It is time for the EQ8 Block Spotlight again! This month, it is the Star Dahlia, which is similar to the Jungle flower we tackled last year. This block can be made as a pieced block, but is probably easier to make as a combination of piecing and applique, like a true dahlia or wheel. This block had lots of possibilities, so I went a little crazy with my designs this month.
My first thought was to use the block as a flower in a strip quilt. This was really fun. I set this block in alternation with plain blocks in two rows. Then, I added appliqued stems and leaves to transform them into flowers. Adorable butterfly motifs were added to the “sky.” Clouds were created with a checkerboard at the top. Grass was made with a checkerboard at the bottom. It was surrounded by a combined checkerboard and strip border. Overall, the effect of Dashing Dahlias was cute for a wall hanging or throw.
My next quilt, “Dynamic Dahlia” is a bit more my “traditional’ style. It uses pink, black and pale pink to create a truly dramatic look. The Star Dahlia was placed in a frame with a checkerboard with a curved piece to match the lines of the Star Dahlia. I guess I was in a checkerboard mood! I adjusted the size of the block until it was the same size as tiles I planned to put in the border. The blades were colored in two colors rather than one as the original block showed. I also made the background one color rather than two. A little bit of liberty. 🙂 This will simplify templates and piecing instruction. Then, I added checkerboard and striped borders on either side of the pieced border as you would in a border quilt. The resulting combination were Greek Keys or a zipper effect. The pieced border consisted of alternating Star Dahlia blocks and plain blocks. This provided more of an impact for the blocks and gave some negative space for fancy quilting. This definitely has a more modern feel to it.
The last quilt has two layouts, both on point. Again, I went for dramatic using red, black, white and turquoise. Like Dynamic Dahlias, I used two toned blades. This time, I used striped blocks to set off the Star Dahlia blocks. In one set, the background was solid (Striking Dahlia), in the other the circle and square were two different colors (Dahlia Squared). It is amazing how that one change made such a visual difference.
Which of these do you like best?