March 08, 2012

Sprocket quilt along: the details

I named this pattern Sprocket after seeing the first finished unit. It just seemed to fit. Plus, it's the name of my uncle's cat!

I'm really enjoying working on it. I'm so glad I took the time to plan out a handwork project. It turns out I have a few minutes here and there for hand stitching and it's great to have something ready to go when they happen. In case you'd also like to try this pattern I'll give the how-to step by step.

Here are the posts I've done so far:
Making a travel sewing kit
Making your own paper piecing templates
Cutting fabric
How to love English Paper Piecing
Basting Paper Pieces
Piecing Paddles
Constructing a Sprocket


I'm using a method called English paper piecing. This means I wrap fabric around paper and temporarily baste it to hold it in a particular shape. After stitching those shapes together, the paper is removed. Simple precision patchwork by hand. Low stress. Go at your own pace.
The pattern requires two paper shapes: diamonds and hexagons. Both these shapes are measured by the length of one side. I'm using two inch diamonds and four inch hexagons. Of course, the pattern would also work in different sizes, as long as your hexagon sides are twice as long as your diamond sides. Thank you, geometry, for being so cooperative.


My quilt will have five vertical columns. Each column will have five and a half of the sprockets. Total: 25 full sprockets, 5 half sprockets. Why the half sprockets? I like the extending-off-the-edge look of my mockup.

The finished quilt should be 63 x 76 inches. Maybe you want a different size. This info will help you plan it:

Paper requirements:

A sprocket takes 36 diamonds and one hexagon. Once it's constructed, you can remove the 18 inner diamonds. The outer 18 will stay in until you've sewn all the edges around them.
I ordered paper piecing templates from here. They are so quick to ship. I ordered 500+ 2-inch diamonds and a small batch of 4-inch hexagons. They are the six point (60 degree) diamonds. If you just want to try the pattern you could get a small bag of 75 diamonds and draft your own hexagon (not hard, I'll show you how). You can finish three hexagons with that one bag, probably enough to know if you want to continue.
You could cut your own diamond templates instead. Sounds tedious to me, but we'll get to that.

Fabric requirements:

Hexagons: 1.25-1.5 yards (I easily got mine from 1.25 but it never hurts to have a little extra just in case!)
Background for 445 diamonds and finishing the edges: 3.25-3.5 yards.
Sprockets: you'll need 450 colored diamonds. You can get this from 15 fat quarters (30 diamonds per fat quarter) or 38 strips 2.5 inches wide (12 diamonds per strip)

Ok enough with the numbers. Back to sewing!


heartsofhampshire said...

Brilliant- I love English paper piecing, this is definitely one for the 'to do ' list! Thanks for sharing, look forward to the next post!
Heather x x

Susan said...

I love this pattern! If only I hadn't committed to a year long EPP project (my own personal quiltalong) I would definitely want to try this! Maybe next year! I look forward to seeing how yours come together!

Renate Bischoff said...

Thanks for sharing! It is a very interesting pattern and I love EPP

~Niki~ said...

beautiful block~such planning in this one!

Suzanne said...

I think you have the perfect project for this stage in your game! It's going to be wonderful. I can tell already.

Margaret said...

Oh, I like this! Very much! Yep, it goes on my 'to do' list too. :-)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

This is going to be a great quilt. I like the name. It fits.

Gramma Quilter said...

Excited to join along. I will probably do the small one that you mentioned. I found this link. would any of these shapes work. Trapizoids yikes


MareMare said...

I can't seem to find the right diamonds on the website. Are they the 8 point diamonds?

Mama Pea said...

I really like it, Christina. :-) If I want to make it smaller, would it work to keep the proportions the same? For example, 1" diamonds and 2" hexagons?

Kim said...

What perfect timing! I just happened to pop back in and here it is--the directions for this quilt! WoohoO! I am not sure I can start it right now- I have 3 other quilts going at once. (This is my first year discoving QAL--of course I want to join everyone! LOL But, I am going to start pulling fabrics and think about this one. I love it!

anotheryarn said...

I need another project like I need a hole in my head. The diamonds are the 60 degree variety correct?

Gramma Quilter said...

When you figure out which page from that online link to english paper piecing works, let me know:)

KellyS said...

I am just getting ready to start this. Do you have a flickr page? I am a few months behind, but I figure that doesn't matter!

Cindy said...

I've just today come across your posting for the Sprocket quilt along - wonderful! I am an EPP nut - at least everyone tells me I'm nuts for doing it! Thank your for the link to the diamond - been looking for something like this for a while now. Hexagons are easy & I'm looking to expand my EPP talents. I think I might use this pattern to make one or two twin sizes for the grandboys. The granddaughters are getting butterfly hexies! I would love to see your finished quilt.

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