I have been studying the dragonfly blocks in the the book Dancing Dragonflies by Sue Beevers. In this book Sue uses one block in many ways and gives you lots of ideas of just how many different ways you can put together this block to get different effects. Sue talks about how this block could be put together using paper piecing or templates. She does not give you the exact measurements or directions on exactly how to put the blocks together so I spent a lot of time with graph paper and thinking through ways to simplify the piecing using half square triangles and strip piecing and came up with a few ideas of my own which is what I think her book is for, to get you thinking and creating your own dragonfly block methods.
The blocks I came up with measured 6 1/2 inches on my first one and 12 inches on my second one. After doing the first one I knew I would need it to be bigger and simpler if I were going to make more. Sewing together 1” squares is a little difficult, but sure looks great. I was able to get a lot more blending going on with the colors though to create a very pretty dragonfly. It also kind of looks like a flower. This block is made up of 3 different blocks and the wing is repeated for the 4th block. There is the head, wing and body. As I studied the wing block I could see that a wing is actually similar to the head but cut in half and then a half square triangle is added in the background fabric. When I tried to make the block this way though it didn’t work. Looks simple, but it took a lot of thinking and math to make it all work. So it was a fun challenge and looking through my notes I am not sure I could tell anyone how I did it or even come with it again.
The 12 inch block was much simpler and I used a lot of strip piecing. If I were going to make several blocks I would do it this way. I have to go through my notes though and fine tune them and make some adjustments in measurements so I can do it all again. I also think that I have the body too thick. I used a 1 1/2 in wide strip and I think I would stick to a 1 inch strip, dragonflies do have skinny bodies.
Maybe I can work this in with some butterfly blocks and make a fun throw or pillow tops.
Challenge yourself, it’s good brain exercise!