the top right corner of the large 2.75 by 6.5 purple rectangle. Next sew the 2.75 inch blue square to the bottom right corner. See the diagram for the direction. This is the seahorse's belly.
Now, let's make the tail. This will follow a basic log cabin construction built around one of the 2 inch squares with a single flip triangle.
Please note that I am using short lengths of 1.25 inch purple strips, but only to make the photograph look neater. There is no reason to trim the lengths ahead of time.
At this point you will have to indulge me while I make the head using partial seams. They are so much fun. This means that we will sew about an inch of the purple strip to the center...that's the partial seam. Then we will work our way around the center, sewing on the top blue strip, then the blue rectangle and then the cheek. At that point, we can finish sewing the purple strip to the back of the head.
And again, I have not cut the purple and blue 1.25 inch strips to size. I simply sew them, then trim, then iron or finger press.
Let's take this step by step, in case you aren't that familiar with partial seams.
Once your cat or kitten is happy, sew the ear piece to the back of the seahorse head. Sew the back fin pieces together. And sew the snout section to the large blue 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle.