Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Pieced spiderweb kite - simple tutorial

A couple of people have asked how I created the pieced kites for my spiderweb quilt, so I thought I would do a very simple tutorial on how I drafted the pattern.

The quilt's large spiderwebs have been cut from strip sets, while the kites are paper pieced.

To start, get a large piece of lightweight cardboard/heavy paper, that is bigger than the block size you want - I started off with a 12 1/2 inch square, and ended up with a 10 inch finished block.

Draw the size square that you want.


Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner.

Measure along one of the diagonal lines from the centre to the corner. I make a small mark on my ruler, as it is not an exact part of an inch.

Measure the same distance along the outside line of the square and mark it.

From the diagonally opposite corner, measure the same distance along the outside of the square and mark it. Both marks should be equally distant from the middle corner of the large half square triangle, with the marks closest to the middle corner.

Draw a line from each mark to the centre of the square. Congratulations, this is your kite. It is important that the triangle you create on either side of the kite has equal sides, as you will need them to be equal to ensure you can make the large spiderweb triangles using strip sets.

At this stage, you can either draw the 1/4 inch seam allowances all around one half of the kite shape, or cut out the kite, trace it onto paper and then draw a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the shape.

I drew the seam allowance on my square. The lines marked A are the kite shape, while the lines marked B are the seam allowances.

Make sure that you also draw a seam allowance for the centre of the kite. You will only use one side of this kite shape - ie that in the green box.

Cut out one side of the kite, including seam allowances.

This is the template you will need to use to create the pieced kites.
I traced this onto a plain piece of paper twice, then turned it over and traced the reverse side twice again, so I had two left and right halves.

Save this one and make copies of it to use as the paper piecing templates. Each one will need to be cut apart (4 template on the photo above). I drew the lines at the point of each corner to give me a starting point for the first strip of fabric in the kites. You will need four left facing half kites and four right facing half kites for each full kite spiderweb, so make sure you make lots of copies.

For the large webs, I used a 45 degree ruler to cut from strip sets that were made the same width as the length of the big triangle from the block template I drew above. I only have a 90 degree ruler with two corners that are 45 degrees, but I imagine any ruler that you use to make kaleidoscope blocks would also work well. The 45 degree angle is the important one.

The width of the strip set should be as wide as the triangle is high, plus 1/4 inch seam allowance.

If anyone is interested, I'll show how to cut/sew the fabric. Let me know. As this is a really quick tutorial, please let me know if the steps aren't clear and I'll update the information.



  1. Thank you for sharing this technique! Your quilt is down right gorgeous! on how you cut and sewed your strips of fabric would be most appreciated also.
    Beth In AL USA

  2. Very clever! Thanks for stopping by to visit.


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