Which quilter does not have the Mariner’s Compass on her bucket list?
I have been in love with the block for ages; I had to include it as the seventh block in the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt!
This off-centre Mariner’s Compass is a variation of the block, which is traditionally hand pieced or English paper pieced. However, this pattern employs a number of techniques, including foundation paper piecing, machine piecing and appliqué. It finishes at 18″ square, with a 15″ pieced circle. The printable pdf files instructions and templates for the block are now available on my MadsPatch store on Ecwid.
The learning and inspiration for this block cane from this workshop…
…in this book
The blocks were drafted on Quilt Assistant free software and I used Primo PDF to make the pdf templates.
This is the Dusk colourway, the rays of the setting sun lighting up the needles on the right, as the darkness gathers from the East on the left. The name of the block came about as the pattern originally had a circle of geese , recding in size, flying upwards from both sides – I dropped them to simplify the design.
Four shades of the main colour (blue) and four in a contrast colour way – yellow, gold, light and deep orange – are used here.
The fabric requirements given here are quite generous (according to me!), but you may want to cut fabric as you go along.
|Fabric Code||For templates A to H||For templates I to P||Wedges Q to X||Centre YZ|
6″ x 42″Cut more as you need it.
|6″ squares for the two large wedges at D4 and E2.6″ HSTs and QSTs can be used for the other wedges.
||Cut QSTs from two 6″ squares. Alternatively, you can use scraps.|
|Fabric # 4||Blue 5″ x 35″||Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x 25″||Use (freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces|
|Fabric # 5||Light to medium blue 5″ x 35″||Cut strip 5″x 25″ lengthwise to get 2 strips 2.5″ x25″||Use ( freezer) paper templates to cut the wedge pieces|
|Fabric #6||Pale blue
2.5″x 18″3″ square
|18″ x2.5″||Cut circle using template Z|
|Fabric #7, 8, 9 and 10||2.5″ x 17.5″ strips each||2.5′ x 15″||2.5″ squares of each|
|Fabric # 1 and 2||For background cut 10″ x 19.5″ of each. Join along 19.5″ length to get a square 19.5″x 19.5″|
Printing and Templates
After you buy the pattern, download the files from the links you receive in email in .pdf format. You would need Adobe Reader, available free online to read these files on your computer. The files downloaded will include three files, as follows:
Instructions File – contains these instructions including the fabric requirement, piecing order and Master Template to be used as a guide for assembling the block.
Template File.1 containing paper piecing templates A to P . Print at actual size or 100% in portrait mode
Template File.2 containing templates Q to X and Z . I suggest you print these on freezer paper, if available, at 100% or actual size. These are odd shaped pieces with circular edges, and I personally like to use freezer paper for accuracy for cutting these.
For printing on freezer paper, cut the freezer paper to your regular printer paper size (A4 or letter – approximately 8.5″ x 11″). Iron just the edges of the freezer paper (about ¼”) to a regular printer sheet, so that they are joined evenly, without any creases. Print as usual, taking care to insert the joined sheets in the printer so that the printing is on the freezer paper.
You also need to cut a 2″ radius/ 4″ diameter circle on freezer paper/ stiff paper/ card ( for template Y).
Note : The background template AA and AB are not given for this block, as the circle is appliquéd on to the square.
This diagram is the Master Template that will help you in assembling the block – remember this is is a mirror image. It shows you how your block will look from the printed paper side, not the fabric side, when assembled. It is included in the Instructions File.
The block is partly foundation paper pieced. I have blogged about the paper piecing patterns for this quilt earlier, and also given a few paper piecing tips here. In case you are too lazy to go through those ( I would be, I know!) here is a quick checklist before you begin!
Paper Piecing Checklist
- Have the fabrics been colour coded?
- Has the machine stitch length been reduced?
- Are the templates in order specified in the instructions?
- Have you picked up the correct fabric pieces or strip/s? The fabric code number is printed on each piece position. It is a good idea to check that once in a while.
- When you start, is your piece #1 placed on position #1 on the templates?
- Is the wrong side of the fabric piece touching the paper?
- Is the incoming piece placed right sides touching the previous one?
- If strip chain piecing the templates, have you sufficient space between one template and the next?
Now to begin with the piecing!
For best use of fabric, piece templates in the following order:
- D. E, F, G, H, I, A, B, C.
- Beginning with the bigger templates, you will be able to use the trimmed off scraps of fabric #1 (deep blue here).
- Piece templates I, J, K… to P.
- Attach the wedges Q to A, R to B, S to C…. X to H using the Master Template below as guide.
Piecing the inner circle YZ: Use the 2.5″ squares of fabric 7, 8, 9 and 10 to make a 4-patch
- Fold the fabric circle Z twice to find the centre. Match centres and applique it to the centre of the 4-patch, using your favourite method.
- Place card template / iron freezer template on wrong side of the fabric. Trim to size – remember to add the seam allowance! This makes the inner circle YZ.
Template Assembly Checklist
- Have you a print out of the Master Template in front of you?
- Avoid removing paper pieces before your template is ready to actually go under the machine! Arrange the templates, printed side up, using the Master Template as a guide.
- If you do remove the paper, ensure you have the template (alphabet) name pinned to wrong side of the pieced template, to guide you during assembly.
- At all times, keep the printed/ wrong side up, pick up the templates to be assembled, (remove the paper, if you wish to) sew them together. Put back in place, wrong side up. Go on to the next. At all times, remember to keep track of template names!
For this particular block, assemble the outer circle A to X and then attach it to the background square AA-AB. Applique the inner circle YZ last.
Refer to the Master template at all times during assembly to ensure all is in order! Reminder: If you take off the paper before assembly, remember to stick a post-it note or pin a piece of paper with the template name on the pieced template.
Assemble as follows:
AQ to I; BR to J; CS to K…and so on, till HX to P.
Join the adjoining wedges, anticlockwise when looking from the wrong/ printed paper side as follows:
AQI to BRJ to CSK
DTL to EUM
FVN to GWO to HXP
On flipping over to right (fabric) side, this is how your partly assembled templates should appear.
Complete the assembly to form a ring…
Applique to the background square. Finally, appliqué the centre circle YZ and trim excess fabric from behind the appliqued circle if you like.
And we are done – the Mariner mastered!
Before I sign off, here is a look at the Rainbow version of the block. Remember, the templates and instructions can be purchased from my Ecwid online store Madspatch!
Please note that the downloadable patterns and instruction files for the Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt blocks are being migrated to my store MadsPatch and are not available for download for free from 15th November 2020 onwards.