Simplicity – Block 5 Fibonacci

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci main v2 2015-07-01

NM Patterns - Simplicity blog button 2015-05-18After quite a few hickups, I’m finally ready to present the fifth block, Fibonacci, of my Simplicity quilt to you. As revealed yesterday, there is a spin-off pattern for two quilt sizes – which of course can be used for any other 12.5”-block or combination of such as well – but this post is about making this single block only.

Let’s take a look at the graphic version of the block first. Leonardo Bonacci, also called Fibonacci, was an Italian mathematician and reading of his life gives an interesting glimpse into Medieval times. The Fibonacci sequence (click here for a nice introduction on Wikipedia) starts with either 0 and 1, or 1 and 1. The following number, increasing in size, is created by adding the two previous numbers together. In other words, the thinnest stripe in my block has the relative size 1. The next number is 1+1=2, and once we add those together, we get 3. Then there’s 2+3=5, and finally 3+5=8.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci graphic 2015-07-01

Perhaps you’ve alrady figured out that the thinnest stripe, corresponding to 1 unit needs to be a quarter inch wide for the block to accomodate as many as 8 units in the widest stripe?

Cutting pieces

  • Background (yellow):
    • Two (2) pieces 12.5” x 1.75”
    • Two (2) pieces 1.75” x 10”
  • Lighter stripe colour (light orange):
    • One (1) piece 0.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.25” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 10”
  • Darker stripe colour (dark orange):
    • One (1) piece 0.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.25” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 1.75” x 10”
    • One (1) piece 2.5” x 10”

Since the narrowest stripe pieces are so thin, if you’re unsure about accuracy, I suggest you cut them slightly wider, sew in place, and trim down to the correct size. In the case of the thinnest stripe, this could be a piece slightly wider than one inch, trimmed down to 0.5” (0.75” minus 0.25” in the seam allowance).

If you’re using directional prints, please recall that the first length of a piece is the width on the x axis (horizontal), whereas the second one is on the y axis (vertical). If print direction doesn’t matter, as usual cut two pieces of the same size straight away.

Block construction

The Fibonacci block is constructed by creating the middle section with all the stripes, including background fabric, first (altogether 11 seams to sew), and only then adding the top and bottom pieces of the background. As usual, use a quarter-inch seam allowance.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci construction 2015-07-01

Piecing tips

Use pins, in particular if your fabric is by different manufacturers, in other words slightly different weight (threads per area unit). I can’t tell you how often two layers of fabric by different manufacturers kind of slide at different speeds under the presser feet, if it makes any sense.

Usually I favour pressing seams open, but in this particular case it makes more sense to press all the seams in one direction. When attaching the background panels, also consider the feed dogs in the sense that you want the pressed seams pointing at you rather than the needle. This will minimise puckered-up fabrics.

In both cases below, you see the seam allowances pointing away from the presser foot.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci piecing 1 2015-07-01

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci piecing 2 2015-07-01

The finished Fibonacci block

This block with its narrow stripes is the most technical of the Simplicity blocks so far, but if you keep the fabrics stacked up neatly (and possibly your cutting mat, too) next to the sewing maching, it should come together rather quickly.

NM Patterns - Simplicity - Block 5 Fibonacci finished v2 2015-07-01

What do you think? Would you make a whole quilt of this block? I think I would. The thin stripes are really challenging to get just so and even pressing wasn’t the walk in the park that it usually is. I’ll post the quilt construction post a bit later today, so stay tuned!

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