Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Using directional prints

Using directional prints such as stripes and border prints can a great deal of visual interest to a quilt whether a little is used in a block or the print is used to border a block or the entire quilt. I wide variety of uses for directional prints. 

When used in hexagons it is pretty straight forward provided the hexagons are the first ring around the centre.
Directional print surrounding the centre
Directional print radiating

In the example below I didn't have six identical patches but I did have two groups of three that were similar so I just alternated them and it works!

In the following block I could only fussy cut three patches so to complete the block I added three stripe patches as connectors.

Here is another example of  directional print that was used to good advantage. It was taken from the border of a cheater block.

When a second round of hexagons of a directional print is used, you will need to cut two sets of six patches. In the block below you will see that half of the patches have a directional print that runs from corner to corner of the hexagon and in the other set of six it runs from flat side to flat side. The two sets of directional prints are alternated to create a radiating effect.

I like to cut my hexagons from strips of fabric and for this reason I always cut directional print strips a little wider so I have the option of turning the hexagon on point.

As you know I am partial to nine patches; here are a few examples of directional prints used to good effect in nine patches.

In this block the directional print is taken from a border print and I placed the patches in the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. The orange patches look like they are floating above the black!

Directional prints make great borders, inner and outer.  In this example a stripe is used to border the centre medallion. Notice that the stripe is perpendicular to the block.

A second directional print in the same colourway is used for the two outer borders and the stripes run parallel to the quilt sides.

And here is the quilt with the directional print borders.

And look what's blooming!

Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. Very interesting and useful. I have never thought a great deal about directional prints before. I have a few large patterned fabrics pushed to the back of the cupboard, I'm planning to pull them out and have a play when I finish my current project.

    1. Directional prints are fun to work with but so are large prints because they make you think of creative ways to feature them to their best advantage in the quilt.